A Wikipedia for Children.

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A Wikipedia for Children.

Barry Desborough
Hello, I’m Barry Desborough, a retired teacher who taught in English primary and secondary schools. 

I have been trying, on and off, to get an idea off the ground. It is for a free, online, child-oriented encyclopedia. I have tried approaching Wikipedia itself, the Khan Academy and the California CK-12 initiative, and I have paid for and started to develop a  Wikispaces site "Wikidia dot net" to show how the idea works. Unfortunately, I was not able to rustle up enough contributors to be able to justify continuing to pay for the site, and for various reasons, the other sites are not a good match for the project idea.

What’s a child-oriented encyclopedia? It’s an encyclopedia that a child, on their own, may go to and navigate for themselves, to find age-appropriate educational content of interest to them. Pages should be brief, and as simple as possible for conveying the information. The pages should also be suitable for directed learners, and usable as teaching material by educators. Wikipedia content, as is used by the OLPC Digital Library, is not generated with the needs of children in mind. I have an old prototype of the idea still on the net at https://wikids.wikispaces.com/Index+1 which should give the general idea.

I am looking for a new home for this project, and it occurred to me that the OLPC might be able to host it, and encourage other contributions of suitable content, either from educators, or from children themselves, wiki-style. Generating content for it should provide a great motivational incentive for classes of pupils! There’s constructivism for you! All it would need would be a separate searchable wiki on the OLPC website. I would be happy to spend the rest of my retirement generating, curating and moderating content for such a wiki, and I would be willing to contribute a substantial (for me) sum in order to help get the thing started and keep it going.

With the cost and producing and distributing textbooks is so high, and in a world where teachers are unavailable or too expensive but cheap internet technology is becoming ever more accessible, I believe far more attention should be paid to providing accessible, high quality, appropriately pitched educational content.

Is there anyone on the list with the authority to pick this up, or has contacts with such people?

What are your thoughts on the idea?

Regards

Barry




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Re: A Wikipedia for Children.

Samuel Klein
Hi Barry, this looks like an excellent candidate to merge with Vikidia.  Have you worked with them or their community of children and teachers? 


Warmly, SJ

On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello, I’m Barry Desborough, a retired teacher who taught in English primary and secondary schools. 

I have been trying, on and off, to get an idea off the ground. It is for a free, online, child-oriented encyclopedia. I have tried approaching Wikipedia itself, the Khan Academy and the California CK-12 initiative, and I have paid for and started to develop a  Wikispaces site "Wikidia dot net" to show how the idea works. Unfortunately, I was not able to rustle up enough contributors to be able to justify continuing to pay for the site, and for various reasons, the other sites are not a good match for the project idea.

What’s a child-oriented encyclopedia? It’s an encyclopedia that a child, on their own, may go to and navigate for themselves, to find age-appropriate educational content of interest to them. Pages should be brief, and as simple as possible for conveying the information. The pages should also be suitable for directed learners, and usable as teaching material by educators. Wikipedia content, as is used by the OLPC Digital Library, is not generated with the needs of children in mind. I have an old prototype of the idea still on the net at https://wikids.wikispaces.com/Index+1 which should give the general idea.

I am looking for a new home for this project, and it occurred to me that the OLPC might be able to host it, and encourage other contributions of suitable content, either from educators, or from children themselves, wiki-style. Generating content for it should provide a great motivational incentive for classes of pupils! There’s constructivism for you! All it would need would be a separate searchable wiki on the OLPC website. I would be happy to spend the rest of my retirement generating, curating and moderating content for such a wiki, and I would be willing to contribute a substantial (for me) sum in order to help get the thing started and keep it going.

With the cost and producing and distributing textbooks is so high, and in a world where teachers are unavailable or too expensive but cheap internet technology is becoming ever more accessible, I believe far more attention should be paid to providing accessible, high quality, appropriately pitched educational content.

Is there anyone on the list with the authority to pick this up, or has contacts with such people?

What are your thoughts on the idea?

Regards

Barry




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Re: A Wikipedia for Children.

Samuel Klein
Ah, I see you have a user account there.  How do you see the two projects differing?   SJ

On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 9:32 PM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Barry, this looks like an excellent candidate to merge with Vikidia.  Have you worked with them or their community of children and teachers? 


Warmly, SJ

On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello, I’m Barry Desborough, a retired teacher who taught in English primary and secondary schools. 

I have been trying, on and off, to get an idea off the ground. It is for a free, online, child-oriented encyclopedia. I have tried approaching Wikipedia itself, the Khan Academy and the California CK-12 initiative, and I have paid for and started to develop a  Wikispaces site "Wikidia dot net" to show how the idea works. Unfortunately, I was not able to rustle up enough contributors to be able to justify continuing to pay for the site, and for various reasons, the other sites are not a good match for the project idea.

What’s a child-oriented encyclopedia? It’s an encyclopedia that a child, on their own, may go to and navigate for themselves, to find age-appropriate educational content of interest to them. Pages should be brief, and as simple as possible for conveying the information. The pages should also be suitable for directed learners, and usable as teaching material by educators. Wikipedia content, as is used by the OLPC Digital Library, is not generated with the needs of children in mind. I have an old prototype of the idea still on the net at https://wikids.wikispaces.com/Index+1 which should give the general idea.

I am looking for a new home for this project, and it occurred to me that the OLPC might be able to host it, and encourage other contributions of suitable content, either from educators, or from children themselves, wiki-style. Generating content for it should provide a great motivational incentive for classes of pupils! There’s constructivism for you! All it would need would be a separate searchable wiki on the OLPC website. I would be happy to spend the rest of my retirement generating, curating and moderating content for such a wiki, and I would be willing to contribute a substantial (for me) sum in order to help get the thing started and keep it going.

With the cost and producing and distributing textbooks is so high, and in a world where teachers are unavailable or too expensive but cheap internet technology is becoming ever more accessible, I believe far more attention should be paid to providing accessible, high quality, appropriately pitched educational content.

Is there anyone on the list with the authority to pick this up, or has contacts with such people?

What are your thoughts on the idea?

Regards

Barry




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Re: A Wikipedia for Children.

Sven AERTS-2
In reply to this post by Samuel Klein
Hi Barry, hi Samuel,

Quiz: On the wikipedia, in the navigation pane on the left, under the section "Languages" , there is a "language" / category mentioned that is not a language and intended for a specific public. What is the name of that "language"?

"Languages"

The Simple English Wikipedia is a Wikipedia encyclopedia, written in basic English.[1]

Articles in the Simple English Wikipedia use shorter sentences and simpler words and grammar than the English Wikipedia.

The Simple English Wikipedia is also for people with different needs. Some examples of people who use Simple English Wikipedia:

Other people use the Simple English Wikipedia because the simple language helps them understand hard ideas or topics they do not know about.

Right now, the Simple English Wikipedia has 117,857 articles. As of October 2015, it was the 49th largest Wikipedia

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 3:32 AM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Barry, this looks like an excellent candidate to merge with Vikidia.  Have you worked with them or their community of children and teachers? 


Warmly, SJ

On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello, I’m Barry Desborough, a retired teacher who taught in English primary and secondary schools. 

I have been trying, on and off, to get an idea off the ground. It is for a free, online, child-oriented encyclopedia. I have tried approaching Wikipedia itself, the Khan Academy and the California CK-12 initiative, and I have paid for and started to develop a  Wikispaces site "Wikidia dot net" to show how the idea works. Unfortunately, I was not able to rustle up enough contributors to be able to justify continuing to pay for the site, and for various reasons, the other sites are not a good match for the project idea.

What’s a child-oriented encyclopedia? It’s an encyclopedia that a child, on their own, may go to and navigate for themselves, to find age-appropriate educational content of interest to them. Pages should be brief, and as simple as possible for conveying the information. The pages should also be suitable for directed learners, and usable as teaching material by educators. Wikipedia content, as is used by the OLPC Digital Library, is not generated with the needs of children in mind. I have an old prototype of the idea still on the net at https://wikids.wikispaces.com/Index+1 which should give the general idea.

I am looking for a new home for this project, and it occurred to me that the OLPC might be able to host it, and encourage other contributions of suitable content, either from educators, or from children themselves, wiki-style. Generating content for it should provide a great motivational incentive for classes of pupils! There’s constructivism for you! All it would need would be a separate searchable wiki on the OLPC website. I would be happy to spend the rest of my retirement generating, curating and moderating content for such a wiki, and I would be willing to contribute a substantial (for me) sum in order to help get the thing started and keep it going.

With the cost and producing and distributing textbooks is so high, and in a world where teachers are unavailable or too expensive but cheap internet technology is becoming ever more accessible, I believe far more attention should be paid to providing accessible, high quality, appropriately pitched educational content.

Is there anyone on the list with the authority to pick this up, or has contacts with such people?

What are your thoughts on the idea?

Regards

Barry




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Re: A Wikipedia for Children.

Sven AERTS-2
OMG that Simple English portal page of the wikipedia has a dedicated page for schools/teachers/kids.  Barry, I think this is what you've been looking for:

!

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 11:26 AM, Sven AERTS <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Barry, hi Samuel,

Quiz: On the wikipedia, in the navigation pane on the left, under the section "Languages" , there is a "language" / category mentioned that is not a language and intended for a specific public. What is the name of that "language"?

"Languages"

The Simple English Wikipedia is a Wikipedia encyclopedia, written in basic English.[1]

Articles in the Simple English Wikipedia use shorter sentences and simpler words and grammar than the English Wikipedia.

The Simple English Wikipedia is also for people with different needs. Some examples of people who use Simple English Wikipedia:

Other people use the Simple English Wikipedia because the simple language helps them understand hard ideas or topics they do not know about.

