Wikimedia blog

News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

Posts Tagged ‘Spanish’

Introducing Dr. Paola Ricaurte Quijano of Tec de Monterrey, Mexico City Campus

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Paola Ricaurte Quijano

Paola Ricaurte Quijano is a full time professor at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City Campus and an expert on cyberculture, e-politics, digital activism and digital literacies. Her pedagogical philosophy includes having students create academic content that is free and open to the public. Despite her short experience with Wikipedia, she has made uploading Wikipedia articles an integral part of her class.

Ricaurte Quijando began this project two years ago, encouraging her students to create works that not only benefit the student or result in a grade, but also to develop consciousness of “collective intelligence,” or the production of new knowledge for everyone. Equally, she encourages students to not simply be passive consumers of online content, but also to create content in a professional manner.

Ricaurte Quijando gives classes in “Communication and Media Studies, “Communication and Cultural Studies,” “Media Culture and New Media” among others, teaching students from various majors from medicine to communications, asking all to create Wikipedia articles. The classes contain between 20 and 25 students, working in groups of four, which usually results in five or six new articles each semester.

These articles can be on any topic related to Mexico, related to the class or issues related to students’ majors. Most find topics to write about searching Wikipedia in other languages. Examples of uploaded articles include Teoría de dos pasos [1], Elihu Katz [2], and Final Cut Pro (video software) [3].

Writing for Wikipedia is not easy and requires a certain amount of work as well as the development of new abilities, such as seeing the topics from the point of view of the course. This starts with the ability to do research. Often students need to learn how to synthesize information and discriminate among sources of information and sometimes students need to learn how to consult traditional sources of information such as books. All this adds up to a large amount of work. In addition, students must work as a team, develop critical thinking and decide which information is valuable to the article and which is not. Language issues include Wikipedia’s own requirements of a neutral point of view, often requiring students to present more than one point of view without favoring any.

Writing for Wikipedia is an activity that is part of the course material, however from my point of view I see it as an enriching activity that helps generate neutral content and contribute to a network like Wikipedia successfully. At the same time I view it as giving back to my community, because not everybody has knowledge in different languages and their search for information can be cut short because the information appears in languages that they do not understand.

Lizbeth Márquez M., Wiki Borregos


Student club Wiki Borregos contributes to Wikimedia projects

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Some of the members of the Wiki Borregos Fall 2013

Pronunciation of “Popocatepetl” a famous volcano

Photo of bakery items taken by foreign student

“Best photo” winner

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


Busy Wikimedia semester at ITESM Campus Ciudad de México

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The Spring 2013 semester was a busy one for Wikipedia projects at ITESM-Campus Ciudad de México in Mexico, building on the success of prior work and starting new activities.

Medical English class

One of the medical students learning to upload images onto Commons.

Two classes of Medical English, an advanced-level English as a foreign language course for medical professionals, worked with Wikipedia in Spanish and English as well as Wikimedia Commons. The Commons project was first, with students uploading more than 60 photos related to their future professions, including photographs of hospitals, campus classrooms, and laboratory activities for their other courses. The next project was to translate medicine related articles from the English Wikipedia to the Spanish Wikipedia. Not only is this process a good way to introduce Wikipedia writing style, formatting and technological requirements, but it is also helpful to the Spanish Wikipedia, which has fewer medicine-related articles than the English version. Twenty four articles were translated including Artificial pancreas, Amaurosis Fugax, Binge drinking and Abdominal pregnancy. The final project was to create a new article or augment an existing article in English Wikipedia, preferably one with a topic related to Mexico. This effort resulted in 29 articles created or expanded including Dorsal nexus, Embryology of the heart, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, the Mexican Red Cross, and the History of smallpox in Mexico.

International Baccalaureate CAS

Salcedo95 and Aerozt present about Wikimedia and their work to a graduate anthropology class.

Students from the International Baccalaureate program at the high school level have now been working with Wikipedia for three semesters to fulfill hours needed for the CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) hours, working on various projects. Participating students for the this semester were Xibsuarz, MichiKiske17, Salcedo95, Piskysama4, Aerozt, and EdmundoGuadarrama.

They have continued to work on articles related to the ongoing project with the Salón de la Plástica Mexicana, translating articles on artists such as Álvaro Zardoni as well as creating articles in English. Following their own interests, other articles were translated from English to Spanish, such as Incidente de la colina Flagstaff, Antojito (expanded), Cheonggyecheon, Laima, Abrahadabra (Thelema), Aeon (Thelema), Tsundere, and Fujiko F. Fujio. In addition to creating content on their own, students assisted with the judging of the Holy Week in Mexico photo contest and the descriptions and uploading of the donation of 2,100 images from ITESM campus archives into Wikimedia Commons (both detailed below).


Wikimedia Argentina’s educational booklet now also in Guarani language

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“Vikipetã mbo’eha kotýpe”, the new Guarani version of Wikipedia in the classroom

Wikimedia Argentina, the first Wikimedia chapter in Latin America to be founded, has a long history of activities related with promoting the use of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in education, mainly in secondary schools and universities.

In 2010, it published a booklet entitled “Wikipedia en el aula” (Wikipedia in the classroom in Spanish), aimed at teachers and other education professionals. A significant number of students in Argentina currently use Wikipedia as their main source of information, so the booklet tries to answer several questions a teacher has about Wikipedia, such as “Is it reliable?” or “What can I do if my students use Wikipedia?”. “Wikipedia en el aula” not only addresses these questions but also presents several cases of teachers who have used Wikipedia as a learning tool within their own classrooms. The booklet presents simple examples illustrating how the online encyclopedia can be used as a place to develop writing and debating abilities and to motivate participation and engagement within a community.

The booklet has been distributed to several schools in Argentina and has inspired the Argentine government to create a space about Wikipedia within its own education portal,

Wikimedia Argentina has organized several workshops and presentations for Argentine students and teachers.

Following other of its own strategic pillars, Wikimedia Argentina developed the first edition of “Wikipedia en el aula” in an indigenous language, with the goal of promoting the usage and development of the historically displaced native languages of the current Argentine territory. In its first edition, “Wikipedia en el aula” was translated into Guarani (“Vikipetã mbo’eha kotýpe”), spoken not only in Northeastern Argentina but also in an area encompassing Southern Brazil, Western Bolivia, and Paraguay, where it is one of the two official languages. Wikimedia Argentina will publish a first edition with 500 printed copies to be distributed in schools and other educational institutions, and it expects to broaden the number of languages in the future.

Yet, Wikimedia Argentina’s Educational activities are not limited to “Wikipedia en el aula”. The chapter has already delivered in the past presentations and workshops to students and teachers. Wikimedia Argentina’s goal for 2013 is to articulate all of these activities in an Educational Master Plan. It will be created together with local and foreign experts on Education and will act as a guide for Wikimedia Argentina’s work in the years to come.

Osmar Valdebenito G.
Executive Director
A. C. Wikimedia Argentina