Education/News/November 2021/Wikipedia Education Program in Ukraine in 2021

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Wikipedia Education Program in Ukraine in 2021

Author: Hanna Osadchuk, Education & GLAM Manager at Wikimedia Ukraine
Summary: Ukraine’s educational program is one of the most influential directions that brings together Wikimedians, educators, researchers, and other communities. While this work has been ongoing at a grassroots level for many years now, an additional input of resources and personnel in dedicated roles as part of a three-year strategic plan has enabled Wikimedia Ukraine to expand the program's scope and effectiveness for the community we serve.
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Wikimedia Ukraine's flagship educational projects on 2021 have been the annual article contest for teachers “Wikipedia for School” and a Wikipedia handbook for teachers. Apart from these projects, we have provided supported to community members using Wikipedia in educational institutions, as well as focused on developing partnerships to popularize the educational program.

In 2021, we wrapped up work on the previous edition of the “Wikipedia for School” contest; it helped bring over 750 new or significantly improved Wikipedia articles from 60 educators across eleven school disciplines. We've already started working on the next edition, which is due to start in early December.

The handbook for teachers is a 100-page collections of advice, recommendations and best practices from teachers who utilize Wikipedia at school, aiding with the implementation and integration of Wikipedia in an educational environment. This enables peer to peer exchange between educators and offers a leg up to newer members of the community while reinforcing the reach and positive influence that Wikipedia has. The handbook will be both on Wikimedia Commons and in print.

The Educational Program also serves as a hub for webinars and training sessions on Wikipedia in the educational environment, a function which has been extensively utilized by Ukrainians eager to work with Wikipedia. This year, we’ve reached several groups of teachers across Ukraine and students in a number of Ukraine’s universities.

We’ve been happy to see this program used by educators and students alike in a variety of areas, from the Junior Academy of Sciences in the capital in Kyiv to groups of school teachers in the eastern frontline city of Mariupol. The volume of training events we have seen is largely due to engagement with long-term volunteers of the Wikimedia community, like Yuriy Bulka for students of Ukrainian Catholic University, Serhiy Lypko for students of Lviv Polytechnic National University, Liubov Suverniova and Halyna Kachurovska for teachers during EdCamp Mariupol, Natalia Lastovets for educators of Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (also known as Minor Academy of Sciences), Maryna Chala for teacher’s NGO Teach for Ukraine.

We were fortunate to make the most of easing COVID-19 restrictions to hold the first offline meeting since the start of the pandemic. It was great to see one another in a productive and creative exchange among like-minded people. The event helped us expand our vision for improvements in our educational program and offer ideas as to how to reach more of Ukraine’s educators with the benefits of our program.

Slides from the first information session about the ToT program

There is still time left in the year, and we intend to make the most of it. Some of Wikimedia Ukraine's plans include:

  • Running the aforementioned “Wikipedia for School” article contest for the 2021—2022 edition
  • Wikimedia Ukraine's Education manager graduating from “Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom” Train the Trainers program. This program intends to bring Ukraine’s media literacy to international levels by educating teachers on how to teach media literacy to students using Wikipedia as a prime tool. Media literacy is an important topic for Ukraine’s educators and students, one that interests many of the community members also interested in Wikipedia. We expect to help level up Ukraine in this field in 2022.
  • Developing our partnership with the Junior Academy of Sciences to encourage talented high school students to become Wikipedia volunteers.
  • Supporting and advancing our partnerships with various Ukrainian universities.
  • Continuing to provide support to community members to integrate Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects in their curricula.