GLAM/Case studies/ITESM-Ciudad de México

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ITESM students working on translations for the Children’s Museum

The Wikipedian-in-Residence of the The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Lori Phillips, along with Regional Ambassador for Mexico Leigh Thelmadatter collaborated to have a group of students from Club Wikipedia at ITESM-Campus Ciudad de México collaborate with the Museum’s edit-a-thon on 20 August 2011. The Mexican students were linked to the U.S. participants and the Museum through Skype and worked on the translation of articles related to the permanent collection from English into Spanish. This side of the edit-a-thon event resulted in the translation of six articles including the Broad Ripple Park Carousel, a featured article in English Wikipedia.

This was Club Wikipedia’s first event with the participation of twelve students, motivated to come into school on a Saturday in order to participate. The students divided into six groups in order to peer-review translations.


The Wikipedian-in-Residence worked the Children’s Museum director and the Regional Ambassador for Mexico met online to discuss the possibility of the virtual participation of students from Club Wikipedia in the Museum’s pre-scheduled edit-a-thon. The idea was that students would translate articles, as they did not have yet sufficient knowledge of writing new articles. The articles to be translated originally included new articles being written on that day as well as articles that already existed. As the Museum’s article already had a translation in Spanish Wikipedia, this was not considered a candidate.

To be “present” at the Museum, it was decided to link the two sites through the video, audio and chat capabilities of Skype. The Mexican students would gather at the self access language laboratory at ITESM-CCM physically and receive F2F assistance from the Regional Ambassador. Further help, would be available through Skype with students able to chat with those participating in the edit-a-thon in the U.S.

Further preparation was undertaken by creating an easy-to-follow short guide on the technical and copyright devices used in Wikipedia to translate articles from English into Spanish.


All six translated articles were nearly completed by the time the edit-a-thon finished on that day, with a few students going back into the articles later to proofread and finished small sections. However, students were only able to work on six articles which already existed in Wikipedia, not on the articles being worked on by the U.S. group. Skype worked out well technically, with students receiving welcoming statements from the Wikipedian-in-Residence as well as the Museum Director, which was very motivating for them. However, since students did not work on the same articles as those in the U.S., communication between the groups was not really needed.

For future events of this type, post event brainstorming came up with having the two groups write articles, with the same references available to both in the appropriate language, rather than waiting for an article to translate. Another idea was to provide students with a “virtual backstage pass” with livestreaming of a tour of the Museum to participating students.

Resulting translations: