Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Sources/Cycle 2/Wiki in Education

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Community[edit]

This page is set up to get feedback on Cycle 2 of our movement strategy process for all Wikimedians who run education initiatives around the world.
While a lot of work is done locally and feedback could be given via local chapters or user groups, there are some strategic needs that impact all affiliates and are relevant to all EDU-Wiki contributors.
We hope this page will help stir up a discussion regarding our global need, and that as a united group, our joint recommendations will have more weight.
Please note --

  • Cycle 2 is open till the June 12, so please be sure to give your feedback till June 11, allowing us one day to move the results to the main strategy discussion pages.
  • No need to answer all questions for all 5 themes. You are perfectly welcome to give your feedback on those parts that are most relevant to your work,
  • Remember that any feedback you give in this page should be from a Wiki in Education perspective, rather than a local one. To contribute from your personal / local perspective, please visit the Cycle 2 Strategy Process page.

Happy discussing! :)

Communication channels[edit]

The discussion is possible via various platforms, to allow maximum participation:

  • On Meta via this page
  • Via our Facebook group
  • Our general mailing list (a thread will be opened there soon)
  • Personally, by contacting Shani Evenstein - if you'd rather talk to me personally, please feel free to reach out and I'll make sure incorporate your feedback to the general list.

Invitations[edit]

The discussion will be advertised via our mailing list and our Facebook group.

Coordination with other tracks[edit]

All affiliates and individual volunteers who are working on Education and other related outreach projects (GLAM, WikiMed, WikiWomen, etc), are welcome to participate.

Cycle 2: Feedback on 5 themes[edit]

Please review each of the 5 statements below and comment under each of them, trying to answer the following questions:

  1. What impact would we have on the world if we follow this theme?
  2. How important is this theme relative to the other 4 themes? Why?
  3. Focus requires tradeoffs. If we increase our effort in this area in the next 15 years, is there anything we’re doing today that we would need to stop doing?
  4. What else is important to add to this theme to make it stronger?
  5. Who else will be working in this area and how might we partner with them?

Final Feedback from the Education group[edit]

Theme #1: Healthy, Inclusive Communities[edit]

Statement for consideration[edit]

By 2030, the Wikimedia volunteer culture will be fun, rewarding, and inclusive for both existing contributors and newcomers. We will welcome new volunteers to our movement and mentor them to ensure that they have a great experience and continue to engage in the projects. People from every background will feel included in an ecosystem of unique groups and organizations that deepen connections with each other. As a result, our movement will grow both in size and in character, as our projects flourish from the healthy community we cultivate together.

Discussion[edit]

In business and organizational development, there is a saying that is entirely relevant to this topic: “Culture eats strategy for lunch”. It’s all about culture: If Wikimedia is to survive until 2030, it will be because Wikimedia (community) has made a conscious decision to make sure its culture is welcoming to newbies. This decision will be backed up by tech choices that support and enable it. We have good seeds with our stated “open” everything culture, but this needs to be embodied by every individual. If this “cultural intervention” is not carried out, the internet will zoom by an aging and increasingly irrelevant Wikipedia.

There is a tech component to this: making it easier to interact among editors, with the expectation that editors that know each other will be more respectful of each other. This will derive into the discussion of whether Wikimedia should be considered to be a social network. If it will improve the contents and the editors' lives, it probably should.

