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CRITICAL DIGITAL PEDAGOGY
Associate Professor & Director of DH@Stockton
• Editing Wikipedia as an educational and political act
• Hands up—how many of you will admit to
checking Wikipedia when looking up something
you don’t know? :D
• Postcolonial Digital Humanities Project
NEUTRALITY & BIAS
• Wikimedia Wikipedia’s Editor’s Survey of 2011:“if there is a
typical Wikipedia editor, he has a college degree, is 30-years-
old, is computer savvy but not necessarily a programmer, doesn’t
actually spend much time playing games, and lives in US or
• Marginalized groups and their histories (people outside of
the United States and Europe, people of color, poor people,
women, LGBT people, and disabled people) are less
represented (or less well represented) on Wikipedia.
WHYTHE REWRITING WIKIPEDIA PROJECT?
- March 2013, inspired by the #toofew feminist movement to engage Wikipedia
- Global Women Write In Events. 3 so far.
#GWWI 1:April 2012, #GWWI II: March 2013, #GWWI III: October 2014
CRITICAL DIGITAL PEDAGOGY
• “Critical Digital Pedagogy: an approach to teaching and learning predicted on
fostering agency and empowering learners (explicitly and implicitly critiquing
oppressive power structures” — Jesse Stommel
• “Critical Pedagogy”—Paulo Freire, bell hooks
• Freire:Against “banking model” of education in which “education becomes an act
of depositing, in which students are the depositories and the teacher is the
• hooks: learning as community
• Editing Wikipedia as Critical Digital Pedagogy
• Involving students in the creation of knowledge
• Getting students to be familiar with rules of (and
understand the problems with) online communities
• Getting students to understand bias in knowledge
Go to http://en.wikipedia.org
Don’t use your real name as your username.
You can change it later once you get more comfortable.
PLAY INTHE SANDBOX
Practice writing summary, saving, creating section headers (use equal sign = on both sides to make something a header, different
numbers of signs surrounding gives you different sizes of headers).ATOC is automatically created if you have 4 + sections.
Use “show preview” to see how your page looks before publishing and use “edit summary” to narrate the kinds of changes that you’ve
THINGSTHAT WILL HELP
MAKEYOUR ENTRIES “STICKY”
• Make minor grammatical and word choice
cleanup on non-controversial articles, as they help
to establish that you’re a “good faith” member of
the community.They also help your input be taken
more seriously if you become embroiled in larger
IDEAS FOR EDITING?
• For a list of ideas about what to start editing, go
• Make small “good faith” edits
• Start with articles/stubs rather than articles that
• Stick around for at least 4 days, making small edits to become an
“established editor”—most people don’t even stick around that long!
• When making a change that requires evidence, ﬁnd good secondary
sources. If not, your change might be considered vandalism (which
does happen quite often)
• Maintain a “neutral” POV
• Wikipedia as a “tertiary” source; meaning you can only reproduce
established, printed knowledge