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Wikimedia UK: Supporting free and open knowledge

Women’s History Month – revisiting our work on the Wikipedia gender gap

March 2nd, 2015 by Stevie Benton

Mind the Wikipedia gender gap!

The Wikipedia gender gap is well documented and is one of the biggest challenges facing the global Wikimedia movement. To help support this campaign Wikimedia UK is running a retrospective review of its projects related to gender over the last few years. This will take place during March – Women’s History Month.

As a chapter Wikimedia UK recognises the importance of all types of diversity within our community and gender is an important aspect of this. With only around 8-14% of Wikipedia editors identifying as female there is much to be done to ensure that the incredible knowledge resources of the Wikimedia projects are reflective of the sum of all knowledge.

We are also seeking personal opinion pieces from people involved in some of those projects to explore how we can do better and why it is important we as a movement take on this challenge. If you would like to share your gender gap-related projects and stories, please do get in touch, either through the comments on by emailing stevie.benton-at-wikimedia.org.uk

In related news, the Wikimedia Foundation has recently announced that its Inspire Grants Programme will focus on supporting projects related to the Wikipedia gender gap until the end of April. This is an experiment that, if successful, may see a more theme-focused grants programme in future. You can find out more about the programme here.

New recommendations outline ways to strengthen Europeana’s future relationship with Wikimedia

February 23rd, 2015 by Stevie Benton

The Europeana logo

This post was written by Liam Wyatt and was originally published here. Re-used with kind permission.

In light of the Europeana 2020 strategic plan, what shape should Europeana’s relationship to Wikipedia and the wider Wikimedia community take in the years to come? To find an answer to this question, a Europeana Network Task Force was formed with a mix of people drawn from the Europeana network of GLAMs as well as active members of the Wikimedia community. It was chaired by Jesse de Vos from the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, now at Wikimedia Netherlands, and had a clear mission to reach final recommendations that benefited both Europeana and Wikimedia.

Together, the group has produced a report outlining ten ways in which Europeana and Wikimedia can build on their successful cooperation.

The first task was to create an overview of all past Wikimedia activities that Europeana has had involvement in. This list of past and current projects was built on-wiki (where else?) and shows very clearly the depth and breadth of the existing relationship.

The second half of the six-month review then focused on developing 10 strategic recommendations which would make this relationship even stronger over the next five years.

“Europeana has a long standing relationship with the Wiki community. With the development of the GLAMwiki Toolset, publishing to Wikimedia has become an intrinsic part of our publication policy and we would like to expand on this relationship for the benefit of our data partners. The recommendations in the report of the taskforce amplify that ambition, and we will investigate how we can act upon each of them.”
(Harry Verwayen, Europeana Foundation)

This can be achieved by considering a Wikimedia-component to both current and future projects. Europeana can also play an important role by enhancing relationships between GLAMs and the Wikimedia network, as well as sharing knowledge about practices in each of these communities.

An important aspect of the report was the recommendation that Europeana further integrate its systems and technology with Wikipedia and other Wikimedia platforms.

Wikidata is a key part of this, as a fast-growing project with enormous potential for linking collections, carrying out authority control, and synergy with Europeana’s systems.

The introduction of a dedicated Wikimedia coordinator and ‘product owner’ was another significant outcome. The creation of this position means that each of the ten recommendations can be fulfilled to their full potential. This new team member can also look at the opportunities to integrate Wikimedia in each of the major forthcoming Europeana projects, such as “1914-18”, “Sounds” and “Fashion”.

A final element to the report considers the possibilities for cooperation between Europeana and Wikimedia as they seek external funding for projects, with the possibility of Europeana becoming Wikimedia’s first movement-partner.

Each of the different strands to the report offers groundwork for exciting developments that can form future planning, and we would like to thank all members of the Task Force, as well as numerous others who gave their valuable insights during the creation of this report.

Found: more maps than we’d reckoned

February 19th, 2015 by Stevie Benton
Photo shows people with computers and maps at the event

One corner of the room – detail of photo by Machi Takahashi of ATR Creative who joined the event from Tokyo and was one of the speakers. CC BY-SA 2.0

This post was written by Kimberly Kowal of the British Library and was originally published here. Reused with kind permission. 

