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Moving into the new model and onboarding in Ação Educativa
- A welcoming and onboarding meeting in Ação Educativa: About 20 people working in the most different areas of Ação Educativa participated in our presentation about the catalyst project as well as about the Wikimedia projects, aiming at building bridges and connections with our partner organization.
- Complex onboarding process: in the following months, a few challenges, from the cultural adaptation, team cohesion to small but important practical issues led to having half of the team in general satisfied with the process and half of the team skeptical and unsatisfied. Not only we have half of the team still working remotely, but also, we've lacked in effective engagement from both parts - not all staff members and community satisfactory engaged with the organization and also the organization still didn't actively engage in the community dynamics and spaces. We're at this moment setting a calendar to bring all stakeholders into a discussion on how we can improve that.
- Culture clash: while Ação Educativa is an old-time traditional NGO in Brazil, working to enforce the right to education way before digital media technologies was a popular asset, Wikimedia movement emerged in a context in which digital technologies not only bring opportunities, but they are also key to collaboration and education processes we want to build. For our movement, technologies and the Wikimedia projects are core, they are the heart of a collaboration process that aim at providing access to knowledge everywhere in the world. The Brazilian Wikimedia movement, as some will know, is ṕarticularly resistant and critical to more traditional organizational models. While we had seen this as an opportunity for bringing two very important expertises together - the ones related to participation processes in general and popular education from AE and the ones related to online, open and asynchronous collaboration, as well as to build knowledge together in a complex system from Wikimedia movement - we haven't yet succeeded in working well together, neither it's clear to what extent it's likely to succeed, looking at both fostering the Wikimedia projects growth and enforcing education rights from such diverse perspectives.
- Are we in the right track?: the challenging question aims at opening a debate on how fruitful our partnership can be. On the specifics, we should be questioning whether any local organization would perfectly match Wikimedia movement's main goals, while Wikimedia projects can be seen as a way of achieving their goals, but they might never be (and why should they?) their main purpose of work or even their main objects of study or action. Under a more global view, potential strong partners of the Wikimedia movement, when partnering directly with WMF (even if after community review), might become seen as opponents rather than real partners. Instead of putting them to work together, are we pushing community away from partner organizations? Even if we handled community reviews in which the community could bring inputs into the decision making process of which organization we should partner with, there is no perception of consensus and of co-responsibility for the choices made. Is the community willing to play the role of bringing organizations to partner with Wikimedia Foundation, considering the current model for Brazil?
Knowledge production and dissemination
Activity 1: To map open educational resources and collaborative building of knowledge in the education field, in collaboration with Open Educational Resources communities, Wikimedia Community, free culture movements and educational institutions partners. Make it available on Meta and br.wikimedia.org websites
Mapeamento de Recursos educacionais abertos
O proceso de contratação de equipe ad-hoc para realização do mapeamento aconteceu entre dezembro e janeiro - o planejamento ocorreu ao longo de fevereiro, e o mapeamento começou efetivamente em março.
Equipe (temporária): Jamila Venturini (coordenação), Luiz Augusto Pereira (mapeamento e análise de repositórios e recursos), Michelle Prazeres (mapeamento do campo). Supervisão geral: Oona Castro e Gustavo Paiva
O mapeamento ainda está sendo realizado, com documentação permanente no projeto Wikiversidade. Até agora, foram feitos 80 contatos e 29 entrevistas em profundidade com atores do campo de recursos educacionais abertos, entre ativistas, pesquisadores e produtores. O mapeamento do campo tem por objetivo levantar as iniciativas em curso, bem como os consensos e os conflitos do campo relacionados a conceitos, estratégias jurídicas, modelos de negócios, marco legal.
Além disso, foram identificados 40 repositórios, analisados 11 deles, e 127 recursos educacionais com relação a suas licenças, formatos e modo de produção/compartilhamento. Entre as principais conclusões estão: 1) a de que boa parte desses recursos não apresenta licenças livres; a maioria está protegida por direito autoral padrão, sem licença (e por consquência sob as mesmas regras do direito autoral padrão); as licenças alternativas não livres (por exemplo CC-BY-NC-SA) também são utilizadas boa parte dos recursos educacionais disponíveis (veja gráfico ao lado); 2) a de que embora o movimento REA-Brasil tenha adotado (e antes influenciado inclusive) o conceito da Unesco, no campo de produção de conhecimento livre ainda há disputas em torno dos conceitos e definições a serem defendidos.
