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Tips to run Zoom meetings for online coding session

By | blog, tips & tricks, tutorial, Volunteers

We use Zoom to run our online mentorship sessions. It offers several features to give hosting and attending a session a more personal connection. Read on to learn about breakout rooms, polls, screen sharing, remote control, and troubleshooting common issues for hosting a Zoom meeting.

Zoom room

Zoom Break-Out Rooms

Break out rooms are a great way to hold smaller coding sessions off of a larger group meeting. It can provide a space for 1:1 mentorship or can provide a group of learners working on a specific skill, language, or project.

Admins – Setup a breakout room:

Prior to meeting go to the Zoom website:
Account -> Settings -> Break-out Room (very far down the page, ctrl+f to search) and switch it ON.

PRE-ASSIGNMENT

You can pre-assign users to breakout rooms before a session based on emails, or just assign during the call. If people register for the session using a different email then the pre-assignment will not work.

Note: It may be best to allocate 5 minutes during a session call to assign individuals.

To pre assign:

  1. Click Meetings, then Schedule a Meeting
  2. In the Meeting Options section, select Breakout Room pre-assign and click Create Rooms.
  3. Click the plus icon beside Rooms to add breakout rooms.
  4. Hover over the default breakout room name and click the pencil icon to rename.
  5. In the Add participants text box, search for participants’ name or email address to add them to the breakout room. Then save.

To assign during the call:

  1. Start an instant or scheduled meeting.
  2. Click Breakout Rooms.
  3. Select the number of rooms you would like to create, and how you would like to assign your participants to those rooms:
    • Automatically: Let Zoom split your participants up evenly into each of the rooms.
    • Manually: Choose which participants you would like in each room.
  4. Click Create breakout rooms.
  5. Actions from in the room:
    • Join: Join breakout room.
    • Leave: Leave the room and return to the main meeting (only shows when in a breakout room).
    • Close All Rooms: Stops all rooms after a 60 second countdown, returns all participants back to the main meeting.

Zoom Polling

Ensure Polling is enabled for all members of a specific group or all users:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal as an administrator with the privilege to edit user groups.
  2. In the navigation menu, click User Management then Group Management.
  3. Click the name of the group, then click the Settings tab.
  4. Navigate to the Polling option on the Meeting tab and verify that the setting is enabled.
  5. If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.
  6. Start the scheduled Zoom meeting that has polling enabled.
  7. Click Polls in the meeting controls.
  8. Select the poll you would like to launch. Or, create a poll on the spot.
  9. Click Launch Poll.

Screen Share

  1. Green button in the middle of the bottom of the screen
  2. Share desktop for multiple applications
  3. Share application for Scratch or browser based applications

Annotations

Use annotations to draw on a shared screen.

Remote control

Request or give control of a computer so that a mentor can help resolve issues quickly.

  • Request: When someone is sharing > Zoom bar >
  • Give: When sharing your screen, Zoom bar > Remote Control > Give access to “select person”.

System preferences

Users will need to give Zoom permissions access to their system. Once a user has accepted an invitation to give control for the first time, their computer should open a dialog prompt to ask for permission. The person who requested control will only see that access has been accepted, but until permission is granted the requestor will not be able to control the user’s computer.

Trouble shooting

General

  • Multiple participants can share simultaneously, this can be tricky to navigate with one monitor and requires toggling back and forth between shared screens.
  • When someone opens a share screen it focuses screen and maximizes, this can be changed in your Zoom settings.

Chromebook

  • Annotations and request access do not work on Chromebook
  • Users cannot see the presenter when they sharing their screen on a Chromebook

Covid Update – CoderDojoTo move to online model

By | classes, News, Volunteers

While we are not currently running in person workshops we still strive to provide young learners with mentorship so they can continue enjoy a love of computing.

CoderDojo is now offering online office hours where your child can have a 1:1 video chat with a CoderDojo mentor.
The mentor can guide your child through some online coding lessons or give advice about coding projects.

– Is your child interested in coding, but doesn’t know where to start?
– Does your child have a personal coding project that they need some guidance with?
– Or do you think your child might benefit from a chat with real coders?

Email us with suggested times and the ares of coding interest that your child has.
We’ll arrange a video office hour with you – please note, that 1:1 mentorship requires that the parent is in the room.

Additionally, we will be resuming regular monthly events in Spring 2021.

Are you a mentor who is interesting in joining our team to support office hours?
Let us know and we will be in touch with more details.

Thank you for your interest,

The CoderDojo Toronto team

CoderDojo Toronto – September 19, 2018

By | Uncategorized

It was really awesome to celebrate 5 years of CoderDojo Toronto with all you dedicated learners, brand new faces and passionate mentors. You’re the best!

I was wowed by all the of the continued support. It was really good to connect with with members the global CodeDojo community, special thanks to Yasmin of CoderDojo Florence for stopping by.

This Project Showcase was really fun. Keep scrolling to see some interesting games and awesome Scratch techniques!

[wdi_feed id=”1″]

Project Showcase:

Game: “Catch the Fish” Creator: Jem

Game: “PUBG” Creator: Kadir

Game: “Levels” Creator: Ryan

Game: “Ping Pong” Creator: Felix

Game: “Scratch Game” Creator: Marta

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.