Wikipedia edit-a-thon at Nueva School in San Mateo

Jan Patton is the research librarian for the Nueva Upper School, a high school in San Mateo, California.

Jan Patton is the research librarian for the Nueva Upper School, a high school in San Mateo, California.

This April, Nueva Upper School will host a Wikipedia edit-a-thon – a first for Nueva, and one of the first such events for any high school. Students will create original articles or improve existing entries in Wikipedia, the world’s largest, free-content, online encyclopedia.

I have planned the event with the help of Pete Forsyth of Wiki Strategies, a Wikipedia expert who specializes in using the site as a teaching tool in universities. I saw an opportunity to engage our students, who are extraordinary researchers, fully engaged in verifying sources and information at a level far beyond their years. While edit-a-thons have become increasingly popular among adults, Nueva will launch the first full-fledged edit-a-thon for high-school students. Nueva’s focus on communal, participatory learning makes our students extremely well-suited for this event. We’re excited to contribute our voices and our research to Wikipedia.

In the weeks ahead, students will propose themes they’d like to focus on during the edit-a-thon. During the event, Forsyth will bring colleagues to demonstrate the process, teaching the team how to use Wikipedia’s system and finding specific pages to update. Will the students tackle Wikipedia articles on economics, snails, or young adult novels? Stay tuned…

Are high school students at your school working with Wikipedia? Please let us know in the comments below!

About Jan Patton

Jan Patton is the research librarian at the Nueva Upper School in San Mateo, California.
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