Now that the Wikipedia India Education Program and Campus Ambassador Program
have been in full operation for just over one month I think it is timely to
provide an update to you, the Wikipedia Community.
In early June staff from the Wikimedia Foundation's San Francisco office, as
well as Hisham Mundol (Consultant, India National Programs) and two
Wikimedia Fellows conducted a two-day training session for the first batch
of Wikipedia Campus Ambassadors in India. Since conducting that session
we've been hard at work recruiting professors to participate in the program.
We held faculty workshops at 7 colleges during which we introduced Wikipedia
and this project to interested faculty members. For these sessions we
welcomed Dr. Bob Cummings, a professor of English at the University of
Mississippi, to talk about his experience using Wikipedia in the classroom.
These workshops provided excellent opportunities to talk honestly with the
professors about not only what benefits they could expect, but also what
challenges they would face. On the whole, faculty members
(and administrators) were extremely supportive and enthusiastic.
The final two weeks of June were extremely busy as we worked to finalize
commitments from professors. It was hard work, but it certainly paid off. We
now have twelve professors and about 500 students committed to using
Wikipedia in the classroom this semester. And we're still not done! We are
continuing recruitment efforts at several other colleges so it is likely
that these figures will increase in the coming weeks. For an up-to-date list
of the participating colleges and professors please see the Wikipedia India
Education Program project page (linked
Last week the first Wikipedia campus workshops outside of the United States
happened at the Symbiosis School of Economics (SSE) in Pune. Two campus
Wasim Mogal <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Wasimmogal2007>) conducted
introductory editing sessions for over 150 students. This was an important
moment. Until this point we had largely been interacting with professors and
administrators. And while their support is crucial, ultimately it will be
the students who will make this project successful. Based on what I saw last
week I am very confident that this project will indeed be a resounding
We continue to charge ahead. This coming week we will return to SSE to talk
to students specifically about the Wikipedia assignment the professor
designed for their class. Next week we will be conducting our first sessions
at the College of Engineering, Pune (COEP). Very soon we will be seeing the
first Wikipedia edits coming from these students. I know this is the moment
we've all been waiting for and I assure you that it is not far off.
Your continued support is critical to the success of the project. Please
feel free to contact me (pjtabit(a)gmail.com) with any questions you may have.
All the best,
Wikipedia Fellow, Wikipedia India Education Program