Wikimedia Conference 2011/Documentation/Outreach to educational institutions

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Outreach to educational institutions[edit]

Goal: Share experiences and recommendations
Description: The session is aimed at discussing chapters experiences and successes in reaching out to educational institutions either to teach them about Wikipedia or to involve them in contributing to a Wikimedia Project.


  • (Hongkong): Toolkit for students, contact institutions in order to distribute it. Outreach to researchers, universities. A researcher is helping to improve the toolkit. Goal: How to smartly use Wikipedia. Actually, Wikipedia is an important tool for researchers. Some teachers just don't know how to maneuvre information from the internet. Find the toolkit available on the very top of Wikimedia Hongkong.
  • (Argentina): We have a program called "Wikipedia in the classroom". We found our most demanding target groups are teachers and students. A brochure is there to illustrate the workshops we do for teachers. There also is a page on the website of the Ministry of Education. Wikipedia is capable of more than serve as a tool for the acquisition of information. It can also be a part of the classroom. The program is for primary and secondary schools, as well as for universities. See Argentinian project and Wikipedia en el aula.
  • (Australia): Program in its infancy. Teachers were shown best practices in a workshop called Wikipedia in the classroom (see slides). Another thing is a "learning common" where teachers share ideas with each other. Australia is developing a new state curriculum, which is offering many opportunities though sharing knowledge. Hopefully there can be a wiki for teachers, where teachers could put together collaborative material an curricula. Wikimedia can act as something like a clearing house.
  • (India): School programmes are self-sustaining incubators. India looked at other programmes. It seems appropriate to us to not focus so much on primary or secondary schools but on universities. Students listen to their professors. We're trying to see whether we can organise a video conference with professors.
    • One-time workshops don't seem to make too much sense. You do need to get the teachers convinced. There are two options: You can either try to change the curriculum (which is hard) or get together with the teachers and go for their methods.
  • Wikibooks and Wikiquote are potentially interesting projects for students. We need to think of promoting these projects, not just Wikipedia in schools!

Please upload all your material to the Wikimedia bookshelf

  • (Ukraine): The president of WM Ukraine in 2008 appealed to national scientists to write articles for Wikipedia. Another project: We invited people to participate in a WikiTraining. Plans for 2011: National program "One laptop per child"; lectures about Wikipedia at 50 Ukrainian universities.
  • Most elementary/primary schools don't have internet access in classes. From an outreach perspective it would be great to get Wikipedia recognised throughout countries so that teachers are easily convinced of its use.
  • Important projects: S.O.S. Children / WP 0.8; There is an offline page on Meta. Reliable high quality material for teachers.
  • (Philippines): Using the S.O.S. material has their logo. Difficult to promote via DVD. The Philippines also reach out to universities, high school. There are plans for an article writing contest.
  • (Poland): Workshops for university scientists. The general feeling in retrospective was that Wikipedia is too difficult to edit, even for scientists. The vast majority of people decided not to edit.

Q: What are the efforts to get education programs to developing countries? A (WMF): See the Public policy initiative: There is a 1.2 million program at the WMF, now in the second semester. It is the largest funded program in Wikipedia history. In the course of the project we created the ambassador network, people who can help other people editing (real-time help) at universities. Face to face with professors (campus ambassadors). The cost per student amounts to 6.000 Dollars.

Go and check the Public Policy Initiative!

The other Wikimedia projects like Wikiversity and Wikibooks are key regarding education outreach. Be innovative, ask for grants!