The other component is a social one: we tend to reproduce the behaviors we participate in in society online. It is up to the Community to decide which behaviors are acceptable, and which are intolerable. Just as good behaviors should be encouraged, toxic behaviors ought to carry consequences, as immediately as possible. Good behaviors can be expected, good faith can be assumed, but to go beyond the current results, we need actual training and capabilities development for all participants to make sure that there is shared meaning and shared purpose when we are referring to “good behaviors”. [i make these remarks as an individual, these are not positions of the WMF] VMasrour (WMF) (talk) 17:26, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Feedback from the ~20 participants from around the world who met in Armenia:
This statement was rated one of the top 2 most important to the group.
We suggest this revision of the current statement:
“By 2030, the Wikimedia volunteer culture will be safe, rewarding, and inclusive for both existing contributors and newcomers. We will welcome new volunteers to our movement and mentor them to ensure that they have a great experience and continue to participate in the projects. We will provide the resources and technological infrastructure to existing community members that enables them to welcome and train constructive new community members. People from every background will feel part of a network of groups and organizations with deep relationships. As a result, our movement will grow both in size and in nature, as our projects flourish under our collective care.”
Achieving this goal will create a stronger and more expansive community. Editing on Wikimedia projects will be more meaningful and educational. We will accept diversity, and the content will reflect differing points of view and be more neutral. We will have different types of technology so people of all backgrounds can participate at their comfort and ability level. We will include more sources of information that include different types of history (e.g., oral histories) in various cultures. Finally, by achieving Healthy, Inclusive Communities, we will build the world’s first source of collective, inclusive, unbiased human knowledge, an historic achievement for humans.
This theme is the absolute first condition of the other 4 themes. Safe, healthy communities lay the groundwork for all future work on Wikipedia; it is the gatekeeper and the enabler. For example: Why will others in the knowledge ecosystem partner with us if we are unwelcoming, toxic, and exclusive? How will people respect Wikipedia if they only know it’s created by a small group of people? How can we be global if people continuously leave or never even join our community? Who cares if it’s an augmented experience if we have no users?
If we increase our effort in this area in the next fifteen years we should acknowledge that Wikimedians can contribute in several ways. Community members improve Wikimedia projects in many different ways: initiating conversations with new partners, training students and new users to contribute to Wikipedia, mentoring program leaders, speaking to outsiders about how Wikipedia fits into our existing knowledge ecosystem, being kind and inclusive to another editor (giving them a sense of community), etc.
Volunteers should not be evaluated or valued by the number of edits they make to the Wikimedia projects. We must stop rewarding bad behavior. Even if an individual has 100,000 contributions to Wikipedia or founded a project does not mean they should be excused for harassment and toxic behavior or welcomed to conferences/participate in offline events. On behalf of the group, Shani Evenstein 19:27, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

Theme #2:The Augmented Age[edit]

Statement for consideration[edit]

By 2030, the Wikimedia movement will collaborate with learning machines to help our volunteers be much more creative and productive. We will use prediction and design to make knowledge easy to access and easy to use with novel, humanized, intelligent interfaces. Volunteers will collaborate with machine translators to deepen the quality and quantity of content in more languages – at a heightened pace and scale. We will curate knowledge in structured and interactive formats that enhance and reflect the way people learn and contribute — beyond the browser, the app, and the encyclopedic format. We will embrace technological innovation as the most viable path toward meeting our vision.

Discussion[edit]

This theme, as well as theme #5, seems to be relevant to all outreach projects. Simply put, we need the foundation to take ownership of programs and allocate resources (dedicated manpower & money) to develop technical tools that will help support and sustain all programs (EDU, GLAM, Med, Women, events, contests, etc). Programs today, in all their diverse forms, are the number 1 source for generating high quality content on Wiki projects, be it Education, Medicine, GLAM, WLM or the CEE contest. These technical tools will help *all* programs track their work easily, collaborate with people from outside the movement easily, and curate & report their impact to the rest of the community & the world. We've been asking for these tools for years now, and it's important that they become a priority in the coming years. We will not be able to scale, nor "embrace technological innovation as the most viable path toward meeting our vision" without taking care of community needs, needs that are the same across the movement, and not relevant to a specific affiliate or user group. Shani Evenstein 17:41, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

Devices costs are going down, Internet access is going to go up non-stop (some estimates put penetration at 50% of humankind by 2030). Energy costs are going way down (thanks to renewables). The augmented age is about having devices smaller and better than Google glasses in everyone’s hands/eyes. The augmented age refers to digital assistants that will “be there” for you like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, and how they will help us navigate the world. The question then is: Will Wikipedia be a content provider for these assistants, or will it have its own (encyclopedic) assistant? What does it mean to edit/improve contents in these scenarios? Sharing pictures and videos will be much easier, while voice recognition will be greatly improved, facilitating dictation. But getting sources together will still take work. [i make these remarks as an individual, these are not positions of the WMF] VMasrour (WMF) (talk) 17:33, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Feedback from the ~20 participants from around the world who met in Armenia:
This statement was rated at the bottom as far as the group was concerned, not because we do not consider technology important --on the contrary; but because the way this statement was phrased, it seemed to the group as the focus was on things like machine learning, the translation tool and other mediawiki tech developments. Had this statement been phrased to include embracing *all* technological advancement, including tools *the community* needs for its programmatic work, then this would have definitely been one of our top priorities. We thought this feedback is worth mentioning as well. On behalf of the group, Shani Evenstein 19:27, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