Right now, the Simple English Wikipedia has 117,857 articles. As of October 2015, it was the 49th largest Wikipedia

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 3:32 AM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Barry, this looks like an excellent candidate to merge with Vikidia.  Have you worked with them or their community of children and teachers? 


Warmly, SJ

On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello, I’m Barry Desborough, a retired teacher who taught in English primary and secondary schools. 

I have been trying, on and off, to get an idea off the ground. It is for a free, online, child-oriented encyclopedia. I have tried approaching Wikipedia itself, the Khan Academy and the California CK-12 initiative, and I have paid for and started to develop a  Wikispaces site "Wikidia dot net" to show how the idea works. Unfortunately, I was not able to rustle up enough contributors to be able to justify continuing to pay for the site, and for various reasons, the other sites are not a good match for the project idea.

What’s a child-oriented encyclopedia? It’s an encyclopedia that a child, on their own, may go to and navigate for themselves, to find age-appropriate educational content of interest to them. Pages should be brief, and as simple as possible for conveying the information. The pages should also be suitable for directed learners, and usable as teaching material by educators. Wikipedia content, as is used by the OLPC Digital Library, is not generated with the needs of children in mind. I have an old prototype of the idea still on the net at https://wikids.wikispaces.com/Index+1 which should give the general idea.

I am looking for a new home for this project, and it occurred to me that the OLPC might be able to host it, and encourage other contributions of suitable content, either from educators, or from children themselves, wiki-style. Generating content for it should provide a great motivational incentive for classes of pupils! There’s constructivism for you! All it would need would be a separate searchable wiki on the OLPC website. I would be happy to spend the rest of my retirement generating, curating and moderating content for such a wiki, and I would be willing to contribute a substantial (for me) sum in order to help get the thing started and keep it going.

With the cost and producing and distributing textbooks is so high, and in a world where teachers are unavailable or too expensive but cheap internet technology is becoming ever more accessible, I believe far more attention should be paid to providing accessible, high quality, appropriately pitched educational content.

Is there anyone on the list with the authority to pick this up, or has contacts with such people?

What are your thoughts on the idea?

Regards

Barry




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Samuel Klein          @metasj          w:user:sj          <a href="tel:%2B1%20617%20529%204266" value="+16175294266" target="_blank">+1 617 529 4266

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Re: A Wikipedia for Children.

Barry Desborough
Thanks for all your comments guys. 

Yes, a separate searchable space within Wikipedia would be great. Unfortunately, Simple English Wikipedia is not specifically oriented to young children in the way I have tried to show with my prototype. There is always a temptation to try and put far too much content on a single page rather than spread it over a series of pages like a slide show presentation. And the language is still not simple enough. It should only be as advanced as is required to convey the simplest of basics, any further material being accessible via links. One key requirement should be a search facility that only turns up child-oriented material. There is a schools section within the Simple English Wikipedia, but the search facility on these pages takes one back to the general content. I’ve tried to talk with the Wikipedians about this, but it is hard to get hold of anyone with the authority to discuss these issues - which is why I came to the OLPC with the concept.

Barry


On 13 Mar 2016, at 11:37, Sven AERTS <[hidden email]> wrote:

OMG that Simple English portal page of the wikipedia has a dedicated page for schools/teachers/kids.  Barry, I think this is what you've been looking for:

!

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 11:26 AM, Sven AERTS <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Barry, hi Samuel,

Quiz: On the wikipedia, in the navigation pane on the left, under the section "Languages" , there is a "language" / category mentioned that is not a language and intended for a specific public. What is the name of that "language"?

"Languages"

The Simple English Wikipedia is a Wikipedia encyclopedia, written in basic English.[1]
Articles in the Simple English Wikipedia use shorter sentences and simpler words and grammar than the English Wikipedia.
The Simple English Wikipedia is also for people with different needs. Some examples of people who use Simple English Wikipedia:
Other people use the Simple English Wikipedia because the simple language helps them understand hard ideas or topics they do not know about.
Right now, the Simple English Wikipedia has 117,857 articles. As of October 2015, it was the 49th largest Wikipedia

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 3:32 AM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Barry, this looks like an excellent candidate to merge with Vikidia.  Have you worked with them or their community of children and teachers? 


Warmly, SJ

On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello, I’m Barry Desborough, a retired teacher who taught in English primary and secondary schools. 

I have been trying, on and off, to get an idea off the ground. It is for a free, online, child-oriented encyclopedia. I have tried approaching Wikipedia itself, the Khan Academy and the California CK-12 initiative, and I have paid for and started to develop a  Wikispaces site "Wikidia dot net" to show how the idea works. Unfortunately, I was not able to rustle up enough contributors to be able to justify continuing to pay for the site, and for various reasons, the other sites are not a good match for the project idea.

What’s a child-oriented encyclopedia? It’s an encyclopedia that a child, on their own, may go to and navigate for themselves, to find age-appropriate educational content of interest to them. Pages should be brief, and as simple as possible for conveying the information. The pages should also be suitable for directed learners, and usable as teaching material by educators. Wikipedia content, as is used by the OLPC Digital Library, is not generated with the needs of children in mind. I have an old prototype of the idea still on the net at https://wikids.wikispaces.com/Index+1 which should give the general idea.

