Learning from Wikimedia Education SAARC conference

I am Anup Sadi, a Bangladeshi Wikimedian, have attended at Wikimedia Education SAARC conference Bangalore on 20th June 2019. The conference is related to the Wikimedians, Wikimedia education leaders, educators and researchers who are engaged with Open Education and free knowledge movement. As a college teacher I was very excited for attending the conference.

After the inaugural ceremony Dr. Ramesh C.Sharma presented a session on “Introduction to OER movement”. Professor Sharma discussed on the open source software. The changes in Philosophy towards an “open access movement”. To him, thirty years of web was a long journey. Now the dark web is the major part. He informed us that we know 5 web generation, PC era started in 1980-1990, 1st web started in 1990-2000, connects information.

Professor Sharma considered that in education field internet is sharing the information. Affordances of the internet was not easy in the last years. Open education Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use, whether you are an instructor, students or self-learner.  OER are teaching, learning and research resource and any other educational purposes.  Open content is 5rs those are reuse, revise, remix, redistribute and retain.

Why we need OER? For studentes, teachers, or general public to increase access in knowledge. OER is Lower costs, no tution fees, and lower text costs. He presented in detail on Creative commons and its different aspects. The he made acquainted us with the open sources from online such as Plos Journals, Oer Foundation wikieducator.org, oer.org, etc.

In the second day of the session on “Challenges of Growing Communities – Make Wikipedia Trustworthy to the Educators” I take part as a sharer of my experiences. I told that Bangladeshi and Nepali Educators do not trust on Wikipedia. My professor Dr. Shital Green Dahal has completed PhD on Literature at Texas Tech University and was a Faculty Member of the Institute of Advance Communication, Education and Research, affiliated to Pokhara University. Dr. Green was against taking information from Wikipedia. He discouraged his students not to use any sources of Wikipedia. He strictly prohibited us to read of use any information From Wikipedia. My suggestions are to make Wikipedia Trustworthy to the Educators is not easy. If the editors is reliable sources for information, It can be trustworthy.

আরো পড়ুন:  Contribution Timeline of Anup Sadi in Wikimedia Projects

My experience of the conference was exciting. 7 Wikipedians from Bangladesh reached Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore at noon on 19th June to attend the conference. At that time the temperature in Kolkata was 35-38 degrees and in Bangalore it was 23 degrees. The weather was good and comfortable; The heat of the sun was low. The temperature of Bangalore was lower than Bangladesh and Kolkata. From the airport we took a taxi to the venue of the conference, Christ University. The name of Bangladeshi Wikipedians were Dolon Prova, Afifa Afrin, Ghalib Hasan, Meraj, Masum Al Hasan Roki, Muhin Riad and I Anup Sadi.

The days of ‘Wikimedia Education SAARC conference’ were very important for me. I enjoyed every session of the conference. Wikipedians from India, Bangladesh, Nepal joined this conference. It was a nice platform to share our experiences with different speakers.

After breakfast on 20th June, we registered our names and entered the conference room. In the afternoon session we come together for a presentation on our future action plans. The following two days, ie 21-22 June, Wikipedians from different communities presented their research papers. In between there were some events which were very important for the newcomers. Like writing posters, sharing experiences etc.

Meanwhile, all the participants were divided into 10 teams and presented their future plans. I have got the complete idea about the educational program. Which would help in later work. On the last day of the conference, a separate photo session was held with all Wikipedians.

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