CoderDojo Toronto honours the legacy of a young coder

By | Uncategorized

CoderDojo as an organization has touched many people’s lives through the gift of code. By providing a safe space for young people from different communities to meet mentors, access learning resources, and meet peers who share their interests and skills – our organization has been an entry point into tech for many young people who have traveled from within our city, and from towns across Ontario, to build their knowledge of computing.

It is with great care that we accept a donation to CoderDojo Toronto in honour of a young man, Noam, who recently passed away.  Friends of Noam chose CoderDojo because he was passionate about coding and social justice, and would have appreciated helping young folks gain access to free coding workshops. Though he was a private and very humble individual, his mother and his partner thought that Noam would be comfortable in sharing a link to his website, so that people can view his writings, thoughts, art work, coding, and his journey with cancer.

https://noamswebsite.com/

CoderDojo Toronto – March 18th

By | Monthly Event, Project Showcase, Scratch, Showcase

It was an awesome month at the dojo this March with some exciting new faces and excellent returning learners. We covered a lot of ground with Scratch projects this month including using backdrops to add new levels to your game, using variables for making timers and switching sprite costumes for cool and colourful effects.

See event photos on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BZbcaJilCx8/?taken-by=coderdojoto

Project Showcase:

Game: “Donut Game” Creator: Adam

Game: “Capture the Cake (Part 2)” Creator: Brooke

Game: “Apple Dash” Creator: Debargha

Game: “Room Escape” Creator: Alex

Game: “Scratch Animation” Creator: Jayden

Game: “Speed Run Part 1” Creator: Kieran

Game: “The Acronik Leviathan” Creator: Jack

CoderDojo Toronto – January 21, 2018

By | Monthly Event, Project Showcase, Scratch

A big thank you to all of the learners and mentors who made it out to the event this month. We were very excited to get back into programming in 2018 with some new CSS resources for styling web pages.

Quote of the day, “You can save your Scratch projects and edit them later” -Adam

See event photos on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BZbcaJilCx8/?taken-by=coderdojoto

Project Showcase:

Game: “Bomb” Creator: Adam

Game: “Finster” Creator: Fin

Game: “The Thinker” Creator: David

Game: “Capture the Cake” Creator: Brooke

CoderDojo Toronto – September 24th

By | Scratch

Hello @here, thank you to those who came, and those who were in touch about missing it. Today went smoothly, well attended and staffed by volunteers. We had stability in hardware with 6 laptops with support from Mozilla Hive and Free Geek Toronto, and had a take away HTML5 cheat sheet.

In other news one of our regular learners attended this session as a volunteer. He helped a first time student learn the ropes with Scratch. @jordanne has ideas about creating handouts to describe the important elements of Scratch, and also, has ideas about Scratch and uses it in fun ways to tell stories. Learn about her cat.

Quote of the day, in response to what did you learn today? ‘That X mean left and right, and Y means up and down’ – Adam

Lastly, a long overdue appreciation and social event for mentors is scheduled on Thursday, October 26th. Find the details on Meetup. https://www.meetup.com/CoderDojoTo/events/243559614/

See event photos on Instagram:

Scratch Showcase links:

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/176126306/

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/176221748/

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/172925178/

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/176126306/

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/176216067/

Canada Coding Week event: Canadarm2

By | blog, classes
Thank you for volunteering your time for code education.
Our event is on Saturday, June 3rd 217 from 2 – 4pm and we are holding a mentor/volunteer training session beforehand at 1:30 – to ensure that mentors are somewhat prepared for the 2 hour coding session to follow.
Lesson of the day – CANADARM2:
In this activity, students will imagine that they are Chris Hadfield remotely controlling the Canadarm 2 from on board the International Space Station. Students will use computational thinking processes (breaking down a problem, looking for patterns, developing algorithms) and their prior coding experience with Scratch to create a simulation in which they become the controller of Canadarm2 to put a new module on the International Space Station.
Video lesson here:

Printable teachers guide:
Starter Scratch:
Final Scratch:
 
Lesson plan found here:

Session Debrief Minutes: May 14th

By | blog, Volunteers

After each session, we hold a quick (<10min) mentor debrief to see what wins were made that day, introduce any new ideas to work on, and examine what didn’t work.

BIG WINS:
The greatest take away from this session was not a coding win, but a breakthrough with a smarter than average student. This young coder had been to 3 sessions, and brought his C++ coding manual to work through. His heart was already committed to the language, but he was having a struggle advancing quickly. His friends, family, and teachers were not equipped to teach him the language – and likewise – he was having little luck finding his coding community, unable to convince his friends to take on the task of hard-core coding. That few mentors were able to help in meaningful ways was getting the team down – how do we support this coder before he loses interest? The solution was in asking what they wanted to do. The answer was surprising. This young person felt they were letting people down by not having a project that was showing progress. We unpacked, over cake, how important it is to find your coding peers, as they will help push you along in projects – but we also unpacked that C++ is daunting for many programmers – and that even though Scratch might seem like a step backward, that learning to use the programming functions there can help communicate progress to others much more quickly. From beginning to end, we can make a game that people can play in an hour. After a big sigh about what it meant to take that step to a more junior programming language we went back to the computer and got programming. Looking forward to big things from this keen and altruistic learner who wants to learn code to improve his life, and to share it with friends and loved ones.

