Future of Education workshop develops plan for Wikimania

Last weekend, Program Manager Jami Mathewson and I traveled to London to facilitate the Future of Education Workshop, part of the Fringe events before Wikimania 2014. The four years we’ve spent working on the Wikipedia Education Program give us a unique ability to facilitate workshops like this, which was designed to develop the content of the Education Pre-Conference, taking place immediately before Wikimania on August 6–7.

Future of Education Workshop participants.

Wikimania is the annual conference for people interested in Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. Whether you’re a Wikipedia newbie or someone with thousands of edits to your name, you’re invited to attend. The location rotates each year; this year, Wikimania is scheduled for August 8–10 in London, at the Barbican Center. Education plays a big role at Wikimania this year; as one of the featured topics, it’s poised to be more prominent than in years past. The main conference schedule will have presentations about education programs globally, and there will also be a two-day education pre-conference, which we created during the Future of Education Workshop. About 20 people participated, with representation from England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Tunisia, Jordan, Austria, Australia, and the U.S. Images from the workshop are available on Wikimedia Commons.

We started the weekend with short lightning talks about the state of education globally, then created a vision of where we wanted to see Wikipedia and education in 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years. Out of this activity, we identified key action areas: getting recognition for the importance of Wikipedia in education, creating tools and resources, incorporating Wikipedia into education training and certification, and increasing the reach of the Wikipedia Education Program. From these areas, we asked the question: How can Wikimania help us achieve these goals?

action group
Jami Mathewson, far right, works with the action group who created the plan for developing the Ambassador training at the Education Pre-Conference at Wikimania.

From there, we developed action plans for several pre-conference sessions: in-person trainings for Wikipedia Ambassadors and educators, information sharing sessions (including lightning talks and a world café session), and resources development. Preliminary action plans for each of these areas are outlined on the Wikimania wiki; check back in the coming days and weeks as these plans come to fruition.

On behalf of the organizing committee for this weekend (Floor Koudijs, Jami Mathewson, Toni Sant, Fabian Tomsett, and me), I’d like to thank all of our participants this weekend. I look forward to seeing our plans become reality in the coming weeks, and I look forward to seeing many of you at Wikimania in August!

LiAnna Davis
Head of Communications and External Relations


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