Uma roda de conversa com educadores foi realizada para ver como os recursos educacionais vinham sendo implementados em sala de aula. A principal conclusão dessa fase da pesquisa foi de que os educadores apropriam-se pouco não apenas dos materiais, como dos conceitos relacionados a licenciamento. Ou seja, eles estão mais preocupados se conseguem utilizar os recursos do que se estão autorizados a utilizá-los e como.
A coordenadora Jamila Venturini tem feito apresentações compartilhando os dados da pesquisa e buscando dialogar com outras iniciativas em curso. Ela participou como debatedora no curso, da Semana de educação aberta, junto com a coordenadora do programa catalisador, e do Seminário em educação aberta, sociedade e tecnologia.
Neste mês de julho, chegaremos à etapa final do mapeamento com a conclusão do relatórios de pesquisa, que será integralmente publicado na Wikiversidade, com destaque para a análise dos 22 repositórios e 232 recursos analisados e compatibilidades destes com os projetos Wikimedia. No mês de agosto será feito um processo mais amplo de divulgação, com a produção de uma publicação virtual temática, realização de um debate público e de oficina com professores sobre o tema e uma Edithaton para fortalecer a incorporação dos recursos encontrados a projetos como o Wikicommons e o Wikisources, além da edicação de artigos da Wikipédia relacionados aos temas da pesquisa.
Embora a porcentagem de projetos com licenças compatíveis com a dos projetos Wikimedia não seja alta, o mapeamento trará um número importante de contribuições para os projetos. O principal legado porém, deverá ser a disponibilização de uma pesquisa que permita à comunidade brasileira ampliar sua percepção sobre o campo político constituído em torno do debate sobre licenças e recursos educacionais abertos no Brasil (seus interlocutores e disputas conceituais e em torno de políticas públicas) e a percepção dos projetos Wikimedia como recursos educacionais abertos, de modo a alimentar a proposição e experimentação de novos modelos de fomento aos projetos, sobretudo na área educacional, e a atuação em prol de políticas públicas que fomente a produção colaborativa e compartilhada e conhecimento.
Está em fase de desenvolvimento um estudo para apontar quanto o trabalho desses pesquisadores dentro da Wikiversidade em português influenciou na dinâmica da comunidade.
Activity 2: To organize a public event about educational practices and the collaborative creation of knowledge content and release of the result of the open educational resources mapping
Seminário "Acesso a conhecimento, educação e direitos humanos"
Em fevereiro, foi realizado o encontro "Acesso a conhecimento, educação e direitos humanos". A intenção do encontro era reunir comunidade, Ação Educativa e parceiros para:
- tomar conhecimento da parceria que se iniciava e conhecer-se melhor;
- Debater assuntos de convergência entre os atores presentes: todos têm em comum atuar pelo acesso a conhecimento e à educação (incluindo recursos educacionais) de forma aberta e participativa;
- Levantar algumas das principais preocupações em torno da produção de e acesso a recursos educacionais abertos, que serviriam ao planejamento e criação de framework para o futuro mapeamento.
Uma avaliação geral sobre o evento foi postada aqui.
Cerca de 70 pessoas se inscreveram e aproximadamente 45 compareceram. O encontro teve êxito quando à qualidade do debate e participação do público presencial e virtualmente( o evento foi transmitido online com leitura ao vivo de perguntas feitas através do bate-papo virtual), bem como para contribuir com o planejamento do mapeamento. No entanto, causou pouco efeito no que diz respeito a mostrar, na prática, a convergência de objetivos e missão entre Ação Educativa e projetos Wikimedia. Houve também mal estar por termos reunido membros da comunidade que estavam em conflito à época, em um só debate. Na realidade, isso foi causado por uma mudança de planejamento de última hora: a ideia inicial era a tarde compormos rodas de conversa com cada um dos convidados separadamente para que apresentassem experiências de trabalhos com conhecimento livre e recursos educacionais abertos. Para evitar dispersar o público, no entanto, resolvemos compor uma mesa de debate análoga à da manhã, com todos os debatedores apresentando suas experiências em uma só sessão. Isso abriu espaço para que se estabelecesse uma tensão e soou como se a organização do evento quisesse provocar a polarização, gerando insatisfação por parte de voluntários junto aos organizadores do evento.
