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Submissions/Turning seniors into Wikipedians: a successful case study from the Czech Republic

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2015.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
Turning seniors into Wikipedians: a successful case study from the Czech Republic
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Presentation with practical examples (if Vojtěch Veselý's submission is disqualified)
Author of the submission
Vojtěch Dostál
E-mail address
Vojtěch Dostál
Country of origin
Czech Republic
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia Czech Republic (WMCZ)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
We started a successful senior citizen education program which has turned many senior citizens into real Wikipedians. A high retention rate of our participants and an interest among regional libraries means that the project has a big potential to have long-impact on Czech Wikipedia. Three separate weekly classes were organized in Prague, lead by project co-manager and successful grantee Vojtěch Veselý. They engaged 37 participants in 2014, and about the same number of new participants has already signed up for the courses in 2015. Our program uses unique know-how and key principles to look for potential editors among senior citizens to not only widen our Wikipedia community, but also to close a big age gap in the community and remove possible age bias in the content.
Although we had extensive know-how from our university education program, we realized that the senior education program could not just copy what we learned from students. First, senior citizens do not regularly visit classrooms every day, as university students do. We needed to establish partnerships with institutions that could replace the schools – municipal libraries, senior citizen learning centers and third-age universities proved to be the most valuable.
The talk will introduce the program and summarize key characteristics that have been crucial to our success. We demonstrated that it is perfectly possible to run a senior citizen education program and had good results with retention. Promotion to our target group was the biggest challenge – solutions to this will be mentioned. Our participants are retired and thus have more free time than their younger student counterparts. Moreover, they are often well-educated and can contribute articles on a range of topics. Most importantly, we are aiming on senior citizens who are already computer literate.
  • Education Outreach
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Yes, if I am awarded a scholarship.
Slides or further information (optional)
Currently not available.
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  1. AKoval (WMF) (talk) 12:55, 15 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
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