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Grants:PEG/WM AU/Conference and Fair Stalls

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This Project and Event grant was funded in the fiscal year 2009-10 and subsequently cancelled by the grantee. Funds must be returned to WMF or reallocated to another approved grant request. Project report is available.

Legal name of chapter
Wikimedia Australia
Grant contact name
Brianna Laugher
Grant contact user-name or e-mail
blaugher at wikimedia.org.au
Grant contact title (position)
Project lead name
as above
Project lead user-name or e-mail
Project lead title (position), if any
Full project name
Conferences and Fair Stalls
Amount requested (in USD)
Provisional target start date
Provisional completion date
June 2010

Budget breakdown[edit]

Estimated cost of attendance fee of AU$500 per conference x 4 conferences = $2000 total.

AU$2000 = US$1440 (at exchange rate of $1AU = US$.72), rounded to nearest 100 = 1500

As an example: the 2008 Australian Computers in Education conference charged AU$2750 (see PDF at [1]). This was a national conference that is held every two years, so annual state-based conferences should be significantly cheaper.

Project scope[edit]

We will attend and participate in the trade show/exhibition stalls of relevant conferences, especially education/teaching conferences. A large barrier to doing this at the moment are the prohibitive fees charged to stall holders.

Project goal[edit]

The goal is to reach more educators, to increase their understanding of how the Wikimedia projects work, and enable them to pass this knowledge on to their students.

For general events, the goal is to increase understanding of how the Wikimedia projects work and especially recruit participants from the event's target audience.

Non-financial requirements[edit]

Participating in educational conferences gives us an opportunity to "teach the teachers", although of course this is not a one-way education! It gives us a prime opportunity to communicate with educators and learn about how they use wiki projects in their classrooms, as well as their concerns. Having a professional presentation at a professional event, as well as what we actually say, help enormously with improving our credibility in the education sector.

As an example, I (Brianna) spoke at the 2008 ACEC conference. Although the audience at my talk was small (there was 13 simultaneous streams!), feedback was positive and I found teachers contacting me months later to ask permission to use my materials amongst their peers, or to try and find a local (New Zealand) editor who might come and give a similar talk as I had done. If we had had a dedicated stand, attendees would have been able to approach us whenever it suited them over the conference.

Other benefits[edit]

It will help to balance the overwhelmingly closed-source proprietary software and IP models that are displayed by the vast majority of other stalls. It will also help to increase awareness of Wikimedia Australia's existence amongst the education sector. And finally it helps to normalise/visualise an answer to the question "who writes Wikipedia" which for many non-participants is a baffling one.

For non-education events, there is also some possibility of recruiting members/soliciting donations.

Measures of success[edit]

We will consider this project a success if the funds are used for this purpose. We will be able to report on:

  • number of conferences attended
  • number of attendees at each conference
  • estimate of materials distributed
  • any distinct follow-up initiatives with educators as a direct result of contact via a conference