Hi all,

I subscribed to that mailing list since its beginning, but didn't get involved in it yet. I've just checked about all the previous messages ;-)
I am a French wikipedian, and would like to tell you about a pretty old project: a wiki encyclopedia designed for children.

It seems that this list mainly focus on Wikipedia-editing in higher education and to a lesser extent, offline content from Wikipedia for children, with the "Wikipedia for Schools" selection.
However, I noticed this message:

Le 20/04/2011 03:31, Nikhil Sheth a écrit :
The 2008/09 edition of Wikipedia for Schools is very good, but also limited in that it has only 5500+ articles (contrast with Wikipedia en latest selection that has 45000+) and many times topics we need aren't there.
I got Okawix and downloaded Simple Wikipedia package for offline - it's got many articles in simpler language and can be very useful for lower-age children. But it's uncensored and so unusable. Is it possible to start a simple wikipedia project to collect the for-schools articles, or better yet just filter out inappropriate ones?

The idea of a equivalent of Wikipedia for children was discussed in particular in 2005-2006 on this page : http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikikids

Although it had no continuation as a Wikimedia project, wikis with such a feature were launched first in Dutch: WikiKids; in french a few month later: Vikidia (article on Wikipedia) and then in Spanish Vikidia in spanish. I opened Vikidia.
WikiKids and Vikidia in French are doing well and are quite alike in size and activity, whereas Vikidia in Spanish doesn't make it so well.

On Vikidia in French, we currently have a guest-book opened, and the comments left on it are quite encouraging.
Children say they appreciate the article to be more readable for them than on Wikipedia, their main reserve being that some article are not developed enough, or that there isn't articles on every subject they would like to know about... They clearly expect (and claim) some substantial content, though it has to be easier than the wikipedia's content.

We have yet a bit more than 10 000 articles in Vikidia in French, and about 220  000 unique visitors a month.

This "Wikikids" question was mentioned again in the Wikimedia scope one year ago there: meta:2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content: Part Two#Recommendations: Controversial Text:

Because of the considerations outlined above, our recommendations surrounding text in WMF projects are the following:
It is recommended:
3. That, however, the Foundation investigate the creation of a “WikiJunior” version of the Wikipedias, aimed at children under the age of 12, either as a stand-alone project or in partnership with existing and appropriate educational institutions.

Recommendations 2 and 3
(...) Much more successful, in our opinion, is a project specifically targeted to children, and to the quite different needs of children in different age groups. Some projects of this nature have already been begun in the WikiJunior section of WikiBooks,[3] but it is our feeling that the scope of such a venture might necessitate the formation of partnerships with institutions who have experience and resources already devoted to this area.


...to which I had this response on meta:User talk:Sj.

Another feature of WikiKids/Vikidia is of course that it let children be involved in building the content, and does not "only" aim to produce and offer content for children, for the same benefits that you can find in Wikipedia-editing workshops for students. There is both some school projects and volunteer children editing on Vikidia along with teenagers, students and adult writers.

My question is of course: why is there no equivalent in English yet ? ;-)

(And if you are Spanish speaker or if you know people that would be interested in it, please tell them about http://es.vikidia.org ; I would be glad that there is new people involved in it, or even take it in charge.)

Mathias Damour
[[User:Astirmays]] on fr:wp, en:wp and Vikidia
49 rue Carnot
74000 Annecy
00 (33)4 57 09 10 56
00 (33)6 27 13 65 51