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Education/News/October 2023/CBSUA Launches Wiki Education in Partnership with PhilWiki Community and Bikol Wikipedia Community

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CBSUA Launches Wiki Education in Partnership with PhilWiki Community and Bikol Wikipedia Community

Summary: The Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) has embarked on an exciting new initiative in collaboration with the PhilWiki Community and the Bikol Wikipedia Community. The roots of this partnership can be traced back to 2012, with conferences and training sessions involving CBSUA faculty and students beginning in 2017. Notable Wikipedians from CBSUA, including Leah Banastao-Sumalinog, Zyra Hila, Marvin Molin, Elbert Baeta, Jenly Balaquiao, and Jerome Hipolito, have actively contributed to these engagements.

Individual engagements with Wikipedia have proven beneficial, producing valuable references and enhancing existing content. However, CBSUA has taken a pioneering step by organizing these endeavors into a Wiki Education community, a move that promises to boost the productivity of editor volunteers. CBSUA-Calabanga officially launched the CBSUA Wiki Education on October 25, 2023, at the CHDC Conference Room to sustain and strengthen their ongoing collaborations.

The CBSUA Wiki Education envisions a university where faculty, non-teaching personnel, and students actively share knowledge with the general public by integrating Wikimedia into their instruction, research, extension, and production services. This innovative initiative will be managed by the CBSUA Wiki Club, consisting of faculty, non-teaching personnel, students, and alumni.

The program's inaugural activities, announced during the launch, include a series of edit-a-thons. These edit-a-thons aim to attract and develop 60 new volunteer editors, integrate them into the CBSUA Wiki Club, and produce 500 new or revised content from October 25, 2023, to June 21, 2024. These edit-a-thons will take the form of a writing contest, and the winning editors will receive prizes courtesy of the Bikol Wikipedia Community.

In a profound address during the launch, Dr. Dariel Palmiano, the Campus Administrator of CBSUA-Calabanga, said that knowledge is the most precious wealth of our modern era. He underscored that knowledge has emerged as the ultimate asset in an age defined by rapid technological advancements and information dissemination.

However, Dr. Palmiano made a vital distinction by asserting that "commodification" in this context does not necessarily imply financial gains. He broadened the definition of commodification, stating that it involves the strategic transformation of knowledge into a more accessible and usable form. In essence, it aims to maximize the utility and relevance of knowledge to society at large.

One of the most striking points made by Dr. Palmiano was the assertion that having a platform that enables one to have a virtual presence translates to power. In an era where digital presence and influence have taken center stage, he recognized the importance of using platforms like Wikipedia to make knowledge accessible to the global community. By contributing to the digital sphere, individuals and institutions not only disseminate knowledge but also bolster their influence and impact.

Participants during the launching include Rochele Villafuerte, Jessica Oconer, Antonette Tang, Jamille Ann Arena, Bernard Hipolito, Edwin Breva, Jr, Jenly Balaquiao, Kristopher Magellan Reyta, Ilonah Jean De Mesa, Anna Grace Villarico, Catherine Arga, Flodeliza Relloso,Jerome Hipolito, Geofrey Almazar, Ammiel Jay Lamboson, Alondra Kim Martinez, Vanessa Luna, Angelica Herrera, Johanna Alizon Borja, Lovely Rechile Floresca, Italy Pasobillo, Florence Erika Vallesfin, Jamela Gonzales, Mary Rose De Mesa, Leah Balilla, Joan Sarcedo, Ryan Guisic, and Jimma Bosangit.

Addressing concerns about the accuracy of Wikipedia due to its open editing policy, Mr. Irvin Sto. Tomas, the Founding Chair of the PhilWiki Community, emphasized that the Edit Button exists not to encourage vandalism but to maintain the quality of content. The participation of the academic community in CBSUA Wiki Education will further bolster its credibility. He urged participants to embrace Wiki and use it for teaching, research, community engagement, and content production.

CBSUA Wiki Education is committed to supporting other local wiki community initiatives, such as Wiki Asian Month (November 2023), Wiki Loves Food (December 2023), WikiProyekto Barangay, Wiki Proyekto Edukasyon sa Kabikolan, Wiki Proyekto Katuod (January 2024), Wiki Loves Visual Arts and Wiki Loves Folklore (February 2024), WikiGap (Women) (March 2024), Wiki Loves Literary Arts, WikiProyekto Literaturang Bikolnon (April 2024), Wiki Loves Earth (May 2024), Wiki Loves Music, and the Closing and Awarding of Winners for Edit-a-thons (June 2024).

An Activity Agreement will be signed between CBSUA and the PhilWiki Community to outline the responsibilities of both parties. CBSUA Wiki Education, a joint program of the International Relations Office of CBSUA-Calabanga and the PhilWiki Community and Bikol Wikipedia Community, marks a significant milestone as the first university-based Wiki community in the Philippines.