Theme #3:A Truly Global Movement[edit]

Statement for consideration[edit]

The Wikimedia movement will turn our attention to the places in the world that were underserved during the first 15 years of our history. We will build awareness of Wikimedia and make it more useful to people. We will overcome barriers to accessing knowledge, so more people can freely share in the Wikimedia projects. We will support communities in underserved parts of the world and make space for new forms of contribution and citations that meet global knowledge traditions. By 2030, we will be a truly global movement.

Discussion[edit]

Wikimedia already is global, but is a mirror of the current internet access given to populations. Making it ever more global demands we pay attention to the culture of the community. To go beyond the current stated promise "knowledge anyone can edit", we also need to change mindsets around "Who has the right to write knowledge down". This means offering training to anyone that shows the smallest amount of interest, and making sure educational systems modify their approaches to knowledge ("what the old male in the Northern hemisphere said") to enable every individual to have a scientific mindset and see themselves a knowledge generators. We (the Wikimedia community) can help, but not change this at as massive a scale as education systems can.

I’m especially interested in cultures that don’t fit in the “encyclopedic format”: oral cultures. Making sure they can represent their knowledge will require a new sister project, where sources can be verbal, not written. As an example, Derk-Jan Hartman has given some thought to a project called “Story Teller”. [i make these remarks as an individual, these are not positions of the WMF] VMasrour (WMF) (talk) 17:43, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Feedback from the ~20 participants from around the world who met in Armenia:
We must facilitate interpretation and translation

Language ability does not correlate to technical skill, and both need to come together to enhance the participation of non-English speaking communities. The Language Barrier is a major challenge. Interfaces, localizations, and translations make tools accessible. They should not be an afterthought, but part of the main build and design process. We should learn from existing models like TED, where every video has at least two volunteer translators. One idea is to create a separate or new translation team. The foundation can and should pay for translation and interpretation.

Revise what it means to “Make Space”

“Make space” is not universal terminology, and does not translate well. Small voices in a big global community get lost, we should enable all to participate. This means not identifying regions, but identifying marginalized communities all over the world. On behalf of the group, Shani Evenstein 19:27, 13 June 2017 (UTC)


Theme #4:The Most Respected Source of Knowledge[edit]

Statement for consideration[edit]

By 2030, Wikimedia projects will be regarded as the most trusted, high-quality, neutral, and relevant source of free knowledge in the world. We will uphold the accuracy and verifiability of our content by integrating high-quality secondary sources and supporting the existence of reliable sources in society. We will improve public understanding of the processes that make Wikimedia reliable, and we will invite experts to join us and share their knowledge. We will surface the most relevant information to people when and where they need it. We will expand the depth of knowledge available, while upholding our standards for verifiable, neutral and comprehensive knowledge.  

Discussion[edit]

In the education field, this is a key topic, and the biggest barrier (besides technical skills) in the conversations with educators. Becoming the most respected source of knowledge is a lofty goal, and should be taken seriously. Experience has shown that the bet on open has has a return even greater than the craziest dreams that the initial editors had in 2001. When we look at testimonies by students that acknowledge they owe a great deal of their learning to the Wikipedia, we realize that we are already a key component of the knowledge ecosystem, but there is no question that eternal vigilance to deliver the best quality of knowledge is required. [i make these remarks as an individual, these are not positions of the WMF] VMasrour (WMF) (talk) 17:47, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Theme #5:Engaging in the Knowledge Ecosystem[edit]

Statement for consideration[edit]

By 2030, the Wikimedia Movement will have dramatically improved the quality, diversity, and global availability of free knowledge by working with diverse institutions and organizations that collaborate toward free knowledge for all. Wikimedia content, technology, and communities will be embedded in formal and informal learning throughout the world, in partnership with the world’s leading institutions in education, the arts, entertainment, civil society, government, science, and technology. Through strategic partnerships across our movement, we will build a diverse new generation of knowledge providers and seekers who will build and care for a growing body of freely accessible knowledge. We will make Wikimedia an integral part of a global knowledge ecosystem.

Discussion[edit]

We are a leading voice in the open knowledge ecosystem. We work every day to make sure that more and more knowledge is made available to more and more people. Education, in great part due to the edtech (educational technology) movement is being transformed. The value of the classroom as the physical resource needed to have learning happening is being discussed, and "online" will increasingly the source of knowledge, while educational institutions will presumably become increasingly certifiers of skills and competencies. In that scenario, can the Wikipedia become more of a Open Educational Resource? Maybe a sister project that would add an educational layer (with quizzes, reading guides, and so on) to the Wikipedia could make it an ever more essential player in that ecosystem. Wikimedia could also become a certifier of knowledge to its readers by delivering badges of readership to participants that participate in the quizzes... and add knowledge to the Wikipedia. Our differentiator is that we expect everyone to participate in the generation of those learning tools. [i make these remarks as an individual, these are not positions of the WMF] VMasrour (WMF) (talk) 18:01, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Feedback from the ~20 participants from around the world who met in Armenia:
This statement was rated one of the top 2 most important statements to the group.
Education, GLAM, and Library Programs are a way to systematically offer opportunities to new users to participate in the movement. This is a crucial way to engage with the Knowledge Ecosystem.
We need to ensure the best experience for new users (which is very much tied to Healthy communities). Technology (Augmented age) has to support the building of the partnerships, and is part of what we have to offer. Engagement is made possible by the global reach of our movement and it is motivated by making a global knowledge source respected and qualified in terms of content coverage and quality. The knowledge ecosystem becomes stronger when its actors are working together. UNLESS, the community is not healthy enough to receive that influx of energy. Community health can be a powerful (negative) gatekeeper.
We don’t see negative tradeoffs: as we engage with the knowledge ecosystem, its actors will appreciate how powerful and deep the Wikimedia Movement’s methods are, and will dedicate more of their energy to it. A benefit of focusing on engaging the knowledge ecosystem is that more resources (people, reputation, money) can be brought to the movement. That said, partnering with other internal stakeholders of our movement is also vital for our participation in the knowledge ecosystem.
We may partner with:
  • University systems
  • OER groups
  • Ministries of education
  • Scholars organizations
  • Research organizations
  • Knowledge sharing organizations such as not-for-profits
  • UNESCO and other international policy generators
  • other like-minded organizations
On behalf of the group, Shani Evenstein 19:27, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

Summary[edit]

