It would be interesting to see whether there's something we can learn
about Wikiversity and Wikibooks functioning and promotion, and about OER
promotion by Wikimedia chapters in general.
*This is a cross mail to educational-l and WMCZ board.*
on December 12, 2011 seven Czech Wikipedians (mostly scollars and
researchers) met in a tearoom in Prague, Czech Republic to disscuss issues
relating cooperation between Wikipedia and an educational institutions. At
first some of the projects were presented and participants had a
possibility to ask details about these projects. Then broad discussion on
different topics continued.
At the time, there is one project running by the cooperation between
Wikipedians and teacher and one project which is runnig just by teacher
iniciative. Other ambassador x educational institution projects are in the
different stage of preparation (mostly attracting teacher and training).
There is not just interest from the side of Wikipedians to start such
cooperation, but also teachers directly come to use Wikipedia in the
classroom by the means of edditing it.
Seemingly the most successful project, running at this time on cs.wp, from
which we may learn is the cooperation between user:Chmee2 and a teacher
of ecology from the Institute for Environmental Studies from Faculty of
Science of the Charles University. Chmee2 was contacted at Wikikonference
2010 after presenting a project aiming to develop articles about protected
areas (=ecology) by a Ph.D. student, who introduce him to the teacher. Half
a year later around 30 students were instructed how to edit Wikipedia. If
they create NPOV, good article with references and images, they will recive
a credit. User Chmee2 periodically reads students work, repair it and offer
them a feedback. Thus the teacher doesn't have extra work with that. To the
end of the semester students present chosen protected area (e.g. via MS
PowerPoint) in class. Teacher and Chmee2 give them a feedback and together
with the teacher and other students they give them questions to push them
to think about the topic. Thus it gives students 2 values: a) they study
and understand the topic, b) they got variegation in education and good
feeling that their work will be useful. Chmee2 says: "The ambassador must
have a time for such project. While in U.S. people are proud of having an
editing experience with Wikipedia and they can have it in CV, in the Czech
Republic that is nothing special and there is a luck of motivation. Thus
ambassadors are old Wikipedians themselves."
So it seems, that this might be one of the models which may work in the
environment of the Czech Republic, while to see if other ambassador like
programs will work we have to wait some time.
Thus we spent quite a lot off time in discussing the motivation factor for
students, teacher and/or ambassadors. It seems in it there would be a need
of some credit system supporting ambassadors and/or teacher to become a
valuable part of such cooperation. But this encounter legal issue of
schools – you have to negotiate it with school functionaries. User:Hawkzn
things it might be possible, while User:JirkaDI sees it like structural
Other "problems" comes when newbies coming to the Czech Wikipedia. There is
a luck of mentors for them and they have to face both technical
(wikisyntax, templates, standards) and social problems (unpleasant users,
lack of social interaction, just templates on their discussion page). Thus
we have agreed to focus on setting up some features from en.wp such gadget
Cite or Wikilove. At this time User:Vojtech.dostal comes up with the
information that Wikimedia Foundation's (WMF) developers is close to
WYSIWYG editor for Wikipedia, but user Chmee2 is afraid that most of the
good tools from WMF might be reject by the local community.
The group is not just aware how to motivate more people to get into the
cooperation and how to create friendlier environment for newcomers, but
also comes up with questions how to communicate an offer to a teacher to
start participate and how to motivate her/him to start up with the project.
Thus participants will share their experience via Wikipedia on WikiProject
Finally could be assumed that this first meeting and hopefully not last,
come up with a lot of answers and positive mood to continue with such work
and overstep problems which will come up. There is a common will to
continue in such work. Participants understand they should be slow in
getting more work and work together, but as every participant has some
amount of internal pride, they will probably work separately developing and
testing new models. Some of them call to go to younger leaners (high
school, elementary), others disagree and call to join seniors (via lifelong
If you understand Czech you can joint us via Ambassadors's page and see
there also our projects and their state.
I've just discovered this YouTube for Schools
<http://www.youtube.com/schools> and saw a easy way to navigate on
educational videos <http://www.youtube.com/education> on this popular
video site. I was wondering if wouldn't be good to have a channel just
for the ambassadors program, such as the Stanford channel
<http://www.youtube.com/stanford>, TED <http://www.youtube.com/ted> or
even WMF <http://www.youtube.com/wikimediafoundation>? It can be a
useful too to penetrate on schools.
I've started making some videos  with professor Juliana Bastos and
I believe it's very appealing to other professors to see such videos -
when I posted them on my facebook, some professors of my network have
already become interested.
I believe videos with interviews of ambassadors, mainly the most
motivated, would also be good to attract other ambassadors.
Do we already have a central place where I can find videos of
professors in other countries involved with the ambassadors program?
 In Portuguese
Juliana Bastos sobre embaixadores da Wikipédia (sorry for the wind)
Embaixadores da Wikipédia no debate sobre Recursos Educacionais Abertos
I'd like to point out a discussion I've just started on Wikiversity
asking if they are using this project as part of the Wikipedia
and ask you if you know of any other Wikimedia Foundation project,
beyond Wikipedia, involved in the Ambassadors program. If some case
you know to tell us is not in English or some Romanic language, I'd
like to read your experience about it.
Also, a short comment bellow about a point of Juan's nice description
(thanks!) about Czech Republic situation of its educational sector.
2011/12/19 Juan de Vojníkov <juandevojnikov(a)gmail.com>:
> Other "problems" comes when newbies coming to the Czech Wikipedia. There is
> a luck of mentors for them and they have to face both technical (wikisyntax,
> templates, standards) and social problems (unpleasant users, lack of social
> interaction, just templates on their discussion page). Thus we have agreed
> to focus on setting up some features from en.wp such gadget Cite or
> Wikilove. At this time User:Vojtech.dostal comes up with the information
> that Wikimedia Foundation's (WMF) developers is close to WYSIWYG editor for
> Wikipedia, but user Chmee2 is afraid that most of the good tools from WMF
> might be reject by the local community.
What about using Wikiversity in Czech <http://cs.wikiversity.org/> for
these social problems you mention? I've seen similar comments on
Wikiversity to be more hospitable than Wikipedia (see, for instance,
the last note in blue here <http://diigo.com/0lzhd>), from volunteers
of both English and Portuguese languages projects.