Jump to content

Wikimedia+Education Conference 2019/Submissions/Wikipedia to Education & E2W: revisiting some ideas

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Submission no.
Title of the submission
Wikipedia to Education & E2W: revisiting some ideas

Author(s) of the submission
Agremon (Antonio Gregorio Montes)
E-mail address
Country/place of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Wikimedia España

Main theme
Free knowledge for the world
Type of session
  • Lightning talk (5 min)
Teachers, students, learners
Length of session
5 min
Do you want to submit a paper for peer-reviewing?


Wikipedia to Education & E2W: revisiting some ideas

This little speech is only a set of questions, reflections and remarks based on my experience with Spanish students.

Wikipedia is a tool appreciated by a high amount of students that have access to it. To teachers, is a relationship of love/hate in a variable percentage, but no one can ignore Wikipedia. Furthermore, the current generation of teachers did not grow with Wikipedia, a situation that is shifting rapidly. Wikipedia is a key part of the set of tools of a quickly increasing percentage of teachers.

There is in this field a lack of understanding of the five pillars of Wikipedia, particularly, that isn't a primary source: Wikipedia is used as a tool, but it is often misunderstood. It's the logic of Wikipedia what isn't understood, not their possibilities.

Specialized studies on Wikipedia and education are guided by Wikipedians, didactics specialists, teachers, experts… but, in what conditions? Providing materials or giving a life experience?

Wikipedia & education to enhancement of people

Wikipedia can provide a powerful tool to individualized education, help to develop works or to go forward with projects, but is only a base, not a method, or worst, an ‘all-in-one' education. A good tool that needs to be integrated into the set of tools based on age, type of learning of preference/educational system, autonomy, the importance given to collaboration, etc. Furthermore: as interaction to collaborative learning, wikis are surpassed by other tools, needing integration to boost features.

Students knew all this implicitly, and because of that, for a lot of them, Wikipedia is only a tool to an objective: to pass through the grades year after year.

The students in a bilingual or multilingual context prefer the use of the bigger Wikipedia. This leads to a loss of diversity in educational possibilities and a bias against the minor languages: that what made possible hope is at this time discrimination. And this situation will be reproduced in other contexts, as the gender gap… Can this trend be reversed?

Education formally established by society and Wikipedia reproduce stereotypes. And both trend to enlarge the stereotype.

As Wikipedia, we have a complication of norms on inner politics (& also differences among Wikipedias). This fact gives us variety among Wikipedias, but not in a single Wikipedia… if we are not a primary source, to be useful, we need a wide range of landscapes, and this is not the situation.

I think that Wikipedia is used by students not only for how easy it is to copy paste but also due to the unique integration/interpretation in every article, simplifying their own understanding of the reality: a simple and unique reading, not a set of different points of view to contrast among them.

Regarding the entries included in simplified versions to students: they are not the solution, because is a wrap up of only one version…

Do we have emotions? It's a basic issue, very difficult to manage in a Wikipedia-like environment. But education is also the management of emotions, not only in a direct way but an environment that pushes us to work and live. And, do we have an emotional vocabulary to manage the students' spirit and feelings when they use Wikipedia?

The use of references (quotes) is not only an obligation but a need. But, for little things, also a constraint. And, with the wide spreading of topics in a growing Wikipedia, the meaning of 'encyclopedic content' varies, and also the possibilities of quotation to maintain an affirmation. That results on 'authority argument'.

Do we have a metric to measure the effectiveness of Wikipedia regarding education? Does the Wikipedia system facilitate multimodal use? We don't have a metric so, but isn't bad… or is it?

A paradox: training it's required to handle Wikipedia.

We need to balance Wikipedia to education… and education to handle Wikipedia. Not as a balance of mass, but as a dynamic balance of impulses that we should adjust to improve the life of people.

Last but not least: we point 'education', but think 'training'. I've always said 'education', not only 'training'...

How does your proposal add knowledge to the international community in Wikimedia and education?
  1. making possible to reflect on Wikipedia through ideas needed of reflection and clues to go thru.
Who is the intended ideal audience for the topic?

Teachers wikipedians.

Slides or further information

Several slides will be shown thru the talk (commons:File:Wikipedia_to_Education_&_E2W_Revisiting_some_ideas.pdf)

Special requests


Interested attendees[edit]

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest.

  1. ...