De: "WereSpielChequers" <werespielchequ...@gmail.com>
A childrens' encyclopaedia written for nine year olds would surely be very different than one written for thirteen year olds. And content that parents of fourteen year olds thought was age inappropriate in Alabama might be thought appropriate or even bowdlerised by parents of ten year olds in London.

In other words, are you sure that one single childrens' encyclopaedia is the answer to either the problem of reading age or age appropriate content?

There is one thing that is sure, that "one single childrens' encyclopaedia" is a great step for children (and often teenagers and older people) than having just Wikipedia available, and they love it.
Where I think that Wikipedia could and should change re this is in our use of jargon. To my mind a "general interest" english language encyclopaedia should be written in plain English. I suspect other language versions have similar issues.  Perhaps if we focussed more on this we would make it easier for those who wish to create childrens' versions.

Yet there is not realistic hopes that the language of Wikipedia will change to be easier. That wouldn't address the fact the articles on general subjects are among the longest ones.
It sounds a bit weird that a content for 12 yo would not fit well for a 8 yo, and then that Wikipedia could fit to children. The "reading level" of articles on Vikidia is not perfectly homogenous, nor their developpment is. They can be usefull for adult beginners on a subject just as a child can prefer Wikipedia on a subject he's fond of and allready informed.
That was developped in this post (in english):

De: "Ziko van Dijk" <zvand...@gmail.com>
Ideally, one would have
* an encyclopedia for the very young, that parents read to them,
* an encyclopedia for the 8 to 13 year olds, the target group for many
of the existing kids' wikis,
* an encyclopedia for juvelines, 14 to 18 years
* an encyclopedia for everyone; this is what "regular Wikipedia" should be,
* an encyclopedia for specialists; this is what "regular Wikipedia"
actually develops into.
And maybe encylopedias for people with specific challenges such as

Most language don't have a single wiki encyclopedia for children or an under-developped one. So I guess that's not realistic nor wise to wish such a division in this work. So let's work on the allready allready launched ones ! (Especially the one of the Vikidia family of course ;) see https://www.vikidia.org/ )
You actually do not need millions of articles for a good encyclopedia, some thousand well written articles are enough.

Vikidia in French and Wikikids in Dutch are by far the biggest wiki encyclopedias for children, with about 35000 articles each. Yet young reader on the Vikidia's guestbook still ask for "more content", which certainly mean both enought developped articles (not just a few lines) and more subjects. So yes, we need, if not millions of articles, at least several dozens of thousands articles.
Of course, we see that (as everywhere) 20 % of the articles make more than 80 % of the pageviews. But you can't really guess in advance which subject will be in the top 20 %.
 De: "Galder Gonzalez Larrañaga" <galder...@hotmail.com>
About Txikipedia: the age range is 8-12, but is more 10-12 than 8-9. The problem is that some of the writers are 8-9 years old, so their content is quite simple.


When I read French Vikidia I think that most of the contents are still too difficult for 8-9 years old students, but French education system maybe more advanced in some issues. Or it might be that Vikidia is centered in 8-13 years old, and 13 years old readers are way better reading and understanding texts. Klexikon seems very suitable, but it's logical, since it is written by educators, and not children or whoever wants to write. When we make courses with university students who will be the next primary school teachers, they write longer articles, but not necessarily better. The main goal there is to explain things as easily as possible, and not granting anything for known. We advise them to write shorter sentences, without dependencies and to explain all technical concepts inline, if possible. Also, they normally add boxes of "did you know?" so they can add a layer for curious children.

Just as on Wikipedia, article don't have only one author. That makes them better, more accessible and accurate.

You can't just test an average child to write on such a wiki to tell if children and teenagers are able to participate to a wiki encyclopedia for several reasons :
  • the 1% rule (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1%25_rule) fully apply there (or less than 1%)
  • regular editors are few but very motivated,
  • they typically learn and are engaged for months and years, which is VERY different than having been trained to edit for one or two hours.

A 12 yo with 2 years of participation, or a 15 yo with 3 years of experience are often very valuables editors, either as writer of for maintenance and community tasks.

Adults as well have to learn to write on Vikidia, be they educators or not. Just as it is well know that a journalist or a scientist, which are supposed to be skilled is writing articles, often don't fit immediatly with the style that is expected on Wikipedia.

Mathias Damour
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