— Canada Learning Code (@canlearningcode) May 30, 2017
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.
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
— CoderDojo Toronto ☯ (@CoderDojoTo) May 3, 2017
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.
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.
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:
- The introduction of our customizable CoderDojo curriculum kits
- Microsoft + CoderDojo teach Scratch Basics
- TPL Book Bash
- Full Stack Toronto Conference 2016
- STEMCA School of Robotics & Innovation Centre
Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to seeing you out at our events in the new year!
CoderDojo Toronto Team
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|
|90 TTC Tokens||$2500+ on event costs||Mississauga||Scratch|
|North York||Podcast (Audio)|
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!
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).
Mary 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/
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more resources and advice see the CoderDojo Foundation’s #BackToDojo post.
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 just about anything you want to know about computers and the internet here: http://www.whoishostingthis.com/resources/
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.