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Posts Tagged ‘Brazil’

Improving computer science articles on the Portuguese Wikipedia

This post is available in 2 languages:
Português 7% • English 100%

In English:

In 2005, Professor Ruy de Queiroz of the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) in Brazil was browsing articles on the Portuguese Wikipedia in logic and the theory of computation, his speciality. Ruy found them disappointingly lacking — but when he browsed the same articles on the English Wikipedia, he realized that they were quite good.

So Ruy set out to change the Portuguese Wikipedia’s coverage of these areas, by engaging his students at UFPE in the efforts. Since 2005, he’s asked students in his “Logic for Computer Science” and “Theoretical Informatics” courses to translate or write articles on the topics for extra credit.

Professor Ruy de Queiroz

“This has worked very well, and we have produced a reasonable amount of articles in Portuguese,” Ruy says. He’s being modest; that “reasonable amount” is more than 125 computer science and technology related articles on the Portuguese Wikipedia contributed through his coursework.

He then assigns his current students to read the Wikipedia articles his students from previous terms have contributed as a supplement to their normal reading.

“The articles were an updated source into the specific areas, with good pointers to the bibliography,” Ruy says.

Ruy says that Wikipedia cannot and should not replace a traditional reading assignment, but it’s a way of keeping students informed with more up-to-date material and accessible explanations of complex topics. He assigned Wikipedia assignments as reading in two courses he taught in the 2005-06 academic year at Stanford University in the United States as well, because they were the perfect supplement to the traditional textbook reading.

The feedback Ruy has received from students and professors has all been positive, and he looks forward to the continuing development of the Portuguese Wikipedia, so that it can be as good of a resource as the English Wikipedia is.

LiAnna Davis, Wikipedia Education Program Communications Manager

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Brazilian Wikipedia editing workshop in homage to International Women’s Day

This post is available in 2 languages: Português 7% • English 100%

Português

Voluntários do movimento Wikimedia e Wikimedia Foundation organizam primeiro mutirão no Brasil para e com as mulheres

Depois de conhecer a estrutura mínima necessária para criar um verbete em poucos passos, as (e os) participantes do encontro aprimoraram verbetes relativos ao feminismo, em comemoração ao Dia Internacional da Mulher

Conhecimento é poder: disso ninguém duvida. E embora a possibilidade de construir o conhecimento na maior enciclopédia do mundo – a Wikipédia – seja livre e aberta a qualquer pessoa, cerca de 91% dos editores são homens. Como fica, então, a perspectiva das mulheres nessa história?

Primeiro mutirão de edição da Wikipédia para e com mulheres

Primeiro mutirão de edição da Wikipédia para e com mulheres

Para aproximá-las do universo “wiki,” os voluntários dos projetos Wikimedia, com o apoio da Wikimedia Foundation, organizaram uma oficina sobre a Wikipédia e os projetos Wikimedia e propuseram um mutirão de edição da enciclopédia em homenagem ao Dia Internacional da Mulher. Realizado em São Paulo, na tarde de 2 de março de 2013 no espaço The Hub, o encontro reuniu homens e mulheres que tinham algum interesse em colaborar com a edição de verbetes, mas ainda não haviam entrado em contato com a ferramenta.

Participaram do evento cerca de 15 pessoas, que discutiram os critérios para um artigo ser publicado na Wikipédia, as fontes que podem ser consideradas confiáveis e a dinâmica de edição colaborativa. Ao final da oficina, os grupos se dedicaram a aprimorar verbetes relacionados às mulheres e ao feminismo: “Direitos da Mulher” e “Grace Hopper” foram duas dessas contribuições.

“Os passos para a edição de um verbete são simples, e pelo que vi neste encontro qualquer pessoa pode aprendê-los rapidamente”, avalia Fernanda Campagnucci, da Ação Educativa, que editou o verbete sobre os direitos das mulheres – sua primeira colaboração ao projeto. “Mas vivemos em uma sociedade em que a distribuição de conhecimento é desigual e a tecnologia ainda é, muitas vezes, considerada um universo masculino. É com essa visão que precisamos romper”.