Reconhecemos que, apesar de o evento ter sido de qualidade, ele não atingiu 2 dos seus objetivos: criar a ponte entre os objetivos do movimento Wikimedia e da Ação Educativa e criar canal de diálogo com a comunidade sobre o projeto. Ao contrário, terminou por afastar. A comunidade (bem como parte da própria equipe) também mostrou incompreensão em relação a como um evento como aquele poderia contribuir com os projetos Wikimedia - avaliando que ele foge aos objetivos do projeto (a saber: aumentar participação, ampliar diversidade, produzir conteúdo, aumentar alcance). Aos olhos da organização do evento, o encontro não teria como fim produzir conteúdo, mas ampliar o espectro de atores envolvidos e conscientes da parceria e do projeto, deveria criar o canal para construção conjunta do projeto, como um dos passos para criação de espaços de convergência entre os atores preocupados e ativistas do conhecimento livre no Brasil. Como dito, avaliamos que ele apenas cumpriu os objetivos em parte. A insatistação de membros da própria equipe também não foi detectada antes do evento, apenas tendo sido identificada em reunião de avaliação, o que dificultou ainda mais a ponte de diálogo com membros comunidade.
We expect that contents from the compatible mapped databases will be uploaded to projects like Commons and Wikisource. Our team is working on a tool to track the upload of materials that have origin in the mapped resources to wikimedia projects.
Content production and dissemination
Activity 1: Adding content produced by Brazilian organizations and bring them into Wikimedia projects
Ação's own materials
Ação Educativa has been revising the licenses of their published content to add them into Wikisource. After internal discussions, supported by the program's staff, Ação Educativa has managed to assume the incorporation of CC-BY licenses to its journalistic publications, that include more than 10 websites and blogs, a mounthly published cultural magazine and three bimonthly newsletters, and videos. Besides, other publications shall be licensed in CC-BY-SA, such as methodologycal guides and research materials.
Nesta primeira etapa, conseguimos fazer uma primeira publicação licenciada em CC-BY. O livro Práticas de Educadoras traz artigos com relatos de experiências e reflexões sobre o fazer docente a partir da perspectiva de educadores que participam do projeto Nossa Escola Pesquisa Sua Opinião (parceria da Ação Educativa com o Instituto Paulo Montenegro para utilização da pesquisa de opinião para produção de conhecimento para as comunidades escolares em colégios da rede pública de oitos estados brasileiros e de mais 6 países). O processo de produção da publicação foi um importante primeiro passo para a compreensão das questões postas pelas licenças por outros projetos da própria Ação Educativa e para a apropriação do processo de produção de uma publicação em licenças abertas. A partir desta primeira experiência, a Unidade Editorial da Ação Educativa pode se apropriar das questões legais para formulação de contratos e outros procedimentos envolvidos no licenciamento, embora ainda tenha o que avançar.
Até agosto, a Ação Educativa deverá ter relicenciado toda a coleção Em Questão (publicação temática sobre questões emergentes no debate educacional), o que também permitirá sua publicação no Wikisources, e alguns guias metodológicos, como os pertencentes à Coleção De Olho nos Planos.
A principal avaliação é que as licenças Creative Commons são uma importante garantia legal para uma política que a Ação Educativa já adotava para a maior parte de suas produções, de distribuição e reprodução irrestritas e de derivação, permitindo a adaptação de materiais a contextos locais específicos. A compreensão do funcionamento das licenças foi um importante aprendizado da Ação Educativa proporcionado pela comunidade e há a intenção de aprofundar a atuação da organização com o tema, por meio do diálogo com outras organizações da sociedade civil para a liberação de materiais em Creative Commons e pela defesa de licenças abertas na incidência em políticas públicas, realizada por outros programas da organização.
Third Party Materials
We are working with others organizations to have theirs content published on wikimedia projects. We have manage to engage different players to work with different projects. In Wikinews not only Ação but also Revista Espírito Livre have joined the Projeto Revista. In Wikibooks, the Niterói city hall culture team have not only created an tutorial but also have developed improved global icons for projects evolution.
