Wikipedia:WikiProject WikiAfrica Schools

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WikiProject WikiAfrica Schools

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A simple introduction to the WikiAfrica Schools project.

The WikiAfrica Schools Project is a WikiAfrica project launched in 2017.

WikiAfrica Schools helps teachers to introduce online knowledge systems to their students and teach them how they work. The programme helps students to acquire key ICT skills and teaches critical thought through the emphasis on referencing, citations and writing for neutrality. Additionally, the students benefit by being part of a global movement and learn that their knowledge is both valued and valuable.

An exhaustive study shows that including Wikipedia-based assignments in the teaching programme provides students with valuable digital and information literacy knowledge, critical research, writing for a public audience, teamwork, and technology skills. The report found that students are more motivated by these assignments as they were proud of their work, spent more time, and saw the usefulness of the result beyond a learning task.

Using the existing curriculum as a base, the WikiAfrica Schools programme provides educators and students with an opportunity to use the WikiFundi offline editing environment to contribute to Wikipedia and thus develop and strengthen their curriculum-aligned teaching. WikiFundi was developed by the principals of Wiki In Africa to counter the challenges education organisations face with regards to data costs, consistent internet access and power outages.

In its current proof-of-concept phase in South Africa, the project is training and supporting the African School of Excellence (ASE) and Global Teacher Institute’s Future Leaders as they integrate the creation of Wikipedia articles into their teaching plans. During roll-out, each iteration of the project will be developed collaboratively with individual schools to ensure its effectiveness.

The programme provides in-depth training for teachers. The WikiFundi devices are donated to each participating organisation. On each device is a host of offline education resources, including Wikipedia, Wiktionary, WikiSource and Wikiquote, in addition to the WikiFundi environment that mimics the processes required to contribute to Wikipedia offline. These knowledge resources are especially critical to schools that don’t have libraries or access to them. Partnering institutions receive ongoing support – both remotely and on-Wiki – for the first three months of the integration programme.

Mid-way through the proof-of-concept in South Africa, the WikiAfrica Schools programme has been enthusiastically received by the partners, teachers and students. The integration stage is taking place in Term 3 (August - September 2017), where the outcomes will start to flow. The project is deemed to be sustainable once the processes are fully integrated into the teaching plan.

WikiAfrica Schools is a project initiated by Wiki In Africa to support the next generation of the WikiAfrica movement. The 2017 proof of concept in South Africa has been collaboratively created with lettera27 in partnership with African School of Excellence and the Global Teachers’ Institute. WikiFundi was developed by the principals of Wiki In Africa, in collaboration with Wikimedia Switzerland and supported by the Orange Foundation. Al documentation for both projects is under CC-BY-SA 4.0.

Events will be held at various schools and with partners. So far, the actions can be divided into
a) training and engagement at African School for Excellence], and
b) presenting the project to the Wiki community and to education organisations.

4 visits have been conducted with the African School for Excellence (South Africa). Engagement with the school includes the following:

Discussion with Headmaster, Berkia Banda: 26 April 2017[edit]

  • Agreed on a letter of intent between the two organisations, and planned for the training during term 2. Then the programme was expected to begin in earnest in term 3.
  • Berkia was especially excited about the options for a) outside of conventional history, b) African writers, and other subjects, and c) practicing translation into Zulu and other local languages.
  • It was decided that the initial class to “test-drive” the project would be the Grade 10s, as they did not have huge exam stress looming at the end of the year, but were felt mature enough to work at this level. Both the teachers and the students were expected to feedback about what they wanted to work on.
  • Berkia does not feel that the project should be tied to the curriculum, and wants the engagement to be both student and teacher led.
  • He was given a demonstration of the WikiFundi and how it works.

Teacher introduction: 14 June 2017[edit]

  • Introduction of the project to 23 excited teachers (the whole faculty) during an afternoon feedback session. There were a few icebreakers. They worked on the WikiFundi and explored several elements on the platform - especially the offline Wikipedia and the other sister projects. There was a lot of enthusiasm and ideas from the teachers.

The agenda:

  • resources
  • using wikipedia; wikiquote; wikisource
  • discussion of the following:
  • subjects to be covered
  • any possible cross-overs re: curriculums
  • practical application, programme and resources
  • next steps - who to tell, how to get the students involved, etc.

The group was split into 4. They were asked: “Can you see this as being practical? In what ways ..? How can it be applied, and what crossovers are there? They supplied their ideas about how they thought that the project could be applied by the school: Suggested subjects of focus:

  • Literature
  • Science
  • Local history and people
  • Sports people
  • Change the ideas around plagiarism

Group 1

  • read books / information for research.
  • use wikinews as a template for a school magazine before being put up on their website
  • use it to grade scholars work (by teachers and students)
  • designing use for humanities subjects

Group 2

  • For tool to use in history and as a final place for their journal (personal term projects due the end of each term)
  • good journals could be transferred to Wikipedia
  • work on putting up information from the neighbouring areas, suburbs and peoples.

