Education/Newsletter/September 2016/Video projects redefine student Wiki work and student community service

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By Leigh Thelmadatter (Wiki Learning Tec de Monterrey)

Snippet: Through Wikimedia multimedia projects, Mexican university students give back to society.

First group of Wiki Learning students to collaborate in video/animation with the Museo de Arte Popular

Starting as early as 2014, Wiki Learning has been interested in working with multimedia projects. Not only is there great opportunity in Wikipedia for such projects, they also allow us to take advantage of resources and knowledge that may not be available to the average Wikipedian. Tecnológico de Monterrey has programs in communications and digital art/animation, along with various extracurricular options related to multimedia production.

Most multimedia projects are time-consuming, but Mexican university students are required by federal law to do 480 hours of community service, or servicio social, to obtain their degrees. Most community service projects that Tec students are currently offered do not require them to use the skills they are acquiring through their college educations, but this is changing. Being a Wikipedian-in-Residence, or 'Wikipedistas Residentes, allows students to take what they learn and apply it not only for the benefit of Wikipedia, but also for the one or more Mexican institutions with which they collaborate.

To date, students have collaborated with the Museo de Arte Popular, the Salón de la Plástica Mexicana and Pro Natura, to create videos and animations related to Mexican handcrafts, artists and environmental issues respectively. These are short clips (see gallery below); animation clips are rarely more than 30 seconds and interviews less than 10 minutes, with the aim of being used in Wikimedia projects as well through our "clients'" social media outlets. Depending on the client, the resulting work is primarily credited to the client or to Wiki Learning, but in all cases both are featured in the credits.

Students work out the premise and script with the organization and are required to make sure that the project meets their expectations. They do all storyboarding, art, programming, filming and in some of the videos, have created original music for the background to make sure that the entire project can be put into a CC-by-SA type license.

The collaboration with clients gives students access to specialized information, and in the case of interviews, people who have made a contribution to Mexican society. This contact is not superficial. It requires collaboration and negotiation with these actors for the purpose of creating an important piece of work. This is both educational for students as well as satisfying one of the main reasons for the community service requirement, that students fortunate enough to obtain a university education give back something to society.

Read more about the Wikipedia Education Program at Tec de Monterrey in Mexico here.