Without looking, you can’t know what’s there. That was our experience locating maps amongst the one-million British Library images released to the public domain. We had not guessed that 50,000 images of maps were lurking there. So how were they singled out?

Answer: with the help of our friends (the crowd!) using several methods.

Semi-Manually
A dedicated team of volunteers looked at individual images and applied the tag “map” on flickr. The work was organised using a synoptic index in Wikimedia Commons, providing a systematic method of looking at each volume and tracking shared progress. Over 29,000 map images were identified in this way.

Day-long event
The British Library hosted a one-day event, in concert with Wikimedia UK, to which volunteers were invited to kick-start the effort. In between working, the 30 participants enjoyed tours and talks from speakers representing online mapping efforts, including OpenStreet Map and Stroly. The day’s activities were captured in Gregory Marler’s engaging description, Lost in Piles of Maps, and a series of photographs from ATR Creative.

Ongoing crowd activity
The bulk of the work took place online over the next two months. With the wiki tools built by J.heald to guide and coordinate contributions, 51 volunteers approached the work, book by book, often focussing on geographic areas of interest. Together, they made short work of what was a huge task; 28% of the books were completed after the first 72 hours; 60% were reviewed in the first 20 days; after five weeks over 20k new maps were found in 93% of the source volumes.

Automated methods
But surely maps can be identified automatically? It’s true that well before the organised effort just described, one user produced algorithm-guided tags for this image set, which resulted in the addition of well over 15k map tags.

By the end of December 2014, every image in every book had been reviewed, and between the manual and automatic tagging, over 50k maps had been found. Since then, we have been working to clean up the data, including reviewing rogue tags, rotating images, splitting maps, and removing duplicates, to derive a final set of data. Next step: georeferencing.

The tagging project was presented 12 February 2015 at the EuropeanaTech 2015 conference as a short talk and poster, Case Study: Mapping the Maps.

This achievement represents the work of many. Special thanks go to Maurice Nicholson, BL Georeferencer participant; James Heald, Wikimedia volunteer; and Ben O’Steen of BL Labs.

Response to the House of Lords Select Committee on Digital Skills report

February 17th, 2015 by Stevie Benton
The image shows the grand Palace of Westminster at night

The Palace of Westminster, home to the Houses of Parliament

The House of Lords Select Committee on Digital Skills today published its report. Wikimedia UK submitted evidence to the consultation, which you can see here.

In the report the Committee makes a series of important recommendations which will influence the future digital skills of the UK. Perhaps chief among these is the recommendation to “define the internet as a utility service, available for all to access and use.” This would place access to the internet on an equal footing with access to water and energy and is an acknowledgement of just how fundamental the internet is to our modern way of life.

The report makes a number of recommendations and statements that are of particular interest to Wikimedia UK. The countries that ranked above the UK in a recent digital study had all “invested heavily in digital ‘foundations’, including up-skilling the population in technical expertise and digital capability…” These skills are extremely important and we believe that the use of Wikipedia and other open knowledge projects as both teaching and learning tools can offer great benefits to digital literacy.

The Wikimedia movement globally is making great strides towards the acceptance and appreciation of Wikipedia as a learning and teaching tool. Countries such as Israel, Serbia and Sweden are taking advantage of the capacity and scale of the free encyclopedia in creative ways within their education systems. The UK should likewise adopt the use of Wikipedia and other open knowledge projects.

One point from the report indicates a key, and timely, shift – effectively, the “3Rs” will become “3Rs and a D”. Explicitly stated in objective four of the report: “No child leaves the education system without basic numeracy, literacy and digital literacy.” This is a very welcome development. The use of Wikipedia in formal education settings from Key Stage 4 onwards could make a significant contribution to not only digital literacy skills but to core life skills such as critical thinking.

Many universities are reporting that undergraduates have not only digital skills gaps when they arrive at university, but gaps in critical thinking and key information literacy gaps too. We are currently exploring a number of ways in which using the Wikimedia projects can bridge these crucial skills gaps effectively. We welcome thoughts on this so please get in touch if you’d like to be involved.

