I have a couple of interesting gigs coming up in April.
First is a Wikipedia editing workshop at the Australian Computers in Education Conference. I gave a talk called ‘Safe wiki’ at the last such conference, in Canberra in 2008. Now it is rolling around to Melbourne and I am doing something a bit more hands-on.
Registrations for ACEC are now open. You can also buy a ticket just for Thursday (to catch the open source stream!) or even just a half-day if you like.
Second is something quite exciting, the National Library of Australia’s Innovative Ideas Forum. It is a national event they hold, one day long, free, but only about 300 attendees. This year they are encouraging the use of Twitter throughout, and will probably podcast it, if last year is any indication. One of the other speakers is Nicholas Gruen, who was head of the Government 2.0 Taskforce. Esteemed company indeed! My talk is called “Is Wikipedia a one-off?: Is mass collaboration all it’s cracked up to be?“
The NLA is a great host for such an event; it doesn’t surprise me that they are encouraging big-thinking and innovation in technology. Their Australian Newspapers site is not only a fine example of making dead-wood products machine readable and comfortably at home amongst the electrons, but it also integrates ‘crowdsourcing’ (OCR correction) in a very natural and, from what I understand, successful manner.
I hear places are filling up quickly so if you are in Canberra, register soon!
Last year I spoke at the Australian Computers in Education conference (you can see/hear my presentation at Slideshare), and although the crowd at my talk was small, the flow-on effects of giving it have been worthwhile. A couple of months ago I was contacted by a New Zealand teacher, Sandy, who had attended my talk and enjoyed it, and wanted to find a local editor who might give a similar presentation to her local area teachers’ “professional development” day.
After a bit of scouting around I located Matt Lane, a New Zealander editor with over 5k edits at English Wikipedia. Eminently qualified! I put them in touch and hoped it would work out.
Today I heard back from Sandy, who reported that the day was a great success:
Marlborough learning Community ICT cluster Teacher Only Day:
This was our clusters 4th Teacher only day based around up-skilling and using ICT in the classroom to enhance the teaching and learning opportunities for students (learning years 9-13).
The day started with a keynote presentation and then staff went to 2 workshops/ breakouts, lasting about 1.5 hours each, and with no more than 16 in a group. One of these was Wikipedia, how it works and how it can be used, by Matt Lane (NZ).
Matt presented a very interesting and entertaining look at Wikipedia and its wide reaching use by internet users and by educationalists. Staff left the presentation excited about the potential to use Wikipedia in their classrooms to aid teaching and as a site for students to access reliable and up to date information about their research topics. Wikipedia was no longer seen as a potentially “dodgy” place to get information but in fact one of the best places to start/ continue ones research through the links and opportunities to verify information presented there.
Well done Matt! And thank you Sandy for following up.
If you’re not averse to a spot of in-person rambling about the Wikimedia philosophy and practices, see if you can think of ways of increasing your visibility as a Wikimedia editor locally. Making yourself known might lead to more oppotunities than you realise.