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