The Wikimedia UK Education Summit, in partnership with Middlesex University, aims to bring together educators and Wikimedians to share ideas and best practice in using the Wikimedia projects to support learners of all ages. Our keynote speakers, Melissa Highton (that’s me!) and Stefan Lutschinger (Associate Lecturer in Digital Publishing at Middlesex University) will open the day with presentations about the inspirational work with Wikimedia taking place at their institutions. This will be followed by a choice of workshops where attendees can develop practical skills in using and editing the Wikimedia projects, and gain new ideas and insight into how to incorporate open knowledge into their own teaching practice. Sign up to come along. It’ll be exciting, interesting and educative.
Back in the days of Web 2.0 we used to describe things as ‘perpetualy beta‘. For me this perfectly describes Wikipedia. It’ll never be finished: we must add to, and improve it, early and often. Users are co-developers and it’s developed under open source principles of collective intelligence.
A 17th Century map of Iceland became our most popular OER for football fans during Euro 2016. The image ‘Gerardi Mercatoris Atlas, Cosmographicae Meditationes de Fabrica Mundi et Fabricati Figura ‘ which belongs to our Centre for Research Collections was added to Wikimedia in February as part of our Wikimedian in Residence partnership project. It was then used to illustrate an article about Iceland on English and German Wikipedia. It has now been viewed more than 2 million times.
Iceland’s Euro2016 matches were on 14 June (1-1 with Portugal), 18 June (1-1 Hungary), 22 June (2-1 victory over Austria), 27 June (2-1 win over England), and 3 July (2-5 defeat to France). Around each of these events people all over the world were keen to learn about this surprising nation. Viewing numbers ( numbers of hits) show appreciable spikes for the matches against Portugal, England, and France.
Happy news: OER16 Open Culture Conference was awarded Wikimedia UK Partnership of the Year. The conference was co-chaired by Lorna and me. In a letter of thanks Lucy Crompton-Reid, Wikimedia UK Chief Executive and Michael Maggs, Wikimedia UK Chair wrote:
We are delighted to award Wikimedia UK’s Partnership of the Year to the University of Edinburgh, for the Open Educational Resources Conference in 2016. The strong presence of Wikimedia UK at OER16 was only made possible by your support as conference co-chairs. It gave a high level of visibility to the charity within a prestigious international conference, which will have an ongoing benefit for us as we develop our work within education. On a separate note, we are also delighted that the University of Edinburgh is hosting the first Wikimedian-in-Residence in the higher education sector in Scotland.
Lorna has also been appointed as a Wikimedia trustee.
March 8th is International Women’s Day. We are encouraged to make a #pledgeforparity.
Without wishing to sound parroty and go on about the same things all the time, the parity I’ll be championing is parity of coverage and parity of esteem in Wikipedia.
Modern Scottish Women is an exhibition of work by Scottish women artists and concentrates on painters and sculptors. It covers the period from 1885, when Fra Newbery became Director of Glasgow School of Art, until 1965, the year of Anne Redpath’s death. The exhibition is on now and will be there until my birthday in June.
In a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 15% of its contributors identify as female and less than 20% of the English language Wikipedia’s biographies are about women. As a result, content is skewed by the lack of female participation.
People are always telling me that the reason women don’t edit wikipedia is because they’ve got better things to do. This seems like a good thing to do. Lets make sure an international audience can find information about our cracking Scottish artists.
Our Wikimedian in Residence (WiR) partnership is a result of a long term engagement and also a credit to the quality of the UK Wikimedians and their ability to support, impress and influence senior managers, who in turn, shape institutional strategies and investment.
I have been repeatedly impressed by the quality of the Wikimedians and the generosity of their host organisations to help at events. It seems to me only fair that University of Edinburgh which has benefitted so much from our local WiRs should now host a WiR to continue a sustained involvement with the scheme and the Wikimedia UK community. Once Edinburgh has shown the way I hope the other Scottish universities will follow suit to ensure that there is always at least one WiR for the nation.