In this activity the wikiproject Healthy can be highlighted. We manage to engage different groupse (such as RedeHumanizaSUS, Comunidade de Práticas, Secretaria Municipal Rio de Janeiro - regional sul, LAISS-CSEGSF-FIOCRUZ) with the volunteers to work on partnerships for free content production and dissemination. Join this eforts our team has manage to develop a research on heath related articles behavior and now this data is being automatically generated on the ptwikis timeline. Also, we have manage to be part of biggest Brazilian event on the field, the Mostra Nacional de Experiências em Atenção Básica e Saúde da Família, joining debates on healthy and communication, setting up a Edit-a-thon and giving grants for community members to attend the conference. After this debates we developed the GLWiki tool, that will allow the engaged groups to links theirs users (more than 30k) to Wikipedia, inviting then to improve contents in the encyclopedia.
The QR Code partnerships haven't showed up any results yep. We managed to talk to UNIRIO's Tourism School and they are willing to implement a project with some Rio de Janeiro State municipalities not only to generate QR Code signs but also to improve Wikivoyage.
Also, our team has been working hands on to upload some rare materials to Commons and Wikisource. More specifically, we been working with a Italian culture center in São Paulo and we've already scanned some rare and expensive books about the origins of the city of São Paulo that are on public domain.
Activity 2: Engage at least 30 professors in Wikimedia projects class assignments activities
Looking forward to engage more professors we have localized and installed in ptwiki the WEP Extension. Now we are working on the development of a tool that will generate automatically tracking data on the courses that uses the extension, in a related way to this research that compared two different successful classes that used distinct methodologies.
Activity 1: Course 'Education, technology and human rights'
The ad-hoc team to implement the course, that was initially planned by the permanent staff, was hired in March, 2014, the classes started in April and it ended in June.
Team running the course was composed b Bianca Santana, Alexandre Abdo, Celio Costa and Gustavo Paiva. Both Oona Castro and Denise Carreira overlooked it. There was also an advisory committee which was formed by Jaqueline Lima Santos, Salomão Ximenes, Juliane Cintra e Gabriel Maia Salgado, all of them professionals from Ação Educativa who have been involved in previous human rights courses of the organization. The course documentation is available at this page, with videos, summaries and the presentations.
Targeted at professors, teachers, journalists, school coordinators, educational content producers and activists, the course covered a wide range of subjects related to technology, education and human rights. All activities were documented on Wikiversity.
The topics of the course go from the relations between education and technology to Wikipedia itself as a teaching, learning and collaboration tool, as well as open educational resources, distance learning, the history digital technologies and governance of internet. Attendees have gone trough an editathon of Wikipedia articles about the subjects discussed during the course and each of them have also built a project to work on Wikimedia projects in their professional lives.
More than 130 people subscribed for the course and 70 were selected and called to enroll. About 50 people have attended at least one of the sessions. However, no session had more than 40 people attending and got the end of the course with 23 people got the right to get the certification, which riquired 80% attendance. we’re going through analysis on what may have been causing evasion. Classes happen on Saturdays and we have received feedback of mothers who faced problems in finding people to watch their children, as well as of people that were informed they would need to work on Saturdays. So far, no one has declared having evaded as a consequence of frustration regarding the course, but we’re still looking into that.
The course has been well assessed by participants and those participating are excited about getting to know more about free knowledge as well as tools and projects they can make use of. The two main concerns raised by team or community members during this course planning and development were on the evasion as well as on the direct benefits for Wikimedia projects. The staff of the course evaluates that the main benefits are the projects bilt by the attendees, since they indicate possible uses of the Wikimedia projects in a more significant way for the educational area, for example, since they were built in the perspective of the theachers themselves. Therefore, it would be an important second step to keep in touch with the attendees and try to engage Wikimedia voluntiers, besides the staff itself, in making those projects come true to try to evaluate its eficcency.
On the one hand, activities like this would be important to expand the targeted audience to know about Wikimedia projects and other related online resources which can be used in educational processes, to engage people that wouldn’t ‘naturally’ make use of such tools, or at know them well. However, it’s an investment on a long term journey and aims at qualifying the debate among key actors about the impact of technology on education system through a broader perspective. On the other hand, it’s also argued it requires a lot of efforts and does not result in huge direct impact on Wikimedia projects. Although that was not its primary objective since the beginning, only after the project had been approved and started, concerns on this matter were raised. There isn’t yet consensus within the team of how important activities like this would be in a future project. Our team will publish a study on the content generated by the students of this course to help further evaluations on this matter.