Other notes from mentors to keep improving our events and program:

BEFORE THE EVENT:
☐ Have a formalized “setup” and “teardown” list to ensure we don’t miss anything when setting up
☐ Update the table layouts guide with the correct layouts
☐ Add question about coding interest area to Eventbrite registration
☐ Print out attendee info from Eventbrite
☐ Convert Scratch activities to Python

DURING THE EVENT:
☐ Have “Activity of the Day” table fully set up and demoing before learners arrive
☐ Have lessons folders set out on the pods before learners arrive

 

By: M. Leslie Bent

Lessons from the field: Curriculum kits have been converted into topics

By | blog, News

Based on feedback from mentors and parents we’ve changed our curriculum to allow students and mentors to easily find projects suitable to their interests and skills. We’ve also changed our seating structure from front-of-room facing desk rows. Instead, we arrange tables in clusters to allow mentors better access to walk around, and encouraging more interaction of students. This new layout ties in nicely with color-coded duo tangs: Scratch, Web, Programming, and Hardware.

Lessons from CoderDojoTo at TPL Annette Branch

By | blog
Annette Street Library Toronto

Annette Street Library Toronto (TPL)

On March 25th, Toronto Public Library Annette Street Branch held it’s first CoderDojoTo event. Branch Head Jeffery Toste spearheaded the in-branch initiative and was on-site as a mentor at well attended event. We welcomed 23 new coders, and their parents. We also provided 7 laptops (2 from the library and 5 from CoderDojo Toronto) to students who did not have their own.

Our mentor group was the core team (Ming, Yousif, Tyler, Les) and Jeffery. As we ran the Making A Basic Game in Scratch workshop at the front, it was just enough to cover a table of 4 for each mentor. We made a change to our seating arrangement – switching from row seating looking forward, to pod seating clustering 4 students around a table. Mentors were able to provide better support for more students by spending time with each side of the table, and it encouraged pairs to work together when a mentor was busy with others. Parents were also more engaged as a result of the pod seating allowing them to sit with their learners, and mentors could still get around to everyone.

To continue to run successfully though, we will need to have more mentor training sessions in different neighbourhoods of the city. A West end training session will be booked in early May at the Annette Street Library.

2017 Announcements

By | Uncategorized

Announcements for 2017

CoderDojoTo will not be holding our regular monthly event in January.

We are working on a number of exciting initiatives and will be sending another e-mail soon with announcements! Stay tuned for important updates about upcoming CoderDojoTo community events, skill building materials, and volunteering opportunities.

Thank you for learning code with us.

CoderDojoTo had a great year in 2016. We ran 15 community events, allowing us to teach 350+ coders new computer skills. Dozens of mentors, volunteers, and community members lent their support to make this past year a huge success. We truly couldn’t have done it without your dedication, donations, and support! Thank you to everyone who came to learn and share coding skills this year.

We would like to extend a special thank you to our venue sponsor, Bitmaker, for providing crucial space and internet for our monthly workshops, and to all the companies who’s generous support made free computing education possible – including Full Stack Toronto, Infinite I.T. Staffing, Microsoft Yorkdale, Toronto Public Library, STEMCA, and Sticky Brain Studios. Thank you!

 

 

 

2016 Highlights:

We had the pleasure of running a variety of new workshops and curriculum content this past year.

Thank you 2016

By | blog
Children's Literary Festival hosted Bi-annually by Toronto Public Library. This year held at Toronto Harbourfront, Queens Quay. With various Childrens authors, illustrators, and musical talent.

CoderDojoTo did a drop-in coding session at Children’s Literary Festival hosted Bi-annually by Toronto Public Library. This year held at Toronto Harbourfront, Queens Quay. With various Children’s authors, illustrators, and musical talent.

We would like to extend a HUGE thank you to all who mentored, volunteered, and contributed to our 2016 fundraising campaign which helped make all of our events possible throughout the year!

As we rely on donations of resources, food and financial means to operate each of our events – we are truly grateful to have such an incredible network of support and simply cannot express our appreciation for your time and contributions in all forms. Thanks to your time and donation, we were able to expand our program by offering a variety of new workshops and curriculum content this past year aimed at promoting digital literacy and STEAM education amongst youth. Some of our highlights from 2016 include:

Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to seeing you out at our events in the new year!

CoderDojo Toronto Team

Community Members

Full Stack Toronto, Maker Festival, Microsoft Toronto, #Ridi6ulo.us Hackthon, Toronto Public Library, Stemca,Hive Toronto, Get Yer Bot On!, Markham Coders

Numbers and Stats for 2016

By the Numbers By the Cost Travelled from By Skill
300+ Students $3000+ on pizza, snacks, coffee Toronto HTML, CSS
150+ Mentors $1000+ on printing Markham GIMP for graphic editing
100+ Computers Loaned $300+ on hardware Scarborough JavaScript
90 TTC Tokens $2500+ on event costs Mississauga Scratch
Bowmanville Node
Georgetown Arduino
Thornhill Networking
North York Podcast (Audio)
Sharon RFID
Burlington
Vaughan
Hamilton
Etobicoke
Dundas
Pickering