|“||For comfortable living in the knowledge economy era, each resident of the Republic of Tatarstan and the wider Tatar-speaking world should have skills for active and productive participation in the Russian & English Wikipedias - knowing how the community works, how to communicate one's point of view, etc. Starting contributing into Wikimedia projects in languages with fewer editors, such as Tatar Wikipedia or Wikibooks, acquaintance with and learning the ropes in the Wiki-environment is much less painful, simpler and quicker.||”|
This page is dedicated to "Smart region" project - using Wiki-environment opportunities for the regional development
The project is being developed on the example of Tatar and Russian Wikipedias, as well as the Russian Federation and its Republic of Tatarstan region (with which I am most familiar), whilst keeping in mind all the diversity of Wikimedia projects in the languages of Russia, about which I think as a resident of this country and, since recently, official member of Wikimedia Russia.
To engage currently unused possibilities of:
- socioeconomic development of the regions
- developing human potential and personal effectiveness of all citizens
- increasing population involvement in shaping the future of own region
- To acquaint children and youth, adults and, particularly senior citizens with multilingual wiki-environment possibilities
- To engage the into participation in global volunteering movement, directed at supporting lifelong continuous self-education and raising the quality of publicly accessible information resources
- To invite regional partners for regular expert assessment of basic information in the areas of their specialization, initiating and supporting volunteering projects around developing reference materials collection in the field of their professional competencies and keeping the content up-to-date.
- Wiki-mechanism allows for online cooperation on some project of a great number of participants (the most well-known example of the kind is Wikipedia, 5th most visited and most influential website of the world as of 2018)
- Distributed nature of Wiki-projects incentivizes and teaches their participants to be independently choosing most interesting tasks, effectively organize individual and team work on some undertaking (searching and processing related information, supporting one's point of view with reliable sources and looking for consensus solutions regarding wording).
- Wiki-principles allow participating volunteers to feel ownership of the project, be actively engaged in its future
- Developing informational environment and keeping it up-to-date is a basic prerequisite for increasing project team effectiveness (and other users)
Why Wikimedia platform?
- Resources of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects are free and open for all, being supported by the contribution of citizens and corporate donors from various countries
- Based on widely-recognized free-type Creative Commons licenses (including in Russia)
- Functioning is supported by independent non-profit Wikimedia Foundation.
- Wikimedia's international engineering staff is developing and improving technological solutions, rolling them out in all active language versions (over 280 languages) when acceptable.
- Education projects using Wikipedia and other projects supported and developed by the Wikimedia movement help secondary and college students, as well as post-grads to contribute to their society in parallel with increasing the quality of educational process and achieved results
- Tatar Wikipedia has a platform for joint documenting best international practices of using Wikimedia projects in
- increasing effectiveness and usefulness of galleries, libraries, archives and museums
- scientific and applied use of Wiki-environment opportunities
- materials of previous scientific and educational Wiki-events
- Internationally respected representatives of Tatar scientific community demonstrate their recognition of importance and support wider use of Wiki-environment for social development
- Russia has an established national Wikimedia chapter, which has experience in running some Wikimedia Education programs and conducting other activities, community members contribute to developing "Wikipedias in the languages of Russia"
- Initial contact with Wiki-environment on wiki with a smaller community (such as Tatar or Mari, Chechen or Buryat, etc.) is simpler, than in the language used by hundreds of millions speakers (such as Russian) or by over a billion (like in case of English).
- In partnership with Selet Youth movement of the Republic of Tatarstan, there is a pilot project in Tatar Wikipedia
- Having gained initial experience in Tatar Wikipedia, some of the project participants learned to contribute productively also into the Russian edition of this global project, presented Tatarstan experience and further plans during both 2017 (slides) & 2018 Wikimedia Conference Russia (slides, video) , getting ready to grow our participation in ruWP & start contributing into enWP and others.
- International Wiki Education experience:
- one of the best Use Cases from CIS countries is the work of Wikimedia Armenia (ex. Wiki-clubs in the villages of Armenia, One article from every Armenian (1st video) campaign etc.)