Activity 2: Developing methodology/guide for the collaborative organization and documentation of educational experiences with Wiki tools
Wikimedia projects already count on several wiki pages, as well as mailing lists, to share learnings and document experiences regarding the use of educational experiences with Wiki tools, we have brochures on cases carried out around the world, there are in person meetings throughout the year (sessions in Wikimania, sharing of learnings in meetings like Iberoconf and the Wikimedia Education Conference) and other evaluation tools (such as Wiki Metrics). Though we still believe methodologies can improve (specially for local contexts), we decided to prioritize other program activities with direct impact on Wikimedia projects and reallocate the budget which was going to be used to develop new methodologies to the Wiki Loves Earth - Brazil contest, which was initially proposed to be a supporting activity through human resources and microgrants (or other WMF grants to the Brazilian user group/Brazilian Wikimedians). We can still contribute to the improvement of such methodologies only based on the current available human resources through analysis of how well those learnings have been shared.
Activity 3: To create and distribute print material in order to help professors lead activities in the classrooms.
We have been working on a comprehensive material in a magazine style (about 50 pages, on coated paper) to guide anyone interested in contributing to Wikimedia projects, either as an editor, a professor, an ambassador, a photographer, a developer, a data analyst and so on. It'll be ready for print by the end of May and will be handed to key interested people, and it'll also be available under CC-BY-SA to be modified, improved, printed in parts or as a whole. Meanwhile, improvements and localization of material produced by WMF were made, such as the "basic principles" guide. It took us more time to develop it than it had been planned, but we've been working with a very senior designer to make it attractive, easily understandable, and nice to read.
Activity 4: To deploy online training sessions for professors and students engaged in the education program.
This hasn't been accomplished as we planned. We made it on demand, according to requests done by professors and partner organizations that we couldn't handle in person. Less than five sessions were deployed. This has been somehow controversial within the team on how useful activities like that would be useful and in which extent it would sound amateur. On the one hand, the experience would be helpful even to understand whether it works or not. On the other hand, constrained by limited time available, staff members decided instead to focus on video production and other strategies such as in person workshops and online documentation of "help guides" on br.wikimedia.org (still to be finished) and on the Portuguese Wikipedia.
Activity 5: To create online material and localize tools in order to facilitate professors in leading activities in the classrooms.
As stated above, documentation of "help guides" on br.wikimedia.org (still to be finished) and on the Portuguese Wikipedia was made to help professors through the task of implementing the education program. Also, the online training was improved and the WEP Extension was localized and installed on portuguese Wikipedia.
Activity 6: To create tutorial to be embedded in existing educational and digital inclusion platforms, distributed and operated by governmental agencies and other organizations.
For this effort we will use the material that has being explained on activity 3 as soon as it is ready.
Activity 7: Create online sessions for volunteers interested in engaging in the Education Program as ambassadors.
This is an activity we added as part of the community review process of this proposal, from inputs added by a volunteer from the international community and in which we're still failing to execute. We have to reframe strategy to try to engage more ambassadors, but, so far, message we have been getting in consultations is that most volunteers are already overwhelmed with their current tasks and workload.
Support communities building
Activity 1: To build, maintain, stimulate and energize a network of professors from the Brazilian education program and help them become self-sustainable and managed.
We've created a mailing list and encouraged professors to exchange information, experiences and to organize meetings in which they would be able to strengthen a network, offering support (financial and organizational) to get this in place, but we thought that should be led by experienced professors who have already been doing activities on Wiki, in order to reduce level of dependence on the program. We've also put professors from the same universities in touch (there were professors from the same universities working independently and not in touch). However, the first semester of 2014 has been extremely complex for universities. The school calendar was compressed by the World Cup, making the core school period happen between March and early June. Even though, three universities have more than one professor working and starting to build internal groups: the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), and Faculdade de Comunicação Social Cásper Líbero. There is potential for development of a national network of professors involving those universities, but also challenges considering their courses are mainly in different areas (UFRGS: Maths, Physics and IT; UNIRIO: History and Tourism; Cásper Líbero: Communications/Journalism). We've also seen the interest of new professors to join this efforts in the following universities: Unifesspa, UERJ, UFRRJ (campus Nova Iguaçu), IFF, UNB, USP and UFRGS.
Activity 2: To support the organization of regional and local community meetings throughout Brazil.
- The community organized the Wikiday and we offered support through grants but none was required and used.