Para discutir e superar a ausência da colaboração feminina à Wikipédia, o movimento Wikimedia mantém uma página (Gender Gap) em que reúne informações, referências e ideias sobre o tema além de promover atividades como este mutirão. Com o objetivo de aumentar a participação de mulheres no projeto, novas editoras são encorajadas a participar das listas de discussão e comunidades online, como os portais sobre mulheres e feminismo.

O movimento Wikimedia no Brasil espera que a iniciativa em São Paulo sirva de inspiração para que voluntários de outras regiões do país ajudem o evento a tornar-se periódico em todo mês de março, ampliando o debate sobre a participação feminina na Wikipédia e diminuindo a barreira de gênero. Entre em contato com os voluntários da Wikimedia no Brasil, para saber mais informações. Todos são bem-vindos a participar e organizar os próximos eventos!

Fernanda Campagnucci (ONG Ação Educativa)
Traduzido por Tom e Cristiana Gonzalez

English

After learning the basics needed to create a Wikipedia article, the participants improved existing articles related to feminism, as part of a celebration of International Women’s Day

Knowledge is power: no one should doubt that. Although the possibility of contributing knowledge to the biggest encyclopedia of the world, Wikipedia, is free and open for anyone, about 91 percent of its editors are men. What, then, is the prospect for women in this story?

In order to engage women in the “wiki” universe, volunteers of the Wikimedia projects in Brazil, with the support of the Wikimedia Foundation, organized a workshop about Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects and proposed a joint effort for editing the encyclopedia in homage to International Women’s Day. The meeting took place on March 2nd at The Hub and gathered men and women interested in learning and practicing the editing of Wikimedia projects.

About 15 people attended the event, where they discussed the criteria for writing and publishing a Wikipedia article, the sources that may be considered reliable and the collaborative dynamic of editing. At the end of the workshop, the group dedicated themselves to improving articles related to women and feminism: “Women’s Rights” and “Grace Hopper” (“Direitos da mulher” and “Grace Hopper” in Portuguese) were two examples of such contributions.

“The steps for editing an article are simple, and from what I have observed in the meetup, anyone can learn them quickly,” said Fernanda Campagnucci, from Ação Educativa, who edited the article about women’s rights, her first contribution to the project. “But we live in a society where the sharing of knowledge is unequal and the technology is still often considered part of the masculine universe. It is this vision that we need to break.”

To discuss and overcome the lack of women collaborating on Wikipedia, the Wikimedia movement maintains a page (Gender Gap) to gather information, references and ideas on the subject, in addition to promoting activities like this workshop. With the goal of increasing women’s participation in the project, new women editors are encouraged to join mailing lists and online communities.

The Wikimedia movement in Brazil expects that this initiative in Sao Paulo will inspire volunteers from other regions of the country to help the event become regular every March, extending the debate about women’s participation in Wikipedia and lowering the gender gap. You can contact the Wikimedia volunteers in Brazil to obtain more information. Everybody is welcome to participate and organize upcoming events!

Fernanda Campagnucci (NGO Ação Educativa)
Translation by Tom and Cristiana Gonzalez

Design professor encourages students to improve Portuguese Wikipedia

This post is available in 2 languages:
Português 7% • English 100%

In English:

Iara Camargo had one term of teaching experience when a professor in her Ph.D. program at the University of São Paulo forwarded her an open call from the Wikipedia Education Program in Brazil. The program was looking for faculty members who were interested in assigning students to write Wikipedia articles as part of their coursework. Iara, excited by the prospect, signed up.

Professora Iara Camargo

“I got very excited about the idea of writing articles with my students on Wikipedia,” she says. “I think most academics have a little prejudice about Wikipedia, saying that some information could be not quite real. But I’ve always used Wikipedia as a starting point to research a subject. The idea is not to use it as a reference, only to have some idea about the subject. Then, when I started to look at it more critically, I found many good articles in my research field… and of course some poor ones.”

