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Jan 7, 2020

2019 - Community Highlights

Happy New Year!


As we lay the groundwork for the year ahead, we’d like to take this opportunity to recognise some great moments that you have helped support around the world. CoderDojo’s grassroots, volunteer-led movement of free clubs is now into its eight-year of existence. In that short time, hundreds of thousands of learners have brought their ideas to life with technology in free coding clubs in 111 countries (and counting)!

Highlights from the community

Throughout the year we’ve been asking the community to share their favourite moments from 2019 via the #CoderDojoStories and some great stories have been pouring in.

  • CoderDojo Belgium shared the story of a youth mentor, Bryan, who has started his own Dojo and begun a graduate degree in Computer Science! 
  • Chinedum from the Maitam Dojo gave a shout-out to three of his ninjas who received nominations in our Boo Challenge Competition. What a great achievement!
  • Well done to the Ninjas from the Altona North Dojo, who presented projects at the Monash Maker Faire in Melbourne — what a great learning opportunity. Thanks to STEMDownUnder for the share!
  • Adele shared some great pictures from the launch of the Aversa Dojo in Italy, featuring a range of activities from unplugged games to robotics.
  • Seven Ninjas from the Timisoara Dojo traveled to Moscow for a special event that brought biology and programming together. It’s fantastic to see Dojos taking a multi-disciplinary approach.

Supporting a growing community

At the Foundation our role is to provide the support structures to help this community continue to flourish. If you want to know more about the nuts and bolts check out in our penultimate quarterly report in the link below. 

One of the major challenges we will be addressing is helping this wonderful community to stay, excited, inspired and resilient. Being a volunteer is a huge commitment and gift to local communities. We will continue to connect community members via our live webinars to inspire and inform each other, there will be more meetups and Coolest Projects Technology fairs and case studies and articles such as the two below:

  • Check out our case study with Ms. Sofia. Ms. Sofia is tackling real-life issues with code in India to keep her young learners inspired and eager to tackle the next challenge. 
  • A common challenge is keeping young people engage in clubs as they enter their teenage years. We’ve written an article on how to continue challenging older Ninjas by helping them complete the move from block to text programming, which you can check out at our main news page.

The year ahead has lots more excitement in store, foundation staff and Ninjas in clubs around the world have their sights set on three great Technology Fairs. Coolest Projects events will be kicking off in the USA in March, in the UK in April culminating in the big International showcase in Dublin, Ireland in June. We can't wait to see what great projects this year's participants have in store for us!

For now, bye and thanks for your support on behalf of 2,131 Dojos worldwide and the team at the Foundation!

Links:

Oct 8, 2019

We've had a very event- full summer

A CoderDojo in a Library
A CoderDojo in a Library

Hello friend

I’m back with a short update on all of the great work you are helping to support around the world. The CoderDojo movement would not exist without the generosity of people like you, donating what they can, whether that be a monetary contribution or time or both.

We now have a community of over 12,000 fabulous volunteers that keep our global community thriving on a daily basis. Here’s some of the stuff we’ve all been up to:

 

  • We launched a free CoderDojo Events pack. We’re delighted to say that we now have a great little pack available to any community members who are planning an event. We send some suitable materials if you are planning on organising such things as a meetup, a regional Dojocon, a MegaDojo, where multiple clubs come together and code together or indeed a regional Coolest Projects event. Packs vary in size and contents depending on the type of event being planned. 
  • Building better systems for our community. Our developers have done a lot of work to simplify the process of adding events to our platform. This is both for the benefit of club champions, and for people searching active club session in their area. The new system should increase the simplicity, speed, and sustainability of our platform.
  • Our community shared some great insights with the Scratch community. In August, the Raspberry Pi Foundation hosted the first-ever Scratch Conference Europe in Cambridge UK. The conference was a great opportunity for CoderDojo volunteers and the Foundation to connect with makers and educators from around the world. We were amazed by the innovative and inspiring talks, workshops and discussions.

 

  • Yohei from CoderDojo Japan spoke about growing our community in Japan. He highlighted the importance of face-to-face discussions and the benefits of having introductory resources easily available. He also emphasised the benefit of champions being able to shape their clubs within the parameters of the CoderDojo charter.
  • Rosa and Tara for CoderDojo Foundation ran a workshop on idea generation and design thinking. You can click through to our blog post for links to presentations, videos and more about other speakers on the day here - > check out the links below.

What we really love about events such as Scratch Conference and Dojocon is that they provide great opportunities for our community to share best-practice, tips, techniques, and just general inspiration and motivation. When our community doesn’t have a chance to meet in person they often share these virtually via our regular webinars - and sharing their stories via our blog.

