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About MeEdit

  My name is Ximena Gallardo C. and in my day job I teach English literature and composition at LaGuardia Community College. I am particularly interested in science-fiction film and print, and gender and race issues. My main current Wikipedia project is the creation and expansion of the entries for American speculative author Octavia E. Butler. Some of this work is being completed by second-year LaGuardia students (see "Course Projects," below), some by Butler scholars during edit-a-thons. I also co-coordinate the La Guardia and Wagner Archives GLAM, a group dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of New York City, and particularly exploring unique archival holdings such as the Edward I. Koch Collection. My most recent project was the 2018 Translatathon, hopefully the first in a series of such events.

Course ProjectsEdit

Home page for the LaGuardia WikiProject Octavia E. Butler:

Wiki GroupsEdit

A note on using Wikipedia for educationEdit

LaGuardia Community College student editors of Octavia E. Butler's Kindred talk about their experience using Wikipedia in the classroom during WikiConferenceUSA 2014.

As a writing teacher, I am interested in what editing the world's most consulted online encyclopedia can offer my students. As I see it, editing Wikipedia is

  • implementing and practicing 21st Century writing, which may be defined as a) web-based; b) social and collaborative; c) a work in perpetual progress; d) immediately visible, thus prompting immediate feedback; e) easily available and accessible.
  • shifting from being a knowledge user to being a knowledge creator on the Internet
  • experiencing the pleasure and pain of real-world publication
  • becoming involved in a community of smart, caring, helpful, sophisticated people

(That said, I believe live publishing should be a personal choice. I have made it my policy not to require students to individually publish or edit live work on Wikipedia for course credit. I do require that students learn the basics of Wikipedia editing by completing training, reporting research in their sandboxes, and discussing issues on talk pages.)

As a community college educator, I want my students to learn about and partake in the production of free knowledge, especially now that higher education is fast becoming a commodity. And as a Wikipedian, I recognize that Wikipedia benefits enormously from my students' contributions. It is common knowledge that the English-language Wikipedia, for example, demonstrates a clear, if incidental systemic bias so that certain topics, groups, and even cultures are not adequately represented yet. Thus the need, in my view, for multicultural crowdsourcing from groups such as the LaGuardia student editors, who come from more than one hundred and fifty different countries and from varied social, economic, and educational levels, and most of whom are female. It is only with the inclusion of their voices that Wikipedia may become the vibrant compendium of human knowledge it aims to be.