Talk:Education projects

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I'm hoping to get my hands on some of the bookshelf materials presently - I'll link / bring them over here for further work when I get the chance (unless someone beats me to it :-) - Privatemusings 13:46, 30 April 2010 (EST)

WMF projects in schools

per my comment over on the outreach wiki I think it's going to be important to communicate clearly the nature of some of the more explicit and 'edgy' material currently on wiki commons particularly as part of encouragement for schools to engage with wmf projects. In short, I could not currently support open access to wmf projects in schools, and my (limited) experience of discussing the matter with teachers and others involved in education is that many people are largely unaware of the nature of the available media, and can't support open access either at this time.

Hopefully we, as a chapter, can have a fruitful discussion about this - I think there are some ways forward which may involve the Schools' Wikipedia (great in some ways, not so cool in others) - or hopefully we can show some good 'old australian ingenuity and come up with a world-leading solution to allow schools to learn from the wikis without compromising what they feel is their duty of care to pupils.... more anon....cheers, Privatemusings 13:58, 30 April 2010 (EST)

A quote I found interesting from Larry Sanger was removed, then a link I dropped in was also removed, on the basis that 'it's a personal opinion, not info.' - I'm not sure of the basis Andrew is making these decisions, and would prefer that we did less comment removal, and more discussion :-) - The quote directly relates to Education projects, discussing whether or not it's appropriate for WMF, or in this neck of the woods, WMAU, to undertake outreach work to school age folk.
Regardless of Larry's opinions however, and per the above, I continue to have significant misgivings about the nature of outreach to schools, or any organisation which may support minors' access to all WMF material. I intend to write up some of my concerns in a very brief note on the main page - thoughts? Privatemusings 14:35, 18 June 2010 (EST)
the board of the wmf have passed a motion noting '...we are concerned about the possibility of people being exposed to objectionable material that they did not seek out. This may include material that is violent, sexually explicit, or otherwise disturbing; culturally offensive depictions; profane or vulgar language; depictions of potentially dangerous activities; and exposure of children to material that may be inappropriate for them.' (that represents the main concern pretty well in my view). Apparently a consultant, Robert Harris formerly of the Canadian Broadcast Corp., is going to prepare a report (the brief is fairly open, t'would seem). The relevance of this to educational outreach is self evident I would think, so I'll note it on this page in some fashion shortly.... Privatemusings 14:46, 25 June 2010 (EST)
What this has to do with WMAU educational projects is completely beyond me.
I'll explain that more clearly. Our Statement of Purpose does not envisage our taking a policy development role. What the WMF board, or the communities on the various projects, decide is entirely up to them (including those of us, such as yourself, who wish to participate in the debates which form those decisions). Also, WMAU has no control over the fact that massive numbers of young students already use Wikimedia projects (indeed most of our stuff will be aimed at teachers), so it would be pointless for us to enter that particular policy debate when we have no lawyers, child psychologists, or other professional staff at our disposal. The WMF do, so that is correctly their role. Orderinchaos 14:15, 26 June 2010 (EST)

< heh... what I felt was self evident, turns out to be completely beyond you ;-) - the fault is no doubt mine, so maybe if I reboot a little and keep it simple and clear I might have more luck :-) - it's my feeling that for various reasons, the use of WMF projects by folk under the age of 18 (ie. school age) is a rather sensitive issue - so much so, in fact, that I feel it's inappropriate to advocate for the use of WMF projects within schools. I feel it's synergous with our mission to wave the flag and support what the WMF projects actually are - and I would support finding a consensus position amongst those interested in working in this area for WMAU which might go a little like 'The unrestricted use of / access to WMF projects in schools is currently inappropriate, but here's some important and useful information about how to get the most of out the projects should you wish to know more...'

Of further interest, and adding to my growing disquiet, to be honest is this quote from Hemanshu Nigam;

"Nigam, who is co-chairman of President Obama's Online Safety Technology Group and sits on the board of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said it's not that complicated. "Almost every other social networking site has taken steps to clean up their sites, except for Wikipedia," he said.

Nigam said Wikipedia is making a conscious choice to abandon its responsibility by hosting an online haven for pedophiles.

