Helping the Kindersite



Due to your support the Kindersite has received considerable and valuable feedback. We are now ready to move on to the next stage of its evolution. This evolution includes completing a number of important steps on the site, so it will be ready to:

  • Add more and better content
  • Focus the content grading mechanism on educational values as well as child orientated values
  • Create an innovative child-friendly graphical interface (understandable by young children and non-English literate persons)
  • Build the parameters for a voting mechanism
  • Release the site to a much greater number of users globally (greater bandwidth capacity)
  • Offer the site to academic researchers to complete studies – bring the site to the attention of educational researchers

To move forward we need help in all the areas above and are asking for you to step forward. Together with your help the Kindersite will remain a free resource and be an effective tool to benefit all our children.

Thank you for offering to help, together we can make this project have the effectiveness that will benefit all our children.

From a practical point of view the programs that you can contribute to today are described below:

  Program 1.

Building multiple languages in to the site

We were amazed at how quickly the Kindersite became a global project. Some of our first Participating Schools came from Lithuania, the Sudan, West Indies etc.

Due to the generous help of our volunteers we have now managed to add a number of additional language interfaces to the site, this work is ongoing and we still have most of the site still to translate. The actual content will always remain in its native language, presently English. We would be very grateful if any volunteers would help translate in to additional languages, varying scripts are not a problem.

Looking at additional languages, if anyone is a native speaker in an additional language and wishes to translate in to their language please let us know. The more the merrier.

Do you fancy yourself as a translator, don't worry the program is being completed in teams and the number of site pages translated dependant on the team size. No one will be asked to translate the whole site.

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  Program 2.

Expanding the number of users

A critical factor is holding us back in offering the site to the numbers of users we need to complete large-scale research. This is the number of users permitted through our existing hosting server that hosts the Kindersite i.e. bandwidth restrictions.

We cannot move the site to a bigger server, with a much increased bandwidth allowance, because of financial constraints. i.e. no money.

I am asking users to help find a free hosting server that has a full range of web software to support the site and email requirements. I would prefer a server in the USA but can be flexible. Possibilities may include universities, software/hardware companies, educational establishments, corporations etc.

Please supply suggestions or even better host servers. We will need to discuss with the server owner some technical details and the bandwidth allowance.

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  Program 3.

Children’s Graphical User Interface

In my opinion, this is one of the most interesting areas that we have to deal with. How can we make an interface that a child as young as 3, with minimal mouse skills and no reading ability, can use semi-independently.

I am looking for help to arrive at innovative ideas to complete an interface. The major steps a child will have to negotiate are (and even some of these are debatable):
1. Logging in to the site – I think this will always need the assistance of a caregiver, but lets see how clever YOU are.
2. Searching for content
3. Choosing an item of content from a list
4. We cannot influence the actual content and its interface, as this comes from the content supplier, in fact, if the child can use an item of content this will help to arrive at the age suitability
5. Closing the content
6. Finding more content

And maybe other steps I have not thought about. Get your sketch pads out.

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  Program 4.
Adding more Content and re-grading existing content

Just to let you know, we have spent 2 years finding and building the current database of content and have only touched on educational content.

We do have a large list of sites that need to be checked for appropriate content and the content then viewed, graded and added to the database. The grading parameters will come from Program 1. Grading the content database for education

So there are 2 steps here:
1. Checking sites for appropriate content and listing the content with the link and a few other basic parameters
2. Grading existing and new content according to the revised parameters

As I am sure you will agree the grading process by nature will be subjective, in fact We see this as an advantage as so far only our opinion has been used. You may find it interesting that most of the original grading was actually completed with the help of small children using the content. They are brutally honest in what they like at any particular time.

We propose that the sites and content that need to be evaluated should be done by remote individuals working within pre-defined parameters on an overlapping basis i.e. multiple individuals will score each content item. The results will then be compiled and the average used for the final database.

If you would like to help with this program we will send you a list of sites that may not have been looked at at all. We will also include full instructions based on our experience, but then it will be up to you. We think this is a real fun program.

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Program 5.

Contacts and funding

To date the Kindersite has been built and is being maintained by voluntary efforts, all the volunteers have also had to complete their day jobs as well, resulting in atrocious working hours being committed to the project – 5a.m. to 11p.m, 7 days a week have been very common (yawn). This is the main reason the project has not moved on as fast as we would like.

The project must now raise significant funding from government, research bodies or foundations so that the project can be put on a sound basis and fully committed staff employed.

Your help is needed here, not only to come up with contacts and ideas, but also to help with the proposal process, follow up and networking.

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Program 6.

Grading the content database for education

When we designed the existing database of content we looked at the search parameters from a child perspective rather than trying to include educational values. Now having gained an understanding, from your feedback, that these parameters must also accommodate educational values we need to set these parameters.

A discussion group of teachers and researchers needs to arrive at about 4 additional or alternative parameters that will focus on educational values. These parameters have to allow for 2 major sectors:
1. Children between the ages of 2 to 6
2. English language beginners of multiple ages

Each selected value can have up to 6 values. For example, Subject Area
· Literacy
· Numeracy
· Etc.

It will be the task of the group to arrive at a consensus as to these values. It may be possible to offer an initial separator in the search engine between Early learning and ESL and then have about 3 values within each sector.

Additionally we need to add a keyword search facility but this will be dealt with in program 4 below.

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If you would like to offer your help please send an email to. Please let us know which program or programs you would like to contribute to.
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