Iara asked her students in her Editorial Design course at Faculdades Integradas Rio Branco to improve those poor articles. Her students researched and wrote articles ranging from famous designers like Bea Feitler to concepts like legibility to publishers like Penguin Books. Iara even started an article herself, on book design.

“I like incorporating Wikipedia in my class for these reasons,” she says. “First, to stimulate the students to read and write more. Second, I believe that is good because they are actually publishing something, it is not a paper that they are writing just to me to have an evaluation. Third, they have to be conscious and judicious to write well, because a lot of people might use it in the future.”

Students in Iara’s classroom work on their Wikipedia assignments.

In particular, Iara says, her students get more from the Wikipedia assignment than they would from many traditional assignments in the design field. Since design is mostly a visual medium, students do not have the chance to develop as much researching and writing skills, but those are critical skills for their careers. Iara believes the Wikipedia assignment helps students learn these skills while teaching them the fundamentals of the discipline.

“It is great in terms of writing, you have to be impartial and write objectively, which is in some ways scientific writing because you cannot add subjective writing to Wikipedia,” she says. “And I think it is great because they really have to find reliable sources instead of using the argument ‘I’ve heard it is like that’ or ‘I thought it was like that’.”

A Campus Ambassador helps one of Iara’s students.

Iara’s department head Professor Paulo Durão enthusiastically supported her and her students as they worked on the Wikipedia assignments. In fact, the institution’s academic director Professor Alexandre Uehara liked the idea so much that Iara and her Campus Ambassadors, Cauê Henrique Rodrigues, Denise Akemi Matsuda, and Maira Rodrigues, were featured in a video shown in the school cafeteria for one month. Iara and her students also had help from two Portuguese Wikipedians serving as Online Ambassadors, Vitor Mazuco and Gabryelsl. The wikicode was initially scary for Iara, but with the help of the Ambassadors, she learned how to edit Wikipedia and is even excited about using her wikicode skills.

“My favorite part was the challenge of working with it!” Iara says. “It’s a wonderful tool and Wikipedia is not only a website, it is a very important cultural phenomenon. We are in a different time and maybe learning and studying nowadays has to be integrated with this new Internet life we are living.”

LiAnna Davis
Wikipedia Education Program Communications Manager

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Improving evolution articles on the Portuguese Wikipedia through class: Professor Yuri Leite

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In English:

Yuri Leite

Yuri Leite

“I think that the knowledge produced by high-qualified college students should be available to anyone,” Professor Yuri Leite says. That’s why he has encouraged his biology students at the Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo in Vitória, Brazil, to contribute to Wikipedia as part of their course assignments.

The idea came to him one day in 2009, when he was coordinating a graduate level seminar on the Charles Darwin book “The Origin of Species.” Each week, the class discussed a chapter of the book and improved the article on the Portuguese Wikipedia about Darwin’s book as they went along. Before Yuri’s class began work, the article was what’s known as a stub — a short article without much content. By the end of the term, his class had transformed the article, with extensive descriptions of each chapter.

“I think it is a waste of time, energy, knowledge, and often paper to have highly skilled undergraduate or graduate students write term papers that will be read only by the teacher and sometimes a TA, and will eventually end up in the trash can,” Yuri says.

He had always been interested in using the Internet as a teaching tool. As a teaching assistant at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1990s, Yuri found the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web and Berkeley’s Understanding Evolution portals inspirational.

Vitoria, Brazil

A beautiful view of Vitória city, where Professor Yuri Leite teaches.

He started using Wikipedia in his undergraduate Evolution course since August 2011. The course is mandatory for all biology students, and Yuri has about 30 students enroll each term. He says it will only take a few years to have his students make hundreds of contributions to free, high-quality knowledge available in Portuguese about the topics. He also sees better learning for students with a Wikipedia assignment in comparison to a traditional term paper.

“I believe they learn more, especially regarding proper citation, and what is original research and what is not. Both of these concepts are very important in science,” he says. “Wikipedia does a great job in terms of defining what an encyclopedia is, and how one should write an article citing appropriate sources, and this is a very important skill for students.”

