Our education project went beyond our own immagination this year. We managed to keep up with our collaboration with Pontificia Universidad Católica de Ecuador, our biggest program yet, and also to talk in other universities and high schools about the use of Wikipedia. Through these talks and events, we managed to talk to 337 different people about Wikipedia and its role on education.
These are our talks about Wikipedia in education this year:
- Instituto Aloasi, an introductory talk about how Wikipedia works in education. We talked to a dozen teachers about the experiences in PUCE and how they can replicate this in their own classrooms. January 29.
- Segunda Editatona PUCE, our first editatona of the year was held in Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, in order to keep our collaboration going. 70+ students and teachers got the chance to edit Wikipedia for the first time, talking about notable women from Ecuador. April 11.
- Colegio Delta, a talk to 30 teachers in an only-women high school, where we taught them how to add information to Wikipedia, citation rules and Commons uploads. June 30.
- Universidad de Guayaquil, where we reached out to 20 teachers and discussed about Wikipedia and edition, and how it can improve classroom environment while contributing to the sum of all human knowledge. July 5.
- Escuela Superior Politécnica del Chimborazo, a meet up and talk about how Wikipedia can make education better with teachers and students from Facultad de Medicina. In this talk teachers got the chance to ask about what Wikipedia really is and break down some initial thoughts on it. July 26.
- MediaLab Quito, a talk held up in MediaLab open to all people. In this time, two of the 12 participants were teachers, who got really motivated to start their own educational projects with Wikipedia. September 14.
- Tercera Editatona PUCE, this time we had 120+ students and teacher editing Wikipedia together. This was one of our biggest challenges, but we managed to make a great impact on how students perceived what Wikipedia is. We had the opportunity to show students how to use books as information sources for articles. November 27.
You can read some of the press releases of our educational events in the next links, all in spanish:
After a while not knowing how to reach out to new potential users and partners, we had an idea that brought us best results. WikiCafé was first done in 2015, and we intended it to be a regular wikimedians meet-up in the cities we had a bunch of volunteers and editors working together; but three years later, we did a special round of wikicafés.
We learned through some of our events in the past that people isn't sure of going to an edit-a-thon to share their first experience on Wikipedia with some other strangers: They like it most when someone helps them understand Wikipedia first before they actually press the 'edit' button, and some of them like it most with a cup of coffee in their hands and talking to each other. That is what WikiCafé was so we already had the hint of what we wanted to do, and this time we opened our circle to bring in new comers and interested people to chat with actual wikipedians and share their views on Wikipedia and what can be done with it. Visitors were interested in learning how to edit Wikipedia after that first session, and others were able to express what they would be interested in doing for Wikipedia that wasn't related to adding content to the articles, such as photo walks. We did a first round of 8 wikicafés in different cities, in 5 of them we already had volunteers and long-time editors, and 3 of them only had 1 editor or even none.
To call people's attention to the event, we used a central notice banner for Ecuador, and used this landing page. People commented on our social media about WikiCafé and wanted to know more. As the first call was for 5 cities, some groups of people showed interest in other places where we didn't intend to have a WikiCafé at first, but they helped us organizing the meet-up in their locations. Then we added three more cities to our list and ended up holding 8 events.
The results from these were huge. Only in attendants, we reached out to 133 people interested in knowing more about Wikipedia:
- Guayaquil: 32 participants
- Machala: 12 participants
- Riobamba: 4 participants
- Cuenca: 11 participants
- Quito: 30 participants
- Portoviejo: 10 participants
- Loja: 4 participants
- Santo Domingo: 30 participants
Out of these events, we had other more as follow ups, such as talks in scholar institutions in Guayaquil and Riobamba, Wiki Takes events like in Machala, Wikipedia edition workshops like in Quito and Cuenca, and future workshops in Portoviejo, Loja and Santo Domingo.
We have deeper reports on each one of our events, organized monthly on these sections: