Le 10/08/2018 à 16:26, Ziko van Dijk a écrit :

I allow myself to add (I am not quite neutral, as related to Klexikon) that
the children encyclopedias have an important advantage: you can reach
institutions and audiecnes you usually not reach with Wikipedia.

In general, I can imagine that this user group (as many „evangelists“)
often starts with Wikipedia as a topci, because WP simply is the most known
wiki, and occasionally regards other wikis as it fits. For example, I know
that some initiatives focus on Wiktionary because Wiktionary entries are
shorter and „easier“ to create than Wikipedia articles.

Kind regards,

This may be the opportunity to tell about the differences between Klexikon and Vikidia, since you (Ziko) often defined Klexikon in relation (indeed "by contrast") with other projects. And so to present a bit further these projects.

I will use excerpts of the Klexikon presentation on meta:

When Michael Schulte and Ziko van Dijk did research on these wikis in 2014, they noted some issues with these wikis. The articles often lacked textual quality: they consisted of loose sentences one after the other, for example. Many articles seem were not much easier to read and understand than Wikipedia articles. Some content seemed to be not really child friendly.

Actually, complaint about Vikidia articles "beeing  not really child friendly" are very rare, since every regular editor, whatever his age have this objective in mind. It's right that the quality, length of the articles is quite diverse, just as on Wikipedia, however children often ask for substantial content. The fact that some articles may be too difficult for the age range we aim at is a real question we have in mind.

The main problem was that these wikis imitated too much the concepts of Wikipedia: new contributors can simply give themselve an account. It is easy to vandalize.

...and children and teenagers are the most active in fixing vandalism, which is after all easier than writing. It doesn't take much adult's time.

Can children write a children's encyclopedia?

Another observation was that many of these wikis want to have children as writers. Maybe this stems from the popular idea that children know best what other children like. Many people also find it 'cute' that children help other people by writing content. Some founders of these wikis for children are teachers and wanted a platform to use in the class room.

The founders of the Klexikon became very sceptical about children authors. In general, think of books or TV shows for children: they all are not written or produced by children but by adults. You need a lot of skills to write good texts; good writers have learned these skills over a large span of time.

There were some experiments with children writing texts for the Klexikon, both online and in class rooms. It showed that the texts written by the children were very remote from the qualily necessary for an online encyclopedia. The texts needed to be rewritten, essentially from scratch.

Very few children (and teenagers) write on Vikidia compared to the number of readers. They often are involved for years (10 to 15 yo ; 12 to 20 yo, 14 to 24 yo...), which mean that they do have these "large spans of time" to get skilled as writers. I mean, they may learn already pretty good skills in 3 to 6 month of editing.
Moreover, we develop this point on :
Among other ideas, I may quote this one : "when a child starts an article, be it insufficient, he takes the subject seriously. When an adult that will correct and expand it may therefore be prevented to write in an infantilizating style. " However, some 15yo, 12yo or younger editor may produce very valuable content.

What is the focus of the Klexikon?

The Klexikon concept is actually minimalist. Klexikon articles
 - contain no footnotes. If Klexikon writers disagree about a fact or statement, they simply look it up in (German) Wikipedia. If someone thinks that Wikipedia wrong, he or she has to change it on Wikipedia first.

Well, on citing sources, the Vikidia practice is far less strict as on Wikipedia, however we promote it and there is a notable pressure (and debate) to require sources, be it for verifiability or for an educational purpose: to let readers know that the informations come from somewhere and that they may have in mind to check it at least sometimes. Interestingly, school projects on Vikidia, often led by teacher-librarian in middle schools, produce articles which cite sources more often that usual.

How are Klexikon articles created?

On Wikipedia, the article creation process is rather messy. Anyone can create an article immediately. But it is also part of the reality that anyone can contest that article and nominate it for deletion. Articles are deleted if their subject is not notable or if they are very poorly written.

Discussions about deletions are the cause of stress and hostility on Wikipedia. The radical openness of Wikipedia allows people to invest a lot of time in a text, and only afterwards they are told that the article has no reason to exist.

In Klexikon, the process is different. There is a list of articles that are welcome, and a draft name space. The list contains all possible articles, with existing articles in blue and desired articles in red (red links mean, as in Wikipedia, that the linked page does not exist yet).

Indeed on Vikidia we create articles on the Wikipedia way, this mean we do have article on minor subjects such as the small town on editor lives in, and sometimes some subject you wouldn't have think about get many readers, which was typically the case with "Vitesse des animaux" (animals speed)

Moreover, the differences is that decisions and administrators appointment are also done in the Wikipedia way, with users having their voice whatever age they are. Young users seem to like it very much and to be very attached to this way. It goes obviously in the footsteps of the democratic schools/democratic education.

Klexikon an Vikidia took two quite different ways, I don't have enough matter to compare, say the quality of articles and how they fit to their reader, yet I guess both reach some achievements!

Mathias Damour <mathias.dam...@gmx.fr> schrieb am Do. 9. Aug. 2018 um 23:02:

By the way you may also think about like-minded wikis, however outside
Wikimedia, which are aimed for children and teenagers.
I mean Wikikids in Dutch, Vikidia in French, Spanish, Italian, English,
and Klexikon in German (the later being less oriented toward children
and pupils participation).

I think that these "Wikipedias for children" are especially relevant for
education projects when the Wikipedia version in your language is very
developed, which not only means few available subjects to work on but
also long and too high level articles for children and younger peoples,
which in turn implies a lack of a well-suited encyclopedic resource for
I guess it is also relevant if you think that education does not only
aim at higher education students !

I noticed this tweet:
"Would be very cool if @Wikipedia had official support for different age
ranges. Such tremendous effort is expended to include different
languages / cultures / topics, but nearly all of it remains inaccessible
to the 25% of the world population under 14"

We may elaborate why the Wikimedia movement missed to support and
develop a children-oriented encyclopedic wiki, and still elude this
idea. I may have some ideas on the topic, yet it is still a mystery to
me. However it does exist and is doing well!

Well, come and get involved in Vikidia in Spanish, English, Italian and
so on ! ;-)

Le 09/08/2018 à 11:21, Shani Evenstein a écrit :
Yes, the brand is what guided the founding members of the group when
choosing the name, especially thinking about global outreach; but we are
certainly looking at all Wikimedia projects.

Mathias Damour

Education mailing list

Reply via email to