This is the portal for educators of all kinds (teachers, job training instructors, librarians, and others!) who are interested in using Oakland Wiki as an educational tool. While there are many resources available for educators who would like to use Wikipedia in their classrooms, there are fewer resources available for those who would like to use Oakland Wiki and the LocalWiki platform in their coursework.

Using Oakland Wiki in the classroom can:

  • Build basic computer, web, research, and writing skills.
  • Empower individuals through knowledge creation, collaboration, and confidence in contributing to a public web-based project. Students write better when they write for each other and the rest of the world rather than for one reader, the teacher.
  • Contribute to the creation of a shared informational resource about the city of Oakland written entirely by and for the Oakland community (and anyone else who wants to contribute!).
  • Help students learn about Oakland and also learn about collaboration with others online.

For more examples of projects, check out this entry about how people use LocalWiki in other cities in an educational setting.

Basic Instructions

  • Very short "How to edit" guide
    • Editing Toolbar Guide - This detailed guide explains all the buttons and functions available when editing a page.
  • Linking - The most important concept is linking.
  • Creating a new page - This guide explains how to search for existing content, and how to create new pages to add original content to the wiki.
  • Mapping Content - Maps are a key feature of localwiki.  Click here to read on how maps are created and attached to the wiki's content 
  • Tags - Tags are a simple and very powerful way to automatically organize pages.
  • Info Tab / Revision History - the wiki tracks all the changes made to all the pages


Project Ideas

Please note that some of these ideas may be more or less appropriate depending on the age group of the students.

  • Neighborhood profiles - students pick their own neighborhood or pick an Oakland neighborhood to research (history, landmarks, community, oral history, services, things to do/fun, etc.), photograph, and write entries about.
  • Local history: Oakland Wiki has a lot of content about local history. Students can also learn research skills: Historical Research Resources
    • Students can use the Oakland History Room to pick a topic in Oakland history to research, photograph, and write entries on. Students can learn about Oakland history on the wiki to narrow down a topic to research.
      • Possible topics: landmarks and important historical sites, neighborhoods, history of migration, history of different groups in Oakland, transport, politics/politicians, architecture, events (ex: general strike, etc.), musical history, important individuals, etc.
        • Suggestion: For a project like historic landmarks beyond "famous" landmarks, have students talk to people in their neighborhood to ask about what they consider important places and landmarks in their neighborhood.
  • School profiles - students write entries for their school or other schools. Students can create wiki entries for their class and add class projects to the wiki.
  • Develop Youth Portal - Students document things that are important to youth or part of youth culture in Oakland - places to hang out, what to do, etc.
  • Mapping
  • Documenting important issues in Oakland (ex: the Save Oakland Library campaign)
    • Good way to engage with recent news and different local news sources.
    • Issues that are important to students and youth often don't include students' voices. Youth also have fewer opportunities to write about local issues that are important to them. Personal narratives and perspectives are all appropriate for the wiki.
    • The Politics entry has some good current political issues for students to start exploring.
  • Creating entries for young artists, musicians, writers, and other creative youth in Oakland. Can include photos/other media in entries. Make unofficial "portfolios" for creative youth. Check out the entry for Stephanie Yun for an example.
  • Document "Beautiful Oakland" on the model of
  • Build on the mural documentation project by having students photograph and add street art and murals
  • Create entries for City elected officials, departments/services, "who to contact in the City if you have a question about x."
  • Let students document what they think would be helpful for other students to know and/or what they wish other people in Oakland or outside Oakland knew.



Resources and experiences from other LocalWiki communities


Resources and experiences from Wikipedia