Upon completion of our first implementation of the Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom programme in Nigeria which focused on enhancing Teachers’ Media and Information Literacy Skills using the UNESCO MIL Framework, part of our next steps was to assist teachers who completed the program to implement the lesson plans they created into regular classroom activities for their students.
This birthed the first implementation of the Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom for Secondary School Students in Nigeria with a focus on 3 selected schools in Kwara State. This project was led by team members of the first-ever Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom, Nigeria with funding from the Wikimedia Foundation and support, recommendation as well as a partnership from the Wikimedia Education, Wikimedia Nigeria User Group, the Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development – Kwara, School managements, certified teachers and students of the Government Secondary School Ilorin, Faith Academy Ilorin, and Government High School, Adeta, Ilorin, Kwara State.
“Media literacy is not just important, it’s critical. It’s going to make the difference between whether kids are a tool of the mass media or whether the mass media is a tool for kids to use.”Linda Ellerbee
Our Reading goals and impact
The Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom Program for Secondary School Students in Kwara State was the first of its kind in Nigeria and a follow-up initiative to the Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom program but this time for students in 3 selected secondary schools in Kwara State and was facilitated by 6 certified Teachers who were carefully selected based on certification, location of the school within Kwara, availability, and functionality of computer laboratories, as well as the suitability of dedicated period for the training to help students develop and enhance their Media and Information Literacy skills for all-round academic development and to learn new things outside of their regular school curriculums.
- The program proposed recruiting, training, and building Wikimedia awareness among 45 students in the 3 selected secondary schools in Kwara State but succeeded in creating awareness among 51 students in the selected schools.
- Introducing students to the UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Framework as a pedagogical tool to understand the different stages involved in the information cycle by incorporating the use of OERs from the Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom program (Student’s guide, Knowledge Quest activity, etc.) which helped the students learn more about Wikipedia’s content policies and processes using the RWC students quick guide.
- Demonstrating for teachers and students the value of adding or improving local subject-specific content on English Wikipedia, Wikidata, and Wikipedia Common both for their skills development and as an act of service and leadership for the community by establishing the EduWiki secondary school club in Kwara state.
- During the implementation in October 2022, the students were introduced to the various uses of the Wikimedia project with a specific focus on Wikipedia and its relevance to their classroom activities. This program also helps created awareness about the low media and Information literacy rates among secondary school students, misinformation, disinformation, and fake news on the internet; and the misconception of Wikipedia among secondary school students.
Steps taken to activate the Reading
The project timeline was divided into 3 specific activities;
- Planning: This began in September 2022 with several activities such as creating awareness for the program online and offline, opening a call for Certified Teachers of RWC, their students, and schools, visiting the schools to carry out feasibility studies for the program implementation, selection of RWC Teachers and Schools that met the program requirements, preparation and adaptation of program materials, adaptation and creation of communication channels via Social Media Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Implementation: This program implementation ran from 1st to 30th October 2022 and adopted 6 physical training sessions at 3 selected schools; Government Secondary School Ilorin, Faith Academy Ilorin, and Government High School, Adeta, Ilorin, Kwara State. The sessions were structured according to the UNESCO MIL Framework which included; accessing, retrieving, and evaluating Information, and creating information using an adapted lesson plan. With guidance from the project team members and the certified RWC teachers, the students were able to contribute to Wikipedia by carrying out some minor edits as seen on the event dashboard, and now they all have their Wikimedia accounts. The physical training was supported by a focus group discussion on WhatsApp group as well as a follow-up discussion with the certified Teachers via calls and online communication. The implementation was held on different days of the week at the 3 selected secondary schools in Kwara State.
- Evaluation: This helps to better understand whether the program improved Students’ understanding of Wikipedia as a useful learning and research tool to promote vital Media and Information Literacy skills. Secondary School students in Nigeria are usually not carried along in events relating to Media and Information Literacy due to a lack of infrastructure, adequate devices, and information. It was great to know that the students became more eager to contribute when they learned that they could make a difference and leave their footprint on the Wikimedia project as even after the training they still clamour for more opportunities to be engaged in various Wiki activities which we hope to initiate moving forward.
