Argostoli Evening School students and a Wikitherapy participant turn Wiktionary project into Android app
Snippet: What started out last year as a 10th Grade school project on Greek Wiktionary is being further enhanced by a Wikitherapy participant and developed into an app by this year's 10th Grade.
Those of you who read the December 2015 newsletter may remember the Argostoli Evening School's Wiktionary project on the local Kefalonian dialect; the school's work was warmly received at the Conference on Informatics in Education 2015 in Piraeus, Greece. This year we decided to take the idea a step farther by building a multiple-choice quiz in MIT App Inventor inviting users to test their knowledge on the dialect used by the locals in Kefalonia. Using the words in the category that was established last year on Wiktionary, the students devised 20 multiple-choice questions with three choices each, then designed the interface and programmed the command blocks in App Inventor 2; the ai2 environment was developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and released internationally under Creative Commons licensing.
Jim Vallianos is a participant of the Wikitherapy program at the Argostoli Mental Health Day Center for Adults; over the past 5 months he has made over 500 edits to Greek Wiktionary, mainly in the form of translations to six different languages. Asking Jim to contribute to our project came naturally: he was happy to help in wikifying the meanings of the words and then adding translations to the entries on Wiktionary.
In early June we expect to have our app up and running on Google Play Store and our work presented to the public in a local event at the Municipal Library of Argostoli. We're looking forward to receiving feedback from the best judges around: the locals themselves! Our summer plans include holding an outdoor Wiktionary editathon at a local cafe: if we bring the category up to 100 entries we could then build a new app with levels of difficulty, and - why not? - illustrated with images from Commons... the possibilities are endless! Keep up with our progress by following Argostoli Evening School's blog and the Wikitherapy page on Facebook.
A new Online Course launched in a new Virtual Campus
Snippet: Our first experience in Wikimedia Argentina working with teachers and educators in our new Virtual campus.
During the first months of the year, the staff of Wikimedia Argentina found himself working in the design and in the pedagogic proposal of creating a virtual campus where teachers and educators of different parts of the world can share their experiences in their classrooms by using Wikipedia as pedagogic tool. The Campus is divided in differents interactive spaces. The main one refers to the massive and virtual courses, like the one we are doing today "Wikibridges: bridges between school, digital and free cultture", an innovative distance learning training about the Wikimedia's projects. Another space within the campus is the one used for sharing resources, where you can find all our publications, our documentary film and many tutorials about how to use Wikipedia in different context or how to became an active editor, among others. Last but not least, the community space has been designed as the place where to build community, share experiences and where all the people involved in our online activities can share their impressions about education, technology, digital gender gap, and anything they might consider interesting to cooperate and collaborate with our daily work regarding the construction of free knowledge.
What makes a distance learning experience a successful one? How can the same content be relevant for different educator's profiles and contexts? These are some of the questions that guided Wikimedia Argentina through the process of reviewing, small detail by small detail, the learning proposal we launched for educators all over Latin America back in 2014 and 2015. From the very beginning the proposal is built on the basis of something everyone can relate to: school culture. The next step is to find ways to articulate school culture and digital culture (one of the recent challenges that national education policies have presented to schools throughout the country, bringing the material and cultural consumption patterns of younger people into the spotlight). Last, this exercise of articulation necessarily brings into question the ethical aspects of digital culture: What are the rules of the game in the digital scene? It is here that free culture can provide answers. We are then able to build bridges between school, digital and free culture. Bridges which are strong yet flexible, relaxed yet compromised, solid but adaptable at the same time.
According to this thought, the 2016 online course edition, we are continuing working on the importance of creating spaces where professionals, educators and teachers from different education grades and latitudes, can think about the development of educational tools that generate alternative strategies by using Wikimedia projects in their teaching sequences. The virtual course Wikibridges 2016 is divided in six virtual classes. One of our leitmotivs is to promote activities which motivate educators enough to guarantee their continuity and active participation in our distance learning course. We want to put forward an innovative proposal which is solid, keeps our participants motivated week by week and engage them enough to continue with the educational itinerary. To achieve this, we implemented different strategies as individual follow up, flexibility and constant interactions with the participants through different means: the course platform, mailings and social networks.