The report calls for a single “Digital Agenda” within government following recent initiatives looking at developing greater digital democracy and the use of digital tools to replace civil courts (digital justice?). There needs to be a great deal of joined up thinking and shared ownership of work within government and the public sector for these initiatives to be introduced effectively and efficiently into one distinct package to support digital citizenship. The voluntary sector has a significant role to play in this.

If you would like to learn more about why Wikipedia belongs in education, please contact our education organiser, Dr Toni Sant – toni.sant{{@}}wikimedia.org.uk

Altmetrics and Wikipedia

February 13th, 2015 by Richard Nevell

Altmetric logo‘Impact’ is a perennial concern for organisations, including Wikimedia chapters. Showing that what you’re up to makes a difference: contributing to free knowledge.

It’s a familiar topic if you’re a researcher and can affect whether you get funding. It’s one thing to be able to say that your article has appeared in a journal with a circulation of 10,000 copies but that doesn’t necessarily show that it has influenced people. Ideally you want to see people talking about your research, sharing it with other people, and using it to inform their own work. This is often done by counting how many times an article is cited in other publications, but misses out the likes of social media and newspapers. Altmetric.com measures the digital impact of articles, and recently announced that they are now including Wikipedia in their statistics.

This is a significant step. Wikipedia is the 6th most visited website in the world and receives about 500 million unique visitors every month. Not only is it one of our first sources of information in the digital age, it is read on an incredible scale. If your work is being used there, it is reaching far more people than would otherwise be possible.

So why is the inclusion of Wikipedia something to celebrate?

In short it’s another step towards recognising the reach and importance of Wikipedia and might encourage academics to interact with it. Already groups are considering Wikipedia as part of their outreach work when applying for funding. The Atlas of Hillforts Project of Oxford University’s school of archaeology specifically mentioned Wikipedia in terms of data dissemination and received £950,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. One more incentive might help people get involved and it creates a positive feedback loop. The better quality information Wikipedia has, the more likely academics will be to improve it.

Importantly, this move might help encourage open access. Researchers and academics generally understand conflict of interest issues, so the key way of making it more likely that Wikipedia will cite your work is to make it available to as wide an audience as possible through open access.

Overall any initiative which might increase the quality of Wikipedia in the long run and improve its reputation is surely a good thing.

Women and Wikipedia Editathon, Swansea

February 4th, 2015 by Stevie Benton
Photo shows a group of young women and men sitting at computers editing Wikipedia

Editathon attendees using their new skills

This post was written by Prof. Deborah Youngs and Dr Sparky Booker of Swansea University

On Wednesday 28th January, 2015, Prof. Deborah Youngs and Dr Sparky Booker of Swansea University ran the first editathon in Wales organised to improve articles on women on Wikipedia. This day was focussed on reducing the gender gap on Wikipedia – both in terms of increasing content about medieval and early modern women, and getting more women involved as editors. Below, Deborah and Sparky report on the day.

***

The idea for the event came out of a conversation with Robin Owain on how to raise the profile of Welsh women on Wikipedia. We had just begun a four-year research project on the history of women’s access to justice in Britain and Ireland, 1100-1750 (funded by the AHRC). Robin had seen us interviewed about the project on BBC Wales Today, and thought our research would be a good fit for a women’s history editathon.

We were interested in improving content about any notable women in history, but we focused on Welsh and Irish women because they are the subjects of our own research. Preparing for the day was an eye-opener, and we realised that many key women had no articles at all. We were surprised that Jane Dee, wife of the infamous Elizabethan natural philosopher, and Senana ferch Caradog, wife of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn Fawr, did not have their own entries, even though they were notable in their own right, and their husbands had well-developed, extensive articles written about them. On the other hand, it was very heartening to see how many well-referenced and extensive articles there were for some medieval Irish and Welsh women. Some articles, like that of Gormflaith ingen Murchada, were the products of other editathons, and some were the work of dedicated solo editors.