And Yuri says his students feel more responsibility to produce high-quality work because they know their writing will be available to anyone on Wikipedia. He’s excited about the Wikipedia Education Program in Brazil, and he hopes that more professors will join the program and develop more teaching resources to stimulate the use of Wikipedia in the classroom. In fact, professor Aureo Banhos, one of his former biology students, has joined the program through an open call Wikimedia Foundation made in Brazil for the second school term of 2012 and is excited to collaborate with Yuri.

“I love reading the assignments and feeling like my students made a significant contribution by posting high-quality information on the web,” Yuri says.

LiAnna Davis
Wikipedia Education Program Communications Manager

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Wikipedia and university beyond the classroom

This post is available in 2 languages: Português 7% • English 100%

In English:

In August 2011, I offered a course called Wikipedia in Roman History for an undergraduate History course at UNIRIO, Brazil. This was the first experiment in teaching with Wikipedia supported by the Wikipedia Education Program in Brazil. Now the program is well established and new courses are added each term, all of them incorporating graded assignments with Wikipedia though a variety of university courses.

This year I thought of something different. I realized that assignments with grades were not the only thing we could do. The university can act as a starting point to present students – or, for that matter, anyone – with a deeper view of what Wikipedia is, what it can do, its restrictions and possibilities for sharing knowledge (I like to call it “wiki-literacy”). This has been done before, by teams of volunteers all over the world, with or without Wikimedia Foundation support. But universities have as one of their three branches of action something we call “extension,” or activities that connect academia with society as a whole (the other branches are, naturally, teaching and research). So, isn’t working with Wikipedia totally fitting with the definition of extension?

Participants in the workshop at UNIRIO.

On October 16, together with Campus Ambassador OTAVIO1981, I offered a 4-hour workshop for students during the UNIRIO Extension Week. Twelve people participated, including students from other universities as well. We introduced the 5 pillars, with discussion on the meaning and use of encyclopedias, reliability, authorship, copyrights and collaborative writing, all through examples taken from Wikipedia sections, navigation, and good and bad articles.

With the presentation of the last two pillars, the students started editing: they created their userpages; they learned how to insert userboxes (this pre-social network device motivates them a lot); and they learned how to send messages through each other’s talk pages. We had previously selected five small articles from the English Wikipedia that were not available in Portuguese, translated the text and distributed them to the students. It was important that the articles were about topics of the lecturer’s knowledge, so additional information could be readily supplied.

The students then learned some basic formatting, such as how to insert internal and external links, references, images and categories. Choosing the best images was an important activity on itself. At the end of the workshop, they all had their shiny new (and correct) articles to show everyone. Furthermore, the workshop counted as additional working hours for their graduating requirements, which is important and motivational for them as well.

Editing workshops are not new. Nowadays, neither is teaching with Wikipedia. This packed format, however, opened some new possibilities. The ultimate goal here was not training new editors, or even improving Wikipedia content. These are consequences, because we must not forget that editing is essentially a voluntary act. These students may never edit again, but they will have become better users, more conscientious about processing and even creating information. This is a pressing necessity for today, and on Wikipedia, wiki-literacy is one of the best possible tools to achieve that.

Juliana Bastos Marques is User:Domusaurea.

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Professor in Brazil finds Wikipedia assignment brings greater student learning

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In English:

Edivaldo Moura Santos grew up in the countryside of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. The son of sharecroppers who worked on plantations in the region, Edivaldo discovered a love for physics in his first year of high school in the small town of Itupeva. It led him to work hard and pursue a bachelor’s and then a Ph.D. in physics, and then to teach students at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Last year, Edivaldo joined the pilot of the Wikipedia Education Program in Brazil, and he’s happy to see his students enhance the information available about physics on the Portuguese Wikipedia.

