Lessons from CoderDojoTo at TPL Annette Branch

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

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

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

Kids coding workshop at Book Bash

CoderDojo is will run a drop-in kids coding workshop learning material. Families are invited to join us at Book Bash @ Harbourfront Centre on Saturday, October 22 from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. The day is a free, fun-filled afternoon of storytelling, music, writing and illustrating workshops and demos, tech fun, puppet shows, theatre, magic, and author signings. CoderDojoTo will be holding a drop-in computer workshop for kids.Book Bash is a celebration of children’s literacy and the joy of reading, and we’re thrilled to welcome some of Canada’s most renowned children’s authors, illustrators, storytellers and musicians.

All Day in The Bays & Lobby:

  • Drop-in coding workshop with Coderdojo
  • Toronto Public Library’s Pop-Up Learning Lab with Mini 3D Printer
  • Hands-on demos with Toronto Public Library’s Sun Life Musical Instrument Lending Library
  • Roaming magician
  • Face painting
  • Photobooth Fun! and pick up your free book courtesy of Scholastic Canada (while quantities last)
  • All are welcome to come dressed in costume!
  • Meet characters from your favourite books

The Ben McNally Bookstore at Habourfront Centre will host author signings and sell books by our guest authors throughout the day.

Toronto Public Library Bookmobile will be parked outside Harbourfront Centre for you to borrow library materials. Don’t forget your library card!

For more information about the event, including where you can find us – see the posting here:

CoderDojo has won the prestigious European Citizen’s Prize

CoderDojo has won the prestigious European Citizen’s Prize. CoderDojo is the only Irish based organisation to win the award this year. Our non-profit network of free coding clubs for young people, which originated in Cork, is now in 63 countries worldwide. Since 2008 the Parliament awards the European Citizen’s Prize every year to projects and initiatives that facilitate cross-border cooperation and promote understanding within the EU. CoderDojo was nominated by Seán Kelly MEP (Ireland South).

21695784998_b049fff3dc_zMary Moloney, CoderDojo’s CEO had this to say on receiving the news: “With more than 600 CoderDojo clubs active in European countries, it’s great recognition for the amazing, kind & talented community of volunteers and kids to receive this award. We hope that this will inspire others to get involved in supporting the movement and in helping to launch more Dojos.”

Read more about it at: https://coderdojo.com/news/2016/06/02/coderdojo-wins-european-citizens-prize/

Launching the first CoderDojo E-Learning Modules

Modules for mentors to improve their knowledge of the CoderDojo Ethos.

by Rosa Langhammer

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. – Henry Ford

Learning isn’t just for the young. At CoderDojo we fully believe in lifelong learning which is why we are launching our first E-Learning modules. These two pilot modules are made for volunteers to improve their knowledge of the CoderDojo Ethos and how to mentor at CoderDojo.

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 14.53.47

The CoderDojo Ethos module is great to learn about what the core principles of CoderDojo are and how to put them into practice. It gives learners an insight in best practices for setting up and running a Dojo to encourage key principles such as youth-led learning, and peer mentoring.61

What’s cool? Once you complete and evaluate either of the two modules you will receive a badge for your efforts which will be automatically added to your profile!

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 14.51.20

The CoderDojo Mentoring module give top tips from other mentors around the world and introduces you to some mentoring styles used at Dojos as well as scenarios in which you should adopt these styles. It also gives you an overview of the content available to mentors and how to plan content for your Dojo!

How do I take the modules!?

Just log in or register on the CoderDojo Community Platform. You can find the E-Learning module button on your profile menu.

If you are registering for the first time, make sure you have joined your Dojo – remember the Champion will have to approve your request to join which may not be instant!

Who should take the modules?

All volunteers – from Champions to technical mentors to non-technical volunteers. We especially encourage Champions to get new volunteers to take these modules so they get a flavour of what CoderDojo is and keep it fresh in their mind when they start to mentor.

Thank you!

We want to take this opportunity to thank our partners for this project without whom we could not have delivered such amazing results!

Lions @africa – our funding partners as part of the AfriCoderDojo initiative

LearnUpon – our LMS partners

Designed for Learning – our content partners

If you have feedback on the E-Learning Modules please add it to the survey at the end of the module or get in touch with CoderDojo on info@coderdojo.org.

For more resources and advice see the CoderDojo Foundation’s #BackToDojo post.

Programming: Languages, Timeline, and Guides

programming resources

Computer programs are often described as “sets of instructions”,and computer languages are thought of by many as merely the syntax and vocabulary for providing these instructions.

From this point of view, different programming languages may have different grammars, or different vocabularies. Each may treat semi-colons a particular way, or require capitalization — but they are sort of the same underneath all that.

The reality of programming is much more complicated than that.

Learn more about computer languages and their history.