I am looking for a new home for this project, and it occurred to me that the OLPC might be able to host it, and encourage other contributions of suitable content, either from educators, or from children themselves, wiki-style. Generating content for it should provide a great motivational incentive for classes of pupils! There’s constructivism for you! All it would need would be a separate searchable wiki on the OLPC website. I would be happy to spend the rest of my retirement generating, curating and moderating content for such a wiki, and I would be willing to contribute a substantial (for me) sum in order to help get the thing started and keep it going.

With the cost and producing and distributing textbooks is so high, and in a world where teachers are unavailable or too expensive but cheap internet technology is becoming ever more accessible, I believe far more attention should be paid to providing accessible, high quality, appropriately pitched educational content.

Is there anyone on the list with the authority to pick this up, or has contacts with such people?

What are your thoughts on the idea?

Regards

Barry




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Samuel Klein          @metasj          w:user:sj          <a href="tel:%2B1%20617%20529%204266" value="+16175294266" target="_blank" class="">+1 617 529 4266

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Re: A Wikipedia for Children.

Sven AERTS-2
Hi Barry,
I guess you're aware of the advances in "bots" inside the wikipedia that automate things.  Of course, this requires being able to contribute with coding.  That may offer a road to a solution.  Maybe you could offer it as an idea to ICT students looking for inspiring projects.

Regarding the encyclopedia per age group.  Wouldn't a collaborative wikibook in the style of 
"My first Encyclopedia - for 5-6-7 years olds", 
"My first Encyclopedia - for 8-9 years olds", 
"My first Encyclopedia - for 10-11-12 years olds", 
be the way to go?

You just drag and drop from the wikipedia, start deleting/re-writing and ... if kids want more and more info... eventually the are linked to maybe the "My first Encyclopedia - for the next age group", until eventually they land up to the "Simple English" Wikipedia?

Have a nice continuation of yr day :)

On Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 10:09 AM, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks for all your comments guys. 

Yes, a separate searchable space within Wikipedia would be great. Unfortunately, Simple English Wikipedia is not specifically oriented to young children in the way I have tried to show with my prototype. There is always a temptation to try and put far too much content on a single page rather than spread it over a series of pages like a slide show presentation. And the language is still not simple enough. It should only be as advanced as is required to convey the simplest of basics, any further material being accessible via links. One key requirement should be a search facility that only turns up child-oriented material. There is a schools section within the Simple English Wikipedia, but the search facility on these pages takes one back to the general content. I’ve tried to talk with the Wikipedians about this, but it is hard to get hold of anyone with the authority to discuss these issues - which is why I came to the OLPC with the concept.

Barry


On 13 Mar 2016, at 11:37, Sven AERTS <[hidden email]> wrote:

OMG that Simple English portal page of the wikipedia has a dedicated page for schools/teachers/kids.  Barry, I think this is what you've been looking for:

!

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 11:26 AM, Sven AERTS <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Barry, hi Samuel,

Quiz: On the wikipedia, in the navigation pane on the left, under the section "Languages" , there is a "language" / category mentioned that is not a language and intended for a specific public. What is the name of that "language"?

"Languages"

The Simple English Wikipedia is a Wikipedia encyclopedia, written in basic English.[1]
Articles in the Simple English Wikipedia use shorter sentences and simpler words and grammar than the English Wikipedia.
The Simple English Wikipedia is also for people with different needs. Some examples of people who use Simple English Wikipedia:
Other people use the Simple English Wikipedia because the simple language helps them understand hard ideas or topics they do not know about.
Right now, the Simple English Wikipedia has 117,857 articles. As of October 2015, it was the 49th largest Wikipedia

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 3:32 AM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Barry, this looks like an excellent candidate to merge with Vikidia.  Have you worked with them or their community of children and teachers? 


Warmly, SJ

On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello, I’m Barry Desborough, a retired teacher who taught in English primary and secondary schools. 

I have been trying, on and off, to get an idea off the ground. It is for a free, online, child-oriented encyclopedia. I have tried approaching Wikipedia itself, the Khan Academy and the California CK-12 initiative, and I have paid for and started to develop a  Wikispaces site "Wikidia dot net" to show how the idea works. Unfortunately, I was not able to rustle up enough contributors to be able to justify continuing to pay for the site, and for various reasons, the other sites are not a good match for the project idea.

What’s a child-oriented encyclopedia? It’s an encyclopedia that a child, on their own, may go to and navigate for themselves, to find age-appropriate educational content of interest to them. Pages should be brief, and as simple as possible for conveying the information. The pages should also be suitable for directed learners, and usable as teaching material by educators. Wikipedia content, as is used by the OLPC Digital Library, is not generated with the needs of children in mind. I have an old prototype of the idea still on the net at https://wikids.wikispaces.com/Index+1 which should give the general idea.

