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.
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!
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
This month we kick objective based, multi-session workshops, aiming to welcome and challenge students across multiple sessions. Coders will work through a set of activity cards to the creation of ‘My First Website’.
Happy New Year to all of the students, parents, mentors, workshop leaders, sponsors, and CoderDojoTo community members. Thank you for supporting CoderDojoTo in providing Toronto youth with a wide range of computing skills. Volunteers developed and presented workshops on graphic design, networking and HTML – we even built a rudimentary lighting rig with Arduino (watch the video).
Last year, with our awesome and generous Venue Sponsor Bitmaker Labs providing a great technical learning space, and our Title Sponsor Financeit facilitating events by providing TTC tokens, pizza and snacks, Arduino chips, and a few sodas for the volunteers at our appreciation nights. Our mentors presented a workshop to members of OLITA, and worked with Autism Ontario to create an environment for kids with autism to hang out and learn code.
Session Input Feedback:
Parents, guardians, mentors and young coders are encouraged to fill out this feedback survey to help us better understand what our student community needs and wants to learn.
CoderDojoTo is hosting a Programming Track Hack-Night on February 5th. The goal is to produce a wide range of packages that we can develop out and share with the global Coder Dojo community. Fill out this feedback survey to help us better understand what our student community needs and wants to learn.
Sunday, October 26th is photo editing and hallowe’en at CoderDojoTo. You can bet on ghoulish halloween graphics, and we’ll have a prize for the best code related costume! ☠
On September 21st we will launch a pilot program with Autism Ontario. The closed session focuses on how web code fits together and encourages self-led code exploration using various online gamified code courses. We still need mentors for this event. This important session will be open to all students later in the year.
Happy Birthday CoderDojoTo! Just last September we launched our first session! Since then, we’ve seen many successes with sold out sessions, community support, and are pleased to have made BlogTo’s list of The top 10 computer, web and tech classes in Toronto. A BIG THANK YOU to all of the mentors, workshop leaders, volunteers, students and parents who have come out to share and learn. Code4Life!
Many of you have asked how you can help support CoderDojoTo! Good news! We’ve sorted that out. You can use PayPal from this link, or from our website at any time in the future.
We’ve teamed up with Autism Ontario for a very special session, where we’ll be working with autistic children to learn how to code.
Training will be hosted by Shona Casola of Autism Ontario. We want everyone to have a great time, but also be safe and know how to handle certain situations should they arise. On Thursday, we will also discuss format and open the floor for feedback and suggestions on the format and coordination of the session. We’re currently looking for 20 volunteers so that each child will be paired with a mentor 1 on 1.
If you have any further questions you can email Meaghan or Lidia, or save them for Thursday.
We want to share with you some news from Bitmaker Labs, our venue sponsor for CoderDojo here in Toronto:
1. Bitmaker Labs is offering 5 scholarships worth $1500 each to volunteers and friends of CoderDojo TO for the 9 week intensive Web Development Course. The scholarship will be provided based on the application, interview and the zest for knowledge. Please apply before July 18 to be eligible and enter “CoderDojoTO” in the comments section of the application. These scholarships are for people who hustle, work hard, and are driven to succeed.
2. Bitmaker Labs would like to offer 8 $50 gift certificates to their upcoming Angular JS workshop. The workshop is taking online pharmacy place on July 12-13 and will focus on an immersive Angular JS experience for two full days! This course is a way to gain a deeper understanding of the framework in an efficient way.
Please not that the promotions and scholarships provided above cannot be bundled with other promotions and are only applicable to the WDI (Web Development Immersive) cohort beginning on August 11 and for the Angular JS workshop on July 12 and 13.
This scholarship is not aimed at our students, but volunteers, friends, or parents can use the “CoderDojoTO” promo code in the comments section of your application form.
Check out this lovely video of highlights from the session:
Our Arduino session this past Sunday was awesome! Led by young Artash and his father, Vikas (@wonrobot), participants got to try out robotic experiments using Arduino: they programmed lights to blink at various intervals, built a switch to turn lights on and off, and built a battery-powered motor that runs on a timer (which, by the way, they coded themselves)!
The Nath family’s Curiousbot:
The handout from the lesson is here: check it out for review; or, if you couldn’t attend the session, use it as a how-to guide! It’s great and clear – props to Vikas and Artash.
Shopping for Arduino
A number of parents/guardians were asking about buying their own Arduino kits. Here’s our advice:
Vikas said that the cheapest option is ebay. Look for well-reviewed Chinese vendors to get a good bargain.
You can buy directly from the Arduino website. The prices are not as cheap as what you can find on ebay; on the other hand, it may be easier to shop from a dedicated Arduino store such as this.
If you have a certain project in mind, you may have to buy parts individually (“6 LEDs; 1 Arduino UNO board; 10 jumper wires,” for example), so how you shop will depend on whether you want to start with a kit or with a project-based shopping list.
See you Next Time
If you couldn’t attend the Arduino session, well, don’t fret: come to our next session! We’ll be doing something very cool: making music with code! See you there! (Does this make anyone else think of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop?)