Our Learnings from the Reading
- Most of the students were digitally literate and had come across Wikipedia while solving their class assignments but do not know its benefits to their educational and personal development until the implementation of the program that allowed them to effectively make use of Wikipedia and its sister’s project. During our engagements with the students, we discovered that a lot of them focus more on their textbooks as the only educational resources for their academic needs which is good but educating them on the benefit of Media and Information Literacy and Wikipedia has opened a new chapter for them to explore. In the course of this program, we learned that incorporating the student’s culture and heritage in the training furthermore encouraged them to participate actively in the training. Furthermore, using the outreach dashboard and showing them their contribution also excited them.
Challenges faced during implementation of the RWC Students Kwara, Nigeria
Learnings from the challenges of our first implementation of RWC for Teachers in Nigeria thought us to take precautionary measures and put in place necessary actions to avoid IP address block by requesting account creation via the outreach dashboard and assisting students in creating their account before the second (2nd) physical training using the computer facilities in their school laboratory.
Our next steps
This project has achieved its aim to improve the selected student’s research skills, such as the ability to make sense of information, verify, evaluate, and shift reliable information from information chaos, using the new knowledge gained to assist classroom activities and school work of a fraction of students in Kwara State.
We hope to continue this journey with existing certified Teachers and EduWiki students to keep exploring the Wikispace whilst sharing the knowledge acquired with their peers and generate new ideas to recruit more Teachers and Students for the reading to enhance their Media and Information Literacy Skills.
Reading implementation Resources
Our social media handles
About the Project Implementation Team
James Rhoda (Project Lead): She is a 400-level student at the University of Ilorin, studying Business Education, a Wikimedian and Graphic Designer for the Wikimedia Nigeria User Group, and a co-trainer of the First Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom, Kwara Nigeria. She has also organised, facilitated, and participated in various Wikimedia projects including the ongoing let’s connect peer learning program in Kwara.
Bukola James: (Co-Lead): She is a fellow of Wikipedian in African Libraries, the first Certified Trainer and Project Lead for the Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom program in Nigeria. She is the founder of the Wikimedia Fan Club, at Kwara State University and has led and co-organised several other projects such asWikiLovesLibrariesNigeria 2022, 1Lib1Ref Kwara 2022, WikiGLAM Awareness for Librarians in Kwara State, Wikidata for Libraries and notable Librarians in Kwara State, Wikipedia awareness for Library and Information Students in Nigeria, Wikidata for novelists and their novels, and the let’s connect peer learning program in Kwara. She is currently a Special Advisor of the Wikipedia and Education User Group.
Oluwaseyi Ogbonlaiye (Communication Expert): is a trained facilitator who is passionate about providing solutions to challenges surrounding quality education, sustainable agriculture, community, personal and social development with interests in literacy programs, and integration of technologies to enhance teaching and learning. She is a certified teacher with the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria and was a facilitator of the first Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom, Nigeria.
Barakat Adegboye (facilitator): is a Wikimedia volunteer, who has gathered experience from contributing (as a facilitator and as an editor) to various Wikimedia projects like Wiki loves SDGs, WikiGLAM, 1lib1ref, Wikidata for Libraries and Librarians in Nigeria, Wikidata for Novels and Novelists in Nigeria and so on. She was also a facilitator for the recently concluded Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom, Nigeria and she is the project lead for Let’s Connect Peer Learning Program in Kwara. She is a trained educator who is passionate about learning and sharing knowledge and is also the General Secretary of the University of Ilorin, Wikimedia Fan Club.
Miracle Abayomi James (Volunteer facilitator): She is currently a Biology Education Student at the University of Ilorin, a member of the Unilorin Wikimedia Fan club that help to propagate the Wikimedia movement by participating in campaign and contest as an outstanding contributor in edit-a-thons such as the Wikidata for Novels and Novelists, Wiki Loves Lagos and the Wiki vibrance in Uni Ilorin.
Linason Blessing (Facilitator): she is an experienced Wikibrarian and has participated in various Wikimedia projects such as WikiLoveAfrica, WPWP, Wikidata (Media personalities in Nigeria), Winner of WPWP Kwara and Wikidata Media personality in Nigeria, WikiGLAM Awareness for Libraries and Librarians in Kwara, Wikidata for Libraries and Librarians in Nigeria, 1lib1ref 2022 Kwara, etc. She led the Wikipedia awareness for Library and Information Science Students in Nigeria and was a facilitator for the first Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom in Nigeria.
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