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Wikipedia, an example of Extension innovation

Ellie McCann, Extension educator

Several educators were invited to participate in a hands-on learning day on the St. Paul campus with Kristen Mastel, Outreach and Instruction librarian, to work on how we can use Wikipedia, but not as you might think.

This wasn’t going to be a day about searching Wikipedia, and we had some pre-work to do. Did you know you can create a Wikipedia account? I didn’t! I went with some ideas in mind and spent the day working on adding content and citations to Wikipedia’s coparenting page. I also sketched out a plan for how our coparenting team can continue to build this page in the upcoming year. As I stated in a September MN Daily blog, I want to spend more time looking at our content expertise to put it in new places that are accessible beyond our Extension website. As stated by the recent JOE article by Meyer, Meyer & Katras (2018), Taking the Leap: Exploring a Theory of Program Innovation, this Wikipedia process seems to fall as a mixture of approaches to innovation including systematic, organic, autonomy and reflection. It has exciting possibilities that we haven’t fully paved out yet, and that’s part of the process of innovation!
Screenshot of Coparenting wikipedia page.

I appreciate being introduced to a concept we could use in our Extension work, having support on the idea, and most of all, the follow through on learning how to use the innovation. It might fail, but it might spark other ideas and may grow further than anticipated.

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