When I was Director of Academic IT at University of Oxford my teams attended the editathon organised by JISC (June 2012) to improve articles on the Great War . Oxford holds an elegant collection of crowd-sourced and expert-curated content in the Great War Archive and we were keen to ensure, in advance of the centenary, that our collection of open educational resources (OER) could support public engagement and school teaching on the topic. Martin Poulter was WiR at JISC at the time.
In 2013 we hosted an editathon at Oxford for Ada Lovelace Day. Martin provided training for the event and brought several other wikimedians to help. Liz McCarthy and Kate Lindsay worked with Martin to make the whole event a great success and I was entirely sold on the idea.
Oxford hosted another editathon for Ada Lovelace Day 2014, but by that time I had moved job to become Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services at University of Edinburgh. There had not yet been any wikipedia editathons at Edinburgh so I brought my new colleagues to the EduWiki conference to find out more. Ally Crockford spoke at the event and she highlighted the WiR scheme. I met with Gill Hamilton at National Library of Scotland (NLS) to learn about the job descriptions, support and work plans which would be successful for a WiR partnership.
Edinburgh University runs an annual Innovative Learning Week designed to enable staff and students to attend day long, or week long events outside of normal timetabling patterns. The first Edinburgh editathon ran during ILW 2015. Ally and Sara Thomas came to help. Ally was very bold and went for an event spanning the full 4 days.
We certainly couldn’t have done it without Ally and Sara but the striking thing for me was how quickly colleagues within the University took to the idea and began supporting each other in developing their skills and sharing knowledge amongst a multi-professional group. This inspired me to commission Allison Littlejohn and her team to do some academic research to look at the connections and networking amongst the participants and to explore whether editathons were a good investment in developing workplace digital skills.
This is the research I presented at Martin’s Wikipedia Science Conference which underpinned my business case for establishing a WiR at University of Edinburgh with focus on skills development as part of the University’s commitment to open knowledge.
This year University of Edinburgh is hosting an international conference on open educational resources : OER16. I am delighted to see so many papers accepted from wikimedia projects. We will also run an editathon alongside the event and hopefully convert even more OER practitioners to the joys of Wikipedia editing. Three of the keynote speakers at the event are from organisations with WiR: John Scally for NLS, Emma Smith for Oxford and me for Edinburgh. Each of these organisations are making big public commitments to open knowledge, sharing and public engagement. Partnership projects with Wikimedia UK is part of the way we do that.
WiR at University of Edinburgh
Ewan McAndrew has been appointed The University of Edinburgh’s Wikimedian-in-Residence.
His year-long residency will run from January 2016 to January 2017 and involves facilitating a sustainable relationship between the university and Wikimedia UK to the mutual benefit of both communities.
To do this, he will be an advocate of open knowledge and deliver training events and workshops which will further both the quantity and quality of open knowledge and the university’s commitment to digital literacy.
More practically, this will involve arranging and delivering skills-training sessions which will fit in with and, importantly enhance, the learning and teaching within the curriculum. He will also stage events outside the curriculum which will draw on the university’s, and Edinburgh’s, rich history and knowledge.
Wikipedia Edit-a-thons will be a large part of this; however, there are numerous ways staff and students can get involved and directly contribute their knowledge and expertise to develop Wikimedia UK’s diverse range of projects.
Ewan is based in the Learning, Teaching & Web Services Division within the Hugh Robson Link Building. You can keep up to date with the residency through Twitter, the WiR blog and through the Wikipedia Project page.
To contact Ewan McAndrew, to discuss collaborating together or just to find out more, email: Ewan.McAndrew@ed.ac.uk
“There are now some astonishingly interesting additions to Wikipedia which just simply weren’t there before….
Anne’s article on Norman Dott – the first holder of the Chair of Neurological Surgery at the University of Edinburgh.
Gavin’s one man ‘Citation Hunt’ crusade to plug those pesky ‘citation needed’ labels in articles.
