In June 2017 Wikimedia Armenia has organized its fifth Teachers’ WikiWeek for the teachers in the provinces of Armenia. The call for participation in Teachers’ WikiWeek was announced on various social media platforms and shared through website and mailing list of the National Center for Educational Technologies, which includes all schools of Armenia. 87 teachers have applied to participate in Teachers’ WikiWeek and 37 teachers have been selected. At this event teachers from the previous Teachers’ WikiWeeks that have actively been editing in Wikipedia and other Wiki projects have received certificates of appreciation from Wikimedia Armenia. Certain new elements have been added to the program of the seminar. Teachers learned the basics of notetaking and deepened their knowledge of task design.
The most important change in this seminar was the establishment and introduction of the mentoring system. Since the number of teachers is much bigger than the Wikimedia Armenia training staff it was decided to split newcomers into small groups of 5 and assign them experienced wiki teachers. The aim of this change was to ensure the high quality and effectiveness of the seminar and to acknowledge the contribution and motivate the active teachers. Wikimedia staff has designed mentorship guide for the mentoring teachers with detailed instructions on which wiki editing tools and policies should be taught during each day.
Davit Sahakyan, Deputy Minister of Education and Science has been invited to talk about education in general, the modern views on education and the prospects for education development in Armenia. There were a short Question and Answer session during which teachers were given an opportunity to address their concerns to the Deputy Minister.
During the evaluation session of the WikiWeek teachers shared their impressions with us and noted that a difference in age groups didn’t create an obstacle in participation in this seminar, moreover, was even a good precondition for effective work aimed at enriching the Armenian Wikipedia.
“The Teachers’ WikiWeek made possible for the participants not only to get acquainted with the wiki technologies which will improve the teacher’s performance but gave an opportunity to exchange their teaching experiences with colleagues from different Armenian regions. The activities fostered a new way of thinking, finding new solutions, team building, self-development and self-expression. ” - said one of the participating teachers as a feedback.
|Teacher seminar (June 6-11)|
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Education Collaborative (Collab) Meeting in Yerevan
Wikimedia Armenia has applied to host the annual Education Collaborative Meeting 2017. After the negotiations with the WMF Education team, this proposal was approved and program leaders from 10 different countries were invited to Yerevan on June 2 to 4 to discuss the trends, needs, challenges, and solutions, and develop a consolidated strategy towards the future of the global educational initiatives in Wikipedia and its sister projects.
The Ayb school has generously provided its premises for the meeting. The meeting’s agenda included a presentation of several educational success stories from the invited communities, discussions on the goals and the needs to reshape them. There was also a conversation on the Wikimedia Movement Strategy, where Collab had its own input in terms of suggestions for the Movement Strategy 2030.
One of the major achievements of this meeting was the decision to create a new user group - Wikipedia & Education User Group - on the base of the Collab. The Collab meeting was a wonderful opportunity to connect our local Wikipedia education coordinators and educators with the international leaders. Thus we have organized a successful lunch meeting with the Armenian and international education leaders at Ayb school, where Armenian and international program leads shared their experiences and impressions.
Every Saturday Wikimedia Armenia organizes open workshops edit-a-thons at the WM AM office where new editors are taught how to edit different wiki projects and the experienced editors participate in edit-a-thons dedicated to different themes. Anyone interested in wiki projects, Wikipedia, wiki editing and needing assistance, as well as wiki editors, who want to edit in pleasant atmosphere participate in these workshops. We have about 15-20 participants in each workshop. Among them there are also active wiki editors of hywiki, hywiktionary, hywikisource, Wikidata who help to conduct the workshops.