TAO/Amical Viquipèdia Association Seniors Outreach 2011 Report

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Elderly Workshops Project in 2011[edit]

Report based on information collected by Patrick Kenel (Wikimedia CH) from Joan Gomà and Alex Hinojo (Amical Viquipèdia) in spring 2012

During the last four months of 2011 Wikipedia workshops for the elderly were held at neighborhood elderly centers run by the Government of Catalonia (the Generalitat). A series of 19 talks were held at 19 different locations throughout Catalonia. Due to scheduling problems, two presentations had to be postponed until further notice. Some 200 individuals could be reached. The civic centers were selected by the General Directorate of Civic and Community Action of the Generalitat’s Department of Social Welfare according to their preparation and interest in the topic and in new technologies. Participating in the talks were 7 editors of Wikipedia in Catalan (Viquipèdia), all of them active members of the Amical Viquipèdia association.

Objectives[edit]

  • Make Wikipedia known
  • As a result, attract new editors and offer an opportunità for retired people to carry out an intellectual activity, stimulating their memory and fostering team work. We believe Wikipedia should cut across society and be built also by the elderly and not only by young people who can easily handle new technologies
  • Ascertain/recognize strengths of this social sector and ways they can help in editing
  • Create nuclei of friends of Wikipedia in the different towns visited

Assessment[edit]

  • It was a positive experience, for both the people who attended the talks (some 200) and those giving them (7)
  • We managed to spread the word about Wikipedia at neighborhood elderly centers with the collaboration and co-organization of the Generalitat. Despite this coordination, each center proved to have its own dynamic, and the dissemination efforts therefore ranged from a simple presentation to a hands-on workshop where new users registered. In this regard, we discovered the computer room coordinators who will be able to provide support in the future
  • We were able to gain first-hand knowledge of the issues relating to the elderly at these centers, not only insofar as their contact with Wikipedia and their becoming new editors, but also with regard to their knowledge of computers/information science in general, and in some cases, difficulties in the use of written Catalan

Project in 2012[edit]

Follow-up at centers where previous talks were held[edit]

For those centers wishing to repeat the experience, a „customized“ session will be held with those people truly interested, working on specific tasks:

  • Small modifications
  • Uploading photographs and adding them to articles
  • Translations from Spanish to Catalan

New centers for 2012[edit]

The idea is to redesign the model such that specific conditioning factors (number of attendees, computer skills level and possibly Catalan language level) are ensured. Exploring possible synergies with Catalan language classes and photography groups proposing joint and/or complementary activities.

Carry out 3 sessions (2 hours each) with a structure similar to the following:

  1. Introductory Informative Session: Attendees will be supplied with printed material consisting of a «Welcome to Viquipèdia» leaflet and/or Viquipèdia booklet, depending on the funds available
  2. Workshop
  3. Workshop and possible later follow-up. If possible with the volunteers from the workshops who should be willing to help organize further workshops and monitor the evolution of participation in the Wikipedia by those attending workshops in the past

Financial assistance for monitors[edit]

We are considering to cover part of the monitor’s travel expenses which would amount to an average of about € 10 per session.