Chris’s work on Robert Battey – an American physician who is known for pioneering a surgical procedure then called Battey’s Operation and now termed radical oophorectomy (or removal of a woman’s ovaries).
Melissa’s noteworthy work doubling (if not trebling) the article on Mary Fairfax Somerville – a Scottish science writer and polymath, at a time when women’s participation in science was discouraged. As well as editing articles on Isabel Thorne, Matilda Chaplin Ayrton and the Scottish Blood Transfusion Service.
Christine’s new ‘Controversy’ section on the intriguing case of James Miranda Barry.
Our historian of medicine, James’s work on The Brunonian system of medicine – a theory of medicine which regards and treats disorders as caused by defective or excessive excitation.
Mary’s first ever article on Leith Hospital – illustrated with pictures she took herself and uploaded to Wikicommons.
Eugenia’s articles on Frances Helen Simson (a Scottish suffragist) and The Edinburgh Royal Maternity and Simpson Maternity Hospital Pavilion. Ably added to by Luise Kocaurek’s work on Lady Tweedale.
Anne-Marie’s work on Emily Bovell’s article and a brand new article on the New Zealand Army Nursing Service page which came into being in early 1915, when the Army Council in London accepted the New Zealand government’s offer of nurses to help in the war effort during the First World War.
Neil’s articles on ‘Fabry disease’ – a rare genetic lysosomal storage disease – and on ‘Alport Syndrome’ – a genetic disorder] affecting around 1 in 5,000 children, characterized by glomerulonephritis, end-stage kidney disease, and hearing loss.
Sara’s sterling work uploading images and flitting about improving articles on Leith Hospital, Edinburgh University’s Women’s Union and many more articles.
Kimberley’s work on Frances Hoggan – the first British woman to receive a doctorate in medicine from a university in Europe, and the first female doctor to be registered in Wales.
And much much more besides…. including LiuLing’s work on The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh on Chinese Wikipedia!”
Do you want to learn how to write for the world’s largest encyclopeadia? Do you want to make knowledge available for the whole world to share? Do you like eating biscuits, meeting new people and having fun?
Building on the tremendous success of last year’s Innovative Learning Week Wikipedia editing extravaganza, we invite all to once again come along and join in.
The focus of this years’ event will be on the History of Medicine. You don’t need to know anything about the subject to participate. Suggestions of topics to create or edit, along with supporting resources will be available, and training will be provided by a professional Wikimedian. If you have a laptop or tablet, please bring it along.
Ada Lovelace Day at University of Edinburgh was a great success this year. The LTW, USD and L&UC teams outdid themselves. We had a lifesize Lego Ada in the Main Library, and the complete Ada and Baggage Lego set in Hugh Robson Building. We taught students and colleagues how to code music, edit wikipedia, build lego rasperry-pi cases, add metadata, colour-in and celebrate women in tech, all in the name of Lovelace.
Votes for Lego Women Stewart Cromar’s on going campaign to get his Ada lego set on to the shelves of stores worldwide was embraced by #adalovelaceday enthusiasts. LEGO Ada has now passed the 4.5K vote mark and is currently the #1 project on the Ideas homepage.
Social Media Reaction
Our Ada Lovelace Day website took over a 1K page views in the week, with the OER content being particularly popular. In addition to the many tweets from participants using the #ALD15eduni hashtag we had several official Tweets and RTs from both Raspberry Pi and Sonic Pi and messages of support from similar events at other universities.
Do you have an eye for detail and a love of facts? Are you an experienced Wikimedian with experience working with the Wikimedia community? What would you do to engage our staff and students in editing, contributing and sharing open knowledge? We are recruiting a Wikimedian in Residence to work in Information Services alongside our learning technologists, archivists, librarians and information literacy teams. Following our first successful editathon events we now need your help to establish a network of Wikimedians on campus and to embed digital skills and open knowledge activities in learning and teaching across the University.