Open Educational Resources: it’s time to document ourselves!

When aspiring Wikipedians work and learn together, good things happen. Photo from San Francisco Wiki Women’s Edit-a-thon, March 2012, by Matthew Roth. Licensed CC BY-SA.

When I first started editing wikis, I didn’t start with the most ambitious encyclopedia project in human history; I started with a non-profit where volunteers and staff convened to work together in person. Learning this unfamiliar tool along with others—some experienced, some green like me—made it fun, challenging, and relevant to my other work. Before long, editing and improving Wikipedia and a host of other wikis had become part of my day-to-day activities.

In the Open Education Collaborative Documentation Project (10/2012 update: the project is now known simply as Communicate OER)announced yesterday at the Hewlett Foundation’s annual Open Educational Resources (OER) meeting—we will facilitate the educators and leaders in the OER world in creating similar experiences.

Through workshops and gatherings, both in-person and online, we will guide both experienced and aspiring Wikipedians in improving content related to their work in education. Where are the gaps in Wikipedia’s coverage? Where is content outdated, inaccurate, or simply difficult to read? Where there are inconsistencies in Wikipedia coverage, do they reflect confusion or disagreements within the OER world that need to be worked through independently?

If you are at the Hewlett meeting, let’s talk this week! Dr. Bob Cummings and I will be available for questions during the poster & exhibition sessions this afternoon and tomorrow; and we will run a mini workshop during the Hack Day on Friday.

If you’re not here, please get in touch!

About Pete Forsyth

Pete Forsyth is the principal of Wiki Strategies, and a Wikipedia expert. Full bio here: wikistrategies.net/pete-forsyth
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