We have many expectations regarding the virtual course that began a week ago. We are finding a lot of participation and willingness to meet and share experiences in editing Wikipedia and pedagogical proposals that may arise from this space. So far more than 900 people has showed interest in participate in our online proposal. While we believe that our retention rate is going to be less that the original number, having these amount of people interested let us know the importance in the educational agenda regarding the Wikimedia projects.
To find out more about our Virtual Campus, you can check the following link
An online elective course on Wikipedia for highschool pupils in Estonia
Snippet: A new online introductory course to Wikipedia for highschoolers in Estonia.
Together with representatives from highschool and higher education, we have been building an online course to teach an introduction to Wikipedia to highschool students in Estonia. The course will go live in the fall of 2016 as an elective course and offered alongside the extra-curricular educational programme offered by Tartu University. The main aim of the course is to provide an introduction to Wikipedia that is both approachable and interesting and should result in transferrable skills whether or not the pupils become active contributors to Wikipedia. The understanding provided of the inner workings of Wikipedia is expected to allow new appreciation into the mechanisms by which knowledge is constructed, maintained, and distributed through Wikipedia.
The course has been organized with support and initiative from the Ministry of Education and Research in Estonia in conjuction with a requirement to present a minor research paper by the end of the school term. Wikipedia has shown itself as an environment with multiple benefits, and thus initiatives have been started to help highschool pupils also take part in the Wikipedia community. The course seeks to offer useful skills by explaining the structure and the specifity of Wikipedia articles in both style and content, and going through the process of writing step by step. The course takes its structure from research in academic writing that has come to value the process of incremental build-up that gradually improves on article quality and content in subsequent iterations. Taking the process step by step allows a well-paced introduction to the writing and also combines writing with collaboration and feedback between the peers.
The course was tested from February until April as a 6-week course, and will go live as a 9-week course this fall next to the elective online courses offered by Tartu University. The pilot was tested with 6 volunteer participants, and the first session of the course is expected to support 30-50 participants.
Visualization of relationship among knowledge? Try WikiSeeker
Snippet: Taiwanese researcher develop new ontology tool using Chinese Wikipedia to help primary and secondary school kids learn better.
Dr. Tsung-Ho Liang (梁宗賀) is a system analyst in the information center of Bureau of Education, Tainan City Government, and currently involving in studying big data in education, especially dealing with unstructured data and natural language processing techniques. In 2013, he started a project to integrate the contents of Chinese Wikipedia with the "Chinese Knowledge and Information Processing (CKIP)" technology and establish a new search engine for Chinese Wikipedia - WikiSeeker (維基嬉客). WikiSeeker is a tailor-made search system based on the Wikipedia corpus in leveraging the search effectiveness by providing structured association graphs with related Wikipedia articles (as a knowledge map form) for students' queries in Chinese. First, it produces a knowledge map with clear relationships among each field of knowledge, so students can easily identify the most important keywords among contents; second, the search bar of WikiSeeker is capable of using natural language to search instead of typing keywords. You may see the walk through of WikiSeeker on Youtube.
The above two features make WikiSeeker to be intuitive and easy to use for K-12 students. According to the research essay "WikiSeeker─The Study of the Impact of a Search System with Structured Association Graphs on Learning Effectiveness" by the researcher Sheng-Nan Cheng (鄭盛南), two experimental groups were adopted in this study, one is to ask the students use Chinese Wikipedia directly, and another is to ask students use WikiSeeker website to answer the same question list. The result shows the students who use WikiSeeker increase 10.8% of correctness (in average 13.73 out of 19, compared to 15.8 out of 19 questions). Moreover, it was found that female or middle-achieving students reach the highest learning improvement when using WikiSeeker. The conclusion suggests that WikiSeeker is suitable for students to acquire knowledge in Chinese Wikipedia.
How to survive the Big Bang in your education program
Snippet: How the Big Bang happened in Wikimedia Czech republic's education program.
During the last three months, our activities are growing all over the Czech Republic. There are several fields where we expand.
The first one is our project Seniors Write Wikipedia. Our courses stepped out from Prague and are now organized in three more cities around the Czech Republic. This is a major shift from mostly Prague-centered activities last year. We already had very good feedback on these courses and new cities are currently interested, and so we are starting new collaborations to kick off in autumn this year.
