Summer WikiCamp 2019 (July 4-13)Edit
This year’s Summer Wikicamps were marked by a great number of applicants and participants. Wikimedia Armenia has received around 300 applications for both camps. The majority of the participants had applied for the first Summer WikiCamp for students ages 9-15. The first camp was also marked by a great number of payable participants ever - 30 participants who were equally distributed among groups.
The learning and editing process in Wikimedia projects were organized with the help of 12 experienced wikieditors (Wikiteam). The participants were editing in 3 Wikimedia projects - Armenian Wiktionary, Wikisource and Wikipedia. The Wikiteam was also responsible for quality checking of the content written during the camp. The organization team used a new method for the newbies’ teaching process. The experienced editor students of each group who expressed willingness to share their knowledge with their groupmates, taught the editing tools and rules to their fellow friends. The usage of this method made the teaching and learning process more smoothly and effective as it is always more comprehensive when the students of the same age explain the editing tools to each other.
One of the achievements of this camp was Armenian Wiktionary moving 2 lines up in the list of all Wiktionaries - now we are in the 21st place.
At the end of the camp the Wikiteam discussed and underlined several things to take into consideration when organizing a same age camp next year. Those suggestions are:
- To reduce editing hours of each workshop from 1.5 to 1 as the campers of this age category are not able to concentrate and edit effectively during such a long period of time.
- To spend half an hour during the first workshop discussing with the campers the mistakes done during the previous day (This was done previously during the camps but not in a coordinated manner).
- To add the number of Wikiteam members if possible.
- To include such activities in the agenda where the Wikiteam can interact with the campers outside the workshop.
Non wiki life of the camp was full of interesting and entertaining events. Besides playing sport and intellectual games the camp hosted Hovhannes Toumanian museum Education program team who represented Armenian writer Hovhannes Toumanian’s life and literary works. After the presentation the guests organized a small quiz during which the campers answered Toumanian related questions. As many of us know Toumanian has also created a number of games for children. The campers were happy to play those games with the help of Toumanian museum staff.
The other memorable event of the camp was the educational-informative event by the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia. The Ministry staff organized training-games which were aimed at increasing the level of awareness during emergencies. The small actors of the “911” children’s theatre of the Cultural center of the State Academy of Crisis Management presented the "Disaster" musical-educational performance to the campers. After the presentation the campers watched educational cartoons prepared by the Ministry of Emergency Situations and “Save the Children” organization about earthquake, flood and fire, after which a quiz game was organized. The winners were awarded with certificates.
An evacuation training was also organized for the campers. Firefighters and rescuers arrived after the alarm was reported and began to work immediately on the area of the rest house evacuating those campers who had not managed to leave the building. The training was conducted under the supervision of major Samvel Davtyan, Commander of the Hrazdan N 44 department of the RA Ministry of Emergency Situations.
At the end of the day, the children were also taught how to provide first aid in different situations.
Taking photos of MPsEdit
In December 2018, parliamentary elections were held in Armenia, during which almost the entire members of the Parliament were changed. The articles about MPs in Armenian Wikipedia have no photos, so earlier this month Wikimedia Armenia Executive Director Gayane Vardanyan, staff members Mher Bekaryan and Armen Mirzoyan visited the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, where they photographed not only MPs and government representatives, but also the most significant rooms and halls of the National Assembly.
About 68 MPs and a number of government officials were photographed during the first phase of the project. It is expected that during the next phase in September, 2019, when the National Assembly will return from vacation, WMAM staff will continue taking photos in the National Assembly.
WikiClubs activity reportEdit
At the beginning of July within the frames of the project “To each other” Alaverdi WikiClub hosted “Public information and monitoring center” NGO President Marie Chakryan. During the meeting the participants discussed fundamental human rights, in particular human ecorights, i.e. human rights to live in a healthy environment. An active dialogue has also started on the international experience of sustainable development mechanisms of nature and society, nature restoration, ecotourism, green industry and green economy, waste generation, waste sorting and recycling. At the end of the meeting, the WikiClub members completed the “Community Transparent Budget” questionnaire, expressing their opinion on the formation of the community budget. And on July 17, Alaverdi WikiClub members had a video call with the members of the Stepanakert WikiClub. At the beginning of the video call, the Club members got acquainted, talked about the their Clubs and the daily routine of the Clubs. In the second part of the video call, both WikiClubs members created the article “Suzuki method” of teaching music in Armenian Wikipedia.
