Thank you, Bishakha!

Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2011 19:53:34 +0530
Subject: [Wikimediaindia-l] Pune intro to wikipedia workshop: a short report

Dear all,

Four campus ambassadors conducted a 2-hour intro to wikipedia session as part 
of an all-day workshop I was facilitating on Gender and Technology at the Dept 
of Women's Studies, University of Pune. We had about 20 participants - more 
women than men, and an even mix of Marathi and English speakers. 

The 4 CAs who conducted the session were: Abhishek Suryawanshi, Devanshi 
Tripathi, Arnav Sonara and Nikita Agarwal - between them they too represented a 
good mix of genders and languages. I had earlier invited Ashwin Baindur from 
the Pune community to conduct the workshop; the timing didn't work for him.

The participants were introduced to both English and Marathi wikipedias, where 
they tried to locate Sharmila Rege, dalit feminist and sociologist, who heads 
the department. Since she didn't have a page on English wikipedia, one was 
created - and this process of creation was used as an opportunity to 
demonstrate key principles: references, citations, NPOV, verifiability, as well 
as how to edit. Larger conversations around reliability and authenticity were 
had, and the CAs cited their own experiences to answer the question: Why edit? 

I was particularly impressed by the way the CAs shared the workload among 
themselves and by the way they pitched wikipedia to a bunch of newcomers: 
inside out (from a newbie perspective) rather than outside in, anticipating 
what a newcomer needs to know at each step - to be motivated and to progress to 
the next step. They also suggested easy ways to edit at the start. Judging by 
the last question from participants: "How can we contact you'll if we need 
help?" it worked.

This was the first time undergrads had taught postgrads in this department - a 
nice role reversal. And this was the first time the CAs had stepped outside the 
India Education Program to do a non-program workshop. The student-to-student 
thing really worked.

So many thanks Abhishek, Arnav, Devanshi and Nikita. It was great!

And thanks a ton, Hisham, for putting so much together at such short notice.



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