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Wikipedia at 20

A 3-part discussion series in honor of Wikipedia's 20th birthday

We would like to invite you to join us for Wikipedia @ 20, a discussion series that examines the past, present and future of Wikipedia, the Internet encyclopedia. In this series of 3 programs, you can learn more about how crowdsourced information affects the way people learn and share knowledge and how teachers and students from grade school to graduate school are using Wikipedia (for better or worse). We'll dismantle some misconceptions about Wikipedia and meet some of the editors who are responsible for coordinating the production of Wikipedia information about COVID-19 and the January 6th insurrection. This program is co-sponsored by the University of Rhode Island College of Arts and Sciences and the Harrington School of Communication and Media. 


Educator Workshop

It's a statewide professional development day - and Rhode Island educators will receive a certificate of participation for attending! 


We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Wikipedia! This program features Professor Troy Hicks, an expert in digital writing, who engages participants in an interactive and collaborative online activity that helps participants better understand how Wikipedia works and how it can be used to support the development of research skills and inquiry learning in any field or discipline. This event will also feature case studies of faculty who have used Wikipedia in their teaching. 

Students have been told repeatedly that Wikipedia is an unreliable source, with concerns that are rooted in the technical functions of how any wiki -- including a site like Wikipedia -- actually works, including who has access and what that access might allow a user to do with mean-spirited editing. 

Yet, how much do we really know about how¬†Wikipedia¬†functions, from both technical and social standpoints? In this session, we will explore the anatomy of a¬†Wikipedia¬†page, focusing on the editorial principle of a ‚Äúneutral point of view,‚ÄĚ and will explore additional features embedded in the structure of¬†Wikipedia¬†itself for tracking page edits and discussing disagreements about any topic. As we close, we will hear from University of Rhode Island faculty who have engaged students in creating Wikipedia entries, helping them consider the value of this much-maligned resource¬†for their own academic learning.¬†

DATE: Monday, March 15

TIME: 12 - 1 pm EST

LOCATION: Online. Click here to register. 


  • Troy Hicks, author of The¬†Digital Writing Workshop¬†and many other books on digital literacy
  • Smita Ramnarain, Department of Economics, University of Rhode Island
  • Susanne Menden-Deuer, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island¬†

MODERATOR: Mary Moen, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, University of Rhode Island



An Online Viewing and Discussion Experience

We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Wikipedia! Join us for this fun online screening and discussion program featuring short video clips that illustrate ideas about the epistemology of Wikipedia. As part of this 60-minute program, we will model practices for implementing viewing and discussion activities in a fully-online context.

DATE: Monday, March 22

TIME: 5 - 6 pm EST

LOCATION: Online. Click here to register. 

Presenters include University of Rhode Island faculty Mary Moen, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, Norbert Mundorf, Harrington School of Communication and Media, Renee Hobbs, Harrington School of Communication and Media, and  Frank Romanelli, College of Education and Professional Studies





    In 2021, Wikipedia celebrates its 20th birthday. Since its creation, Wikipedia has grown to include more than 55 million articles, equivalent to more than 20,000 bound volumes. Wikipedia‚Äôs founding vision is best expressed in the famous provocation to ‚Äúimagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.‚ÄĚ With more than 500 million worldwide monthly readers, it is one of the most important resources on the Internet. But Wikipedia¬†continues to be an information resource that is misunderstood and controversial. In this series of events, we explore the impact of Wikipedia by examining its epistemology and values; its practical utility as a resource for students, teachers, and information-seekers; and as a cultural phenomenon that relies on peer-to-peer global knowledge sharing.

    DATE: Monday, March 29

    TIME: 5 - 6:30 PM EST

    LOCATION: Online. Click here to register. 

    Presenters include experienced Wikipedians, information experts, critics, and educators who offer insight on Wikipedia and the changing nature of knowledge in a digital age:

    • SHERRY ANTOINE, Executive Director of AfroCROWD, a Wikimedia initiative addressing gender and diversity gaps in Wikipedia
    • R. DAVID LANKES is the director of the University of South Carolina‚Äôs School of Information Science
    • RYAN MCGRADY has been involved with Wikipedia since 2007, first as a researcher and teacher, then organizer, program manager, and volunteer contributor
    • JASON MOORE is a Wikipedian who coordinated volunteer editors on topics include COVID-19 and the January 6th insurrection
    • FRANK SCHULENBURG is the Executive Director of Wiki Education¬†and serves as the main interface between Wikipedia and educational institutions in the United States and Canada.

    MODERATOR: Renee Hobbs