Theme key
  1. Healthy, inclusive communities
  2. The augmented age
  3. A truly global movement
  4. The most trusted source of knowledge
  5. Engaging in the knowledge ecosystem
Questions key
  1. What impact would we have on the world if we follow this theme?
  2. How important is this theme relative to the other 4 themes? Why?
  3. Focus requires tradeoffs. If we increase our effort in this area in the next 15 years, is there anything we’re doing today that we would need to stop doing?
  4. What else is important to add to this theme to make it stronger?
  5. Who else will be working in this area and how might we partner with them?
Line Theme (refer to key) Question (refer to key) Summary Statement Keywords
1 A 4 We suggest this revision of the current statement: - “By 2030, the Wikimedia volunteer culture will be safe, rewarding, and inclusive for both existing contributors and newcomers. We will welcome new volunteers to our movement and mentor them to ensure that they have a great experience and continue to participate in the projects. We will provide the resources and technological infrastructure to existing community members that enables them to welcome and train constructive new community members. People from every background will feel part of a network of groups and organizations with deep relationships. As a result, our movement will grow both in size and in nature, as our projects flourish under our collective care.” revision
2 A 1 Achieving this goal will create a stronger and more expansive community. Editing on Wikimedia projects will be more meaningful and educational. We will accept diversity, and the content will reflect differing points of view and be more neutral. We will have different types of technology so people of all backgrounds can participate at their comfort and ability level. We will include more sources of information that include different types of history (e.g., oral histories) in various cultures. Finally, by achieving Healthy, Inclusive Communities, we will build the world’s first source of collective, inclusive, unbiased human knowledge, an historic achievement for humans. strength, diversity, accessibility
3 A 2 This theme is the absolute first condition of the other 4 themes. Safe, healthy communities lay the groundwork for all future work on Wikipedia; it is the gatekeeper and the enabler. For example: Why will others in the knowledge ecosystem partner with us if we are unwelcoming, toxic, and exclusive? How will people respect Wikipedia if they only know it’s created by a small group of people? How can we be global if people continuously leave or never even join our community? Who cares if it’s an augmented experience if we have no users? most important
4 A 4 If we increase our effort in this area in the next fifteen years we should acknowledge that Wikimedians can contribute in several ways. Community members improve Wikimedia projects in many different ways: initiating conversations with new partners, training students and new users to contribute to Wikipedia, mentoring program leaders, speaking to outsiders about how Wikipedia fits into our existing knowledge ecosystem, being kind and inclusive to another editor (giving them a sense of community), etc. training, outreach, partners, mentoring, awareness
5 A 4 Volunteers should not be evaluated or valued by the number of edits they make to the Wikimedia projects. We must stop rewarding bad behavior. Even if an individual has 100,000 contributions to Wikipedia or founded a project does not mean they should be excused for harassment and toxic behavior or welcomed to conferences/participate in offline events. equality
6 B 2 & 4 This statement was rated at the bottom as far as the group was concerned, not because we do not consider technology important --on the contrary; but because the way this statement was phrased, it seemed to the group as the focus was on things like machine learning, the translation tool and other mediawiki tech developments. Had this statement been phrased to include embracing *all* technological advancement, including tools *the community* needs for its programmatic work, then this would have definitely been one of our top priorities. low importance - but because of unclear scope
7 B 4 We need the foundation to take ownership of programs and allocate resources (dedicated manpower & money) to develop technical tools that will help support and sustain all programs (EDU, GLAM, Med, Women, events, contests, etc) resources
8 C 4 We must facilitate interpretation and translation - Language ability does not correlate to technical skill, and both need to come together to enhance the participation of non-English speaking communities. The Language Barrier is a major challenge. Interfaces, localizations, and translations make tools accessible. They should not be an afterthought, but part of the main build and design process. We should learn from existing models like TED, where every video has at least two volunteer translators. One idea is to create a separate or new translation team. The foundation can and should pay for translation and interpretation. translation, interpretation, accessibility
9 C 4 Revise what it means to “Make Space” - “Make space” is not universal terminology, and does not translate well. Small voices in a big global community get lost, we should enable all to participate. This means not identifying regions, but identifying marginalized communities all over the world. revision
10 E 1 Education, GLAM, and Library Programs are a way to systematically offer opportunities to new users to participate in the movement. This is a crucial way to engage with the Knowledge Ecosystem. onboarding, awareness
11 E 2 Top importance - We need to ensure the best experience for new users (which is very much tied to Healthy communities). Technology (Augmented age) has to support the building of the partnerships, and is part of what we have to offer. Engagement is made possible by the global reach of our movement and it is motivated by making a global knowledge source respected and qualified in terms of content coverage and quality. The knowledge ecosystem becomes stronger when its actors are working together. UNLESS, the community is not healthy enough to receive that influx of energy. Community health can be a powerful (negative) gatekeeper. top importance - onboarding, training, awareness
12 E 3 We don’t see negative tradeoffs: as we engage with the knowledge ecosystem, its actors will appreciate how powerful and deep the Wikimedia Movement’s methods are, and will dedicate more of their energy to it. A benefit of focusing on engaging the knowledge ecosystem is that more resources (people, reputation, money) can be brought to the movement. That said, partnering with other internal stakeholders of our movement is also vital for our participation in the knowledge ecosystem. positive repercussions
13 E 5 We may partner with: University systems, OER groups, Ministries of education, Scholars organizations, Research organizations, Knowledge sharing organizations such as not-for-profits, UNESCO and other international policy generators, other like-minded organizations universities, open education groups, governments, scholastic organizations, research organizations, international policy groups, open knowledge groups