Saturday, January 28, 2017

Change in Modern Schooling Education with Wikipedia: Part Two

In my previous article, I (hopefully) made the readers believe that there is a need of change in the modern education that is provided in schools across the globe. If you haven't already read that yet, and landed on this blog post by mistake, please do read that first. Link for the same: Previous blog post in this series .

While writing this blog post, I promised myself to stay to the point, but if I don't or make you think out-of-the-box, forgive me already because I am going to do that. Never mind, but in this post, I will tell you exactly how Wikipedia works in school education.

Suppose, you are a teacher. You are not just any teacher, you are a teacher to whom Prince EA mentioned,

"You are a great teacher who can reach the heart of a kid and allow him to truly live."
You want to change this 150-year old education system. You want to introduce something new, something that will allow the students to showcase their skills. Congrats! You just got Wikipedia for your students. Say goodbye to pens, papers and ink and say hello to electronic media and Wikipedia. Enough of sayings, let's see some action:

1. Prepare an assignment

You may ask your students to create an article, or expand an existing article, or add media to an existing article. You can also give them assignments related to translation, copyediting etc.

2. Choosing an article

After preparing the assignment, students must choose the article they wish to work on. Look for articles that are rated as "start" or "stub" since they can be a good start to encourage the students to edit Wikipedia.

Things that should be kept in mind while choosing an article

  • Always look for an article that is weakly represented in Wikipedia and can be expanded easily.
  • While creating a new article, always search for its existence. Often, you may encounter that the article with same/similar name and content already exists.
  • Don't edit articles which are highly controversial or rated as "High Quality" on Wikipedia. Your edit might be reverted. (Trust me, it hurts when your edit is reverted, it really does.)
  • While choosing the title for your article, always keep it short and informative. Do not make it look like an essay. For example, "Effect of Inflation in the Economic condition of India", will certainly be wrong in encyclopedic point of view.

3. Teach Wiki basics to students

With good writing skills, students must have basic knowledge of Wiki markup. They must learn how to create links, references, adding edit summary, adding media, creating different level of headings etc. Along with markup, students must learn about licensing, how licensing works in Wikipedia, especially in Commons while uploading any media. Students should be encouraged to upload their own content to Commons.

Read till here? Really? Don't forget you are reading them as a teacher. Because you are the one who can initiate a change. Nevertheless, keep reading!

4. Collaboration and interaction

First rule of Wikipedia, there is no such thing as "Competition", we believe in collaboration. Students must realise that no editor competes with other. They work collaboratively. Students should learn how to interact with others as well. Every article has its own talk page where editors discuss about that article. Just like any other community, Wikipedia has its own etiquette. Here are some guidelines that might help the students to get along with fellow Wikipedians:

  • Be polite, try to understand them. Discuss and negotiate.
  • Always sign your posts on talk pages or wherever you comment by using (~~~~).
  • Never discuss anything that is not related to article on talk pages.

5. Assessing student's work

As a teacher, you have to grade the student's article. You have to tell him/her, where he/she is wrong or where he/she wrote great. Thanks to the awesome tools such as WikiComment and Program and Events Dashboard which can help you achieve that. Go through these tools and learn how to use them.

So, this is where I put this blog post to halt. I know there are so many questions unanswered, I haven't even explained you the benefits of editing Wikipedia (which I suppose you should know by now, but as a blogger it's my duty to enlighten you with them). I will soon come up with the third and final blog post in this series.

If you found this article even a little bit interesting, I have something for you. It's a PDF by Wikipedia Education Program to help you in detail on how to get started. The link to the same: Wikipedia as a Teaching Tool.


  1. Good work. More excited for practical aspects.

  2. Thanks for this insightful blog. Are you sharing this with any teachers?

    1. Yes! We are in the process of integrating it in the schools. Would you love to join us?

  3. A good thought to work upon.Something new and different from the usual techniques we have been using since ages.This will surely encourage all the students to do better in every field.
    So all the very best!

  4. Yeah rytt... Great work brother .. all d best .. ur idea is really osmm👌🙌🙌

  5. May all of ur efforts yield a positive outcome!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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