Edivaldo Moura Santos

Edivaldo’s students in his undergraduate Electromagnetism course had to write new or improve existing articles on the Portuguese Wikipedia related to their course readings. Campus Ambassador Vinicius Siqueira and Online Ambassadors LechatjauneGiro720Sturm, and Olcyr helped students learn the basics of Wikipedia editing.

“I think the experience was unique,” Edivaldo says. “Not having the time and format constraints of standard written assignments gives you many more possibilities in the evaluation process. For example, having to write an encyclopedic article, the students have to be able to organize and systematize ideas and concepts. And to be able to accomplish that goal, the physical concepts have to be cemented in their minds. I had much more profound discussions with some students during the semester up to the point they really understood what they would later write on the Wikipedia.”

Edivaldo was extremely pleased with the student engagement and student learning that arose from the Wikipedia assignment.

“In a specific example, one of the articles was about the idea of electrical charge conservation,” he says. “The modern view of conservation laws in physics is totally based on the concept of symmetries and such a view is seldom discussed in a first course of Electromagnetism. The student responsible for that article, however, decided to read about topics beyond the course, such as analytical mechanics and quantum field theory. I was very happy with the final result.”

A key outcome for Edivaldo is that students are forced outside of the traditional way of learning in Brazil, where evaluation of student work is limited to written exams. While he acknowledges that exams have their place — physicists, he says, do have to be good at math — he feels that exams measure students’ ability to memorize key facts rather than truly understanding the concepts. When students had to write Wikipedia articles on topics, he says, they are forced to truly learn the concepts behind the formulas. And, of course, they improve the availability of free knowledge, spreading the wealth of information available to others interested in learning about physics.

“I discuss some physical concepts with students in more detail, and make them reflect on the definitions, theorems, and experiments that ended up in their articles,” he says. “My favorite part of doing a Wikipedia assignment is seeing students improving the content of the Portuguese Wikipedia and learning a bit of physics at the same time.”

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New Case Studies brochure highlights how professors teach with Wikipedia

Juliana Bastos Marques

Juliana Bastos Marques

A new brochure released by the Wikimedia Foundation on-wiki and in PDF contains case studies of how university instructors around the world have used Wikipedia as a teaching tool. The brochure features 15 professors from 6 different countries, including 9 different assignments professors have used and 5 different ways of grading the assignments.

For example, Professor Juliana Bastos Marques of Brazil shares how she assigns her students to write Wikipedia articles for class. The 13-week assignment encourages students to critically analyze existing Portuguese Wikipedia articles on the course topic, then suggest improvements in a sandbox, with feedback from the professor and Ambassadors, and finally move their articles to the article namespace. More information about Professor Juliana’s assignment is available on the wiki version of the Case Studies brochure.

Dalia Mohamed El Toukhy

Dalia Mohamed El Toukhy

In another assignment featured in the brochure, Professor Dalia Mohamed El Toukhy of Egypt explains how she has used translations successfully in her course. Students are learning to be professional translators for French and Arabic, so she has students select high-quality articles from the French Wikipedia that are not available on the Arabic Wikipedia, and the students translate the French into Arabic. In this assignment, Professor Dalia explains, her students get real-world translation examples while improving the quality of the Arabic Wikipedia. See more information about this idea.

Read more ideas of Wikipedia assignments and how to grade them at http://education.wikimedia.org/casestudies.

Another aspect of the on-wiki version of the brochure allows any other professor who has done a unique assignment with a Wikimedia project to create his or her own profile on wiki. Using a guided template, professors can include information about what they did with their students and how successful the project was, including rankings of how the assignment met learning objectives. Professors from around the world are encouraged to add yourself to the on-wiki version of the brochure!

LiAnna Davis, Wikipedia Education Program Communications Manager

Wikipédia na Universidade update from Brazil

The Wikipedia Education Program is taking off in Brazil! As we’re entering the final month of the semester, I had the opportunity to visit the different professors of the courses, and work with the Wikimedia Foundation’s Brazilian team to see how we can close the semester well and prepare well for the upcoming semester of classes. I obviously already knew we had a great team on the ground – Oona and Tom – but this time I had the opportunity to meet with even more of the enthusiastic volunteers who are involved.