As it was the first time we had arranged such an event, we decided to start with the staff & students connected to our own College of Arts & Humanities at Swansea. We were soon joined by four researchers from Trinity College, Dublin, who were keen to update material on Irish women. They focussed on Alice Kyteler and Petronella de Meath, her servant, who were the first women to be tried for witchcraft in medieval Ireland (Alice escaped her sentence of death by fire; Petronella sadly did not). We also had remote interest from independent researchers in the US. We hadn’t been aware of how much scope there was for remote participation in the editathon, but in future events, this is definitely something to pursue, as the technology ensures that anyone, anywhere in the world can be part of the group and could take part in training and discussions as well as the editing itself.

The day in Swansea began with tea and coffee, and the group assembled. It was a mix of undergraduates, postgraduates, academic researchers, and librarians, most of whom did not have a Wikipedia account and had never edited before. We started the training off by signing people up and Robin from Wikimedia UK guided them through the basics of editing on Wikipedia. 14 new user accounts were created on the day in Swansea, and two in Dublin. Jason Evans, the recently employed Wikipedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales, and Marc Haynes, former Wikipedian in Residence at Coleg Cymraeg, also helped people get comfortable with the formatting.

Photo shows a desk with two people sat with an open book. There is a piece of paper upon which is written

Wikipedia, yay!

It wasn’t just formatting to learn however; there were also key guidelines for writing on Wikipedia that were quite different to how most of us editors usually wrote, since we are trained in academic writing. The policy on avoiding plagiarism and using proper citations made us right at home, but the importance of a neutral point of view, making sure not to make an argument in our articles, and the ‘no original research’ guideline were both less natural for many of us. However, the exercise of writing in this style, and making sure that our articles were written very clearly and simply in as factual a manner as possible, was a very enjoyable and we succeeded (we think!) in keeping our opinions out of it. Of course, even as we got used to encyclopaedic writing style, we also became accustomed to the very liberating thing about the Wikipedia format – that we can change the articles so easily as new information comes to light and as other editors in the community comment on it.

After completing our hour or so of training, it was time to get down to the actual editing. Our participating editors worked in groups and singly, on a variety of different women from Wales and Ireland from c.1000-1600. Some editors worked on subjects of their own personal research and others on suggested women that we identified before the editathon as crying out for their own new page or serious edits to their existing article. We had a line open to the Dublin team and Robin was able to troubleshoot their formatting queries. Over the day, as a group, we created six new pages, four in English, one in Welsh, and one in Greek. They can be viewed here.

The Greek and Welsh pages were particularly interesting, since we had realised with Robin that there was a great deal to be done adding content from English language articles to those in other languages (and vice versa). For those with adequate language skills, there is a chance to make a huge contribution using information that is already on Wikipedia.

We also made significant changes to a further ten pages, again, here under ‘major edits’.

We stayed editing until 5pm (with a short break for lunch!) and had a really enjoyable day. Our new editors reported that they found the training and editing interesting and fun and that many were interested in participating in more editathons in the future to keep working to close that Gender Gap.

And now that we have a core of enthusiastic editors, we know that while this was the first editathon in Swansea University, it won’t be the last. On the day itself there were discussions about where to go next. The university’s Athena Swan team voiced their interest in holding a large, university-wide event later this year to increase the number of articles on women from all areas of life. For us: we will continue to edit. We hope that our four-year project will bring to light fascinating, powerful women who deserve to be better known, and who will help our understanding of women’s access to law in times past. And when we do, Wikipedia will be one of the first to know.

Reviewing a residency – National Library of Scotland

February 3rd, 2015 by Stevie Benton

 

The photo, in sepia tones, shows a large ship on the River Tay bringing parts of the Tay Bridge to the surface

A ship salvaging part of the Tay Bridge, 1879-80. This image was released by the NLS and is used on Wikipedia.

This post was written by Daria Cybulska, Programme Manager

It’s time to take a look back at the longest standing UK Wikimedian in Residence project.

When we were setting up a Wikimedian in Residence (WIR) in Scotland, in 2013, we planned it for a pilot lasting several months, designed to see if such a project is viable. Now, running at 18 months, it is Wikimedia UK’s longest-standing WIR, and a project that we can draw on for inspiring case studies!

To celebrate the first 12 months in the post, Ally Crockford, the resident, wrote a summary case study report. I encourage you to read the report, as it gives a brilliant introduction into the project, but, more importantly, critical views on what was achieved. You can also read about what the Library itself thought about the first year of the project – do have a look inside the report. You can download a version here.

