*Times of India : "Online encyclopedia promotes itself as teaching-learning

*PUNE: Wikipedia.org, the largest online encyclopedia in the world, has
invited teachers and students in India to incorporate Wikipedia as teaching
and learning tool in classrooms through its Wikipedia India Education
Programme. The initiative coincides with the start of this academic year,
with Pune as its pilot project. Various colleges and universities are being
united to participate in the initiative, with students having the
opportunity to contribute by editing articles related to their syllabus on
Wikipedia, in lieu of conventional paper or report submissions.*
*Hisham Mundol, who leads India Programmes, said, "Information about India
and that which is contributed by its people is not adequately represented on
Wikipedia. We want to change that by increasing the number of editors from
India. The Wikipedia India Education Programme will promote this by
encouraging teachers in Pune to join a global community of educators who use
Wikipedia as teaching and learning tool in classrooms."*
*The Wikipedia team has therefore chosen 22 campus ambassadors in Pune to
help them in this programme.*
*"The campus ambassadors are essentially volunteers who would work with
teachers to incorporate Wikipedia and train students on how to write
articles on Wikipedia. They would support both students as well as teachers,
during the course of the semester. During the course of the initiative, we
will provide teaching material and example lesson plans, expecting the
professors to assign their students Wikipedia articles to write or improve,
as part of the class," said Mundol, adding that the project will cover a
wide range of subjects such as engineering and economics and media and law
and architecture and medicine and biology and any other area of academic
*The team proposes to replace student reports and papers with Wikipedia
articles. "We will thus work with teachers and professors through campus
ambassadors to identify potential articles on Wikipedia that can be created
or improved through class work for that particular semester. Through the
initiative, we also hope to create educational materials in the form of
quality articles, including those about topics important to Indians, as well
as people all across the globe," said Mundol.*
*According to Mundol, Pune was chosen as the pilot city for having the
world's largest number of colleges and universities, which are attended by
more than 200,000 students. "The pilot project in Pune is being used to
experiment and learn from before any roll-out of a large-scale program
throughout India," added Mundol.*
*The Wikipedia team feels that students would get a lot out of the editing
assignments. "As opposed to writing a paper that they work on alone and that
which is seen by a single person, the students will now work collaboratively
with other Wikipedia editors. Thousands of people all over the world could
then refer to their contributions for educational purposes. As for the
educators who participate, they would engage and become part of a wider
global community of educators who are on the forefront of implementing new
teaching and learning practices, thus engaging with a larger, global
academic community," said Mundol.*

Tinu Cherian
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