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CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally

by CoderDojo Foundation
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CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
CoderDojo - Support kids learning to code globally
Digital Making at Home Launch video still
Digital Making at Home Launch video still

Hello Friend,


I hope this update is finding you in good spirits. As communities across the world come together to fight the spread of Coronavirus, CoderDojo clubs in 100s of countries have been closing too.  In this newsletter, I want to share some of the supports we have been implementing for the CoderDojo and Raspberry Pi Communities. 

As you might already know, CoderDojo is part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation family and is one of the major youth programmes to help young learners learn computing and digital making. Generally, we just share CoderDojo specific news with you, but these are rapidly changing times and we are working together to try and support as many young people, whether they are part of CoderDojo or not. The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s educational mission has never been more vital. We want to create a world where every young person, whatever their background or circumstances, can learn how to shape their world with digital technologies. 

Right now, over 1.5 billion young people aren’t able to access learning through schools or clubs due to the restrictions needed to stop the spread of the virus. Teachers and parents are doing their best to provide meaningful learning experiences at home and online. We have a responsibility and the ability to help.

We are taking four immediate actions to help millions of young people to learn at home through the crisis and we’re looking for financial and practical support to help us achieve impact at significant scale: 

  1. Delivering direct-to-student learning experiences
  2. Helping volunteers run virtual and online coding clubs
  3. Getting computers into the hands of children who don’t have one at home


Digital Making at Home - This week's theme is Games!

Based on user feedback we have designed new virtual and online learning experiences that launched on 30 March: Digital Making at Home. With our existing library of free online project resources (which are translated into up to 29 languages) as a foundation, we are producing easy-to-follow instructional videos that support different levels of skills and are led by members of our team. Each week we will set a theme that will inspire and engage young people to learn how to solve problems and express themselves creatively with technology. 

We are creating resources for young people aged 7–17 who are learning at home, independently or with their parents, carers, or siblings. Our projects use freely available online technologies like Scratch and Trinket to reduce barriers to participation. We will encourage and support young people to share and showcase their work on our website to help build community and give them a goal to work towards.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will iterate and develop the Digital Making at Home programme in response to user feedback. Our ambition is to run a wide range of direct-to-learner activities every week during the crisis (and beyond), including developing badges/accreditation and building community through sharing and showcasing of completed projects. 


Helping volunteers run virtual and online coding clubs

The Raspberry Pi Foundation supports the largest network of free coding clubs, with over 10,000 Code Clubs and CoderDojos reaching more than 250,000 young people on a regular basis. We have been delighted to see Dojos across the world setting up virtual clubs and sharing best practice via our Global Slack channel. 

We are supporting the clubs that are unable to meet in person during the pandemic to move to virtual and online approaches. This includes providing training and support to CoderDojo champions, Code Club organisers, educators, and volunteers. We are working with our network of 40 international partners to help them support the clubs in their regions. 

We are also supporting organisations and individuals who have never previously been involved in our networks of clubs, and who want to contribute to online learning during the crisis. This includes providing free resources, support with handling issues like safeguarding, and effective design and delivery of online learning experiences. 


Access to hardware 

We know that a significant proportion of young people don’t have access to a computer for learning at home. We are working with partners and donors in the UK to get Raspberry Pi Desktop Kits distributed for free to these children. The Desktop Kits include everything except a screen (computer, keyboard, mouse, power supply, cables, beginners guide) and are designed to be used with any household TV. The Raspberry Pi desktop computers have wireless connectivity and come with a bundle of free educational software and materials included so that they can also be used offline if necessary. 


Get involved 

Everything we do is made possible thanks to an incredible network of partners and supporters. We have been overwhelmed (in a good way) by offers of help from existing and new partners since the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Here are some of the ways that you can get involved right now: 

Share what we’re doing with your audiences and networks. We need as many people as possible to know that we are offering free, meaningful learning experiences for millions of young people. Please help us spread the word. Feel free to circulate this note to anyone who would find it useful or interesting. Amplify our communications on social media. 

Share your expertise and time. We regularly mobilise tens of thousands of volunteers all over the world to run computing clubs and other activities for young people. We are supporting clubs to continue to run virtually and online. We also need more help with translation of our learning resources. If you have expertise and time to share, get in touch. 

As always, we will be sharing stories from the CoderDojo community over on our blog so do pop by and check out some of the latest stories, from free online courses to news from Vasu our Community Coordinator supporting Dojos across India.

Wishing you all the best from CoderDojo and Raspberry Pi Foundation,

Sarah

 

Young creator making at home
Young creator making at home
Virtual club session being advertised on social
Virtual club session being advertised on social
Safeguarding guidance for clubs moving online
Safeguarding guidance for clubs moving online

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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!

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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

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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

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Map of active dojos globally
Map of active dojos globally

As always we've had lots of great events, meetups and new clubs being created across the world. In this mail, I want to give you a little behind the scenes insight into how we manage and support our global community. I also want to tell you more about our most recent Coolest Projects events in the UK and US which celebrated the amazing achievements of young creators.

As an organisation, we pride ourselves on being driven by research. We try to understand the needs of our community as they develop over time and to provide the best support structures to respond to those needs. We have a number of support mechanisms through regular webinars, fabulous free resources and educational content and great community events.

The numbers may be down (temporarily) but our community engagement is UP!

Over our short history, there have been over 2,800 Dojos registered on our community platform. With volunteer-led clubs, we realise some have longer lifespans than others and sometimes they just need to take a little break while life happens.

As our community grows we want to ensure we can still give as much hands-on support as possible. In order to give the best support, we need to know the status of all our Dojos around the world.

We want to ensure that when someone decides to search for a dojo in their local community that we have all the relevant clubs listed and that those clubs are still active.

This year our community team did a huge census, they contacted every dojo that hadn’t completed the annual survey to see if they were still active/the correct contact details were still present.

After this process 100s of Dojos were removed from our system. Since last year our reported numbers globally dropped significantly. However, now we are confident that each of our 1,702 Dojos across 97 countries are all active community spaces, with regular events.

See a snapshot of what our global community looks like today!

Our community inspires at Coolest Projects

The second installment of Coolest Projects UK took place in Manchester’s Sharp Project in early March. At the event, more than 120 of Britain’s young creators came together to share over 80 digital projects with one another and with more than 500 members of the public. 13-year-old Sally Wells from Strood, who invented a game for Coolest Projects UK 2019, said she started coding to help people.

“I’m involved with Future Coders, because I decided it would be a great extracurricular activity and useful in the future. You can make things to basically help people improve their lives – it’s hard at first, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.”

This was also the second year of Coolest Projects USA Young creators aged 5–18 came together from all over the US, traveling from as far as Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania to showcase their incredible ideas, brought to life by them through the power of coding. Needless to say, we were thoroughly impressed by every project, whether the creator made it to help solve a real-world problem or to express their imagination.

Coolest Projects are fantastic opportunities for us to celebrate our amazing, creative global community, which includes you!

There’s still time to share info about getting involved in our biggest Coolest Projects Technology Fair for young people. Coolest Projects International is happening on May 5th in Dublin. Check out the link below for more info.

Coolest Projects UK Awards Ceremony audience
Coolest Projects UK Awards Ceremony audience
Coolest Projects UK Creators
Coolest Projects UK Creators
Coolest Projects USA Discovery Cube
Coolest Projects USA Discovery Cube
Coolest Projects US judge looking at projects
Coolest Projects US judge looking at projects

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Organization Information

CoderDojo Foundation

Location: Dublin - Ireland
Website:
Twitter: @HWF @CoderDojo
Project Leader:
Rosa Langhammer
Dublin, / Ireland

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