We are also active in cooperation with different kinds of institutions. In February, we signed a framework agreement of collaboration with the National Library of Technology, in March, we started to collaborate with the University of the Third age at Masaryk University, and during April we became part of a working group focused on digital education strategy. At the same time we continue in already established partnerships. We believe that cooperation with major public institutions will help us promote Wikipedia more and carry out various projects with their support (space for free, advertising, human resources).
An explosion of different Wikimedia events has happened this year in the Czech Republic - such as various workshops, edit-a-thons, wikiconference, wikiclub (where people regularly edit together) and others. Most probably, that's the reason why Wikimedian communities are developing also in different cities. After Prague and Brno, the largest two cities, we are happy that a new community is now developing in Olomouc. There are also more and more Wikimedians who want to become public speakers of Wikipedia.
The scaling up is challenging us in terms of professionalization. Currently, we have two employees who establish new practices, support the volunteers and help with organization of our activities. There is a special project called "Mluvkové" (which could be translated as "Talkers"), which is focused on the professionalization of our courses and lectures. The working group designs new learning materials and syllabus and during last week we had the first training on developing teaching skills for public speakers of Wikipedia.
We hope that we will now be able to stop for a moment after the Big Bang that has happened in the educational activities of Wikimedia Czech Republic, realize where we are and where we would like to go, and puzzle it to a structure. Wish us luck :-)
Maastricht University 40 years
Snippet: Expanding the knowledge on Wikipedia and collaborating with Wikimedia is the next step
Since 2014 Wikipedia is educated in Maastricht University in the Netherlands. In that year at the same time a series of three Wikipedia workshops were organised and separate from this a course started as part of the bachelor of students. The course included also an image donation of illustrations from historic travel reports. In 2015 Jimmy Wales received a honorary doctorate for Wikipedia, and three Wikipedia courses were organised, together with 3 Wikipedia open door walk-in sessions. And in 2016 a new course has started. (overview of activities over the years)
This year the university exists 40 years, and they want to organise lustrum festivities. All the Wikipedia activities that were organised in the past years have created awareness, and have come to the attention of the management of the university. With the 40 years celebration they plan multiple activities together with Wikipedia, including a writing week on Wikipedia. Further they organise a special knowledge session in what staff of the university can learn about collaborating with Wikipedia/Wikimedia, what the benefits are, why their colleagues already have participated and how they have experienced it, and how editing Wikipedia works and can be used. As these now are organised together, the importance and value in education is shown, and it would be interested to see where this will lead us.
Students in Sweden edit Somali Wikipedia
Snippet: Students in Sweden make an impact on Somali Wikipedia
Somali speaking students, age 13-15, at one of the local schools in Stockholm Sweden have contributed to Somali Wikipedia, writing three new articles in preparation for this year's announcement of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. The project took place during April 2016 with some preparations done earlier in the year when it was initiated by the school librarian and carried out by a team of dedicated educators teaching the students Swedish, Somali and media literacy. The result was three new articles added to Somali Wikipedia, currently consisting of just under 4,000 articles, and they were jointly produced by the group of 20 students. These articles were (1) the world famous Swedish Children's book author Astrid Lindgren, (2) her memorial award, and (3) lastly the article about last year's winners PRAESA, a South African literacy project whose representatives had visited this particular school in Stockholm last year.
- Blog post at the Wikimedia Sverige blog. (Swedish)
- Video interview about the project, Wiki-EDU Collab Highlight of the Month. (English)
Spring semester wiki-activities end at Tec de Monterrey, Mexico City
Snippet: Round up of Spring 2016 semester activities of Wiki Learning Tec de Monterrey
In terms of absolute production, Spring 2016 was a relatively light semester at the Ciudad de México campus. We had three classes involved with Wikipedia, one with Martha Gómez (Usuario:Nutresilla), a Spanish-as-a-foreign-language class with Artemisa Martinez (Usuario:Pasifarte) and one with the author. This along with the usual group of students completing social service hours bring the number of student participants to 81. The exciting news comes by means of what was produced and activities not directly related to Wikimedia content.
