Wiki Ed engages with Wikipedians at WikiConference North America

Wiki Ed staffers gathered with Wikipedia editors, Wiki Ed program participants, librarians, and others earlier in October at WikiConference North America in San Diego, California. This three-day event was an opportunity for Wiki Ed to meet face-to-face with important collaborators in expanding free knowledge on the English Wikipedia.

Wiki Ed’s staff led a number of sessions:

  • Educational Partnerships Manager Jami Mathewson presented to a large audience on how Wiki Ed’s Classroom Program is tackling the gender content gap, highlighting our partnership with the National Women’s Studies Association.
  • Data Science Intern Kevin Schiroo presented on his research project to measure what percentage of content student editors in our program add to Wikipedia (spoiler alert: our students add 10% of all the early-stage academic content added to the English Wikipedia during the busiest part of the term!).
  • Jami and I presented on Wiki Ed’s Year of Science, what we’ve accomplished so far and what we’ve learned along the way.
  • Jami and Community Engagement Manager Ryan McGrady had a roundtable discussion of the Visiting Scholars program, and how we can attract more Wikipedia editors to apply for the open positions.
  • I led a session aimed at program leaders explaining the 5.5 biggest mistakes I’ve made when thinking about program impact, and what I’ve learned from them.
  • Product Manager Sage Ross joined the Wikimedia Foundation’s Amanda Bittaker to present on the Program and Events Dashboard. This is a global version of Wiki Ed’s Dashboard for course management for Wikimedia program leaders to use to track their work’s impact.

Many of our program participants led sessions, as well. They showcased how students improved Wikipedia, and talked about the learning experiences Wikipedia assignments bring to their students. Many of these sessions were submitted through the new peer reviewed academic track at WikiConference North America, which served as a kickoff event for the new Wiki Studies journal founded by Wiki Ed board member Dr. Robert Cummings.

The role of libraries served as a focal point of discussion from a number of sessions, including Online Computer Library Center senior program officer Merrilee Proffitt’s keynote address. Merrilee called on librarians to partner with the education work Wiki Ed and other organizations are doing. I found the conversations around this topic to be particularly fruitful as Wiki Ed considers future programmatic directions and partnership opportunities.

Wiki Ed extends a big thank you to the conference organizers for another great opportunity to network face-to-face with each other. We look forward to attending WikiCon again next year!


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