Training Resources for the African Wikimedia Movement
Have you ever wondered what skills are needed to organise or participate in a Wikimedia project? Do you know where to find learning support?
Image Alan Levine via Flickr CCO
Navigating the complex ecosystem that is the Wikimedia movement can be daunting, even to those who have participated in many Wikimedia projects and are no longer newbies. The core concept of Wikimedia, collecting and sharing the wealth of human knowledge, is so ambitious that it needs a vast network of minds across the globe to be open to connecting and learning from each other. Luckily, the open ethos is a generous one, and there are a wealth of resources and peer-to-peer learning opportunities that you can access to get you started and keep you going.
In this newsletter, we look at some of the learning opportunities and resources available to the African community, because as Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends." That applies to wikimedians too.
The American educational theorist David Kolb said, "Learning is most often considered a process of getting rather than giving. This is most evident in conceptions of student/teacher roles: Teachers give and students get. Yet, in adult learning both giving and getting are critical."
Let’s Connect creates spaces for interactive peer-to-peer learning and has a range of resources available. In April, Wiki in Africa collaborated with Let's Connect to bring the community a learning clinic on the key tools we use to organise our team's workflow, and communication needs. The workshop covered five apps that are integral to the success of our projects. These workshops, described below, have been loaded to YouTube as an ongoing learning resource for you. Click on any of the app names below to access the demo sessions of the apps from the Wiki in Africa Let's Connect session.
- Asana is an admin tool we use to organise, track, and manage our work.
- Later is an intuitive, easy-to-use web-based platform we use to schedule social media and monitor analytics.
- Streamyard is professional live streaming and video recording studio in your browser that can stream live content, like Wiki Africa Hour, to multiple social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.
- We use 1Password for cybersecurity, to keep our team's shared passwords safe.
- Montage is a photo evaluation tool for Wiki Loves competitions that we use for Wiki Loves Africa.
There are many more learning clinics and resources available through Let’s Connect. Find out more on their Knowledge/Sharing/Calendar
page on Meta.
Wiki in Africa/Resources on Meta
Every Wiki in Africa project aims to be as inclusive as possible, so providing training programmes and resources is essential. Over the years, we have run office hours, workshops, focus groups and more. To keep these resources available to the community, we've created a Wiki in Africa Resource page on Meta, and we add to it continuously. We also included other materials that you may find useful. Bookmark it! We have everything from photography training webinars and masterclasses to safe space policies so you can protect yourself and your team in the digital sphere.
Art + Feminism/Resources
Art+Feminism builds a community of activists that is committed to closing information gaps related to gender, feminism, and the arts, beginning with Wikipedia. They have collected a range of resources and materials both on Commons and on their website under Resources that are available for anyone to use, translate and circulate under an open-source free license. They've also organised their learning resources by category so they're easy to navigate.
Wiki Loves Women Focus Group
The Wiki Loves Women Focus Coaching programme is a practical, action-oriented, mentored online training programme. It provides skills and knowledge transfer that is specifically designed to support community leaders as they create gender-equity programmes and drives within the Wikimedia and Open movements.
Each year, Wiki Loves Women mentors 12 women in the Focus Group, holding seminars to discuss a myriad of relevant topics. They meet each month with the goal of transferring skills, but also to raise awareness of the lack of representation of women generally, and more specifically on online platforms such as Wikipedia (or Wikiquote), and take action to counter it. The group isn't aimed at unpacking the important and contentious issues within the Gender space, but rather aims to transfer vital skills towards women and men – digital, technical, researching, writing and leadership – that allow them to access information in order to make up their own minds. To find out more, go to the Wiki Loves Women/Focus Group Meta page.
Naija Office Hour
The Naija Office Hour is brought to you by the Nigerian Wikimedia community. The bi-monthly Zoom meetup aims to disseminate Wikimedia-related information to its members and enrich their knowledge of the space through engaging with key people about Wiki-specific topics, but the topics covered are relevant to all Wikimedians looking to broaden their own knowledge. To find out about upcoming events go to the Naija Office Hour Meta page, and if something grabs your interest, register for the event via the link provided under the Upcoming Office Hours heading.
The organisers of the recent Africa Environment WikiFocus (Wiki In Africa and Wikimedia Usergroup Côte d’Ivoire) have put together a Resource page for wikimedian editors on Africa and the African environment. The page includes documents and reference materials such as climate change reports and publications, country-specific climate change overviews, as well as media links to relevant blogs and articles.
The recordings of all the training webinars held during the Africa Environment WikiFocus are also available on YouTube, and the links and details can be found on the Resource page linked above. The resources are an invaluable source of information for Africa's fight against climate change.
For those of you fluent in French, Wikimedia France has always been a great source of training activities and resources. Besides offering two moocs to the community each year (one on Wikipedia and one on Wikidata), the association offers several training sessions facilitated by wikimedians or external experts. For example, the three training themes for 2023 include recruitment and management of volunteers, how to reduce the environmental impact of wikimedian activities, and technical upskilling.
To find out more go to their Wikimédia France/Soutien/Plan de formation Meta page.
These are just a few of the wonderful learning clinics and training resources available to the African Wikimedia community. If you have a training resource to share, post the link on Twitter and tag us @WikiAfrica.