Video work continues to grow in importance on the campus, as we take advantage of students studying fields related to video, animation and sound production, who need to create portfolios as well as be of service to Mexican society. For the Spring 2016 semester, we again worked with the Museo de Arte Popular, finishing two videos, one about the museum itself and a second for a consortium of museums in the Mexico City area which are working to make cultural institutions more accessible to the disabled. (As of 13 May, the videos are not yet up on Commons as we are waiting on an OTRS letter from the museum to be sure that the video is acceptable to Commons.) Even more important is that we have acquired a new "client" or collaborator for these video projects, Pronatura, which is a Mexican environmental non-profit organization.
Interview of Alex Stinson by students
Tutorial on how Wiki Learning does translations of texts
Semana i activities remain a major tool for the promotion of Wikimedia activities for the Wiki Learning program. However, in January 2016, the university system decided to hold Semana i once-a-year, instead of the original once-a-semester. The reason behind this is to give organizers more time to create better "challenges" for students, in particular, those which have students collaborate with outside entities. This semester has been dedicated to doing just that. Five professors on two campuses have stepped up to create and run Wikimedia-related challeges for the Semana i event to be held September 19-23, 2016. Two will be Wiki-expeditions in the center and west of Mexico City, led by Martha Gomez and Alvaro Alvarado respectively. Another will focus on creating or improving biographies of Mexican authors, led by Antonio Alcala (TONYchainsaw). Lourdes Epstein (Usuario:Lourdes Epstein) and sound engineering director Alejandro Ramos are creating a project related to recording freely-licensed versions of traditional Mexican music, with the advice and help of [National Sound Library http://www.fonotecanacional.gob.mx/]. Leigh Thelmadatter is working with the Salón de la Plástica Mexicana to interview 15 of their artists. The goal of this project is to add information to articles which are small because there is little published in traditional media about these artists, despite their national standing. Obviously, these are all major projects and preparations have been underway since the end of January.
In February, a team of researchers from the Wikimedia Foundation came to the Mexico City campus to interview students and professors about their use of Wikipedia. The team had the opportunity to meet the head of Humanities for the Mexico City area, Dr. Julio Rubio, library director Dr. Lourdes Epstein, medicine department head Dr Luis Clemente Jimenez Botello, the advanced English class of Antonio Alcala, and several students with Wikipedia experience. They were also interviewed by the Concepto Radial campus radio station.
Another development which is important to us is our first representation as an affiliate at the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin in April. The experience was very much worth it as we were able to take ideas and determine our next steps as an organization.
Education Program surveys are here!
Snippet: Survey templates are here! Try them out for your next education program!
Surveys are a great way to learn how you are doing in you Education Program. Not only can you learn how to improve the design of you program to meet the needs of students or educators, but you can also measure the impact of your work with a surveys. With the help of 5 program leaders submitting their surveys, Edward Galvez at the WMF has reviewed and developed template surveys that can be used for your next Education Program! The surveys were submitted through phabricator, email and posted in outreachwiki in Category:Education program survey. First, the goals of the surveys and questions were examined, to help give structure to the templates. Then, the questions were reviewed, combined and edited to make sure they have the best question design. The three surveys are: (1) Survey for students in a classroom, (2) Survey for educators about their classrooms, and (3) Survey for educators in a training program. Try out these surveys for your program!
Want to get involved in creating better surveys? Here are a few ways you can help.
- Test out these questions. For your next education program, try out some of these questions - do they work for you?
- Submit a survey to share. If you have a survey with new questions, post it on outreachwiki. Create a page in outreach, under Education/Surveys/[Your survey name] , and add the category Category:Education program survey. We especially need surveys that may have been used for ambassadors or institutions.
- Have an idea for a question? Post it on Talk:Education/Surveys!
- Help translate these surveys. The surveys need to be marked for translation! If you are a translation admin, help with setting up the pages for translation. If you do translate questions to a different language, save your survey so we can add the translations once the pages are marked for translation.
If you have a survey you need help with, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The WMF is happy to help you plan your next survey!
