Learning patterns/How to generate engagement with students to become a Wikiambassador
What problem does this solve?
Many of the questions of teachers (as any educator) is how to involve students in their tasks, how motivate them to be part of the educational proposal. The gap between what they do in school and what they do with technology out of school (even when they resolve the homework) is still big. But when given a place to express themselves, to tell their concerns, customs and digital practices, especially with Wikipedia, helps to begin to link this digitals meanings with knowledge. It is a popular preconception that students do not have much to teach, and in this technological issues they are skilled experts. On the other hand the educational activities are often far from their realities and contexts, so the interest decreased. Rarely young people in schools are not positioned as leaders and speakers, neither are involved in the design or development of educational activities actively, which does not encourage to compromise in their own process.
What is the solution?
During the 2015 we conducted specials surveys for students that were participating for the first time of the WMAR's Education Program, to find out in advance their previous knowledge and expectations regarding Wikipedia. This served us to generate a valuable proposals for teachers whose main objective is to keep their students motivated in this kind of activities. Some valuable observation and imputs came put from the surveys and were shaped in T-shirts and stickers as merchandising.To position in WMAR's merchandisong the student's thoughts is a great recognition.
Photography, editing contest (My Monuments) or Education Edith-a-tons(Editathon for young students to edit articles about their school) are a great response to involve the students as editors within the Wikimedia projects. Any of these activities must be designed taking in mind the local context and culture of the students involved. Our long term target aims to retain new active editors, and we found that by making the students edit about topics as where they live?, their monuments, Argentine history etc.,to recognise their active role in their local context, make them feel valuable.
Previously to these activities, it is recommended to approach the students with smooth/easy talks, where you can ask about their knowledge regarding technologies, what are their concerns regarding Wikipedia etc. During the activities, we encourage the students to use the social networks to share their expierence by first-hand, as these channels, as it is well known, are tools that are familiar with. Finally, all, the smooth/easy talks (before an activity), the listening to the student's thoughts and ideas and the activities designed according to their context and interests, are the key to made the students become ambassadors. Young people, students, are the most valuable ambassadors, their motivation is high and their expertise and knowledge in technology is an opportunity. Put them in value, giving them this role, is a way to empower your community.
Things to consider
When to use
When you are going to prepare an Edith-a-ton and when you work with an Education Program