We all know Wikipedia as a free online encyclopaedia, but how exactly does it work? And how can you use it in schools to teach things like language skills, digital skills and research methods? From 27 to 30 June, teachers and education staff from Fryslân, Ireland and the Basque Country (Spain) were in Donostia for a partner meeting of the WikiWomen project. They learned everything about using Wikipedia there in high school.
Using Wikipedia in the classroom
Galder Gonzalez from Wikimedia Basque Country told everything about Wikipedia: how it was created, how it works and how you can use it in class. After that, anyone could start editing and improving Wikipedia pages themselves. In other countries, Wikipedia is increasingly used as a teaching method in schools. For example, to learn how to research sources, what are good and what are not good sources and how things like copyright work. In our increasingly digitized world full of 'fake news', this skill is becoming more and more relevant.
In addition to the Wikipedia trainings, the partners of the WikiWomen project also gathered for the next steps in this three-year project. Together with the participants of the Wikipedia trainings, in a creative conversation, the first concrete details for the final goal were put on paper: the development of teaching material for secondary schools in which Wikipedia is used to teach digital skills, social involvement and language skills in the minority language and in which biographies about women are central. Everyone complemented each other well with the different backgrounds and the first ideas of the teaching material caused more and more enthusiasm.
The next meeting is in March 2023, in Monaghan, Ireland. By that time, the first version of the teaching material has been tested in Frisian, Irish and Basque schools and a number of teachers and students are taking part in exchanges. This exchange consists of a kind of 'Wikithons', where the students from the different countries come into contact with each other and work together on their Wikipedia texts. After that, the materials will be further expanded and improved.
In the photo from left to right:
Top row: Anastasija Zareckyte (Learning Hub Friesland), Edurne Agirre Iturbe (Euskal Wikilarien Kultura Elkartea), Simon Tubb (Learning Hub Friesland), Mirjam Vellinga (Afûk), Eugene Eichelberger (Wikimedia Community Ireland), Stephan Berger and Lisa Boersma (Afûk ).
Middle row: Galder Gonzalez Larrañaga (Euskal Wikilarien Kultura Elkartea), Faela Mhic Dhomnaill (Coláiste Oiriall), Shannon Eichelberger (Wikimedia Community Ireland), Lorea Corcuera (Antigua Luberri BHI), Sean Ó Máirtín (Coláiste Oiriall) and Inge Heslinga (Friesian Academy) /Mercator).
Bottom row: Aiora Mujika (Euskal Wikilarien Kultura Elkartea), Anna Marije Bloem (Cedin), Xabier Alberdi (Antigua Luberri BHI), Róisín UíChuinn (Coláiste Oiriall) and Welmoed Sjoerdstra (Afûk).