Learn just about anything you want to know about computers and the internet here: http://www.whoishostingthis.com/resources/

ScratchEd and Harvard research teams guide to Introduction to Computing Using Scratch

CoderDojos across the world use Scratch as a way to introduce young people to fundamental coding concepts. The Scratch team have created AN INTRODUCTORY COMPUTING CURRICULUM USING SCRATCH. It consists of a teaching guide and student workbook. It was developed by members of the ScratchEd research team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

WHAT IS CREATIVE COMPUTING?

Creative computing is… creativity.

Computer science and computing-related fields have long been introduced to young people in a way that is disconnected from their interests and values – emphasizing technical detail over creative potential. Creative computing supports the development of personal connections to computing, by drawing upon creativity, imagination, and interests.

Creative computing is… empowerment.

Many young people with access to computers participate as consumers, rather than designers or creators. Creative computing emphasizes the knowledge, practices, and fundamental literacies that young people need to create the types of dynamic and interactive computational media that they enjoy in their daily lives.

Creative computing is… computing.

Engaging in the creation of computational artifacts prepares young people for more than careers as computer scientists or programmers. It supports young people’s development as computational thinkers – individuals who can draw on computational concepts, practices, and perspectives in all aspects of their lives, across disciplines and contexts.

Download

CoderDojoTo & STEMCA’s robotics event (part of Toronto Maker Festival)

CoderDojoToSTEMCA_Robotics_June19

On Sunday, June 19th 2016 at Bitmaker in Toronto, CoderDojoTo will be partnering with STEMCA to provide a fun introduction to robotics. This event is a Maker Festival Toronto satellite event.

Easy Robotics Essentials

The main requirement to use STEMCA Inventor is a laptop with Firefox or Chrome (OS doesn’t matter) and Android tablet/phone (Bluetooth is also required on the Android device, for controlling the robots).

Extra fun

We will have robots for participants that choose to do the robotics projects can try them on the spot. There would be also voice and image recognition based projects that will not require a robot, so the participants can continue to work on them at home after the event.

We will also have robotics demos to inspire future projects, and an Oculus VR for VR applications (which is growing very fast in popularity).

ABOUT STEMCA Inventor

STEMCA Inventor platform combines open source + commercial hardware components based on Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Lego Mindstorms EV3/NXT, Neato, MBot, etc (more coming) with powerful Android mobile development in an advanced and easy to use form with affordable components to empower anyone age 8+ to become inventors and/or teachers and contribute to the advance of science, technology and engineering for a brighter future.

ABOUT CoderDojo Toronto

CoderDojo is a free computer club for kids, which started in Ireland in 2011 and grew quickly into a global community of over 875 clubs operating in 65 countries. Starting 2013, CoderDojoTo remains the only consistently active CoderDojo group in Canada. We work within communities to provide free computer workshops in fun learning environments – breaking down barriers, challenging social and economic stereotypes, and empowering youth to shape their world through code.

Why is this important?
Computing is an increasingly important form of literacy. Code is part of a booming industry, with a growing skills gap. There are more tech jobs in Canada than there are qualified candidates to fill them. Code will be used to help solve global problems. Unforeseen employment opportunities will continue to be created with code. Code is good for your brain – whether it’s solving a problem for a personal indie game or building the next big industry.

90% of Canadian firms surveyed said they have some form of IT skills gap. (CompTIA survey)

55% of Canadian Chief Information Officers (CIOs) say it’s difficult to find skilled tech professionals today. (Robert Half Technology)

2%-3% The unemployment rate in the Information and Communications Technology and Digital Media industries, statistically viewed as full employment. (Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) and Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) White Paper)

2.7 million Canadians are self-employed entrepreneurs or 8% of the total population. (Statistics Canada)

How can we fix this gap?
It is our vision that every young Canadian has the opportunity to learn to code. We hear from teachers, students, and community organizations who want to start a code program but lack resources and training. To combat this, we have packaged our full-colour paper lesson plans into curriculum kits and are working with schools and libraries across the GTA to support their goals of starting their own computer literacy programs.

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EVENT DETAILS:

This special event is part of Toronto’s Maker Festival. We will be working with STEMCA to bring students a guided robotics workshop. YOU MUST REGISTER AT EVENTBRITE TO BE GUARANTEED A TICKET TO THIS EVENT.

CoderDojoTo’s mission is to introduce young people to the joy of computing. We provide a fun learning environment for students and parents alike, breaking down barriers, challenging social and economic stereotypes, and empowering youth to shape their world through code.

Not technical? You can still help out! Get in touch to see where you can lend your talents to join the community supporting the CoderDojo initiative!

See you at the Dojo!

*CoderDojoTo is held at Bitmaker Labs, a code academy for adults. It is located up a small flight of stairs. Wheelchair access is unfortunately not available at this time.

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Volunteer Position: Curriculum Designer

CoderDojo Toronto is looking to for a designer who is interested in solving problems. We have a handful of resources that would benefit from a graphic style alignment, and could be improved for ease of use. This is a 10 – 15 hour onhealthy volunteer position, and can be attributed to any college program with approval from professor.

Skills:
Ability to organize information
Ability to create a simple design style appropriate for young audience

For more information – contact hi@coderdojo.ca or find us on twitter @coderdojoto