Presentation of the WikiChallenge Bénin
The WikiChallenge Bénin is a writing contest that creates a fun way for students (11-17) to learn how knowledge is built by contributing to Vikidia (the little sister of Wikipedia) as well as Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. It will operate during the school year in 2019-2020. Essentially, the WikiChallenge Bénin is a spin-off of the WikiChallenge Ecoles d'Afrique.
The contest challenges schools to compete by writing Vikidia articles about something of importance in their area. Due to their poor or missing internet connectivity, they can use the WikiFundi platform to share knowledge about their unique city, town, village or suburb, a local landmark or a notable individual. The competition is a fun introduction to writing Vikidia articles, a content that can be transferred and will add information about Africa to Wikipedia. It also provides young Africans with an opportunity to learn more about their communities, cultures, role models and environments.
- Main page of the contest (in French): https://fr.vikidia.org/wiki/Projet:WikiChallenge_Bénin. This page will host all texts written by the students as well as images submitted.
- The contest will be relayed on the WikiAfrica Facebook page
- There is also a Facebook page dedicated to the contest: https://www.facebook.com/ConcourswikiChallengeEcolesdAfrique/
- Finally, the images related to the context will be hosted on Wikimedia Commons : c:Category:WikiChallenge Benin
Education, Offline, WikiFundi, Vikidia, Writing contest, French speaking Africa, Benin
The Challenge in 2019-2020
It is meant to be a WikiAfrica pilot project, running in 4 schools, one north of Benin, one center, and two south of Benin.
Online: a portal will be created on Vikidia, to host all information related to it. It will be the place where we will rules and guidelines to participate to the contest, list participating schools, showcase articles produced, give news of the project etc.
Offline: the Benin wikimedians will work with 4 schools during the School year. Schools will be equipped with offline material from Kiwix and WikiFundi, on a raspberry PI. Teachers will be trained and students will write articles. Wikipedians will ensure those are integrated to Vikidia (and as much as possible, relevant content to Wikipedia as well) with media content added to Commons.
At the end of the year, a jury will select the best articles, and rank schools ! They will receive certificate and prizes !
The contest will be promoted on social media.
- Project set-up and fundraising: August 2019-February 2020
- Contact with schools : early 2020
- Training the trainers : early April 2020
- Contest : April - June
- Jury : June
- Celebration : Fall 2020
How this project will make a difference ?
The project is a training and writing program designed for schools. It is targeted at the education communitu in Benin towards using wikimedia tools to acquire and share knowledge to develop skills of the youth and of their teachers.
The program will help the kids to gain new skills, such as digital skills (using technology), collaborative writing, knowledge sharing, or information searching.
Additionally, they will experience critical thinking and peer review. This should also be the opportunity to get an initial understanding of intellectual property rights and open source. It is hoped that this project will participate in helping the students grow up as informed and active e-citizens.
The project team will provide training the trainers activities, hence bringing new skills to the teachers as well.
Finally, the project will result in the production and publication of Benin information on the Internet, under a free license, for use by the greater public. This will participate to the visibility of Benin on the Internet, and will bring a feeling of pride to under-represented and poorly-served communities.
The program will address equally to male and female and a leadership training component will enlighten thems to invest in their future.
The project will use, but to mention a few:
- Vikidia: the children encyclopedia. Whilst not a wikimedia project, this is an active project in our ecosystem. The kids and students will contribute pictures, videos about the project and the town onto wikicommons
- Wikimedia Commons : The kids and students will contribute pictures (and possibly videos) onto wikicommons
- WikiFundi: the schools will set up an offline operational plateform including the use of rasberry Pis, Wikifundi and Kiwix resources.
Benefits for the kids
The contest encouraged students to work together to create an article about their area. This could be an article about their village, suburb, notable person or a local historic or geographic feature. The contest was designed to provide students with hands-on experience in collating information and working collaboratively to contribute knowledge to one of the world’s most powerful information platforms. The contest was meant to specifically:
- Train students in how to write an encyclopédique article on a wiki;
- Give students key online skills that includes, but is not limited to, navigating an editing environment that mimics Wikipedia’s online version, and researching and citing correct sources;
- Provide media skills with regards to constructing articles, using categories, and taking photographs or creating other media to fully illustrate the article they submit to the contest.
- Contribute articles about Africa by Africans to Vikidia and Wikipedia, thus broadening the coverage of Africa.
People and structures involved