Critical issues presentations/Next generation Wikipedians

From Wikimania 2016 • Esino Lario, Italy
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Submission no. 170
Title of the submission

Next generation Wikipedians

Author of the submission
  • Sara Mörtsell
Country of origin




  • Fostering the next generation of editors
  • Teacher engagement
  • Bridging GLAM and Education
  • Wikipedia in curriculum
  • Wikimini
  • Younger students
  • Education

This presentation addresses the critical issue of fostering the next generation of Wikipedians. As 2016 marks Wikipedia’s 15th birthday, students do not remember a time before Wikipedia or learning without having Wikipedia to consult. We know that students under the age of 13 regularly consult Wikipedia and these young writers are producers of texts, and increasingly texts in digital media, and yet contributing to Wikipedia is well beyond the level of complexity that students this age can manage. In schools, teachers are talking about the free and open encyclopedia that anyone can edit and how critical thinking is required for making use of its content, all the while the education sector is working out how to make use of technology for students to best learn the necessary skills for thriving in the digital age.

With editing Wikipedia out of reach for this group of students, Wikimedia Sverige set up Wikimini ( in 2013, the free encyclopedia written by children for children, based on the original French Wikimini. Wikimini caters to teachers and students in primary school who wish to collaborate and share texts freely online in a Wikipedia manner. This follows the well-established pedagogical strategy of learning about Wikimedia projects by participating, and the long-term benefits are digital literacies and learning the values of sharing, collaboration and the impact of openness for education. Wikimini runs on the MediaWiki software and each article has its history, talk page and edit button, and is currently holding around 1,500 encyclopedic articles.

For 2016, Wikimini received an external project grant from Sweden’s innovation agency as an innovation project for the future of education, in partnership with the Swedish National Heritage Board and Stockholmskällan, the Stockholm historical archives for Education. This project proves an example of how GLAM and Education jointly can serve the Wikimedia movement in new ways and inspire others to bridge GLAM and Education in outreach efforts.

The audience of this talk will learn how teachers and GLAM-institutions engage with Wikimini in school contexts, the kinds of text students share and the difficulties they find. Examples are taken from a Wikimini pilot school outside of Stockholm with a class of 11-year old students.

The presentation presents a shift in focus from one on product to one on learning, voice and representation. This approach takes a wider view of participation in and learning about free knowledge, concerned with lowering barriers of entry to Wikipedia editing from a diverse group of readers in the near future.


Not accepted