Q. What is the purpose of this project?
A. To create a free and open dictionary that is appropriate for kids, both in terms of content and reading level.
Q. Aren't there enough dictionaries already?
A. There are many dictionaries, but none that we could find that were a) free, open, and sharable; AND b) appropriate for kids (both in terms of absence of potentially objectionable content and in language level).
Q. Who is building this dictionary?
A. This is a mass collaboration project, and we hope that a large community of people will participate. Everyone is invited to help build it. Those with experience in education or knowledge of issues related to how kids learn are especially appreciated.
Q. Why isn't there an apostrophe in the title "Kids Open Dictionary Builder"?
A. The word kids in the title is meant as an adjective modifying the dictionary, not a possessive form. The dictionary does not belong to kids; it is for kids. In fact, the dictionary belongs to everyone; that's the point of the public domain license.
Q. What is the software underlying this project and is it open-licensed?
A. This software was written by the K12 Open Ed team. We plan to distribute it under an open license in the future, but we need to do some more work on it first.
Q. How can I participate?
A. You can participate however you like. The easiest way is to edit or write a single entry. If you don't know where to start, try clicking Instant karma to get a random word. If you are interested in a bigger role, such as becoming an editor, contact us.
Q. How is this dictionary licensed?
A. The dictionary is public domain. Anyone may use it for whatever they like.
Q. Why a public domain license?
A. We want this resource to be as sharable as possible, and while we think sharing is good, we don't feel compelled to force others to share. The more learners around the world who benefit from this, the better. We want people to to mix and mash up this content without the burden of thinking about license compatibility or even crediting a source. Glossaries are one of the most basic building blocks of many educational materials, and there are currently no sources (that we were able to find, after extensive research) that allow for low-burden reuse. Teachers have asked for this again and again, and in its absence, most are just inappropriately borrowing copyrighted content. That's why we decided to build this open dictionary.
Q. How will this dictionary be published?
A. We hope to publish this dictionary in a variety of formats, including but not limited to a web-based version and various ebook formats. The dictionary will also be released in a database format that can be used by others to create other formats that they wish. It is our hope that this dictionary is widely used by many.
Q. How will you control the quality of the dictionary?
A. One important feature of this dictionary project is the separation of the open dictionary builder (this web site) and the final dictionary. At some point in the development, each definition will be reviewed and certified by an editor and "frozen." The final dictionary will include only this screened content. We think this is important for a product like this for kids, not only for quality purposes, but because of the unfortunate behavior of wiki vandals and spammers.
Q. Will there be pictures, video, and audio included?
A. While those features are not supported at the current time, we hope to add them in the future.
Q. Who is responsible for this project?
A. This is a mass collaboration project that reflects the efforts of many. The founders and coordinators of the project are Karen Fasimpaur and Brad Emerson, both of whom have worked in K-12 education for many years.
Q. Something funny happened. What does that mean?
A. There are still bugs in this wiki. If something funny, (funny bad) happens, we print out a message. If you can remember what you were doing when it happened, or especially if it's something you can repeat, We'd love to find out about it. If you feel brave, use the back button and screen shot it for us. You can email it to us here.
Q. What is the shortcut that inserts my name and the date and time into a discussion when I add a comment?
A. Like some other wikis, we use four tildes ~~~~.