- We offered location and suggested the organization of a national meet-up in the Open Seminar in February. The volunteers who attended the meeting stayed longer for general talk, but no formal User group meet up was organized in the occasion.
- We attended several meet-ups in São Paulo (WikiSampa 21, WikiSampa 22, WikiSampa 23, WikiSampa 24, WikiSampa 25, WikiSampa 26, organized by community members, one in Brasília (WikiBrasília 2) and one in Rio in November WikiRio, but in the latter, no volunteer showed up. As a consequence, though 3 of our staff members lived in Rio, we decided not to actively propose wiki meetups, unless the community required.
- We help the community to have access to funds to join this events: IV Mostra Nacional de Experiências em Atenção Básica e Saúde da Família and FISL 15
Activity 3: To help the community build a network or developers, researchers and data analysts.
We have acted in many different fronts to engage developers, researchers and data analysts.
- We gave speeches in some conferences, such as FISL, Rio Info, Mostra de Saúde and inside computing courses about technical development with Wikipedia.
- We organized different hackathons: FISL 15 for developers, Anti-Vandalism for community members, L2 for researches and Garoa's WikiDay for the hackerspace members.
- We translated some tutorials about mediawiki and tech development in wikimedia.
- We gave support to community members that wanted to development it's own works.
- We reviewed Brazilian researches papers for the Research:Newsletter.
- We helped researches that were studding Wikipedia to go on with their efforts in the following institutions: FGV-Rio, IBICT, UFRJ, UNIRIO.
- We looked for external partners to integrate software with the wikimedia projects, such as Brasil.io, Portal do Software Público, Brazilian Government Open Data initiative.
- We tried to bring free culture tech players, such as hacker clubs/free software communities/open data groups , more close to the community.
- We engaged on the community initiative of creating "wikigames" for the portuguese Wikipedia
Activity 4: To support the community in organizing a photo contest
As our program started in the end of 2013 and will end on August, 2014, we had planned to support and encourage the community in organizing a photo contest different from Wiki Loves Monuments, either national or international, during this period in order to develop experience to participate in other Wikimedia photo contests. As Wikimedia Ukraine proposed the Wiki Loves Earth contest, we suggested the community engaged in it. The Wiki Loves Earth 2014 - Brazil started on May, 1st. Pictures are being uploaded to Commons campaign. Brazilian wikimedians also helped creating the pages of the contest as well as the tool to monitor the global contest development. So far, 95% of Brazilian participants are new in Commons. This is a good and a bad thing in our perspective: good because the contest has been able to outreach new users and make them know Commons; bad because it's a symptom of low level of engagement of our current community members - which is also made clear in the little of use images in Wikipedia articles so far. We're therefore developing a strategy to reach out to those new users and invite them to edit Wikipedia and to get to know how to collaborate with Wikimedia projects. Our team is developing a tool to track the retention of this new users.
There was also criticism over certain level of "centralization" in the decision making process of the contest. We have indeed decided to organize it despite some volunteers opinions that the contest should take place in 2015. Our decision was due to the fact that it had been planned in our project, which will end before the next year. Also, we believed the benefits of having Brazilians participating in the contest would overcome the cons of not having the contest totally led by community members and we could learn how to implement it, document and share the learnings so in the next year or semester we and the community could improve that. We still hope this does not overshadow volunteers protagonism and that we're able to share all learnings and achieve the primary goals of supporting a photo contest. This lack of community engagement with the contest can also be seen on the "Best contributions" award, that are lacking suggestions for winners and/or criterias. To help with this issue, we developed a ranking of contributions evaluation to support this award decision.
The top 10 photos of the contest will be published in the magazines "Fotografe Melhor" and "Revista Espírito Livre", and will also be part of an exhibition in "Paraty em Foco", one of the major photographic events in Brazil. The participation of this photos in Paraty will be sponsored by the program, and this cost has raised some concerns by volunteers, but we decided to move on and others volunteers are now working on writing projects to get external sponsorship for others exhibitions.
For the content goals side, we may already celebrate.
Activity 5: To create a micro grants program to support the community develop activities and become stronger in Brazil.
A proposal to create the microgrants program was opened in the very end of October, 2013. A few questions and suggestions were posted and accepted. We created some rules and procedures for submitting microgrants requests. We also invited volunteers to join a committee, but no one volunteered for that. Currently volunteers support or not the request and the Brazil program coordination gives the final word on that, based on rules and supports. So far we have been very flexible on deadlines, but this has been an issue.