I am looking for a new home for this project, and it occurred to me that the OLPC might be able to host it, and encourage other contributions of suitable content, either from educators, or from children themselves, wiki-style. Generating content for it should provide a great motivational incentive for classes of pupils! There’s constructivism for you! All it would need would be a separate searchable wiki on the OLPC website. I would be happy to spend the rest of my retirement generating, curating and moderating content for such a wiki, and I would be willing to contribute a substantial (for me) sum in order to help get the thing started and keep it going.

With the cost and producing and distributing textbooks is so high, and in a world where teachers are unavailable or too expensive but cheap internet technology is becoming ever more accessible, I believe far more attention should be paid to providing accessible, high quality, appropriately pitched educational content.

Is there anyone on the list with the authority to pick this up, or has contacts with such people?

What are your thoughts on the idea?

Regards

Barry




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Re: A Wikipedia for Children.

Barry Desborough
Thanks for your help, guys, and sorry for the delay in responding.

Re. Vikidia, I had looked at that, but the hosting doesn’t look too secure, and the profile is low in comparison with Wikipedia.

The idea of using Wikibooks creation looks like the way for me to go (I am a lone contributor with no means for recruiting students, but more than willing to cooperate with others). The only problem I see is that the default search facility takes you out of the book you are in. The ideal would be to have an additional or alternative search function to search within the book. Does anyone know if this is possible and if so, how?

Barry

 

On 17 Mar 2016, at 02:42, Sven AERTS <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi Barry,
I guess you're aware of the advances in "bots" inside the wikipedia that automate things.  Of course, this requires being able to contribute with coding.  That may offer a road to a solution.  Maybe you could offer it as an idea to ICT students looking for inspiring projects.

Regarding the encyclopedia per age group.  Wouldn't a collaborative wikibook in the style of 
"My first Encyclopedia - for 5-6-7 years olds", 
"My first Encyclopedia - for 8-9 years olds", 
"My first Encyclopedia - for 10-11-12 years olds", 
be the way to go?

You just drag and drop from the wikipedia, start deleting/re-writing and ... if kids want more and more info... eventually the are linked to maybe the "My first Encyclopedia - for the next age group", until eventually they land up to the "Simple English" Wikipedia?

Have a nice continuation of yr day :)

On Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 10:09 AM, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks for all your comments guys. 

Yes, a separate searchable space within Wikipedia would be great. Unfortunately, Simple English Wikipedia is not specifically oriented to young children in the way I have tried to show with my prototype. There is always a temptation to try and put far too much content on a single page rather than spread it over a series of pages like a slide show presentation. And the language is still not simple enough. It should only be as advanced as is required to convey the simplest of basics, any further material being accessible via links. One key requirement should be a search facility that only turns up child-oriented material. There is a schools section within the Simple English Wikipedia, but the search facility on these pages takes one back to the general content. I’ve tried to talk with the Wikipedians about this, but it is hard to get hold of anyone with the authority to discuss these issues - which is why I came to the OLPC with the concept.

Barry


On 13 Mar 2016, at 11:37, Sven AERTS <[hidden email]> wrote:

OMG that Simple English portal page of the wikipedia has a dedicated page for schools/teachers/kids.  Barry, I think this is what you've been looking for:

!

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 11:26 AM, Sven AERTS <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Barry, hi Samuel,

Quiz: On the wikipedia, in the navigation pane on the left, under the section "Languages" , there is a "language" / category mentioned that is not a language and intended for a specific public. What is the name of that "language"?

"Languages"

The Simple English Wikipedia is a Wikipedia encyclopedia, written in basic English.[1]
Articles in the Simple English Wikipedia use shorter sentences and simpler words and grammar than the English Wikipedia.
The Simple English Wikipedia is also for people with different needs. Some examples of people who use Simple English Wikipedia:
Other people use the Simple English Wikipedia because the simple language helps them understand hard ideas or topics they do not know about.
Right now, the Simple English Wikipedia has 117,857 articles. As of October 2015, it was the 49th largest Wikipedia

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 3:32 AM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Barry, this looks like an excellent candidate to merge with Vikidia.  Have you worked with them or their community of children and teachers? 


Warmly, SJ

On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello, I’m Barry Desborough, a retired teacher who taught in English primary and secondary schools. 

I have been trying, on and off, to get an idea off the ground. It is for a free, online, child-oriented encyclopedia. I have tried approaching Wikipedia itself, the Khan Academy and the California CK-12 initiative, and I have paid for and started to develop a  Wikispaces site "Wikidia dot net" to show how the idea works. Unfortunately, I was not able to rustle up enough contributors to be able to justify continuing to pay for the site, and for various reasons, the other sites are not a good match for the project idea.

What’s a child-oriented encyclopedia? It’s an encyclopedia that a child, on their own, may go to and navigate for themselves, to find age-appropriate educational content of interest to them. Pages should be brief, and as simple as possible for conveying the information. The pages should also be suitable for directed learners, and usable as teaching material by educators. Wikipedia content, as is used by the OLPC Digital Library, is not generated with the needs of children in mind. I have an old prototype of the idea still on the net at https://wikids.wikispaces.com/Index+1 which should give the general idea.

