Students from Tec de Monterrey in Mexico have been working through the Wiki Learning User Group/Education Program with video projects related to Wikipedia, both to create tutorial videos in Spanish and to create a brief documentary about what students have been doing on Wikipedia at the institution. The activities have opened doors not only to new ways to get involved in Wikimedia, but have also allowed students from both the high school and university divisions to collaborate. These experiences has proven quite valuable for all the participants involved.
In January 2015, students began Creando contenido, experiencias de aprender con Wikipedia (Creating content: learning experiences with Wikipedia), a project to create a brief film documentary of Wikipedia activities done at the institution and what their effects have been. The impetus for the project was a meeting between documentary filmmaker and Tec de Monterrey professor Daniel Ulacia and Wiki Learning coordinator Leigh Thelmadatter. Daniel had attended one of the general Wikipedia workshops for professors but was more interested in having his media arts students directly use the skills they learn in class, rather to write or translate articles about them. Brainstorming led to the idea of documenting student activities on video, with the aim of premiering it at Wikimania 2015. The video will also be used to present Wikipedia and ideas for activities in classes and other campus activities not only at the Mexico City campus, but also throughout the 32-campus system in Mexico.
Three high school media arts students began the project: Lourdes Daniela Tapia Gallegos, Jesús Alejandro Lee Lau, and Luis Francisco Peñaloza Ramírez during the Spring (Jan–May) 2015 semester. During this time, they conducted interviews (such as one with Anna Koval of the Wikipedia Education Program), and filmed activities related to the Tec de Monterrey’s first editathon, Experiencias Retadoras from 4-6 March 2015. They also did the initial editing of the final project, all under the supervision of Daniel Ulacia.
However, while the main structure of the video had taken shape, it was not possible to complete the project by the end of the semester. We solved this with a Wiki Learning program that allows university students to earn community service hours (required by Mexican law) working with Wikipedia. This attracted some students from the school’s Digital Arts and Animation department (LAD, acronym in Spanish), who had done some very simple animation projects. Naomi Iwadare was one of these, and was asked to assemble a group of fellow students to work on this project during the summer session: Ana Belinda Guerrero, Ana Cecilia Escamilla,Juan Erostique, Ingrid Hernandez, Alfredo Ponce and narrator Francisco Velasco. These students took over, polished the work, redid some parts, and created an overall narration to tie the filmed segments together. The video is a very brief overview of the work that students have done, with emphasis on innovative projects such as photography, creating subtitles, animations, maps up to and including the creation of the video itself.
In addition to creating this ambitious project, the same group of university students worked to create a short tutorial in Spanish about uploading files into Commons, titled Cómo subir archivos a Wikipedia Commons (How to upload files to Wikimedia Commons). Working with Commons has been an important aspect of Wiki Learning activities and will continue to be. This video was created as a tool not only to support growth of this kind of work with more professors on more campuses, but also to support the upcoming major Wiki event in September 2015, a Wiki expedition covering several boroughs of Mexico City. More about the making of this video can be seen in the Education bulletin article. It should be mentioned that this was a student-led project, with Daniel Ulacia and Leigh Thelmadatter acting mostly as advisers.
Reflections on the experience of creating these videos have been quite positive. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that it provides experience working with a real-world or authentic project, one that will have an effect on the world outside the physical campus. Ana Ceclia and Ingrid noted that it offered an opportunity to “give back “ to Wikipedia, a source they have long relied upon for basic information. Luis Francisco and Lourdes noted that that it the idea of showing what Tec de Monterrey is doing through a project that has “global impact.” Luis Francisco also noted that the project was “more dynamic as we worked with the teacher… he taught us not only to edit and film but also other things… tips that he knows.” Lourdes added that in class “…the teacher teaches in an abstract, but here we put it into practice.”
The university students have all talked about how working together functioned well in part because they were all friends beforehand, but working together on such challenging projects made them like family. They tackled problems that arose, negotiating solutions both among themselves and with Daniel, working to integrate their ideas with those of the high school students that worked before. Ingrid stated that “By the end of the “Creando contenido” project, we were all really tired, but so proud of what we accomplished.”
The participants in these projects and their roles are:
- Daniel Ulacia – director of the Creando contenido, experiencias de aprender con Wikipedia project
- Naomi Iwadare– group leader for both projects
- Lourdes Daniela Tapia Gallegos – filming, narration and editing
- Jesús Alejandro Lee Lau – filming, narration and editing
- Luis Francisco Peñaloza Ramírez –filming, narration and editing
- Alfredo Ponce – animation, filming and editing
- Ingrid Hernández Hernández –video and sound editing and narration
- Ana Cecila Escamilla – animation, editing and filming
- Ana Belina Guerrero –animation, editing and narration
- Juan Erostique – animation, filming and editing
- Francisco Velasco – narration
Tec de Monterrey