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Wikipedia in the Classroom: Changing the Way Teachers and Students Use Wikipedia

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Abstract

Very few educators have thus far used Wikipedia as a teaching tool in their classrooms, but this is beginning to change due to the Wikipedia Public Policy Initiative. The Wikimedia Foundation launched the Wikipedia Public Policy Initiative in fall 2010 in order to find new ways to incorporate Wikipedia into higher education environments. In the fall 2010 semester, 13 classes from 10 universities participated by developing various assignments that incorporated Wikipedia editing as a main component, with many more signing up for the second iteration in spring 2011.

In these classes, professors and trained ambassadors worked together to develop assignments that achieved the learning goals of the professor while contributing to the development of new content on the free encyclopedia. Though the first classes to receive ambassadors focus on developing mainly public policy–oriented pages, one of the program's end goals is to develop a model that can be expanded to other disciplines.

In this session, staff from the Wikimedia foundation and a Campus Ambassador will discuss the program in general, some examples of how Wikipedia is being used in the classroom, where the program is going, and how professionals in higher education technology can bring some of the advantages of this program to their institutions.

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