- We launched our new website. We will continue to build out various areas, but now there is a central place for information about the Wiki Education Foundation, our participants, and our activities. We have an active blog that you can subscribe to by email or RSS at http://www.wikiedfoundation.org/blog.
- We announced the hiring of three new staff members, Sage Ross, Jessica Craft, and Sara Crouse. Sage fills our open Product Manager, Digital Services role; Jessica fills the Executive Assistant to the ED role; and Sara fills the Senior Director of Fundraising and Partnerships role. See more about this in the Office of the ED section.
- All three staff members on board in May attended WikiConference USA in New York City May 30–June 1 and presented a total of four sessions. See more about our presentations at these conferences in the WikiConference USA section.
- Classroom Program highlights:
- Student articles:
- Ryan McGrady’s communications course at North Carolina State University added media to Wikimedia Commons in addition to their articles. See the gallery here.
- See the updated trophy case for examples of great student work!
Current status of the Classroom Program
Current status of the Classroom Program (spring term 2014) in numbers:
- 65 courses (42 or 65% are led by returning instructors)
- 1,770 students enrolled
- Status: By May 31, most classes had finished their Wikipedia assignments for the spring 2014 term. Student editors contributed 10.2 million bytes to the article namespace on English Wikipedia this term, and none of the classes supported by Wiki Ed had incidents come up on any of the education noticeboards.
Even though we had more students enrolled this term, they contributed a similar amount of content as the amount of students in previous terms. This is unsurprising, since some assignments are optional, meaning not all students end up editing. However, the MediaWiki extension makes it much easier to track all student usernames, so we can evaluate their contributions more easily.
The classes this term added great content, often in subject areas that are otherwise underrepresented on Wikipedia. And the fact that we had no incidents with our student editors speaks to the better preparation and support we’ve provided students all term. We will look into how to expand the support structure even more for next term.
Wikipedia Ambassador program
For three weeks in May, Jami hosted virtual meetings with Wikipedia Ambassadors to discuss the direction of the program, support needs in the classroom, and the on-boarding process for new volunteers. In June, she will create a proposal for a restructure of the Ambassadors and propose it on-wiki for feedback. The goal is to have the restructure implemented by the fall 2014 term.
University of Puget Sound campus visit
LiAnna Davis was invited to the University of Puget Sound, her undergraduate alma mater, on May 19–20, for a campus visit sponsored by the Collins Memorial Library on campus. LiAnna gave a well-received presentation about Wikipedia, the Wikipedia Education Program, and the Wiki Education Foundation to area university librarians as well as doing a hands-on editing workshop with library staff, including their summer Wikipedian-in-Residence. For more information about LiAnna’s visit, please see her blog post about the trip.
Meetings with academic associations
In May, LiAnna and Jami met with all three academic associations running Wikipedia initiatives that have worked with us in the past, including the Association for Psychological Sciences (APS), the American Sociological Association (ASA), and the National Communication Association (NCA). Frank was able to participate in the APS meeting as well. In all three cases, we discussed what the Wiki Education Foundation could do to support the Wikipedia initiatives these organizations are running and provided feedback on the impact the students have had so far.
LiAnna, Jami, and Frank all attended WikiConference USA, the first all-U.S. gathering of Wikipedia editors, many of whom are actively involved in programmatic activity. The Wiki Education Foundation staff presented four sessions: “Ask the Wiki Education Foundation,” “The 7 Biggest Mistakes the Wikipedia Education Program’s Made – and What We’ve Learned From Them,” “How Student Editors Impact Wikipedia,” and “Wikipedia in the Era of the MOOC.” We also sponsored a dinner for program participants. More information on our experiences at WikiConference USA can be found in our blog post summarizing the conference.
- Expenses for the month is $44,175 versus plan of $78,938 primarily due to delays in moving into an office space and equipment purchases.
- Year-to-date expenses is $132,104 versus plan of $184,499, primarily due to lower expenses in operations and governance, slightly offset by higher spendings in programs.
- Cash position is $108,108 as of May 31, 2014.
- In May, John Willinsky joined the Wiki Education Foundation board. The Khosla Family Professor at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, Dr. Willinsky researches ways to encourage scholarly research to be more accessible as a public resource. He directs the Public Knowledge Project, a nonprofit organization headquartered at Simon Fraser University Library that encourages open access to research by developing open source publishing platforms for peer-reviewed journals and scholarly books. In a press release issued on May 8, Dr. Diana Strassmann, chair of the board, shared her excitement about Willinsky joining our organization: “John’s landmark work in open access complements the mission of the Wiki Education Foundation. We are excited to add his voice and experience promoting free access to scholarly research to the board of the Wiki Education Foundation.”
Office of the ED
- Current priorities:
- Office search (continued)
- Preparing for the onboarding of new staff members
- Adjusting operations to the needs of a growing organization
- In May, we announced the hiring of three new staff members. Sara Crouse will join our organization as Senior Director of Fundraising and Partnerships, Jessica Craft as Executive Assistant to the ED, and Sage Ross as Product Manager, Digital Services. Sara will also support the ED in her additional role as Deputy Director. We’re happy that the majority of our new staff members already come with a deep understanding of the Wikimedia and Wikipedia ecosystem. With these additions we’re fully on track with the Wiki Education Foundation’s hiring plan.
- With the addition of a 401(k) retirement plan we completed the setup of the Wiki Education’s benefits system. The 401(k) plan is being offered by Transamerica through our existing contract with TriNet, a cloud-based professional employer organization that provides HR services to our organization.
- On May 6, Frank presented on Wikipedia and the Education Program at Diablo Valley College (DVC) in Pleasant Hill. DVC had invited Frank after one of their instructors, Anne Kingsley, had successfully guided her class in editing articles about the Harlem Renaissance on Wikipedia. Following Frank’s presentation, Anne provided insight into how she designed the assignment. And at the end of the event, Even Smith, one of Anne’s students shared his excitement about the assignment with the audience: “I felt like it put me into a bigger community outside of the classroom and that was sort of a big thing.”
- Regina Ortanez, The Inquirer: DVC instructors learn benefits of using Wikipedia in the classroom (May 9)
- Press release: John Willinsky joins Wiki Education Foundation board (May 8)
- In June, Jami and LiAnna are helping to lead the Wikimania Fringe session that will help plan the Future of Education Pre-conference session at Wikimania 2014 in London, England.