- colleagues in Switzerland and France were one of the first to start working with secondary school students (and believe that skills of working in the Wiki-environment are more important than teaching coding),
- Greeks last year successfully taught Wiki-use to eight-year-olds,
- Finland has the highest number of active Wiki-editors per capita,
- Italian region of Piemonte has experience of using Wiki in bilingual education,
- North America is famous with its regional WikiEdu Foundation,
- there are international thematic groupings by area of specialization (Libraries, GLAM, Education, Volunteer Supporters Network etc.).
- The fact that other areas are also worth exploring is confirmed by the fact that
- even Tatarstan businesses, government agencies and municipalities start understanding that Wikipedia presence in various languages is no less important than having a website (and some locals start looking for those who can help them develop own Wiki-presence),
- research confirming
- importance of engaging practicing specialists (such as doctors) in developing and updating knowledge-base in their field of expertise, etc. is being wider recognized
- Additional links to these and other arguments see in the Russian & English-language Facebook-groups on best international practices
Why would this be interesting?
To new participants
- More fun and engaging than
- doing textbook exercises in one's copybook or write papers
- memorizing topics and other homework
- One's contribution is visible from all over the world, it can be traced and included into own CV
- Accumulating knowledge and skills to deal with applied tasks, supporting one's statements, peacefully resolving different conflicts
- Gaining experience of interacting with representatives of various cultures, social groups and developing one's international track record
- Constant need to support own statements with references to reliable sources on the topic teaches strategies of independent work with information (to avoid being a puppet and having information disorders)
- Onwiki work develops the skill of adapting to new teams, enriching own life by diversity of viewpoints, which is so important for creativity
- Wiki-environment is the most effective way to keep information up-to-date
- Wikipedia is trusted more than PR-materials on corporate or other non-wiki websites, since it is an Internet-portal with the highest standards in the area of
- Participants of partner education programs
- learn to work wıth significant amount of information and quickly generate added value in the form of valuable summarized content (as opposed to being passive consumers thereof)
- gain experience of working in permanently evolving Wiki-environment to be further used in corporate Wikis or in Wikimedia projects in the framework of professional activities in the interest of future employers (Signpost)
- Partner staff and those of their subordinate thematic organizations could be contact persons, supporting effective work of volunteers interested in the field of professional competence of the partner.
- Engagement of service recipients into developing knowledge describing phenomena they encounter in own daily life, as well as best available practices improves quality of the social environment, satisfaction with and effectiveness of supplier-implemented projects
- Increasing loyalty of citizens and guests of the republic from among Wikimedians, as through own participation in the project they will feel belonging to and ownership of the described phenomena and processes
Potential regional partners
- Regional government
- Ministry of culture
- Ministry of education and science
- Ministry of healthcare
- Ministry of informatization and communication
- Ministry of sports
- Ministry of youth affairs
- Ministry of labour, employment and social services
- Investment development agency
- State committee on tourism
- Regional press and mass media agency
- Vocational school and colleges
- Professional, industrial, scientific and creative unions and associations, etc.
- Other interested groups, capable and ready to enrich the society with own professional, cultural and other knowledge.
To Wikimedia movements participants in Russia and around the world
- Volunteers from Russia
- will be glad to have official recognition of the value of own contribution into developing informational environment, serving to the benefit of their homeland society
- will get a tested roadmap of implementing similar projects in their home regions and language versions of respective projects
- Wikimedia movement at large
- will be enriched by the experience of systemic work on preserving and developing onwiki presence of linguistic and cultural knowledge, as well as other heritage of the region, and using this as an effective regional development tool
To the Russian Federation
- Additional tool of activating country's economy through engaging its citizens and friends into enriching the web with useful information about life therein
- Automatically functioning system of promoting continuous learning and improving qualifications and effectiveness of its economic agents
- Positive international PR
Key elements to consider
- Training trainers for the trainers
- Activities for secondary, college and graduate students similar to publications done by scientists in Russian or international peer-reviewed scientific journals
- Engaging participants from these age-groups into supporting potential adult and senior contributors that have valuable knowledge and practical life experience
- Organizing work with regional partners on the projects of developing industry-specific and general purpose Wiki-environment supporting socio-economic and other regional development initiatives
- Wikimedians' visits to various organizations of Kazan (7-8.11.2017)
- Wikimedia Russia organized contests