Now that the Wikipedia India Education Program and Campus Ambassador Program have been in full operation for just over one month I think it is timely to provide an update to you, the Wikipedia Community.
In early June staff from the Wikimedia Foundation's San Francisco office, as well as Hisham Mundol (Consultant, India National Programs) and two Wikimedia Fellows conducted a two-day training session for the first batch of Wikipedia Campus Ambassadors in India. Since conducting that session we've been hard at work recruiting professors to participate in the program. We held faculty workshops at 7 colleges during which we introduced Wikipedia and this project to interested faculty members. For these sessions we welcomed Dr. Bob Cummings, a professor of English at the University of Mississippi, to talk about his experience using Wikipedia in the classroom. These workshops provided excellent opportunities to talk honestly with the professors about not only what benefits they could expect, but also what challenges they would face. On the whole, faculty members (and administrators) were extremely supportive and enthusiastic. The final two weeks of June were extremely busy as we worked to finalize commitments from professors. It was hard work, but it certainly paid off. We now have twelve professors and about 500 students committed to using Wikipedia in the classroom this semester. And we're still not done! We are continuing recruitment efforts at several other colleges so it is likely that these figures will increase in the coming weeks. For an up-to-date list of the participating colleges and professors please see the Wikipedia India Education Program project page (linked here<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:India_Education_Program> ). Last week the first Wikipedia campus workshops outside of the United States happened at the Symbiosis School of Economics (SSE) in Pune. Two campus ambassadors (Abhishek <goog_82403213>Suryawanshi<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:AbhiSuryawanshi> and Wasim Mogal <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Wasimmogal2007>) conducted introductory editing sessions for over 150 students. This was an important moment. Until this point we had largely been interacting with professors and administrators. And while their support is crucial, ultimately it will be the students who will make this project successful. Based on what I saw last week I am very confident that this project will indeed be a resounding success. We continue to charge ahead. This coming week we will return to SSE to talk to students specifically about the Wikipedia assignment the professor designed for their class. Next week we will be conducting our first sessions at the College of Engineering, Pune (COEP). Very soon we will be seeing the first Wikipedia edits coming from these students. I know this is the moment we've all been waiting for and I assure you that it is not far off. Your continued support is critical to the success of the project. Please feel free to contact me (pjta...@gmail.com) with any questions you may have. All the best, PJ Tabit Wikipedia Fellow, Wikipedia India Education Program
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