During 2014, 4 microgrants were requests, being three of them submitted through established templates and procedures. One exception was opened because the templates hadn't yet been created when it was requested and there was an urgency because the request was for a user group volunteer to attend Campus Party about the then recent approval of the Brazilian Wikimedians Usergroup. The program coordination authorized but raised the problems regarding short notice to buy the tickets and transparency issues, informing the request should have been then submitted on the activity page, rather than through email, so anyone could track it. But as we hadn't the model in place yet, it was decided to approve it.
Four out of four grant requests were approved. Three were granted, as one of the requests was withdrawn by the proponent, for personal reasons.
Total in the budget: R$ 27.000,00
The total granted in Brazilian reais was so far of R$ 2898,81 (approximately US$ 1400).
Still available: R$ 24.101,19
Experiments and data analyses
Activity 1: To monitor the development of the actions led by the Brazil Catalyst program to allow overall community review of the reach of the catalyst program objectives.
We have performed isolated researches on programs activities such as Edit-a-thon das minas or class assignments but wasn't able to create up today a centralized place for the program goals tracking. We have also asked for outreach activities attendees to answer a online survey to evaluate the events, and we plan to create a way to automatically upload this answers anonymized to the wikis. Also in this activity we plan to publish a stats generator complementary to the WEP Extension, that will provide live data for the program courses.
Activity 2: To support the community in building a strategy to retain active and new editors through an experiment properly monitored.
We have helped the community to generate isolated data on newcomers and started studying the decline of users based on a research done on English Wikipedia.
The planning of the experiments didn't got much feedback from the community and up to today they weren't realized. We plan to run experiments with the use of GettingStarted and with messages sent with the bot.
Activity 3: To support the community in the localization of tools to prevent low quality edits and vandalism.
We helped the efforts to improve the abuse filters and co-organized an AntiVandalism Hackathon, where many thing were improved and new ideas emerged. We plan to have the bot that started being developed in the hackathon running before the end of the program.
Activity 4: To support the community analysis of their projects through regular data analyses on the development of the communities and websites content.
We improved the Portuguese Wikipedia timeline, allowing the creation of dynamic data, the upload of new datasets and the addition of new events by just editing a wikipage. We plan to also add to the timeline data related to the vandalism researches already made.
We plan to have an automated way to generate geolocalized queries on the projects. By now we were only able to run some researches manually.
Many small development projects lead by volunteers had our support, such as:
- Creating a list of globally popular articles that don't have interlinks to ptwiki
- Tracking new users creation and their activities.
- Tracking vandalism after the removal of the CAPTCHA emergencial mode.
- Generating data about old user permitions.
- Generating data about deleted pages.
- Creating a ranking of Wikipedias without counting small articles.
During the project we haven't seen the tech community in ptwiki grow significantly, but it's members seems to be more active and more qualified to perform complex tasks. We believe that having experienced technical consultant interacting with then in regular basis has helped the improvement of this cenario.
Education and expert outreach
- The Education Program in Brazil has for now two years experimented core and alternative approaches and strategies. What we mean by core is to invite professors to develop class assignment activities on Wikipedia. We had already tried new strategies to engage/invite professors, as our first open call in 2012.
- In December 2013, the Brazilian Education Program tried a new approach: we decided to follow just in part the model based on the open call we had done in 2012. In the former, we had a deadline for submissions and we would evaluate and select 15 which we were going to provide support to. In the latter, we decided we wouldn't 'select' initiatives, nor establish a deadline for submissions. We published a call for professors to engage in the program with links to “how-to”s, tutorials, materials, so they might be able to do it without our individual support, aiming at allowing the program to grow. The reason for this decision was that we concluded it's not sustainable to offer in person dedicated support to all classes and there's no room for growth if we pick this model. Also, only a few ambassadors in Brazil were stable and provided continued support. Therefore, we decided to improve the tutorials and support materials and inform professors they should rely on them and we offered online support. With that in mind, it wouldn't make sense to establish a deadline for engagement in the program (any professor may engage whenever) or a selection process.
- Although we spread the word, the strategy didn't fully work. In majority, professors didn't come to us through the call. We'll create a form in order to guide the professors on the right questions (s)he should be answering in order to create a plan to work on Wikimedia projects. Our assumption is that not all professors would instantly and independently visualize all opportunities in developing work on Wikipedia or other Wikimedia projects. We believe a form with questions may inspire professors and help them build projects.