The first ever residency in Scotland started in July 2013 and was extended thanks to strong delivery.  This project, geographically removed from other areas of chapter activity, had a tall order of building a community that can support its activities – and we would like to think that it contributed to the developments in the area!

Overview of successful initiatives

  • Media coverage – As an innovative project in Scotland, it attracted significant attention. It produced interest from the Open Knowledge Foundation Scotland, which then lead to more collaboration.
  • Content improvement – Work aiming to change NLS policy on releasing digitised content started with month 1 in July 2013. Thanks to persistence and continual presence, June 2014 saw the first pilot releases – and the internal advocacy work is continuing!
  • External partnerships – The project attracted much interest from external organisations, particularly libraries considering releasing content. The resident became a true spokesperson for open knowledge, and was e.g. invited to speak at CERN and Swiss National Library.
  • Training and advocacy – An ongoing programme of training events for various departments was being delivered (e.g. Digital Access team). Teaching was incorporated into the organisation, e.g. Wikipedia & open access training was given during all staff annual ‘Learning at Work’ event. Advocacy is still a key focus of the residency, and internal seminars as well as external events addressing access and licensing for digitised public domain content are being organised for 2015
  • Scottish community building – Much beyond the call of the project, the resident was involved in attracting volunteers to Wikimedia UK in Scotland via supporting regular meetups and organising joint events. It is worth noting, however, that the Library’s strategic purpose is described as ‘The National Library of Scotland exists to advance universal access to knowledge about Scotland and in Scotland.’ And so we discovered that the Library has the same interest as Wikimedia UK – building the community beyond that of the organisation itself.

While responses to the collaboration were generally positive throughout the Library, the results of the internal educational campaign regarding open knowledge took some time to manifest. Despite an initial perception amongst NLS managerial staff that a Wikimedia compatible open access policy for digital content would take several years to be realised, a proposed Metadata and Digital Content Licensing Policy was drafted, discussed, and approved over a period of approximately 8 months, coming into effect in April 2014. The policy itself also represents an incredible step on the Library’s part towards committing itself to open access – and a positive sign of the fact that often residency projects are catalysts for internal change!

In early June 2014, the first batches of content were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. Photos from the construction of the Forth Bridge and the Tay Bridge disaster were the first to be uploaded, followed by sketches of locations around Scotland from the early 19th century publication Scotia Depicta (1804) and theatrical posters and photographs from the Weir Collection. In total, approximately 1100 images were uploaded in the first two months. Since then, GLAMWiki metrics tools like BaGLAMa2 and GLAMorous have offered insight into the impact of the release. As of January 2015, over 10% of the images have been incorporated into Wikipedia articles, a higher percentage than many GLAM releases. The incorporation of these images has resulted in an average increase of more than 500,000 monthly views on Wikipedia articles featuring NLS content between July and December 2014, which represents 50% more views than in June 2014 prior to the release.

In the aftermath of the trial release, the National Library of Scotland was extremely excited and honoured to be named Wikimedia UK’s 2014 GLAM of the Year. The award generated buzz in the Library and throughout the Scottish GLAM sector, but there have been some less encouraging developments that followed the trial release as well. Despite its success, some concerns were raised within the Library regarding the wide-scale implementation of the new policy. This resistance held up the proposed release of several thousand more images, originally planned for the autumn and winter of 2014.

Having a longer residency at the NLS has afforded a rather unique opportunity in this respect; it is not uncommon for organisations to become hesitant after an initial release, but in this case the resident has remained in post to respond to any concerns or resistance. While the delay is frustrating, it has revealed a residency’s potential to act as a catalyst within an organisation. Ongoing advocacy for the release of public domain content has increasingly been not only supported, but taken up by members of staff within the Library. With change no longer being driven entirely by the resident alone, the NLS programme clearly demonstrates the long-term value of a Wikimedian in Residence: it has initiated a push to transform the internal culture which has been taken up and carried forward by staff themselves, an exciting and encouraging result!