“It’s nothing more than a company that is choosing to ignore the worst kind of exploitation in the world,” he said." - reported by Fox News here. See here for a little more on Hemanshu Nigam. - Privatemusings 15:41, 27 June 2010 (EST)

I see no evidence that wikipedia is "an online haven for pedophiles" so I sugegst Nigam is over-reaching. However, as Andrew says this is not the business of WMAU. You might consider learning from experience. You continue to call for discussion and nobody joins in. Could it be that we do not want to discuss it, at least here? --Bduke 18:17, 27 June 2010 (EST)

I rather suspect that the quotes cited may have been somewhat selective - but the basic point that WMF is currently irresponsible in terms of child protection and safety has, I feel, some merit. Discussing WMF policy isn't really the business of WMAU (certainly not here anyways) - but considering how to run responsible education projects certainly is - it's that aspect which I'm keen to progress. Privatemusings 09:45, 29 June 2010 (EST)
Agreed with Brian. The paedophiles are far more likely to be on Facebook, Bebo and other social networking sites used by younger people - Wikipedia is for a crushing majority of users a passive medium, only a few edit and even fewer engage. (And Fox News as a source of rational opinion - seriously?) Even so, Wikimedia Australia is not legally, ethically or in any other way responsible for content or policy on Wikipedia or any other project, so any discussion here on that front is a complete waste of time and actually obstructive. Orderinchaos 03:38, 1 July 2010 (EST)

PM, you are missing the point. I do not want to discuss it here or anywhere in WMAU, and I will oppose such discussion. To do so might lead people to think that we are responsible for material on WMF projects. We are not. I also see no evidence that it is a problem in any of our work with schools. This discussion is also a red herring. We should be discussing how to interact with education in Australia. --Bduke 07:54, 1 July 2010 (EST)

Just to note that I absolutely agree with Brian's comments. I also do not believe that Wikimedia Australia is an appropriate venue for discussing this issue. I believe it is a discussion which is worth the broader Wikimedia community having but this just isn't an appropriate place or context. In addition to Brian's comments about boundaries and responsibility for material on WMF projects, we have a very specific and narrow purpose and it does not include providing a venue for advocacy against WMF projects. If you really feel, as you say, that you "feel it's inappropriate to advocate for the use of WMF projects within schools" then you're fundamentally at odds with our mission and you really might want to reconsider what you're doing here. I don't mean that in a nasty or rude way, just as a matter of fact that we work within a very focused mission which includes promoting the use of WMF projects and the direction you seem to be wanting us to take seems to be at great odds with that mission. Sarah 15:17, 6 July 2010 (EST)

heh.... personally I have no problem supporting WMF projects, supporting WMAU, and still believing that free access to all WMF material is inappropriate in schools. I do think outreach to schools requires additional responsibility (independant of our general limited liabilities in terms of WMF content) - maybe you'd agree with that too? - either ways I'll try and keep my promise below to demonstrate just how simple and straight forward I would imagine an improvement could be. More anon.... Privatemusings 16:31, 6 July 2010 (EST)

next steps

I think continuing discussion above is probably a good idea, and I'll hold off on editing the main page pending further discussion - probably sometime next week I'll try and write something in which I think would be a good idea referencing some of the ongoing discussions in this area, and the status quo etc. Privatemusings 15:41, 27 June 2010 (EST)

See above. I do not think it is appropriate to raise this on the main page. --Bduke 18:17, 27 June 2010 (EST)
when I get the chance I'll drop something in here - hopefully it'll be more on-topic and appropriate than you might think :-) cheers, Privatemusings 09:46, 29 June 2010 (EST)

I'd like to add;

Please see Wikipedia:Advice_for_parents for some important general information on the content of Wikimedia projects.

or we could paraphrase a small bit - perhaps mainly Wikipedia:Advice_for_parents#Wikipedia_content - I started that page by the way, though I don't recall if any of my original text remains! - Although it's a 'wikipedia' page, the advice largely applies to WMF in general, I think. Hopefully this really is as uncontroversial as I think!? cheers, Privatemusings 17:15, 22 July 2010 (EST)

I'll get to this at some point this week. Comments still welcome.... Privatemusings 09:36, 26 July 2010 (EST)
hmmmmm... maybe this week I'll have more luck / time ;-) Privatemusings 14:43, 10 August 2010 (EST)
and by next week, of course I meant next month... heading to make the change now. Privatemusings 14:04, 14 September 2010 (EST)
it's been reverted without comment by Sarah - I'm second guessing here, but maybe she felt it was too prominent, or inappropriate to place at the top of the page. I'll put it unobstrusively further down, and hope that further editing includes a bit of discussion :-) Privatemusings 16:54, 14 September 2010 (EST)