Take Mariana Jo. She is a campus ambassador in São Paulo who decided, after hearing Kul Wadhwa speak at Campus Party, that she wanted to be more involved with the Wikimedia movement and spreading free knowledge. As the first member of her family to go to a public university (typically they are top universities in Brazil), she has a passion for creating broadly available resources and teaching her peers about the importance of sharing their information. She is starting off her involvement by helping with a Physics course at the University of São Paulo as a student in the department herself, where she trains other students how to contribute their course assignments to Wikipedia.

Or take Professor Pablo Ortellado, also at the University of São Paulo. His students are spending the whole semester working on encyclopedic articles about Brazilian cultural policy, which do not yet exist on the Portuguese Wikipedia. The semester-long class brings in experts in the field to discuss different aspects of cultural policy and provide information for references for the student groups. He is already known across Brazil for his passion for open access, and he is excited to expose his students to these concepts in conjunction with the course topics of cultural policy.

All the courses are just getting into the full swing of editing, so we are excited to watch the continuing contributions of additional knowledge to the Portuguese Wikipedia!

Jessie Wild, Special Projects Manager, Global Development

Wikipedia Education Program pilot kicks off in Brazilian universities

Even before the Wikimedia Foundation launched its pilot Wikipedia Education Program in Brazil, professor Juliana Bastos Marques, together with Campus Ambassador Otavio Louvem, demonstrated successful work using Wikipedia inside a university. Through their work, they engaged more than 20 students and considerably improved the quality of articles about Roman history. This course was a example of a successful group working together with Online Ambassadors and with students in a university to improve Portuguese Wikipedia articles.

The quality contributions made by Juliana’s students, along with the lessons we learned from other Wikipedia in higher education programs around the world, led us to a few questions for the Brazilian community: Should we scale the Wikipedia Education Program throughout Brazil? And if so, how can we do in a sustainable and community-driven way?

Professors and ambassadors training

Professors and Wikipedia Ambassadors at an orientation for pilot program participants.

To begin answering these questions, we decided to run a pilot education program in Brazil, customizing the model of classroom incorporation that has been used globally by professors. At the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, we talked to professors from universities in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro with the hopes of forming a small pilot. Overall, professors had a positive response about the idea of using Wikipedia as a pedagogical tool in their classes. After much thinking on the best way to create a good pilot, we opted to keep it small for a better understanding of how to expand the program in the second semester. We also agreed to work with five carefully selected professors from traditional universities in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (see the detailed Brazil pilot program plan). History, sociology, physics, and public policy are the fields of knowledge that will be covered, with about 150 students working to improve existing articles, or create new ones.

Professors have been creative in deciding what sort of a classroom model would work best to meet the purposes of their specific coursework and students’ abilities and interests, and we will be closely following the outcome of the different models.

At the University of São Paulo (USP), the largest university in South America and one of the most traditional in Brazil, professor Pablo Ortellado has asked his students to form groups and collaboratively write encyclopedic articles on Cultural Policy. From the 11 proposed articles, only one already exists. At Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), professor Edivaldo Moura, a particle physics researcher, has adopted another strategy for his students studying electromagnetism. Each of his thirteen students has chosen an article related to electromagnetism, from Gauss Law to Maxwell Equations. Another USP physicist joining the program, Professor Vera Henriques, will have her graduate students of biological systems improving Wikipedia. Professor Heloisa Pait, from UNESP, is giving tasks on Wikipedia for her sociology students explore their cultural memories. Finally, Professor Juliana Bastos Marques will encourage her 60 freshman students to explore concepts around Wikipedia in her history class, and they can attend an extension program she has created together with Federal University of Rio de Janeiro State (UNIRIO), where she teaches.

In addition to professors, we also began to recruit Ambassadors, a complex task considering the geographic logistics of all classes that joined the program. Wikipedians who are already involved with Wikipedia Education Program were incredibly helpful in recruiting new Ambassadors, and the local Wikimedia Brasil meet-ups were essential to spread awareness about the project and explain opportunities for involvement. In addition, Wikipedians from Portugal stepped up to help support the Brazilian classes virtually and they are helping also organize the project page. They have even started outreach about the program in their country!