On July 3, Hatsik WikiClub celebrated its first anniversary. The community municipality staff and parents came to congratulate the WikiClub members. The Club members have presented the main directions of the Club activities and told about the articles they have created. On July 17, Susanna Nahapetyan, a member of the Hatsik WikiClub, has taught her fellow clubmates how to work with the Canva app. Besides, Club members have also started working with Google Docs. The WikiClub members, have tried to work together on Google Docs and translate one of the articles. According to the WikiClub Coordinator, it was a very effective and interesting experience as it fosters teamwork and enables effective online discussions.
On July 29, Stepanakert WikiClub hosted a Russian-American photojournalist Olga Ingurazova who is a correspondent for a number of world-renowned magazines and news outlets, such as The Washington Post, National Geographic. For the WikiClub members it was especially interesting to hear about the accomplishments of the famous photojournalist. Olga gave a master class on photojournalism, and the WikiClub members spoke about free and non-free images. Olga has promised to upload some of her photos to Wikimedia Commons under free license.
Wiki in Biler IT ForumEdit
On July 16-21, the Biler IT Forum was organized within the frames of Selet gathering in the camping area near Bilyarsk, Tatarstan. This year's forum agenda also included Wiki related speeches. David Sargsyan and Susanna Mkrtchyan were invited to participate in the Forum as speakers. Davit Sargsyan has a talk in front of around 200 participants representing the WikiCamps organized by Wikimedia Armenia and the editing process at the Camps. Davit has also helped other Wiki speakers conduct their presentation and workshops. Susanna Mkrtchyan presented the Education programs of Wikimedia Armenia, in particular the WikiClubs, the WikiClassroom, and answered the participants' questions.
Strategy Salon with Farsi and Armenian WikicommunitiesEdit
On July 30-31 Wikimedia Armenia hosted and co-organized the Strategy Salon for Iranian Wikimedians and Farsi Community. Strategy Salons are an opportunity for recognized Wikimedia affiliates to host in-person gatherings to discuss movement strategy. The goal of this event was to allow Iranian Wikimedians to have deeper conversations about one or two strategy themes that are of interest to them. At the Strategy Salon, a discussion with the Armenian Community was also organized, where the Core Team presented the overview of Strategy Process.
Strategy Salon in Armenia is a Wikimedia 2030 event brought together five Farsi community members as well as provided a platform for Armenian Wikimedians to discuss the structural reform of the Wikimedia movement. As the Farsi community is one of the biggest language communities not heavily involved in the global movement strategy conversations for various reasons, a special in-person meeting format was used to facilitate bringing these voices to the overall conversations.
During the event:
- Participants engaged with movement strategy and provided local or regional perspective and context in relation to the structural reform ideas and ongoing thematic area conversations.
- The Core Team shared relevant information and experiences from the ongoing, concluded or planned community conversations they facilitate. This serves as framing for content conversations at the event and furthermore support continued engagement in the region after the event.
- The Core Team documented the discussions and took them back to relevant communication channels and streams to ensure that the perspectives from the Farsi and Armenian communities are well integrated to overall discussions.
Wikimedia Armenia hosted the event and took care of organizing event’s logistics, including accommodation, domestic transportation, and meals.
This month Wikimedia Armenia has submitted 3 articles in the Educational Newsletter of Wikimedia Foundation. The article “Finalizing the Collaboration with Armenian Education Foundation” summarizes the fruitful collaboration of WMAM and AEF. “Stepanakert WikiClub: Meeting with the Speaker of the Artsakh Parliament - Ashot Ghoulian” article tells about the WikiClub members meeting with Ashot Ghoulian and the third article “Collaboration with American University of Armenia” is about another fruitful collaboration of WMAM this time with the American University of Armenia.
Every Saturday Wikimedia Armenia organizes open workshops-edit-a-thons at the WMAM office where new editors are taught how to edit different wiki projects. Anyone interested in wiki projects, Wikipedia, wiki editing and needed assistance, as well as wiki editors, who want to edit in pleasant atmosphere participate in these workshops-edit-a-thons.