- Risk analysis: 2014 is a very complex year in Brazil in terms of calendar. If Brazil is already known for its various holidays, in 2014 we're having the World Cup going on in the country and Presidential, State and Federal Congress elections. Plus, Carnival happening later than usual (in the beggining of March). This made schools' and universities' calendar shrink and we are dealing with a very short class period in the first semester as well as a very agitated scenario on politics, with social movements on the streets, strikes and so on. Those latter don't necessarily impact schools calendars, but it does affect the country and cities as a whole in terms of what they're attention and energy are at. However, we still expect we can overcome some of those risks by suggesting shorter and more objective projects which don't necessarily depend on educational calendar, as one may see below.
- We have had 5 professors from the program continuing their work, even if making changes to them. And we also have 4 new professors engaged in the program – 2 working on Wikiversity, 2 will probably work on Wikipedia. Among the other 5, one is leading extension activities, 3 are doing class assignments, 1 is developing a communications strategy project for Wikimedia projects.
- Our Education program team has also decided to experiment another new approach (not dependent on educational calendars): instead of only focusing on universities to create content in the projects, our staff members have been encouraging other institutions beyond the educational field (but also producers of educational content) to become partners of ours in many ways: technical schools imrpoving tools, government and public institutions to open their content and change the licences of their educational content production. More than 10 organizations and potential partners were contacted. Rodrigo Padula organized more than 20 meetings with those partners. However, it has been hard to leave meetings with an angreement in hand, or with very concret and practicle steps to be followed. Organizations show interest, want to do “something”, but are under very beaurocratic structures, depending on very complex processes, and many partnerships just don't happen. A learning for us is that, for every 10 organizations we speak to, about 2 really get committed to developing a project.
- Among the organizations one may find Bandtec, University of São Paulo, UFF (Federal University from Rio), UNIRIO (Federal University in Rio), UFPA (Federal University of Pará), IPEA (NEMESIS project), Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation), UFMA, FATEC, Petrobras, Centro Paula Souza.
- Production of material: since October, our outreach team has been producing a new comprehensive material on Wikimedia projects.
- We organized at Ação Educativa a first meet-up debating access to knowledge, education and human rights. The majority of participants were professors from different cities. They have demonstrated interest in better understanding Wikimedia projects and developing activities with them in their courses. We also created room for connections between community and educators, as well as brought together activists and professors who had already tried to develop activities on Wikipedia but faced great challenges and are now engaged again in trying new approaches.
Correio da Wikipédia
We have supported the development of the portuguese Wikipédia "Correio da Wikipédia" publication for some months. During this effort our team manage to write content for the publication, created a script for e-mail newsletter and granted a space for "Correio" in "Revista Espírito Livre", a well known magazine about Free Software and Free Culture in Brazil.
But some volunteers questioned if the presence of the catalyst team in the publication wasn't occupying others volunteers' space so our team decided to step back and stop collaborating with the publication. Unfortunately, some weeks latter the project halted.
To help the Portuguese communities to be able to use newly developed software our team joined efforts on the translation of the following mediawiki extensions: mobile interface, nearby, Visual Editor, Getting Started, Guided Tours and Education Program.
Follow-up new functionalities implementation
In order to help making transitions easier our team have fhelped the contact between SF teams and Portuguese wikis communities during software updates, such as: Visual Editor, removal of CAPTCHA emergency mode, Echo and Beta Features.
Translate global announcements
Looking forward to generate more interest for the global movement in Brazilians volunteers we have translated to pt-br some global WMF texts.
As atividades relatadas aqui demandaram da equipe administrativa da Ação Educativa a realização de diversas tarefas. A equipe, que inclui a assitente administrativa Camila Menezes, a analista de recursos humanos Márcia Lima e o coordenador do Setor Administrativo e Financeiro, Marcos Silva, efetou, nos seis primeiros meses do projeto, ao menos oito contratos de prestação de serviços e seus respectivos pagamentos, reembolsos de despesas de viagens e eventos, pagamentos de despesas diversas, contratação da equipe do projeto como funcionários da Ação Educativa e os pagamentos de salários e benefícios e a realização de relatórios financeiros para acompanhamento da execução dos projetos e prestação de contas.