 

  • CoderDojo Indiana hosted a special parent workshop, and now you can too. While not all mentors are parents, a significant part of our community is led by enthusiastic parents. However, not all parents with children at CoderDojo’s feel confident enough to participate. CoderDojo Indiana hosted a special CoderDojo 101 session for parents at their last hackathon to great success. We’ve created a special presentation deck so you can hold a similar session too. 

 

Finally, Nuala put together a great post about how existing dojos can be used to help volunteers gain new skills and keep them growing as they share their skills with the next generation. Check out the full post on providing leadership stretch below.

“Trust is again the word that comes to mind. Giving space for the new person to do things, even in ways that are different from the way you would do them” – Carmelo, Former champion of CoderDojo Bologna


thank you for your continued support on behalf of all our community!

CoderDojo Indiana
CoderDojo Indiana
All girls Dojo
All girls Dojo
Design Thinking Workshop at Scratch
Design Thinking Workshop at Scratch
Young coders at Dojocon
Young coders at Dojocon

Links:

Jul 9, 2019

Creating new pathways to access technology

Kathleen, a member of the Traveller community
Kathleen, a member of the Traveller community

Hello!

Greetings from Dublin Ireland - the home of CoderDojo Foundation.

This is a little note to update you on the work that your generous support contributes to. You are part of a movement that has expanded exponentially due to the time, support and enthusiasm of a community that now spans 104 countries worldwide.

Our global community is powered by an army of over 12,000 enthusiastic and generous volunteers. One of the biggest challenges that our community reports on year-on-year is the recruiting and retention of volunteers for clubs. In response, we’ve been busy producing more resources and supports so that our community has the right tools to create great clubs and develop new skillsets as the grow.

Like many tech initiatives, we are aware there are many barriers to access, beyond cost, that prevent people from participating in our programmes. Here's some of the work we've been doing to help our existing volunteers and welcome more people into the fold.

  • We’ve developed a ‘Train The Champions Facilitator Guide’ this is a training manual specifically aimed at existing volunteers and champions who are interested in inspiring more people. Over the past two years, the CoderDojo Foundation Team have hosted training sessions across Ireland, the UK, and Belgium. Based on all this experience they’ve developed this guide to help our volunteers facilitate training sessions themselves. 
  • Our Dojo Starter packs are now available worldwide! Following on from the success of our pilot programme in Ireland and the UK, Champions worldwide now have the opportunity to apply for the CoderDojo starter packs to help them kick-start their new dojo. These packs contain, flyers, stickers, badges, and posters along USB stick loaded with a wealth of projects and training materials that can all be accessed without an internet connection. 
  • We developed free online courses for mentors to develop their technical mentoring skills. When we asked volunteers what motivated them to get involved in their local Dojo one quarter mentioned ‘learning new skills’. Now anyone can join our courses aimed at mentors with topics including Python for Educators; Moving from Block to Text-based Programming and Understanding Computer Systems. We also created courses such as an Introduction to Cybersecurity and Impact of Technology: How to Lead Dojo Discussion, which is aimed at helping volunteers to continue engaging older Dojo attendees.

 

We know free doesn't necessarily mean accessible!

We are very aware that community members can face a lot of potential hurdles to getting involved in a local Dojo. In the last year, we’ve collaborated with our community on some great initiatives:

  • Opening new doors for young Travellers with CoderDojo. We collaborated with Involve, formerly the National Association of Traveller Centres, an organisation that works to widen youth services and opportunities for young people from the Traveller Community. The CoderDojo team delivered a train-the-trainer programme for youth workers to give them the confidence to offer coding activities in their local communities. 
  • Community-led resource creation -Many clubs want to make their Dojos more accessible but don’t know where to begin. When we were approached by Hannah, a CoderDojo mentor who also happens to be autistic, we jumped at the opportunity to co-create an accessibility guide.

In addition to all these great resources, community members can always get facetime with our team and ask questions in real time at one of our regular webinars.

That’s a little snapshot of what we’ve been up to this quarter if you want to dig a little deeper into what’s been happening across CoderDojo Foundation take a look at our 2018 Annual report, which we published last month.

CoderDojo Accessibility Guide
CoderDojo Accessibility Guide
Coolest Projects Participants
Coolest Projects Participants
Young girl's at a Dojo
Young girl's at a Dojo
CoderDojo Starter Pack
CoderDojo Starter Pack

Links:

 
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