Emergence of a Wikidata Community

February 2nd, 2015 by Stevie Benton

The image shows the Wikidata logo - a series of vertical stripes of varying thickness in red, green and blue

This post was written by Fabian Tompsett, Volunteer Support Organiser

“Emergence (…) refers to the arising of novel and coherent structures, patterns, and properties during the process of self-organization in complex systems.”
(Emergence as a Construct: History and Issues, Goldstein 1999)

Technological innovation can appear as the determining factor of how are habits are reshaped as new facilities come online, each with their new bundles of characteristics, which in turn release new capabilities and create new potentialities in the hands of their early adopters. However where the constraints of the commodity form – as in the free software movement – are in abeyance, the ability of how these early adopters form themselves into a community can play a more determining role.

The 21st century saw the emergence of Wikipedia as a beautiful example of this: Wikipedia could only take off thanks to a self-organising community which incorporated user-feedback not only in its own self-regulation, but also in the regulation of how the wiki software underlying the encyclopedia would be improved. By adopting the encyclopedic form, the appeal was always to everyman, i.e. any “person having ordinary skill in the art” of accessing the internet. The combination of the personal computer and the internet means that there is a continual flux in the capacities innovation unlocks in such a distributed environment.

Wikidata was launched in October 2012 as an application of the “Wiki Way” in a new environment: that of an on-line knowledge base. Wikidata was originally conceived as a way of providing a data spine through which related articles on various wikipedias could be linked. This was achieved in early 2013. However Wikidata soon moved forward from simply reconciling internal issues, to dealing with external sources. Wikidata is one of several projects to reconcile identifiers and authority files from different sources, but with the integration of data from Google’s Freebase, it is becoming an increasingly important resource outside of the Wikipedia context. Alongside the development of the database as such various tools are continually being developed to access the knowledge base and make increasingly complex searches.

As Wikipedia enters its fifteenth year, Wikidata sees Already this collaborative approach is having an impact, one which will go much further if the Wikidata for Research funding application is successful. has highlighted its potential to attract more Citizen-Scientists – Wikidata can change the way citizen scientists contribute. Lydia Pintscher, Product Manager for Wikidata, Wikimedia Deutschland, has discussed the social scaling needed if Wikidata is to realise its potential. Currently many organisations are looking to provide Wikidata with more and more data. But this leaves the question – how will the community develop to match these new opportunities?

Ways to get involved:
In the UK we have set up an e-mail list to supplement the other lists. The object of this list is to focus on activities in the UK and Ireland (Go here for the more general Wikidata list). We have also started have specific Wikidata Meetups, two in London so far. We are also discussing having an event in Manchester. We have also started a project page: Wikidata:WikiProject UK and Ireland.

Up coming activity:
Open Data Day (Saturday 21st Feb/Sunday 22nd Feb). Local open data activists have already gained the support of Hampshire County Council for a two day unconference in Winchester.

Contact fabian.tompsett{{@}}wikimedia.org.uk for more information.

Wikipedia on the agenda at BETT 2015

January 30th, 2015 by Stevie Benton
The photo shows a view of the conference platform from a distance

Jimmy Wales speaking at the conference

This post was written by Dr Toni Sant, Education Organiser

Wikipedia was highlighted through a keynote presentation by Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales and participation in a panel at BETT 2015. This is the annual UK trade show, formerly known as the British Educational Training and Technology show, which showcases the use of information technology in education. The Wikipedia entry about BETT is very informative and explains the general details of the event clearly and succinctly.

At BETT 2015, which tool place at the ExCeL Centre in London Dockland, between Wednesday 21 and Saturday 24 January, Wikipedia took centre stage on the first day. About 800 people attended a keynote address by Jimmy Wales entitled The New Paradigm of Open Access to Information. His presentation was mainly divided into two parts. The first was an overview of Wikipedia and its use in formal Education settings. The second was more focused on his passion for the use of Wikipedia Zero in the developing world.

Also on the first day at BETT 2015, Dr Toni Sant, Wikimedia UK’s Education Organiser, took part in a panel discussion on The Changing Landscape of Technology in Higher Education. The panel discussed the current impact of technology in HE, mainly looking at ways to balance technology and pedagogy, asking what’s next for the future of the higher education sector in the UK. The other panel participants were Paul Clark (Director of Policy at Universities UK), Peter Tinson (Executive Director, UCISA), and Simon Nelson (Chief Executive of FutureLearn). The panel was chaired by Lawrie Phipps, senior co-design manager in the Student Experience team at Jisc, who previously collaborated closely with Wikimedia UK on the first edition of the annual EduWiki conference.