These Brazilian Wikimedians and Portuguese language Wikipedians from around the world have asked tough questions, strategized about implementation and volunteered to serve as Online and Campus Ambassadors. We are thrilled to be working with a great group of Ambassador volunteers alongside the professors.

We are eagerly anticipating the outcomes of this semester! These different models will provide ample opportunity for reflection at the end of semester, and we will be tracking student contributions and motivations to gauge the effectiveness of the program. If you are interested in supporting the program, please reach out and introduce yourself on the Ambassador page or send an email to wu-suporte AT googlegroups DOT com!

Everton Zanella Alvarenga (also known as Tom)
Consultant for the Wikipedia Education Program in Brazil and Wikimedia Brasil volunteer

Traveling to Brazil to meet Brazilian Wikipedians

This post is available in 2 languages: Português 7% • English 100%

Em Português:

A Wikipédia lusófona é um dos dez maiores projetos da Wikipédia em número de artigos, e o Brasil, lar do maior número de editores em português da Wikipédia, é uma das principais regiões estratégicas na mira do departamento de Desenvolvimento Global. Mas, enquanto o afluxo de novos colaboradores e membros da comunidade de núcleo manteve-se relativamente estável ao longo dos anos, o número de wikipedistas novos muito ativos no projeto experimentou um declínio preocupante.

Brazilian Wikipedians at a meetup in São Paulo. Photo: Victor Grigas, CC-BY-SA

No início de março, funcionários do Departamento de Comunidades da Fundação Wikimedia viajaram ao Brasil para aprender mais sobre os desafios de projetar o crescimento e começar a discutir soluções que possam ser realizadas pela comunidade. A eles juntou-se Oona Castro, recém-contratada Diretora Nacional de Programas da Fundação Wikimedia no país.

Visitamos quatro cidades: São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro, onde já havia uma cultura extensa de encontros, e também Curitiba e Natal, onde encontros nunca tinham acontecido antes. No decorrer de duas semanas, reunimos dezenas de editores para troca de conhecimento, discussões e debates.

Os wikipedistas que participaram desses encontros representam todas as esferas de nossa comunidade, desde novos colaboradores que acabaram de fazer sua primeira edição até veteranos que ajudaram a comunidade a crescer desde os primeiros dias de sua existência. Nossos participantes incluíram estudantes universitários animados em usar a Wikipédia em sala de aula, acadêmicos que se envolveram recentemente em edição, autores de milhares de artigos, desenvolvedores de interwikis e militantes antivandalismo, e até mesmo o detentor do recorde mundial da maior coleção de garrafas de cachaça! Muitos nunca tinham ido a um encontro ou conhecido outros wikipedistas.

Discutimos temas que são importantes para todas as comunidades Wikipédia, incluindo como acolher e orientar os recém-chegados sem perder qualidade, como equilibrar política e transparência e como resolver conflitos tanto no âmbito individual quanto em nível de projeto. Também abordamos as coisas que tornam a Wikipédia lusófona única, como ter editores de todos os países lusófonos (e não apenas o Brasil) e como localizar melhor tecnologia e documentação. Nossas anotações de todos os encontros, em português e inglês, podem ser encontradas na Esplanada, o principal espaço de discussão da comunidade da Wikipédia lusófona. Ao disponibilizar as anotações para toda a comunidade, esperamos desencadear mais discussões na internet e fora dela sobre o bem-estar da comunidade e melhorias lideradas por editores da Wikipédia lusófona.

Queremos agradecer a todos que nos ajudaram a organizar estes encontros e àqueles que vieram compartilhar seus pensamentos e ideias conosco e com seus colegas editores! Vocês fizeram desta a série de encontros de editores de maior sucesso da história do Brasil, e nós esperamos que mantenham esta tradição viva.
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