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Wikipedia and Education: (in)compatible DNA?Edit



  • Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia available in different languages, and built with the contribution of a worldwide community of volunteers. But what pedagogical affordances does wikipedia offer to teachers? And how can teachers improve their practices and their students’s learning? In a word, do wikipedia and education have (in)compatible DNA?
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Wikipedia is not yet part of the classrooms

There is an undeniable contribution to the democratization of access to information in the Wikipedia. At the same time, if we consider the student population, it is one of the main sources of research, especially for school work. In this context, despite its success, Wikipedia is not yet part of the classrooms. Thus, it is assumed that the teacher should consider the urgency of meeting the increasing challenges of the technological society, and prepare pupils/students for these challenges.

Teacher training to include Wikipedia in the classrooms

It is therefore important to focus on the training of teachers, and to explore with them the potential of Wikipedia, a global project. That is why we developed a local Project aiming at meeting the goal of using Wikipedia in classroom tasks, namely through a pedagogical approach on articles from the Wikipedia.

“Wikipedia in Portuguese Basic Schools”

Our project, part of a Teacher Training course, named “Wikipedia in Portuguese Basic Schools”, took place in a school in the Lisbon district (Portugal) and involved two teachers and two classes (6th and 8th grade). It comprised the following themes: blended-learning methodology; wiki and wikipedia philosophy; wikipedia articles edition. We adopted the project methodology, and so our work was organized in four stages: Diagnosis; Planning; Application/implementation; Evaluation. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. Wikipedia, Education and Teacher Training can (and should) have compatible DNA

From the results, we highlight both the recognition by the teachers, with whom we worked, of the importance of the training and their final satisfaction, as well as the quality of the work they developed in the activities we suggested to them and the work they carried out with their pupils. We conclude, therefore, that the formative and pedagogical practices had a real impact on the classroom work. Thus, we hope that these practices can be maintained and extended to other teachers and pupils, namely in other Portuguese elementary schools.

Read more about this project at: Integrating Wikipedia in Portuguese Basic Education: the Example of a Teacher Training Course] ...

Teresa Cardoso, Wikimedia Portugal e Filomena Pestana, Wikimedia Portugal