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Wikimedia+Education Conference 2019/Submissions/Teachers know it all, even all about Wikipedia

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Submission no.
Title of the submission
Teachers know it all, even all about Wikipedia

Author(s) of the submission
Gabriel Thullen (GastelEtzwane)
E-mail address
Country/place of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia CH

Main theme
Type of session
teachers, educators, students, learners, teacher trainers, advocates and activists
Length of session
30 min
Do you want to submit a paper for peer-reviewing?


Most teachers prepare their lessons in advance, sometimes years in advance, and base their lessons on sources that they know and trust. They will use Wikipedia as a starting point for their preparations and at the same time, day after day, they will forbid their students to do the same thing.

Jimmy Wales talks about “imagining a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.” This access should start at school, and for that to happen we must overcome the teacher's reluctance. I am myself a school teacher, and it seems to me that most of my colleague's negative opinions are due to a deep misunderstanding of how the online encyclopedia works.

Students probably make up the majority of the new Wikipedia contributors, and teachers who have a good working knowledge of Wikipedia are far less hostile to it's use by their students. A teacher with a positive attitude towards online encyclopedia will probably encourage more students to start contributing. My hypothesis is that by training teachers in the use of the Wikipedia they will include it in their lessons in a more visible and explicit fashion. This increased visibility of the World's largest encyclopedia will be a huge benefit both to them and to their students as well as recruiting more new editors.

But once they have made up their mind, teachers are reluctant to change their views on Wikipedia. The discussion period will allow us to brainstorm and produce a list of techniques to help teachers take a fresh look at the online encyclopedia which has come a long way in quantity and quality since when they first were introduced to it.

How does your proposal add knowledge to the international community in Wikimedia and education?
  1. attendees will appreciate that there is force in numbers, and right now a large number of teachers are hostile to the use of Wikipedia in class.
  2. the brainstorming session will enable attendees to share their strategies and ideas.
  3. the final minutes of the conference will be available as a resource for other Wikipedians who are trying to convince teachers to adopt Wikipedia in their classroom.
Who is the intended ideal audience for the topic?

All wikipedians interested in promoting the use of Wikipedia at schools and at universities.

Slides or further information
Special requests


Interested attendees[edit]

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