[Foundation-l] Wikikids

mathias.damour mathias.damour at laposte.net
Mon May 28 20:06:07 UTC 2007


Robert Horning wrote:
> Mathias wrote:
> >
> > Such a wiki has been launched in french (in which I am
involved) see an english explanation about it:
http://fr.vikidia.org/index.php/Vikidia:About and in Dutch
None of them are Wikimedia project.)
> > Both have a quite active community and have reached 1000
> (...)
> And Wikijunior is also quite multilingual, with some sort of
> Wikijunior project on nearly every language edition of
> including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, and
English.  In
> many cases these "articles" or "modules" have been translated or
> rewritten in multiple languages as well, especially the original
> Wikijunior books of the Solar System and the Big Cats.
> And Wikijunior is clearly a Wikimedia project in its own
right, other
> than it is hosted concurrently with Wikibooks.  Try
> http://en.wikijunior.org/ to see where the wikijunior domain
> This isn't to say that some effort shouldn't happen to
perhaps expand
> the range of this proposal, but it seems like the largest
problem it has
> faced is an ever fragmenting community and leaders who
havn't had the
> desire to keep the project moving.  Writing literary content for
> children is not an easy task, and it takes a focused
community to keep
> the project growing.

Wikijunior is clearly a wikibooks project. I mean that it is
not a Wikipedia-like project, and being hosted on the
wikibooks wiki makes impossible several feature of Wikipedia.
For example you can't make easy internal wikilinks : wikilink
to "Aluminum" is not [[Aluminum]] but [[Wikijunior The
Elements/Aluminum]]. The "oxygen" page:
should only tell about the element, not the dioxygen gas. (it
does indeed, and doesn't make it clear between one and the
other) and it doesn't make it easy to create another page
about the gas, since this wikibooks is about the elements.

Another point is that Wikijunior "only" aims to produce and
offer content for children whereas Wikikids.nl and Vikidia
want children to be involved in building this content. We want
to let them be active with knowledge for pedagogical interest.
See this article : http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Writing-to-learn

I don't think that "fragmenting community and leaders" is a
real danger now that several Wikipedia have reached such a
huge size both in articles and in editors.

Some people have had the idea to make either special articles
or a special wiki for children of each grade, or even for each
grade AND each school. (because you would have to explain in a
different way to a 9 years old child than to a 12 years old)
see this discusion:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Talk:Wikis_for_children) I feel that
it would be "fragmenting community" and that one single
encyclopedic wiki for 8 to 13 year old children and for one
language is a fair middle.

> As for the health of Wikijunior books, many of them have reached
> "featured book" status as some of the "best of..."
Wikibooks, and on
> en.wikbooks I would say that you could easily get much more
than 1000
> modules that could easily seed an en.wikikids project.  Many
of these
> modules could on their own reach featured article status on
> en.wikipedia, but for the fact they are not on Wikipedia. 
Rather than
> try to dissect what went wrong with the previous attempt at
an English
> language version of this project, I would suggest that you
try and see
> what has been done "right" by Wikijunior and its development
> And certainly try to pool the efforts of this "Wikikids"
group and those
> who are writing "Wikijunior" content.  I have not seen any
effort to
> recruit those involved with Wikijunior to help with this
proposal in any
> meaningful way.

Do you tell about this attempt ?
http://editthis.info/wikikidsen/Main_Page I didn't look at it
closely, but I am afraid that it wasn't lead in a proper way.
Another think is that there is "simple english wikipedia",
whom no other equivalent have been created in any other
language. I guess that it would make less easy to create a
wikikids in english, as it would be partly similar to simple,
and I would also say that the fact that this wiki is not so
big and hasn't been created in other language may show that
its aim would not be so clear, mobilizing and justifying.

The idea to seed from wikijunior could be good, so as the idea
to create such wiki on the Vikidia and Wikikids.nl model.
I can't say about Wikikids.nl, but if by chance they would be
some encyclopedic wikis dedicated to children to open in other
language, Vikidia (in french) would rather become a wikimedia
project and work on it together than see them created by
isolated groups in each language.

Hope to hear from you,

Mathias Damour

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