RiLI Seminar - Wikimedia in Education, Martin Poulter

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Jun 18, 2012
from 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM


Media Zoo, 103 Princess Road East

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0116 252 5763

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Dr Martin Poulter, University of Bristol

Many of us in universities are convinced that there are great opportunities to be had from introducing some kind of "openness", most notably in opening up educational resources for sharing and remixing. Meanwhile there is Wikimedia: the global community of about 90,000 volunteers writing Wikipedia, Wiktionary and related projects. 

In Wikimedia, "open" rarely gets a mention, but only because it's taken for granted, being pervasive through every level of how these projects work. Development, editing and review are open processes that apply to articles but also to guidelines, policies and even the underlying software. What Wikimedia lacks, and where it looks hungrily towards traditional academia, is formal expertise and formal accreditation.   

So there are ways for universities and Wikimedia to work together which are genuine win-win situations. This is already happening in what's called the Wikpedia Education Program, which is established in many North American universities but not yet in the UK. 

However, this opportunity involves institutions and lecturers stepping out of their comfort zone and relinquishing some control, which might be difficult in the increasingly risk-averse culture of UK higher education. This talk, which assumes no background knowledge of Wikimedia, will explain the potential benefits and problems in detail. 

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