Wikimedia Australia/Education Committee

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This is the page for the Education Committee of Wikimedia Australia. A list of committee members is at Wikimedia Australia/Committees.

Agenda for First Meeting[edit]

To be resolved on-wiki, and in IRC if we ever actually get a meeting going. ML stuff is fine too, as long as it's all reported here. I (CM) think the main thing the EC needs to work out is the direction we'll be heading once we're up and running - what our goals are, what we will be trying to do. If you think something else needs discussing, by all means add it on.

What is the purpose of the Education Committee?[edit]

The way I see it, the EC is here to direct the flow of WMA as a way of getting more people to understand wikis and WikiMedia, both their pros and cons. Confusing Manifestation 12:14, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

I think the role of the EC is to do a number of things, educate prospective users and to encourage the use of Wikimedia projects in the education sector - Nathan Carter (Talk) 05:22, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I would agree. Wikimedia projects have their pluses and minuses for educational use, and unfortunately the minuses get far too much coverage in the education sector at present. I think we should be marketing ourselves somewhat better within the sector. Orderinchaos 08:24, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Are we about teaching people to use wikis, or teaching them to use the WikiMedia resources?[edit]

Here I say both. Being WikiMedia Australia, our main aim is probably to promote the WikiMedia sites, and certainly there's a lot to be teaching about them. On the other hand, there's nothing to stop us showing how wikis can be used in collaborative work, and certainly in a lot of places this would probably be easier than trying to get people to understand that WM is a good thing, used correctly. Confusing Manifestation 12:14, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Exactly right, both - Nathan Carter (Talk) 05:22, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

If we're going to talk to schools, should we be talking to students or teachers more?[edit]

I think at first we need to talk to teachers, because we're not going to get as far talking to students. For a start, many teachers probably don't understand the WM philosophy well enough, and as a result I can see teachers divided into two categories: The paranoid, who don't want to see WP or any other similar site being used as a source because you can't trust any of it (and yet probably don't know about the many mirrors about and would happily accept information from them), and the overenthusiastic, who may not appreciate the dangers of relying too heavily on what may be unverified information.

I'm sure that's an over-generalisation, but the fact is that those seem to be prevailing attitudes amongst most people, but amongst teachers both would be rather dangerous in terms of what message it passes on to the students. Once the teachers are won over, then, it probably wouldn't be too hard to arrange a few talks at schools to show the students how it all works (or, alternatively, get the recently re-educated teachers to do it for us!) Confusing Manifestation 12:14, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

We need to get teachers on-side and I think the best way to do this is to provide them with some form of offline media, alot of people believe that the internet is rubbish, if it is on a CD/DVD it must be true. This will build some trust within the educational community about our projects. I also think we need to not focus on a complete "English Wikipedia on DVD" but instead focus on narrow content, e.g. Australian content or content which fits in with the curriculum - Nathan Carter (Talk) 05:22, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
What about the idea of writing a Wikibook that's either specifically on something Australian (eg. Australian History), or is compatible with the syllabus of some course (eg. HSC Mathematics)? 129.78.228.114 Confusing Manifestation 05:28, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I think that if we do talks to students and teachers, the talks to students should focus mainly on WikiMedia, and the talks to teachers should be on both wikis and WM - then if the teachers want help showing the students how to use a wiki that's been set up for, say, a group project, then perhaps we can offer some kind of tutorial for that. Confusing Manifestation 00:21, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Teachers and students, but moreso teachers (esp head teachers), deputy principals and principals. If you don't convince them, you might as well not start, as teachers who may be interested may not have the time to carry the proposals through or face questions from school leaders. I think some of the ideas Nathan have raised are great. Also CM's suggestion re setting up group wikis for project/collaboration purposes is good. Orderinchaos 08:27, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Should we try and get in touch with:[edit]

  • Various State and Territory Education Boards?
  • Education Ministers (State and Federal)?
  • Whoever runs the various TAFEs?
  • If so, what should we be speaking to them about?

At the moment, I'd say yes to the Education Boards, about getting the WikiMedia sites possibly mentioned in some kind of official information with an accurate description of appropriate use (eg. "While these sites should not be used as the primary source of information, they are a good starting point to determine directions in which a student can focus their research." Also yes to the ministers, probably just to get some kind of officialy recognition from them. Confusing Manifestation 12:14, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

I think we need to get in touch with those at the higher levels of the education food chain so to speak. Perhaps if we can get their support, that support will filter down to the rest of the organisation - Nathan Carter (Talk) 05:22, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Don't forget about organisations like the Catholic Education Offices in each diocese, the Association of Independent Schools of WA and equivalents in other states, etc, as a lot of schools do not come under DET. In the case of TAFEs the main people are the state Departments of Training and the administrations of the various Colleges, but often local head lecturers have a lot of say in these sort of matters. Orderinchaos 08:29, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Just a quick note about education.au (below) owned by the 8 ministers for education. They tend to be the technology advisor to the gov. Also responsible for this site.--Simonfj 03:36, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Contact list[edit]

Hope this helps. Auroranorth 12:11, 8 September 2007 (UTC)