This is a draft set of thoughts, ideas an experiences intended to look at ways to extend out Education strategy into Schools (primarily secondary education).
Outreach, not recruitment
In general, teenagers are probably not a good focus for editor recruitment - they tend to lack an interest in a topic, can sometimes have restraint issues and definitely don't have the critical thinking skills. But we can, perhaps, look at teaching them about Wikipedia and its ideals.
When I talk to teenagers about Wikipedia, and ask what they know about it these are usually the first two responses:
- It's an encyclopaedia
- You can't use it in essays
Often this highlights that they don't understand what an encyclopaedia is (a summary resource) and that they can use it as a "springboard" for their essay writings (i.e. gain a topic overview & use the reference links to find citeable material).
In fact, this is the beginnings of teaching them about critical thinking (but in a sneaky way!).
By introducing Wikipedia as a movement & resource at a secondary age we can:
- Lay down long term engagement strategy (re-engage with them in higher education to become editors)
- Improve the utility of Wikipedia to students/teachers in a classroom context
- Attempt to reduce school vandalism at a grass roots level
|Wikimedia UK education projects
|Annual Conference — Campus Ambassadors – Student Societies — Schools — Committee — VLE