A big year for Wikimedia in education

The Education Team had a big year in 2019. We’d like to mention a few of the highlights and invite you to follow along with us and the rest of the Wikimedia in Education community in 2020 as we continue to see the Wikimedia projects make a big impact in education!

World Innovation Summit for Education 2019 CC BY-SA 4.0

We grew our team! Vasanthi joined us in June of this year!

Growing our Wikimedia & Education community and their skillset:

  • Over a 100 wikimedians passionate about education joined our online course to learn more about global education goals and to develop their project management skills. We are excited about the Wikimedia education projects that the Greenhouse participants will develop in the future!
  • GOES for Ghana: We selected the first ever team project to be incubated through the Wikimedia & Education Greenhouse. This is an exciting project that will impact at least 30 students in a rural community in Ghana.

Championing the impact of Wikimedia in Education:

  • Wikimedia + Education Conference 2019 1
  • UNESCO Mobile Learning Week 1
  • Wikimania
  • Wiki Arabia: Vasanthi attended Wiki Arabica as her first movement event! She presented about advocating for Wikimedia in education and met a lot of amazing community members!
  • WISE Doha: Nichole and Vasanthi attended the WISE Summit in Doha, Qatar and presented a workshop on “Students and Educators and knowledge creators” to a packed room of educators, policy makers, and educational ngo leaders.

Improving our online spaces:

  • We made the Education portal on Wikimedia Outreach more user friendly.

Improving our ability to communicate the impact of Wikimedia in education:

  • We have updated the Wikimedia & Education database by adding 34 new activities with the help of our volunteers and affiliates. This helps us to understand how Wikimedia projects are used in different ages of learning.
  • This year we’ve interviewed 7 affiliates about their evaluation practices for Wikimedia and education work. This research aims to understand community’s practices in evaluating their education projects and will produce a set of recommendations of relevant evaluation methods and tools that we will develop to support the community.

Building community for Wikimedia in Education work:

  • Almost 100 Wikimedians have joined us for exciting conversations during Office Hours this year! We also started regularly meeting with the staff of other Wikimedia affiliates who are doing Education work, and this has helped us to share what you all are doing and connect you to one another.
  • We started facilitating discussions through the Education category on Wikimedia Space. Check it out!
  • Over the last year, 95 stories were shared in the education newsletter. We learned about all the amazing Wikimedia & Education activities happening all over the world.
  • We’ve also been coordinating with the Wikimedia & Education User Group, and will continue to support their efforts in the coming year.

Helping students around the world learn and grow with Wikimedia in education:

  • Launched “Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom” project in collaboration with Wikimedistas de Bolivia, PhilWiki Community UG, and Wikimedia MA UG which will support 15 schools, 75 teachers, and 2,000+ students to learn information literacy through reading Wikipedia.
  • Launched “Engaging Global Youth” project with Community Development which will help us to safely and effectively bring youth, 42% of the global population, into the Wikimedia movement.

We’ve had a big year, and we’re sure you have too! Share your community’s Wikimedia & Education accomplishments in the comments section. We look forward to doing big things together in 2020–let’s make the next decade the decade of Wikimedia in education!

–The Education Team at the Wikimedia Foundation

Restructuring the Education Office Hours

The Education team at the Wikimedia Foundation have been holding Office Hours for the past 11 months, and have engaged with more than 40 Wikimedians during that time. We’ve enjoyed chatting about topics ranging from the usefulness of Wikiversity to how best to support students who edit on mobile phones. Though Office Hours have been reasonably well attended, we’ve noticed that it may be more useful to slightly restructure this time. From July, we’ll be hosting only one open Office Hours event, while experimenting with a way to deep dive with individuals who need more 1:1 consulting. 

Chatting with African wikimedians at HUHEZI — Wikipedialari afrikarrak (40569170323).jpg () by HUHEZI (Mondragon Unibertsitatea), CC-BY-2.0.

While the monthly Office Hours event will remain the same, we are excited to introduce Office Space. Our goal for Office Space is to provide 1:1 consultation to Wikimedians involved in education activities. As a result of Office Space, we hope individuals and groups interested in Wikimedia in education will have better capacity to make their initiatives strong, results oriented and scalable.

Office Hours will be an open platform for The Wikimedia Foundation Education Team to hear from the community, share what we’re doing and answer questions in an open forum where we can learn from each other. The platform provides an opportunity to share your work with others and learn from them, get updates from activities happening around the movement and look for opportunities to collaborate.

Office Space will be a platform where you can schedule a 1:1 consultation with one or more members of the education team. We’re setting aside 4.5 hours of team time a month for ½ hour or 1 hour consultations. This will help you get answers to specific questions, and tap into the various expertise of the Wikimedia Foundation Education Team. We will start hosting Office Space events from the month of August. We will triage incoming requests based on when they were received, and the nature of the request. We hope that through this mechanism our support to the community is fair and productive. 

From August, the Education Team will host one Office Hours and one Office Space each month for the Wikimedians involved in education activities or are interested in them. We will be announcing Office Hours events on the Wikimedia Space and will update the Office Hours events and the minutes of meeting there. 

You can sign up for a 1:1 Office Space consultation for August by filling out this form.

Do you have queries related to this? Feel free to reach out to me via email (spatnaik [at] wikimedia [dot] org) or start a discussion here on Space. 🙂