Read An Oral History of Wikipedia, the Web’s Encyclopedia
My younger sister, she was in seventh grade, had written a little report about Pablo Neruda. So, I took her school report and turned it into the Wikipedia article on Pablo Neruda.

Britta Gustafson quoted in An Oral History of Wikipedia, the Web’s Encyclopedia  by Tom Roston

via: John Naughton Wednesday 20 January, 2021 – Memex 1.1

Really interesting article about the rise of Wikipedia.

Liked a tweet by Ewan McAndrew (Twitter)
#WikiLovesMonuments 2020, the world's largest photo competition,comes to an end for another year. Camera with flashFlag of ScotlandClapping hands sign Well done Scotland, you smashed it! Double last year's tally.

I always mean to join in on this, maybe next year…

image by Tflanagan (WMF) Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

Yesterday I went along to the EduWiki Conference 2014 conference in Edinburgh organised by Wikimedia UK. A really interesting day included presentations about how wikipedia is being used in education (mostly tertiary) and a great discussion of how support for using Wikipedia in schools could be developed.

Like, I guess, most primary teacher I used wikipedia a fair bit, and bless, aimed at learners of english provides articles using Simple English using the 1000 most common and basic words in English. A great resource for younger pupils or pupils who prefer simpler english. However I know I only scratch the surface of Wikipedia. Along with my colleague Ian Stuart I’ve talked to a few Wikimedians at various events recently and always learn something new.

From the school education perspective the talk by Martin Poulter, @mlpoulter, former Wikimedia Ambassador at Jisc, was really valuable, his premise was that for academics it was well worth looking under the bonnet of Wikipedia. This was not some terrifying code view of articles but just using some of the tools on Wikipedia pages.

Wikipedia pages are available in different languages listed at the bottom of the left sidebar. These could : give different perspectives, eg looking at the different language versions of the Gaza Strip page illustrates different points of view. These pages can also be used by pupils studying languages.

Each Wikipedia pages has a link to a Talk page, there you will find discussion of the article and get a measure of how much discussion and work has gone on behind the scenes. The article may be rated for quality & importance. There may be links to a project1 that helps organise the page.

Some pages Talk pages, example, may show that they are a Featured Article you can then click a link to show Article milestones which shows the progress of the article quality.

Back on the article pages you can find the contributors by clicking view History, then Revision History Statistics, you could also look at Page View Stats these have more statistics and graphs than anyone could want. I don’t think you would want to visit these pages every time you look at a Wikipedia article in class but they are useful to know about. With older pupils and tertiary level students it can demonstrate the huge audience you could gain by editing Wikipedia.

After looking at a page Martin took us the Wikipedia Main Page asking how many people had never seen it a surprising number of hands were raised. The Main page lists sister projects2 & other good stuff, seldom visited for example the Featured Content page.

Featured content represents the best that Wikipedia has to offer. These are the articles, pictures, and other contributions that showcase the polished result of the collaborative efforts that drive Wikipedia. All featured content undergoes a thorough review process to ensure that it meets the highest standards, and can serve as the best example of our end goals.

It would be well worth projecting the main Wikipedia page in class now and then for a look or looking at he main page of some of the sister projects, perhaps the word of the day or species of the week.

On twitter Martin posted a couple of other resources: Ten Ways Educators Can Use Wikipedia & the Education Brochures both of which look like they are worth exploring.

You can get some idea of how interesting the rest of the day and conference were from the #eduwiki tweets, I used Martian Hawsksey’s tools to create an archive and an exploratory view.

At the end of this month the EduWiki Conference 2014 (Wikimedia UK ) comes to Edinburgh. I posted a couple of weeks ago about the TeachMeet we are trying to organise in the evening TeachMeet EduWiki, but there is another opportunity for some CPD.

On Friday Afternoon (31st OCT) at 2pm there is a workshop: Wiki*edia Projects in Schools (for students under 18) the organisers have kindly offered teacher the chance to attend this session without signing up and paying for the conference.

The Conference is at Edinburgh First’s St Leonard Hall (University of Edinburgh). Teachers who show up at the reception will be directed to the appropriate workshop.

I know that some East Coast & other Local Authorities have timetables where pupils are off on Friday afternoon this might be an opportunity to find out more about Wikipedia and how it can be used in school.

Most of the conference, and wikipedia educational direction, has, up to now, been directed at HE. I think there is a lot we can gain in primary and secondary education from a deeper understanding of wikipedia. It would be great to see folk come along to either the afternoon or to the TeachMeet and start a dialog between school and wikipedia.

As a taster tomorrow evening (Wed 15/10/14) on Radio Edutalk 8:00pm Ally Crockford Wikimedian in Residence at the National Museum of Scotland.


The EduWiki Conference 2014 (Wikimedia UK ) conference in in Edinburgh this year. I’ve been along to a few wikimedia meetings recently and we are arranging a TeachMeet to run along side the conference.

The Conference and Wikimedia/Wikipedia’s educational focus is very much aimed at higher education. We hope that this might be a way to increase engagement between wikipedians and primary and secondary educators.

I’d hope that both Wikimedians and local teachers will sign up to share at the teachmeet. This would give wikipedians an insight into the activities and needs of classroom practitioners and give those practitioners ideas for using wikipedia in learning.

The venue will be in Edinburgh, probably around the Edinburgh University starting at 7pm.

Round Table, lesson design?

One idea I’ve though of would be to use the round table to flesh out learning experiences for using wikipedia. A mixed group of teachers and wikimendians could probably get quite a bit done in 20 minutes.

Sign up here TeachMeet / TeachMeetEduWiki.