Experimentation and activities with Wikipedia continue with high school and college students at Tec de Monterrey in Mexico City. One major advancement is recognition of activities by the school system as a student club, with the name of Wiki Borregos. Borregos means “rams” in Spanish and is the school mascot. This status gives the program access to campus resources, including facilities, communications, recruiting, and fund raising opportunities.
This semester, there were two classes of community service volunteers working with Wikipedia. International Baccalaureate students completed a third semester working with Wikipedia as part of the Community, Action and Service program. Joining them were several undergraduate students working to complete “servicio social” hours required of all such students in Mexico. In addition to writing and photography, sound recording was on the agenda this semester. One of the undergraduates, Natalia0893, is majoring in sound engineering, which allowed us to use campus sound studios to record pronunciations of more than 100 place and people names related to Mexico, as well as a new version of the popular birthday/celebration song “Las mañanitas.” Sound files can be heard here.
Two new professors experimented with Wikimedia Commons this semester, both teaching lower level foreign language courses. Laura Perez and Artemisa Martinez (User:Pasifarte) had students upload photographs related to culture with descriptions in two or more languages. Laura’s classes uploaded photographs to practice writing descriptions in English. One major benefit this teacher noted was that students who felt detached from their own culture using English felt less threatened when the topic was about their own country. Artemisa’s students were beginning Spanish-as-a-foreign language learners from Australia and Europe. These students were assigned a theme each week such as Mexican food, Mexican markets, etc., to encourage them to go and explore parts of Mexico they might not otherwise. These students then wrote descriptions of their uploaded photographs in Spanish and their native language. Photos from this class can be seen here.
The Wiki Borregos and the campus library sponsored the second edition of Día de Muertos Estilo Wiki (Day of the Dead Wiki Style), to encourage students to document traditions related to this important holiday, which honors loved ones who have died. This time we received 227 photographs from 44 participants. While fewer in number than last year, the quality of the photographs and descriptions were significantly better. We also received images from outside the Mexico City metropolitan area as the holiday fell on a weekend. Entries can be seen here A summary of activities for the semester can be found at the Wiki Borregos web site Wiki Borrego Fall 2013.
Thelmadatter, Wikimedian Regional Ambassador/Professor at ITESM Campus Ciudad de México