Wikipedia reaches Classrooms in Hyderabad

Posted by Syed Muzammiluddin at Sep 20, 2013 07:20 AM |
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Hyderabad organised a one-day workshop on editing Wikipedia in Indian languages. It was attended by participants who formed a small but proactive group of students who eagerly tried to register the first edits on four different Indian language wikipedias.
Wikipedia reaches Classrooms in Hyderabad

Participants from the TISS workshop (by Syed Muzammiluddin, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

A Mela for a Mélange of Learners

As a run-up to the TISS Indian Languages Mela (scheduled for September 20 – 21, 2013), the Centre for Indian Languages in Higher Education on August 24 conducted a workshop in Hyderabad. CIS-A2K in collaboration with the Wikipedia Hyderabad community had organized this workshop. The objective of the workshop was to inform and educate students on creating articles in any of the Indian languages on Wikipedia. Participants were encouraged to edit in Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, and Marathi, Kannada or any other language of their choice.

A Weekend for the Cause of Knowledge

A total of 20 participants came over for the weekend workshop. Nine participants had Malayalam as their native language. Five people had Telugu as their mother tongue. Four participants were Maharashtrians, and the remaining two were Kannadigas.

Two Sessions

The workshop was divided in two sessions. In the introductory session, participants were introduced to Wikipedia and its unique nature as an editable online encyclopaedia. Participants learnt about adding, modifying and deleting content on the Wikipedia, the various styles of formatting the content including creation of the heading level, sub-headings, etc.  In the hands-on-session the participants were exposed to a hands-on practice about the editing features of Wikipedia, Wikimedia syntax, quality articles, new article creation, and Wikipedia’s transliteration tools for Indian languages.

End of the Day Gains

The students got a first-hand exposure to Indian languages wiki editing. Many students were thrilled at the novelty of the universal licensing system application and how it could switch between English and Indian languages. The use of shift key and multiple keys for certain consonants, diphthongs and special characters were particularly quite exciting for students. Students were eager to explore more about creating headings, sub-headings, bold, italics, underlining, bullet formats on Wikipedia. They also tested the online appearance of the Wikipedia code.

The participants were all thrilled on attending this workshop. Anand Kumar said that he was happy to get exposure about Wikipedia. Manomi Nair said that she was glad to be part of this workshop. Haseeb said it was very educative, and finally to sum up in the words of Dheeraj Kumar, an enthusiastic participant from the workshop, “this was an exciting way to explore a new world of knowledge.”