I am looking for a new home for this project, and it occurred to me that the OLPC might be able to host it, and encourage other contributions of suitable content, either from educators, or from children themselves, wiki-style. Generating content for it should provide a great motivational incentive for classes of pupils! There’s constructivism for you! All it would need would be a separate searchable wiki on the OLPC website. I would be happy to spend the rest of my retirement generating, curating and moderating content for such a wiki, and I would be willing to contribute a substantial (for me) sum in order to help get the thing started and keep it going.

With the cost and producing and distributing textbooks is so high, and in a world where teachers are unavailable or too expensive but cheap internet technology is becoming ever more accessible, I believe far more attention should be paid to providing accessible, high quality, appropriately pitched educational content.

Is there anyone on the list with the authority to pick this up, or has contacts with such people?

What are your thoughts on the idea?

Regards

Barry




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Re: A Wikipedia for Children.

Barry Desborough
Just to say where I am with this at the moment.

Vikidia. https://en.vikidia.org/wiki/Main_Page - This looks OK, but there are only 15 active users the English version. The site is not as high profile as it would be if it was hosted/promoted/supported by Wikipedia or OLPC. There is some concern about the ISP that is hosting it. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OVH#Controversies 

Wikibooks. There appear to be problems with creating Wikibooks. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Books Given that this could be overcome, there would remain the problem that the search function will search all of Wikibooks, including adult-level content, rather than just the current book, books for schools or Wikijunior. 

I’ll be looking at creating content for Vikidia and promoting it. Perhaps if it was “adopted” and promoted by OLPC it would help, but I still think that a children’s encyclopaedia wiki under the auspices of OLPC and hosted by Gossamer Threads would be the ideal solution, and I hope this can come to the attention of someone within the OLPC who could make it happen. Please pass this on if you know any such people.

Thanks for your attention.

Barry


On 19 Mar 2016, at 10:10, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:

Thanks for your help, guys, and sorry for the delay in responding.

Re. Vikidia, I had looked at that, but the hosting doesn’t look too secure, and the profile is low in comparison with Wikipedia.

The idea of using Wikibooks creation looks like the way for me to go (I am a lone contributor with no means for recruiting students, but more than willing to cooperate with others). The only problem I see is that the default search facility takes you out of the book you are in. The ideal would be to have an additional or alternative search function to search within the book. Does anyone know if this is possible and if so, how?

Barry

 

On 17 Mar 2016, at 02:42, Sven AERTS <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi Barry,
I guess you're aware of the advances in "bots" inside the wikipedia that automate things.  Of course, this requires being able to contribute with coding.  That may offer a road to a solution.  Maybe you could offer it as an idea to ICT students looking for inspiring projects.

Regarding the encyclopedia per age group.  Wouldn't a collaborative wikibook in the style of 
"My first Encyclopedia - for 5-6-7 years olds", 
"My first Encyclopedia - for 8-9 years olds", 
"My first Encyclopedia - for 10-11-12 years olds", 
be the way to go?

You just drag and drop from the wikipedia, start deleting/re-writing and ... if kids want more and more info... eventually the are linked to maybe the "My first Encyclopedia - for the next age group", until eventually they land up to the "Simple English" Wikipedia?

Have a nice continuation of yr day :)

On Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 10:09 AM, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks for all your comments guys. 

Yes, a separate searchable space within Wikipedia would be great. Unfortunately, Simple English Wikipedia is not specifically oriented to young children in the way I have tried to show with my prototype. There is always a temptation to try and put far too much content on a single page rather than spread it over a series of pages like a slide show presentation. And the language is still not simple enough. It should only be as advanced as is required to convey the simplest of basics, any further material being accessible via links. One key requirement should be a search facility that only turns up child-oriented material. There is a schools section within the Simple English Wikipedia, but the search facility on these pages takes one back to the general content. I’ve tried to talk with the Wikipedians about this, but it is hard to get hold of anyone with the authority to discuss these issues - which is why I came to the OLPC with the concept.

Barry


On 13 Mar 2016, at 11:37, Sven AERTS <[hidden email]> wrote:

OMG that Simple English portal page of the wikipedia has a dedicated page for schools/teachers/kids.  Barry, I think this is what you've been looking for:

!

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 11:26 AM, Sven AERTS <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Barry, hi Samuel,

Quiz: On the wikipedia, in the navigation pane on the left, under the section "Languages" , there is a "language" / category mentioned that is not a language and intended for a specific public. What is the name of that "language"?

"Languages"

The Simple English Wikipedia is a Wikipedia encyclopedia, written in basic English.[1]
Articles in the Simple English Wikipedia use shorter sentences and simpler words and grammar than the English Wikipedia.
The Simple English Wikipedia is also for people with different needs. Some examples of people who use Simple English Wikipedia:
Other people use the Simple English Wikipedia because the simple language helps them understand hard ideas or topics they do not know about.
Right now, the Simple English Wikipedia has 117,857 articles. As of October 2015, it was the 49th largest Wikipedia

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 3:32 AM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Barry, this looks like an excellent candidate to merge with Vikidia.  Have you worked with them or their community of children and teachers? 


