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|Service learning with Appropedia|
Long and short term positions can be arranged, depending on the applicant and the circumstance.
We have opportunities for students of Engineering, Permaculture, International Development Studies, Architecture, Urban Planning, Communications, Computer Science, Web Design and related disciplines. Benefits include mentoring, exposure to a wide range of knowledge, and experience in an active web-based collaborative project.
If you're interested and would like to know more, please get in touch at infoappropediaorg or by leaving a message on Lonny's talk page.
The Appropedia Volunteer Program has a fourfold aim:
- to build on university graduates' academic grounding by giving them an opportunity to learn about sustainability, poverty reduction, sustainable development, appropriate technology and ICT firsthand;
- to give the Program's graduates the skills and knowledge necessary to make a significant contribution to sustainable development;
- to help improve the quantity, quality, and organization of open knowledge on sustainability and international development and
- to provide Appropedia Administrators with highly qualified assistants
Volunteers (often university or college students) help develop Appropedia according to their skill and experience.
Appropedia volunteer programs are flexible, generally falling into one of these categories:
- Content volunteers develop content in a particular subject area, and/or convert content from various formats into wiki pages (using tools we've adapted over recent years). In doing so, they make valuable content far more accessible, and gain a personal exposure to the knowledge in the process.
- Language volunteers translate high quality articles to different languages. This involves both moving English content into languages spoken in the developing world, but also porting content from other languages into the English Appropedia.
- Tech volunteers work on technical areas of the site, creating templates, and automating functions such as porting content from other formats. Depending on skills and experience, this may include site development in MediaWiki and WordPress, working with our dev site, testing settings and extensions/plugins, and/or configuring and running a bot on the wiki.
- Documentation volunteers - visiting organizations and/or communities in their own community, or at a particular location in their own country.
- Communications volunteers focus on one or more of these areas: publicizing Appropedia, making contacts with potential contributors and users, helping to identify possible deeper partnerships, and/or promoting the use of compatible licenses.
- Law/IP volunteers (described in this blog post) identifying content that can be used on Appropedia (in those cases where permission is unclear), help identify and resolve copyright issues, and help to improve the Public Domain Search (largely a matter of identifying which specific content hosted on US federal government sites is public domain). If you're interested in being a Law/IP volunteer with Appropedia, contact us and we'll work on establishing a suitable role.
- Travel internships - visiting organizations and/or communities in a particular region to document their work on Appropedia.
We are also seeking research volunteers - you should first make an initial agreement for such a position with an appropriate academic supervisor, then let us know. These interns develop new knowledge in a specific Area and publish it on Appropedia (e.g. testing different types of water filters for removal of contaminants).
If you're interested in exploring a specific topic area, one of the content-oriented positions (Research, Content, Travel or Documentation Volunteer) can be tailored to focus mainly on that area.
A typical time commitment is 4 hours per week, for approximately 20 weeks.
The volunteer programs are structured in 3 stages, beginning with small projects such as creating a short article, and becoming progressively more complex and responsible.
See Appropedia:Volunteering/Stages for an idea of the kinds of projects performed at each stage.
Volunteer positions normally last one academic semester or longer. They can be completed during any semester including the summer. This can be adapted to the volunteer.
Credit and acknowledgement
Some university programs allow for service learning credit, and the role can be tailored to meet internship requirements for your course of study. Ask your academic supervisor for details and let us know your needs, before you begin.
Volunteers who complete their role successfully will be provided with a reference acknowledging their work.
To apply for an Appropedia volunteer position do the following:
- Create an Appropedia account
- Create a User Page in Appropedia detailing your interests and skills - Click here for help
- Send a request for volunteer review to User:Lonny by leaving a note on his Talk Page. Provide details on what type of position you would be interested in and a link back to your userpage.
The final selection is based upon competence, motivation and the ability to complete tasks. We also consider:
- academic excellence
- personal maturity
- the candidate’s potential contribution
- the anticipated benefits for the candidate
After being selected, you will be teamed with a supervisor (normally an Appropedia admin) who specializes in the particular field or skill set related to your role. You are also encouraged to work online with other members of the Appropedia community.
As mentioned above, we will provide a reference as appropriate. (Just let us know if you need a reference or review in a particular format.)
The Appropedia community is spread all over the world. Most volunteers will work from anywhere they have an internet connection - you do not need to relocate.
Oversight will be conducted through regular phone, email, skype, IM and/or wiki communication.
If you do happen to be near one of our centers of activity, there are likely to be opportunities to meet with at least one of our admins or directors, and/or other members of the community. These centers of activity include:
- Humboldt County, California, USA
- Los Gatos, California, USA
- Houghton, Michigan, USA
- Melbourne, Australia
- London, UK
We also have partners in other locations. When you sign up, we'll check where you are and see if we know of anyone you should meet.
So far we have had a number of volunteers, some of whom are listed at Appropedia:Past interns.
Fatima is now a Senior Environmental Analyst at National Engineering Services Pakistan.