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Submissions/Wikipedia: from participatory didactics to civic education

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2014 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no. 3055
Title of the submission

Wikipedia: from participatory didactics to civic education

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)


Author of the submission

Alice Diacono

E-mail address




Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

weLand association

Personal homepage or blog

www.we-land.com ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWFS2viT4-s

Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Here is my video presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWFS2viT4-s

The presentation deals with the use of Wikipedia both as a didactic tool to enhance the production of source-critical, collaborative and shareable knowledge by students of high schools and as a point of first call in the education of new generations to participatory citizenship through technology, copy-left team work and open data. The theme will be approached both theoretically and through a series of concrete cases taken from my experience as a member of weLand, a no-profit association working in North-West Italy, where it implements innovative cultural projects in partnership with Wikimedia Italia.

The goal of my association is to test and adapt the potential of broad projects such as those belonging in the Wikipedia Education Program to a local scale. The place where we mainly operate, Asti, is a town of about 70 thousands inhabitants (220.000 with its province) in South Piedmont, with a remarkable potential in terms of cultural an economic (touristic and gastronomic) resources. All these characteristics make this province an interesting case study, where innovative projects can be easily advertised to the local community and thus have greater impact on the community as a whole.

Within this context, a project called “Wikipedia goes to school” is being run together with Wikimedia Italia and other local associations, aiming at instructing high school teachers as well as operators in museums and other cultural/touristic institutions to make a proper use of the didactic and social potential of Wikipedia. After attending a free course, people participating in the project will have a year (September 2014 – September 2015) to produce new Wikipedia pages on topics related to the territory in which they live. This section is conceived as a workshop during which teachers work with their students and colleagues, while other operators interact with visitors and tourists, learning how to develop a common language and to enhance communication on topics of cultural, social and touristic relevance. Participants are thus expected to become more aware of the greater impact that their initiative gains from using new media as well as of the social and moral implications of being part of a participatory community, from the class to the city.

This project is expected to engender a waterfall effect, through which more people in the chosen geographical context will establish a rewarding contact with copy-left, participatory media, and will start to see participation as a normal attitude towards social life, at the same time a right to receive and a duty to give knowledge and services. Through Wikipedia, work on contents will combine with a continuous reflection on the instruments allowing for a critical and fruitful use of internet and on the social responsibility related to it. People will be encouraged to learn how to use new media in a public perspective and to adapt them to their needs as cultural, touristic and social operators.

Due to the experimental nature of this project, theoretical expectations will be combined with reflections on the challenges and difficulties that this and similar projects face in their concrete field of application. The public assisting at the presentation is warmly invited to contribute to an open debate possibly drawing on their experiences in the field. Long-term international networking with other individuals and groups is a major purpose of this encounter.


Education Outreach

Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)

15-20 minutes (presentation + questions)

Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)

The presentation will include slides

Special requests

Interested attendees

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