Group 3

  • can use by scholars journals - use it to publicize the exceptional ones, and get feedback
  • use it for Kids to to do their SLIs - what they want to start as a business. showcase their skills, art, music, business
  • use Wikipedia post their interviews in class

Group 4

  • WikiFundi - help with research skills,
  • ability to write a report and give appropriate feedback.
  • Access to internet at home.
  • research and write on the same tool.
  • Science, literature, history
  • isiZulu - do it in Grade 10 - work
  • Email addresses were provided and the feedback survey was sent to all those who were at the meeting.
  • WikiFundi stickers and some WIA swag (badges and stickers) were handed out at the meeting.

Teacher feedback survey: 19 June 2017[edit]

Of the 23 survey requests sent, only the 6 teachers involved in Grade 10 classes responded. This was mainly due to a feeling of responsibility and accountability as the school had decided to trial the project with the Grade 10 class - one teacher was from Grade 11 and another was part of the administration team.

Teacher training workshop: 26 June 2017 and afternoon of the 17th June 2017[edit]

Agenda and links: https://etherpad.wikimedia.org/p/WikiAfrica_Schools The teacher training was conducted with the grade 10 teachers.

Student workshop: 27 June 2017[edit]

A full day workshop was held with a selection of Grade 10 students. There are 75 Grade 10 students at ASE - split among 5 classes. It was decided that we would take three students from each class who would act as trainers. As you can see in the pictures, the kids were awesome!

The agenda and links are here: https://etherpad.wikimedia.org/p/WikiAfrica_Schools_Students

The morning session concentrated on working through the introduction to Wikipedia, to navigating WikiFundi, and introducing concepts that are associated with the Wikipedia World, including Creative Commons licencing.

The second half of the training was for the students to create the ASE article on the WikiFundi. All the kids registered on the box and decided what topics were important for the article. These topics were then divided into groups - the groups were created randomly. The kids went off and gathered the information - and then later spent time adding the text to the article on WikiFundi.

The African School for Excellence article has since been transferred to Wikipedia.

Kay Sibanda, a Grade 10 student took a whole load of photos with the school camera. Eugene Makulu arrived for the last 2 hours (there were transport problems for him from Soweto) and managed to take many amazing shots that captured the excitement of the children, how engaged and interested they were.

The project has the following key tasks:

  • A minimum of four committed schools or two educational organisations with the ability and resources to be able to commit to the project for a minimum of 1 teaching year. With the hope of it being integrated into the school or organisation’s yearly programme.
  • The time and energy needed to develop the right model to be used by each school or organisation based on that school or organisation’s focus, school culture, curriculum integration and staff competencies and resources,
  • Initial liaison with the school or organisation’s curriculum specialists to establish the mode, pace and model used to integrate the programme that has been developed in collaboration with each school or organisation,
  • The development of a curriculum-aligned rollout plan,
  • two mini-servers Raspberry Pi 3, with WikiFundi and other off-line teaching resources per partnering organisation (with a ceiling of 8 for the project).
  • Training modules created specific to the needs of teachers and students,
  • Commitment by the schools or organisations to a training week, and
  • On-going mentorship and support for the school by the project.

Phase 1[edit]

  • Consult with schools or organisations to define models and scale of intervention,
  • Collaborate on curriculum integration and rollout model,
  • Create models defined and shared with schools or organisations,
  • Research, collate and curate materials,
  • Provide training programme review and feedback,
  • Provide final curriculum aligned road map for review,
  • Create WikiFundi Userguide aimed at schools and educational organisations,
  • Release training materials: 1. for teachers, 2. for students,
  • Conduct training programme at the schools
  • Set up Wiki pages and on-wiki presence,
  • Create certificates, barnstar awards and prizes.

Phase 2[edit]

  • On-Wiki and real life support and follow up,
  • Creation of a dashboard with links to resources, case studies and guides,
  • Introduction into Wikipedia Education community via portal, mailing list, etc., and
  • Development of communications plan to share experiences with other schools, teachers networks and learning institutions.
WikiFundi logo.png

m:WikiFundi is an editing platform that provides an offline editable environment that provides a similar experience to editing Wikipedia online. WikiFundi allows for training and contribution when technology, access and electricity outages fail or are not available at all. It enables individuals, groups and communities to learn how to edit Wikipedia, and to work on articles collaboratively. Once completed and connected to the internet, these articles can be uploaded to Wikipedia.

WikiFundi also has host of different resources available to help both teachers, trainers and Wikipedia volunteers to help others.

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