Wikimedia Education Cooperative/Report 2014
Education Cooperative kicks off on a meeting in Prague
On March 8th and 9th, representatives from various education initiatives and the Wikimedia Foundation's Global Education Team met in Prague to discuss the future of Wikipedia in Education. The fourteen attendees were from various parts of the globe, including Nepal, the U.S., Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Israel, the United Kingdom, Serbia, Canada, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico. The goal was to bring together the experience of varied efforts related to having students and educators collaborate with Wikipedia and brainstorm how best to expand these efforts all over the world.
Saturday was dedicated to sharing what has been done to date, what has worked well and what could be improved. The Global Education Team has identified more than 60 education programs and other country initiatives in various states of development. This massive worldwide effort has been the starting point for further planning. The best approaches to strategy and evaluation were discussed as well as availability of online training resources, brochures and the state of the course page extension. Participants were also briefed on the usage of Wikimetrics in the education projects. The first day thus served to ensure that all participants are 'on the same page' in terms of their knowledge of the education project management.
On Sunday, the participants spent their time developing goals for the Education Cooperative, a collaboration between international program leaders from the education community with support from the Wikimedia Foundation. This initiative has been established to support the varied outreach efforts in the world in a more localized way. Areas of focus identified were communication, global recognition for programs and participants, resources and mentoring, with action items including a revamp of the education portal on the outreach wiki, a unified newsletter and mentoring efforts for developing education projects. The cooperative will also investigate and improve the means of giving greater recognition to individual education programs, as well as to thousands of students participating worldwide in these efforts. The upcoming Wikimania conference will be a convenient place for the Education Cooperative to interact with the wider Wikipedia community about its goals and strategies and discuss the best practices.
This text uses excerpts from Leigh Thelmadatter's newsletter (see below).