State-level Wiki Academy at St Aloysius College today

This is the first time that such an event is being held in India


According to a press release issued by College Journalism Department Head Fr Richard Rego, this is the first time that such an event is being held in India. The one-day workshop will focus on the use of Indian languages in Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that has revolutionised the access of information to people across the world.

Wikipedia is a free web-based and collaborative multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its name is a portmanteau (mixture) of the words wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning ‘quick’) and encyclopedia. Wikipedia has today over 13 million articles in over a 100 languages including several Indian languages such as Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu. Wikipedia’s volunteers are also trying to begin an encyclopedia in Konkani and Tulu.

All of Wikipedia’s 13 million articles (3 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. College students, teachers, doctors and various other professionals (and even high school students!) take time away to learn about a topic from various sources and add to the encyclopedia. Access is completely free and almost all articles can be edited by anyone with an Internet connection. Editors of Wikipedia on the one hand improve access to information to anybody seeking it, and on the other, improve their abilities to write and research through their work with Wikipedia.

Outreach event
Wikipedia Academies are public outreach events, usually lasting one or two days. They are designed to coach academics and other experts in how to contribute to Wikipedia, and to foster a positive impression of Wikipedia. Their main purpose is to increase the quality and – to a lesser extent – the quantity of articles in Wikipedia. Such Academies are normally staged as conferences for roughly 80–200 people. They often focus on encouraging contributions from a particular language, or to a specific field.

The one-day Wiki Academy at St Aloysius College, Mangalore, will begin with talks and presentations about the concept, history and evolution of Wikipedia which started with a humble few hundred articles and has grown in size over the years since 2001. The workshop is being organised by volunteer editors of the English and Kannada editions of Wikipedia. They will demonstrate how to edit articles, add photos and the use of Wikipedia academics. They will also introduce people to the various policies that help improve not just the Wikipedia, but more importantly, the standards in education.  Registration to this Wiki Academy is free. Registrations are also open on the day of the event.

Golden opportunity
The event is a golden opportunity to participate in the creation of one of the largest repositories of information in the web. It is ideal for teachers, students, working professionals, librarians, scholars and anybody with an interest in reading, research or contributing to the encyclopedia.
The speakers at the programme include Hari Prasad Nadig ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:HPN ) and Dr Prashanth N S (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Prashanthns)

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