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The gamification feature of Stack Overflow is going to be most appealing to young people, since they are the biggest gamers in society. However, it is difficult for young people to fully engage in a forum like this because answering questions requires wisdom.

If a teacher could start a forum based on Stack Overflow open only to only her class, I imagine that students would benefit. Is this possible? How?

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Reputation and age on stack overflow are not correlated. – Greg Hewgill Nov 29 '10 at 2:42
possible duplicate of Is the Stack Exchange engine available? – Jon Seigel Nov 29 '10 at 2:53
I don't think this is a duplicate, because it doesn't ask if the engine is available, but if it would actually be useful in the first place. – Eldros Nov 29 '10 at 8:32
To cheat on homework, of course. – Rosinante Nov 29 '10 at 12:10
@Eldros: Reading it again, the question is ambiguous. I interpreted it as "If I could start a forum based on SO (...). Is this possible?" – Jon Seigel Nov 29 '10 at 18:13
However, it is difficult for young people to fully engage in a forum like this because answering questions requires wisdom. => Do you have any source or statistics for this? Age is irrelevant. – Andreas Bonini Nov 30 '10 at 12:38
@Kop - there is a general correlation between age and knowledge: certainly someone who has been programming for 10 years has more knowledge on the topic than one who has only been programming for 3 (on average) - and a high school student is more likely to be in the latter rather than former category – warren Nov 30 '10 at 15:16
@warren: with that reasoning, on average, a random woman has less knowledge about programming than a random man. Should we create a stack exchange only for women then? – Andreas Bonini Nov 30 '10 at 16:20
@Kop - what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? My entire point is that making an SE just for one subgroup of people is irrational based merely on age (though there is still a correlation between age and knowledge). Basing one on gender would be equally foolish. – warren Dec 1 '10 at 1:26

Yes, it is possible. Set up a server based on an open source Stack Overflow clone.

I am not sure if any of the hosted solutions (example: Shapado) offer private sites. A hosted Shapado site has the option "Only the group's members will be able to access this group", but it is not clear if group membership is restricted.

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I think one of the essential ingredients would be lacking if you just had a StackOverflow clone for your class: critical mass. There just wouldn't be enough users/questions/answers to get off the ground.

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