Warmly, SJ

On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello, I’m Barry Desborough, a retired teacher who taught in English primary and secondary schools. 

I have been trying, on and off, to get an idea off the ground. It is for a free, online, child-oriented encyclopedia. I have tried approaching Wikipedia itself, the Khan Academy and the California CK-12 initiative, and I have paid for and started to develop a  Wikispaces site "Wikidia dot net" to show how the idea works. Unfortunately, I was not able to rustle up enough contributors to be able to justify continuing to pay for the site, and for various reasons, the other sites are not a good match for the project idea.

What’s a child-oriented encyclopedia? It’s an encyclopedia that a child, on their own, may go to and navigate for themselves, to find age-appropriate educational content of interest to them. Pages should be brief, and as simple as possible for conveying the information. The pages should also be suitable for directed learners, and usable as teaching material by educators. Wikipedia content, as is used by the OLPC Digital Library, is not generated with the needs of children in mind. I have an old prototype of the idea still on the net at https://wikids.wikispaces.com/Index+1 which should give the general idea.

I am looking for a new home for this project, and it occurred to me that the OLPC might be able to host it, and encourage other contributions of suitable content, either from educators, or from children themselves, wiki-style. Generating content for it should provide a great motivational incentive for classes of pupils! There’s constructivism for you! All it would need would be a separate searchable wiki on the OLPC website. I would be happy to spend the rest of my retirement generating, curating and moderating content for such a wiki, and I would be willing to contribute a substantial (for me) sum in order to help get the thing started and keep it going.

With the cost and producing and distributing textbooks is so high, and in a world where teachers are unavailable or too expensive but cheap internet technology is becoming ever more accessible, I believe far more attention should be paid to providing accessible, high quality, appropriately pitched educational content.

Is there anyone on the list with the authority to pick this up, or has contacts with such people?

What are your thoughts on the idea?

Regards

Barry




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Samuel Klein          @metasj          w:user:sj          <a href="tel:%2B1%20617%20529%204266" value="+16175294266" target="_blank" class="">+1 617 529 4266

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Re: A Wikipedia for Children.

Sven AERTS-2
Is this something? http://schools-wikipedia.org/
"
Wikipedia for Schools is a selection taken from the original English-language Wikipedia by the child sponsorship charity SOS Children. It was created as a checked and child-friendly teaching resource for use in schools in the developing world and beyond. Sources and authors can be found at www.wikipedia.org. See also our Disclaimer.
"

It is on the XS = schoolserver of the OLPC deployments - often nation wide - in ... Polinesia with islands like Tahiti, or the "nearby" island nation of Kosrae - just a 1000 km swim away. Could be a bit more or less, but who cares? ;) More: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_FSM

Update: I'm now part of the #ErasmusPlusCaribbean team.  We received some money from the EU Directorate General to go explain the Erasmus+ program in the EU Overseas Countries and Territories we still have in the Caribbean. 8 of our 28 EU member states have indeed a colonial past.  Seems it starts to haunt all 28 of us these times in more than 1 way ... .  
Maybe the United Nations 2011–2020 Third (!) International Decade for the Eradication of #Colonialism is an occasion to clear up some things. ;)


Greetings,

skype SvenAERTS - Brussels olpc community​



On Sun, Mar 20, 2016 at 12:15 PM, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:
Just to say where I am with this at the moment.

Vikidia. https://en.vikidia.org/wiki/Main_Page - This looks OK, but there are only 15 active users the English version. The site is not as high profile as it would be if it was hosted/promoted/supported by Wikipedia or OLPC. There is some concern about the ISP that is hosting it. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OVH#Controversies 

Wikibooks. There appear to be problems with creating Wikibooks. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Books Given that this could be overcome, there would remain the problem that the search function will search all of Wikibooks, including adult-level content, rather than just the current book, books for schools or Wikijunior. 

I’ll be looking at creating content for Vikidia and promoting it. Perhaps if it was “adopted” and promoted by OLPC it would help, but I still think that a children’s encyclopaedia wiki under the auspices of OLPC and hosted by Gossamer Threads would be the ideal solution, and I hope this can come to the attention of someone within the OLPC who could make it happen. Please pass this on if you know any such people.

Thanks for your attention.

Barry


On 19 Mar 2016, at 10:10, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:

Thanks for your help, guys, and sorry for the delay in responding.

Re. Vikidia, I had looked at that, but the hosting doesn’t look too secure, and the profile is low in comparison with Wikipedia.

The idea of using Wikibooks creation looks like the way for me to go (I am a lone contributor with no means for recruiting students, but more than willing to cooperate with others). The only problem I see is that the default search facility takes you out of the book you are in. The ideal would be to have an additional or alternative search function to search within the book. Does anyone know if this is possible and if so, how?