< it's been reverted again, with a summary indicating that sarah feels the chapter is 'not the place for this' - I think this echos her argument above that she feels such thoughts or suggestions have no place within the chapter - I hope that she's misunderstood, or perhaps is just mistaken, I think it's a bit off, and will try and have a chat with some other folk in due course to seek further opinion (obviously any input here from sarah would be most welcome, and I'm happy to chat too :-) cheers, Privatemusings 19:43, 14 September 2010 (EST)

I am sure that Sarah meant that this page is not the right location for it, as advice or parents is not an educational project per se; it would be a user education project. Whether or not it has a place within the chapter depends on the direction we, as a group, decide on. Please hold off on proposing new projects or directions on this wiki until after the AGM and the new committee have had a chance to chat. John Vandenberg 21:03, 14 September 2010 (EST)
I know this particular point has been discussed a number of times on the mailing list, on this page, and at other venues, and in every case there has been a pretty solid consensus not to go down that route. I know it's your pet issue PM, but I think it is clear that there is no enthusiasm for this in the chapter and that you'd be better off directing your attentions elsewhere. Lankiveil 22:32, 14 September 2010 (EST).

< I agree that it's wise to let the AGM dust settle a wee bit (per John) before picking this back up - I don't see this as a big deal to be honest, but will seek further clarification in due course about what 'this particular point' is, and where it's been discussed - perhaps we're falling victim to accidental conflation here, either ways - there's no rush :-) cheers, Privatemusings 09:23, 15 September 2010 (EST)


I removed the MAWA and VIC collaborations, as there isn't anything about them on the public wiki as yet. If these projects have launched, a brief page about them is needed. Also, the 2010 development section needs an overhaul in order to look professional. Which successful overseas projects were identified in the Berlin Chapters meeting? If they are hosted somewhere else, we can link to them until someone localises them to be suitable for the Australian sector. "Some members have expressed the view" makes me want to tag it with {{who}}; is this referring to WMAu members, or Berlin chapter meeting members? If it is the former, was it discussed on the mailing list? John Vandenberg 21:44, 14 September 2010 (EST)

There is a lot of overlap here with the earlier Education page. Either we should merge this page into that page, or add definition to both pages so there is less overlap. John Vandenberg 22:26, 14 September 2010 (EST)
A few questions there - I'll try to answer them all:
  1. The trouble with collaborations as opposed to things we do ourselves is that, this being not only a wiki for our members but Google-searchable as well, there are issues of confidentiality of those who provided us with the information.
  2. I don't know what has happened with the VIC collaboration of late (Brianna was meeting with them earlier in the year and it looked promising at that point), I also don't know what can be said publicly. The MAWA collaboration is still in discussion but whether it gets off the ground depends on whether we can find common ground with them. Both are subject to the caveat in 1 as any discussion inevitably ends up in a discussion of those organisations' internal circumstances.
  3. Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Portugal and Indonesia were the ones I had in mind when I wrote that. The Netherlands' project is somewhat covered at [1] - Jose Spierts (president of the NL chapter) was the person involved. The Polish and Norwegian materials were the ones I was hoping to get hold of, the former are at [2] and [3] but are entirely in Polish. The Norwegian materials are unavailable because the people Sarah and I dealt with in Berlin lost their board positions shortly after the meeting.
  4. I personally received complaints from several Wikimedia financial members at the time (February-April) who believed we should stay out of schools and deal only with teachers because of duty of care / accreditation issues. I know the committee at one point discussed the whole issue of whether Working with Children cards would be needed. For a range of reasons, I don't believe it was ever discussed in any public forum.
  5. The Education page is a page on education. This is a page ultimately intended to centralise collaboration on education projects. It was originally called "Schools" but not only was the title too narrow, but as previously mentioned, there were questions as to whether it was even correct.
I would be happy to answer questions in more detail privately. Orderinchaos 02:56, 15 September 2010 (EST)
Oh, and the European projects thing never took place in Berlin - the person who was promoting the idea was from the Catalan project which was unrepresented at the conference. Orderinchaos 04:28, 15 September 2010 (EST)