Vahid Masrour joins the education team at the Wikimedia Foundation
The Education team welcomed Vahid Masrour as the new Community Capacity Manager this month (May 2016). Vahid joins the Foundation as an active community member in Ecuador, with great experience in the education sector and as a global citizen. He will be focusing on supporting the development of our Education Collaborative, to make sure our leaders have the skills and tools they need to be successful. If you are interested in mentoring, he and the Collab will be sharing updates in on that in the coming months.
About Vahid in his own words:
- World citizen, with a strong experience in South America, I have resided in 6 countries so far, and plan to keep on moving. I am keenly interested in transformation of educational processes using technology as a lever. I have been part of the Ecuador User Group since its inception (2013), as the education program specialist, and am a firm believer that “Knowledge is as wings to man's life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone.”
- Originally trained as a psychologist, I’ve been learning about community development through development projects and volunteer service. The overlap of my interests in education, technology and community development now finds a peculiarly interesting expression through my work at the WMF, where I can now serve by enabling a global community’s efforts towards the “growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge”.
Programs and Events Dashboard Update
The WMF education team has been working with the Wiki Education Foundation (“WikiEd”) to adapt their dashboard software for our global community. The WikiEd Dashboard allows users to easily plan and manage courses and track student contributions, and allows their organization to quickly pull data from all registered courses. A group of people at the Wikimedia Foundation have been working with WikiEd to make a version of this software available to program leaders across the Wikimedia movement, making it work on every wiki and every language.
The education team got internal support from Fundraising Tech this past February, and is currently contracting directly with WikiEd to push forward more international feature development through the end of June, 2016. We look forward to sharing the progress that we make in the next two months! Also, Sage from WikiEd will be at the Wikimania 2016 Hackathon next month in Esino Lario if you are interested in hacking on this project!
Education at Wikimania
Saturday 25 June 2016
- 14.00-14:30 - Space 1: State of the Education by Filip Maljkovic and Esther Solé
Sunday 26 June 2016
- 10:30-12:00 - Space 4: Discussion: Education
Luz María Silva's students and their adventure editing Spanish Wikipedia
Snippet: Luz María Silva’s students wrote high quality Wikipedia articles about non covered thematics about History of Mexico
By herself, Luz María Silva is an admirable person. She’s a researcher and author of several reference books, also an editor in the Spanish Wikipedia. In addition to her career she is a teacher at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), a well known and recognized private educational institution based in Mexico City. During the first semester of 2016 in her History of Mexico class for freshmen of undergraduate studies she integrated -as the previous three years- the writing of Wikipedia articles as part of her teaching activities.
Wikimedia Mexico supports Luz María in this process in which she applies her extensive formation of several decades as a researcher and author of reference materials. Therefore over several weeks she makes a thorough review of articles produced in her classroom, asking students for valid, state-of-the-art references. We talked with Maria Luz about her activity with Wikipedia in the classroom and this is her story:
- Wikimedia Mexico: Which subjects did your students edit about this semester?
Luz María: There were several. For the sixth semester in a row, I invited my students from ITAM to write articles on Wikipedia as a way of midterm evaluation. Participarion is optional, those who prefer to take a traditional test can have one, but I know that more and more students have Socio-Political History of Mexico with me precisely because they like the idea of writing for Wikipedia, even if not everyone ends up actually doing it.
The requirements are: first and foremost to abide by all Wikipedia rules and policies; to edit about Mexico between the pre-Columbian era up to the Porfirian era because that’s the period covered in my class. The first challenge for students is to pick a specific theme of their liking. I don’t assign subjects, as it would defeat the purpose.
In general, I prefer for them to write an article from scratch, not to translate because doing so prevents the students from facing the actual challenge of a blank page, which is very important in their academic formation. However, I once let a student translate over 40 battles between Mexico and the United States after the signing of the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty in 1848. The student told me he was more interested in doing that than in starting a new subject because these battles aren’t well known so it was an interesting change of pace.
Back on the the subjects, my students have so far uploaded since 2013 221 articles, 40 in this semester alone. The general subjects are:
16 articles are biographies, one of which (“Women in the Independence War (Mexico)”) contains short biographies on several key women and their part across the stages of the war,as it’s a subject recently studied by historians. I like their interest in biographies. Their reasons for writing about this or that person are very diverse, from wanting to learn about a key person in their selected career path to being a distant relative in Mexican history.
