We live in a time of ‘knowledge revolution.’ The instant availability of information on digital devices has deeply impacted the way humans learn about the world around them. With facts and truth under attack, Wiki Education’s work in providing the public with trustworthy and accurate information through Wikipedia and Wikidata is crucial for an informed citizenry.
Wiki Education is currently the only organization worldwide that is able to improve the public’s understanding of key issues in a targeted way at scale. And if you’re reading this blog, it’s likely you’re an essential part of that mission. Thank you for joining us in playing an active part in the knowledge revolution. We’re very happy about the enormous impact our organization has had these past two pandemic years despite the challenging conditions under which we’ve been operating. Our continued success has been made possible by our generous funders, the excellent work of our board, Wiki Education’s healthy relationship with the community of Wikimedia volunteers, the tremendous dedication of our staff, and the thousands of students, instructors, and subject-matter experts enrolled in our programs.
We’re excited about the time ahead of us, as outlined in our new Annual Plan. We’ll continue to foster a greater diversity of knowledge and editors on Wikipedia & Wikidata; scale the impact of our programs; and invent tech solutions that support these missions. Here are our areas of focus for the upcoming fiscal year:
Not only do our programs make a significant difference in students having a deeper learning experience and diversifying Wikipedia’s editor base in the United States and Canada, our program participants will continue to add high-quality content about Knowledge Equity-related topics to Wikipedia. But we want to do more: That’s where the Equity Outreach Coordinator role comes in. We’re thrilled to welcome Andrés Vera into this position, which oversees the targeted outreach for courses in equity content areas and the inclusion of diverse institutions in the Wikipedia Student Program, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and institutions with large minority enrollments. Equity is an important strategic priority for the entire organization, and it’s integrated into everything everyone on staff does on a daily basis. By creating the new role of Equity Outreach Coordinator, we’re making a deliberate investment aimed at taking our Equity work to the next level.
Beginning with the “Wikipedia Year of Science” initiative in 2016, we have strengthened Wikipedia’s critical role as a vehicle for science communication. Students in our Wikipedia Student Program translate their knowledge in a way that is understandable for an average reader. Their hard work has greatly enhanced the depth and breadth of freely accessible information about scientific topics on the web. And since launching our Scholars & Scientists Program in 2018, we now also empower subject-matter experts to share their specialist knowledge with others through Wikipedia or Wikidata.
We continue to empower thousands of Wikimedia organizers in different countries around the globe who run their own Wikipedia or Wikidata-related programs. In order to even better serve these volunteers, we regularly improve the stability and scalability of our Programs & Events Dashboard. Last year we added new, much-desired features like the ability to track and visualize the improvements people make to Wikidata. This year, our technology department plans to create a tool that will make the enormous impact of our programmatic work even more visible and easy to grasp. We’re kicking off a project to visualize the impact that Wiki Education program participants have made on specific topic areas on Wikipedia. Our participants, funders, community members, and staff are eager to understand our big-picture impact of our work together.
Thank you for joining us and for following along. Onward!
To read our Annual Plan in depth, please visit wikiedu.org/annual-plan.