Education/Newsletter/October 2013/Students to Uganda, Swedish for Immigrants, university staff and researchers and a group of principals

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Some of the students at the Swedish for Immigrants class in Värnamo, Sweden

Wikimedia Sverige worked with many different groups the last month. We had two half day workshops in Kalmar with about 50 high school students participating and learning how to edit Wikipedia. These students will travel to Uganda and write articles about the country illustrating their articles with photos and videos. This project was made possible by a joint application for funding for two former students to a Ugandan organization and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to travel to Uganda as volunteers to teach students there to edit Wikipedia.

We continued with more internationally-oriented work as WMSE's and GR Utbildning's project with Swedish for Immigrants has really taken off this past month with classes at two schools involved in the project. The first group of students have started translating articles from Swedish to their mother tongue. In preparation for this work, we asked the community for help, and twenty volunteers from eleven language versions signed up to work with us as mentors for the students. Volunteers also added Albanian and Macedonian to the list of articles to work with to make it easier for the students. In order to gain more interest from teachers, we gave a presentation to the Swedish for Immigrants teachers in Malmö with over 30 teachers attending. Together with our partner organization, GR Utbildning, we are now preparing informational material and to participate in two large education fairs in Sweden.

In order to reach more experts and get them involved in Wikipedia, WMSE led at a workshop at Lund University with about 30 participating researchers, communicators and librarians. An edit-a-thon is planned for November as a follow-up where the staff will get the chance to edit with direct help from volunteers and staff from Wikimedia Sverige. We believe that continuation of the work is crucial in order to make the teachers adopt it for their classes. After the workshop that intended to be mainly inspirational a couple of them have already shown interest in preparing assignments using Wikipedia.

Also, WMSE led a lively workshop for six principals about Wikipedia's role in education and how Wikipedia can be included in their schools. The idea behind the workshop is to convince the principals of the value of Wikipedia as a tool so that they ideally will suggest this to the teachers, or at least not work against any teachers suggesting Wikipedia to be included in their class.