The discussion revolved mainly around MOOCs, massive open online courses. Toni Sant proposed that the use of Wikipedia in education is a type of MOOC activity, that has preceded the rise of the term and would likely continue even after the use of this term has been replaced by something else. He also discussed the following seven questions as a way of introducing the ways to use Wikipedia as a teaching tool in the Higher Education classroom. The questions were fielded through Glisser, which audience members were encouraged to introduce.  There were approximately 60 people in the audience.

1. Do you use Wikipedia?
2. Have you ever edited Wikipedia?
3. Do you use any other Wikimedia project? (Such as Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, Wikispecies, Wikibooks, Wikiversity, etc.)
4. Are you directly involved in the use Wikipedia (or other wiki projects) in an Education setting?
5. Do you think that use of Wikipedia (and other wiki projects) in Education is a good thing?
6. Do you know how Wikipedia (and other wiki projects) are being used productively in formal Education settings?
7. Would you like to explore the appropriate use Wikipedia in Education where you work and/or study?

If your answer to the final question is yes, please contact us at education{{@}}wikimedia.org.uk so we can discuss how we can support you in exploring the use of Wikipedia as a teaching tool in the classroom.

Wikimedia UK interim CEO D’Arcy Myers was also present at BETT 2015, observing the proceedings and catching up with the latest developments in the world of educational technology.

The day we teamed up with Wikipedia

January 28th, 2015 by Stevie Benton

At the editathon

This guest post was written by Stephen McConnachie, Head of Data at the BFI and originally published here

A marathon of Wikipedia editing at the BFI Reuben Library has enriched the online encyclopedia’s records relating to black and Asian British filmmaking.

On 26 January, the BFI and Wikimedia UK held a Wikipedia Editathon in the BFI Reuben Library on London’s South Bank. The focus was British black and Asian films and filmmakers, with a list of key films, filmmakers and writers established in advance. This subject was inspired by the BFI’s new three ticks diversity guidelines for film funding, which are aimed at improving on-screen and off-screen diversity within the film sector, including BAME (Black, Asian, minority ethnic) diversity.

All afternoon the editors used the books, articles and digitised press cuttings in the BFI Reuben Library to create new Wikipedia pages as well as improve existing articles. They had support from three of the major figures in this area of British filmmaking, who very kindly gave their time to support the event: Stephen Bourne (author of a major book on this subject, Black in the British Frame), June Givanni (curator of the Pan African Cinema Archive), Imruh Bakari (filmmaker, writer and academic, co-founder of the Ceddo film and video workshop) and film and theatre writer Suman Bhuchar.

Among the newly created and published Wikipedia articles are one on Imruh Bakari himself (a unique opportunity for article writer and subject to discuss the references available in the Library’s collection), Udayan Prasad (director of My Son the Fanatic, 1997), Lionel Ngakane’s pioneering 1966 film Jemima + Johnny, John Akomfrah’s Handsworth Songs (1986) and Newton Aduaka’s Rage (2000). Other articles are being prepared for publication, including one on tap-dancing duo Scott & Whaley.

Some existing articles were improved during the event, with editors adding links to actors and filmmakers, correcting inaccuracies and generally adding substance. Improved articles include The Proud Valley (starring Paul Robeson, 1940), The Little Ones (1965), Bhaji on the Beach (1993) and John Akomfrah (director of Handsworth Songs and The Stuart Hall Project).

With a similar editathon planned in New York soon, it’s hoped that the momentum generated by the BFI event may continue in the area of black and Asian filmmaking, in particular in cases such as Isaac Julien’s Looking for Langston (1989) where it crosses over with the US context.

Links to new or improved Wikipedia pages

John Akomfrah
Imruh Bakari
Udayan Prasad
The Proud Valley (1940)
Jemima + Johnny (1966)
The Little Ones (1965)
Handsworth Songs (1986)
Bhaji on the Beach (1993)
Rage (2000)

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