|Conference — Ambassadors — Student societies — Schools — Strategy|
Contributing to Wikimedia projects, such as Wikipedia, Wikiversity and Wikibooks, is an educational opportunity in the fullest sense, developing sophisticated collaboration, scholarly writing and critical thinking skills at the same time as subject knowledge. Improving an article can be a demanding project in either formal and informal education, for a talented student or a whole class.
Wikimedia UK is working with some of the country's most respected and innovative institutions to explore how Wikimedia projects can benefit UK education. In partnership with universities and support bodies, we are gradually establishing Wikimedia as part of the landscape of higher education, secondary education, and lifelong learning.
- 1 Strategy
- 2 Brochure
- 3 Current Projects
- 4 Other education activities
- 5 Mailing lists
- 6 Call to action
Feedback is invited on our draft education strategy and five-year plan.
"How universities are teaching with Wikipedia" is a brochure of case studies, authored by the Wikimedia Foundation and adapted by Wikimedia UK.
Wikimedia UK ran the first EduWiki Conference on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th of September 2012 at the University of Leicester, bringing teaching and support staff together with Wikimedia volunteers. Reactions, slides and video are available. We are currently organising the second EduWiki Conference on 1-2 November 2013 in Cardiff.
Jisc Wikimedia Ambassador
Wikimedia UK is working with Jisc to deliver a nine month project from July 2013 to March 2014, to encourage a range of audiences (librarians, teachers, researchers and students) within learning and research to engage with Wikimedia UK and Wikimedia projects for mutual benefit. This includes a programme of workshops in institutions on "Wikimedia: linking research impact and open education".
Imperial College, London attracted national attention as the first UK university to have a Wikipedia student society. The students organised a day event to explore relations between Wikipedia and academia. The Cambridge University Wikipedia Society has also been quite active since 2012. We have also experimented with a fresher fair stall at the University of Warwick and found it an excellent way of gathering interest from enthusiastic undergraduates.
Our student societies page explains how we can help students get a society under way.
Other education activities
University of Manchester and University of Liverpool are among the institutions where Wikimedia volunteers have provided "Wikilounge" events, helping students make informed use of Wikipedia.
Wikimedia Outreach Ambassador
University of Bristol has supported a unique paid internship to explore co-working between Wikimedia UK and a university. One outcome was a Wikimedia Girl Geek Dinner hosted at the university, involving students, lecturers and the broader public.
Lecturers at University of Exeter (Economics Classroom Experiments) and University of Westminster (Political Simulation and Gaming) are among those using Wikiversity as a learning platform or to share good practice with their colleagues.
Student inductions and wiki-literacy
It is important that students and pupils understand the limitations of Wikipedia (and encyclopaedias in general) as well as its usefulness. The Wikimedia community have created many resources to explain the basic concepts of reliability, neutrality and Wikipedia's internal review processes. Wikimedia UK can provide material for student inductions (Contact us).
Science learning centres
Wikimedia UK is forming links with national advisory bodies to make sure that relevant information about the Wikimedia projects is available to teaching staff, support staff and educational developers. For example, the JISC Centre for Educational Technology and Interoperability Standards has a guide to Wikimedia Commons as a platform for Open Educational Resources.
University Wikimedians in Residence
Wikimedia UK is working up a draft job description for /University Wikimedian in Residence and aims to establish these soon.
Wikipedia Interest Group
A "WIG" mailing list is available for educators interested in the potential of Wikipedia or its sister projects, or for Wikimedians interested in supporting education. This is a low-traffic list.
The Wikimedia Education mailing list run by the Wikimedia Foundation, offering an online forum for people directly involved in Wikimedia-related education projects around the world.
Call to action
Wikimedia volunteers can help educational projects by meeting with teaching staff, librarians or support staff to raise awareness, using the many resources for educators already created. Some funding is available for travel and subsistence, but only by prior arrangement and in accordance with Wikimedia UK's Expenses Policy. The office can arrange for supporting materials if given plenty of prior notice.
Experienced Wikipedians can also apply to be Online Ambassadors to support students remotely. Helping student newcomers to write good quality articles can be highly rewarding, while making a big improvement to Wikipedia's quality.
We are developing Campus Ambassador training for university staff or students who want to support educational projects, based on a programme which is under way in many US universities. To register an interest, contact martin.poulterwikimedia.org.uk with your name, institution, role (lecturer/ teaching assistant/ student) and any experience on Wikipedia or its sister projects.