Now that we’re in December looking back, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on the amazing work that our program participants have accomplished this year. The support of our community is vital in making their success possible. If you’re able to support a cause this Giving Tuesday, consider supporting free and universal access to information; improving students’ abilities to discern credible information; and knowledge equity. Consider donating to Wiki Education.
Our Student Program
Medical students fight the spread of misinformation.
Before Derek Smith edited the Wikipedia page about vaccination in Dr. Amin Azzam’s course through our Student Program, it didn’t have a section about safety. “The most significant concern expressed by the anti-vaccine community is regarding safety,” Derek wrote in a guest blog for us. “It’s a challenge for healthcare professionals to quell the concerns of those who are anti-vaccine because of the burden of having to disprove all the false claims while boiling down decades of research and medical innovation into something both consumable and enlightening for the public.” That’s where Wikipedia comes in. Read more…
Humanities students save local history from erasure.
Jason Todd’s students at Xavier University of Louisiana dramatically improved the Wikipedia article of their local town, helping save the area from erasure in cultural memory. “The students were intrigued by the possibility of using Wikipedia as a tool for ensuring knowledge equity,” Dr. Todd wrote on our blog. “We were going to use Wikipedia to change the way the world thinks about our neglected neighbors.” Read more…
STEM students learn about possible career paths while also closing Wikipedia’s gender gap.
Dr. Rebecca Barnes’ student at the University of Colorado wrote a new Wikipedia biography for paleoclimatologist Andrea Dutton. A few months later, when Dr. Dutton was announced as a MacArthur ‘Genius’ grant recipient, the public could read up on her already well-documented career. Read more…
Our Wikipedia & Wikidata training courses
Experts make public history representative of all.
Before the scholars we trained began working on the Wikipedia page about the US 19th Amendment, it left out that women of color didn’t get the right to vote when it passed. In our Wikipedia training course, scholars learned the mechanics necessary to fix that and they did! The page is now on its way to becoming categorized as one of the highest-quality entries on English Wikipedia. Read more…
Scientists add up-to-date research to highly-consulted medical pages.
One OB/GYN in our Wikipedia training course with the Society of Family Planning fixed a Wikipedia article about a medical procedure she performs on a weekly basis, providing more accurate information to the 500 readers that visit the page every single day. Read more…
Scholars help represent trans identities on Wikipedia accurately.
Cassius Adair discovered that the Wikipedia biography about a prominent trans author didn’t feature an up-to-date photo. He went about changing that. Read more…
Faculty are equipped with the “Wikipedia literacy” to prepare students for changing digital landscapes.
When faculty understand the inner-workings of Wikipedia, they can teach their students how to adequately interact with the ubiquitous (and somewhat infamous) resource. That’s why groups like the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries and UMass Lowell set up courses with us to train their members and faculty in the behind-the-scenes.
Metadata experts help ensure that digital assistants give you the right information.
Wikidata (Wikipedia’s sister site for linked, structured data) houses information in a format that digital assistants like Siri and Alexa can understand. That means when you ask your smartphone a question, it likely pulls from Wikidata instead of Wikipedia. That’s one of the many reasons why involving more and more people in adding information to Wikidata is so important. Our training courses are one of the few resources that prepare newcomers to improve the site and ultimately improve the public’s access to information through digital assistants and AI.
If you’d like to help us continue this important work, consider donating online at wikiedu.org/donate. If you do, we encourage you to let your friends on social media know by posting “Join me in supporting @WikiEducation on #GivingTuesday. https://wikiedu.org/donate”