There are 6 articles on historical sites, which is the second general subject. These are generally places they are familiar with or, as it happened this semester, a place they went to during the Holy Week break. Some of them took pictures and are particularly proud of uploading them to Commons.
The third subject are services in general. These are 5 articles covering hospitals, electricity, the circus and entertainment.
There is one thing that has repeated over time: interest in codices. This semester we had 3 articles about them. Almost every semester we’ve had people interested in particular companies, music and museums, we had 2 of each this semester. This semester we had at least one Law student interested in writing for Wikipedia and one writing about politics, one about the ixtle plant and one about mathematics in New Spain. It’s a direct reflection of their desired careers and studies, as my aim is to familiarize them with Mexican History and stop it from becoming a distant subject.
- WMMX: What are your main observations?
Luz María: I am very lucky to work with people as smart as my students. They are young and committed to their work, and as they frequently use Wikipedia they find fascinating to contribute to a familiar source, something that many of them had never considered possible before. I hope that, little by little, their conviction will lead them to become active Wikipedians.
Of course, I’m very grateful for all the help and orientation Wikimedia Mexico has given me. Sometimes, there’s an incident that makes you and your work feel exposed to the opinion of strangers that may disappear for weeks at a time after judging you, although this is not as common anymore. However, when it does happen it’s quite frustrating, even if my students get a satisfactory mark on their record. There’s a real pain to see an article erased without further explanations. As you know, I think that article erasure is a delicate matter and it should have a clearer procedure, excepting of course in cases of plagiarism.
This semester we faced a challenge that you helped a lot with: an article about a museum. The author, as some people do, “embedded” paragraphs from two sources and thought that just citing them as references was enough. Thanks to your help and the help of a wonderful sysop, she learned how to conduct her research, which is knowledge that will be with her for the rest of her life and ultimately helped her article stay online. Let’s say it was a very happy ending to that story.
- WMMX: What would you suggest to improve the experience of Wikipedia usage in a classroom.
Luz María: I really don’t know what to say. We really don’t do anything more with Wikipedia in our classroom as we have our own lecture schedule to meet and have little time for anything else. Writing for Wikipedia is a personal matter, done optionally and I act as a sort of help: my students usually send me their work before uploading it, but that’s not always the case.
What I did realize is that the older friends of my students, those who were in my class in previous years, are the ones that tend to guide them the most. When I was at the Museo Soumaya Editathon I had the pleasure of working along with Carmen Alcázar and other wikipedians, but that’s the only time I’ve worked in a group directly with Wikimedia Mexico.
- WMMX: How many students participated this semester?:
Luz Ma: Forty: 21 in one group and 19 in the other. There were actually more students interested in writing, but time was not on our side and they finally couldn’t devote enough time to it. I think that ultimately they will all benefit from this kind of activities as it teaches students to state questions, to write objectively, mostly because I’ve come to learn from my foreign friends that we Mexicans like to write essays. I think that’s true and learning to write an article will develop analytical skills, problem solving and to face a blank page to write without judgment. I like that everyone does it, even if they don’t directly write on Wikipedia, and I like that those who do, do it out of their will because they end up working and learning more than with a traditional test.
Finally, I have learned about Mexican History through helping my students in their wikipedian adventures, as they often choose and find new angles on things that we all might give for granted.
New training materials in Arabic by WMIL
Wikimedia Israel seeks to serve all communities living within Israel. As part of this, the chapter recently worked intensively on translating materials into Arabic – a process led by Dror Kamir, one of WMIL's prominent volunteers.
Recently the chapter uploaded three new tools to the Commons:
WMIL is encouraging you to distribute these materials to all Arabic-speaking members of the movement!
Articles of interest in other publications
- 1. Un kit pédagogique pour utiliser Wikipedia en classe (in French)
- Wikimedia France has recently published an educational kit for educators to use the education program. Wikipedia could be popular among students just like Facebook and Instagram. But beyond just "copying and pasting" the articles, there is also a learning aspect from the Wikipedia articles for the high school students. How the vast amount of knowledge preserved in Wikipedia could be better utilized?