Barry

 

On 17 Mar 2016, at 02:42, Sven AERTS <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi Barry,
I guess you're aware of the advances in "bots" inside the wikipedia that automate things.  Of course, this requires being able to contribute with coding.  That may offer a road to a solution.  Maybe you could offer it as an idea to ICT students looking for inspiring projects.

Regarding the encyclopedia per age group.  Wouldn't a collaborative wikibook in the style of 
"My first Encyclopedia - for 5-6-7 years olds", 
"My first Encyclopedia - for 8-9 years olds", 
"My first Encyclopedia - for 10-11-12 years olds", 
be the way to go?

You just drag and drop from the wikipedia, start deleting/re-writing and ... if kids want more and more info... eventually the are linked to maybe the "My first Encyclopedia - for the next age group", until eventually they land up to the "Simple English" Wikipedia?

Have a nice continuation of yr day :)

On Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 10:09 AM, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks for all your comments guys. 

Yes, a separate searchable space within Wikipedia would be great. Unfortunately, Simple English Wikipedia is not specifically oriented to young children in the way I have tried to show with my prototype. There is always a temptation to try and put far too much content on a single page rather than spread it over a series of pages like a slide show presentation. And the language is still not simple enough. It should only be as advanced as is required to convey the simplest of basics, any further material being accessible via links. One key requirement should be a search facility that only turns up child-oriented material. There is a schools section within the Simple English Wikipedia, but the search facility on these pages takes one back to the general content. I’ve tried to talk with the Wikipedians about this, but it is hard to get hold of anyone with the authority to discuss these issues - which is why I came to the OLPC with the concept.

Barry


On 13 Mar 2016, at 11:37, Sven AERTS <[hidden email]> wrote:

OMG that Simple English portal page of the wikipedia has a dedicated page for schools/teachers/kids.  Barry, I think this is what you've been looking for:

!

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 11:26 AM, Sven AERTS <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Barry, hi Samuel,

Quiz: On the wikipedia, in the navigation pane on the left, under the section "Languages" , there is a "language" / category mentioned that is not a language and intended for a specific public. What is the name of that "language"?

"Languages"

The Simple English Wikipedia is a Wikipedia encyclopedia, written in basic English.[1]
Articles in the Simple English Wikipedia use shorter sentences and simpler words and grammar than the English Wikipedia.
The Simple English Wikipedia is also for people with different needs. Some examples of people who use Simple English Wikipedia:
Other people use the Simple English Wikipedia because the simple language helps them understand hard ideas or topics they do not know about.
Right now, the Simple English Wikipedia has 117,857 articles. As of October 2015, it was the 49th largest Wikipedia

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 3:32 AM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Barry, this looks like an excellent candidate to merge with Vikidia.  Have you worked with them or their community of children and teachers? 


Warmly, SJ

On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Barry Desborough <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello, I’m Barry Desborough, a retired teacher who taught in English primary and secondary schools. 

I have been trying, on and off, to get an idea off the ground. It is for a free, online, child-oriented encyclopedia. I have tried approaching Wikipedia itself, the Khan Academy and the California CK-12 initiative, and I have paid for and started to develop a  Wikispaces site "Wikidia dot net" to show how the idea works. Unfortunately, I was not able to rustle up enough contributors to be able to justify continuing to pay for the site, and for various reasons, the other sites are not a good match for the project idea.

What’s a child-oriented encyclopedia? It’s an encyclopedia that a child, on their own, may go to and navigate for themselves, to find age-appropriate educational content of interest to them. Pages should be brief, and as simple as possible for conveying the information. The pages should also be suitable for directed learners, and usable as teaching material by educators. Wikipedia content, as is used by the OLPC Digital Library, is not generated with the needs of children in mind. I have an old prototype of the idea still on the net at https://wikids.wikispaces.com/Index+1 which should give the general idea.

I am looking for a new home for this project, and it occurred to me that the OLPC might be able to host it, and encourage other contributions of suitable content, either from educators, or from children themselves, wiki-style. Generating content for it should provide a great motivational incentive for classes of pupils! There’s constructivism for you! All it would need would be a separate searchable wiki on the OLPC website. I would be happy to spend the rest of my retirement generating, curating and moderating content for such a wiki, and I would be willing to contribute a substantial (for me) sum in order to help get the thing started and keep it going.

With the cost and producing and distributing textbooks is so high, and in a world where teachers are unavailable or too expensive but cheap internet technology is becoming ever more accessible, I believe far more attention should be paid to providing accessible, high quality, appropriately pitched educational content.

Is there anyone on the list with the authority to pick this up, or has contacts with such people?

What are your thoughts on the idea?

Regards

Barry




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Olpc-open mailing list
[hidden email]
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Samuel Klein          @metasj          w:user:sj          <a href="tel:%2B1%20617%20529%204266" value="+16175294266" target="_blank">+1 617 529 4266

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