At the end of 2019 the Basque Wikimedians User Group hosted three sessions with the Sakana Development Agency in Navarr for the development of the Digital Commons in Altsasu, Uharte Arakil and Urdiain. In these last two sessions we had the youngest Wikimedians ever, improving the contents of their village in Txikipedia. Urdiain’s students are the youngest who have ever done a Wikimedia exercise at school – in the whole world.
Working the Digital Commons
In Sakana they know perfectly what the commons and the community work (auzolan) are. That’s why when, together with the Sakana Development Agency, we developed with the educational communities a proposal to improve the information about Sakana in the digital world, we didn’t have to give too long explanations: we were developing the Digital Commons.
This is what we said in the presentation of the initiative:
In addition to working on the technological competence of the students, the initiative aims to create and disseminate popular knowledge in a shared way, in line with the Wikipedia project. To do this, a team of each agent, after collecting and analyzing information on a specific topic, will publish it through the different tools offered by Wikipedia, so that the public school of Uharte Arakil works the services of the town and the school of Urdiain analyzes and completes the image of Urdiain in the networks. For their part, the Ikastola Iñigo Aritza will deal with the subject of mythology.
When we started we didn’t know, however, that we were going to have the youngest Wikimedians editing Wikimedia, and that we would all learn so much.
The first exercise we did was at Uharte Arakil, at the public school. The students were children from 8 to 9 years old and the objective was important: to make a list of the services available in Uharte Arakil, to know what and when each one offers, and to do it in Basque.
During a couple of weeks they got to know their village better and had the opportunity to write down which services were important from their point of view. Whoever wants to see the result can do so at https://eu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Txikipedia:Uharte_Arakil
We did the second session with the Ikastola Iñigo Aritza in Altsasu. Taking advantage of the fact that the students were working on mythology, we decided to develop a project around Basque mythology. However, seeing that other students from the University were also working on the same topic, we decided to focus on the mythology of Sakana. We worked mainly on the characters of the Carnival, with some examples from Alsasua, Urdiain and Olazti.
Let’s bring here two examples. The first one is Mari Arroka, a female character from Olazti’s Carnival, who is not in Wikipedia either. The second, the momotxorro article, because they also included the song of the momoxarros of Urdiain.
Urdiain has been the exercise with the youngest wikimedians in history: children from 6 to 9 years old have researched, created and written information about their village; as far as we know, they are the youngest wikimedians to have participated in such an exercise in the whole world.
We have organized the project in three parts in Urdiain; in the first part they have taken the Wikipedia article, read it, and tried to understand what is there and what is not. Why is the population not updated? Why is not the toponymy appearing? From these questions, during one month (four Fridays, as a student remembered) they have made their own version of the Txikipedia article.
Not only that: they have also known Wikimedia Commons, where they have discovered that it is possible to search content by categories. Finally, they decided which is the best view of Urdiain and took a picture of it to upload.
In the final phase, to be held next month, they will share what they learn about toponymy in the hot month. And with toponymy you can learn a lot: history, geography, economy, the traces of the old Basque … it will be exciting to receive their contribution.
Project to work on digital competences
It is said again and again that digital skills must be developed. The Mondragon University defines digital competences as:
Information, information literacy and data processing: identification, location, recovery, storage, organisation and analysis of digital information, assessing its purpose and importance.
Communication and collaboration: communication in digital environments, sharing online resources, connecting and collaborating with others through digital tools, interacting and participating in communities and networks; intercultural awareness.
Digital content creation: creation and editing of new content (texts, images, videos …), integration of knowledge and reworking of previous content, elaboration of artistic productions, multimedia content and computer programming, knowing how to apply rights
Security: personal protection, data protection and digital identity, use of security, safe and sustainable use
Problem solving: identification of digital needs and resources; decision making to select the right digital tools for the need or purpose; conceptual and technical problem solving through digital means; creative use of technology; updating one’s own competence and that of others.
This project responds to all of this, and we have seen that it can also be done from a very young age.
The students have looked for information: the updated data of the population of Urdiain was found in Guaixe local newspaper. Seeing that the percentage of Basque speakers in the Wikipedia article in Basque dates back from 2001, they tried to ask themselves if newer data could be found (it can’t be, and that is also very interesting to study). They went to twenty places on Uharte Arakil to ask them what they were offering and what their schedule was. Two students from Alsasua interviewed the folklorist and musician Enrike Zelaia to find out more about the momotxorros they were writing about.
They have communicated: “can this be seen from Japan?” asked one of Urdiain’s students. Yes, it can be seen. Or from Russia. Proof of this is that the work done is at Russian Wikinews. And they have worked together to search and upload images, ask in different places or, as in the case of Alsasua, complete an article together.
They have created digital content: they have elaborated texts, looked for audios, put lyrics to songs and decided where to look for photos or where to do them. These digital contents, moreover, have been left in the Commons.
They have learned about security: Urdiain’s students have learned that by uploading the photo you can see where it was created, when it was created and with which device it has been uploaded. This is an important fact to take into account in the future.
They have dealt with problem solving: what to do if there are no photos or audios, how to know if a piece of information is correct or not? The students reflected on this.
Show them your Wikilove
Do you want to sahre your Wikilove with them? You can upload a photo of you reading the article about Urdiain (https://eu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Txikipedia:Urdiain) and we will show it to them in the next session.