18th February 2014
Community Calls – February Roundup & March Booking
The most recent community calls went very well with 12 participants over the 2 calls logging in from Italy to San Jose. To date we have been basing the topic of the calls on questions that were asked in the survey last June. Now that we have had 3 community calls we can see that people would like to have the opportunity to discuss a lot more so having a set topic is limiting.
When you book your place for the next community call you will be sent both the connection details for the call and a link to a Google doc. You can enter the priority questions/topics you wish to discuss into this Google doc in advance of the meeting, proceeded by your name. We will do our best to sort and group them before the call so that we can have a good flow through the agenda on the night.
Summary of the February Community Call
Subject: Mentor Recruitment & Retention
High school / transition year students: Area that can be tapped for mentors. In Ireland the Gaisce award (President’s award) is a motivator, hours can be signed off by Dojos. Youth mentors in US can get community service credits – typically schools have the form/requirements nessesary and a Dojo can sign off on them. In Italy credits can be awarded to high school students who do extra scholastic volunteer hours towards their final exams.
Why Mentors come back: To have fun, social aspect (nourish this, eg. have parents help make tea so mentors can chat etc.), to develop personal and professional networks, working on motivating projects, access to software, to learn from other tech enthusiasts, mentor-2-mentor learning, excuse to play with new software and hardware eg. Arduino kits.
New ways to find Mentors: National volunteer networks, (volunteer.ie), local volunteer centres. Get registered with them, listed on their websites, state relevant technical experience necessary. Contact hackerspaces/maker spaces to find people interested in Arduino etc. Techie networking events. Have a form on local Dojo website for people to volunteer as a mentor and state their skills.
Vetting Mentors / Child Protection: In Ireland mentors need Garda vetting (HWF is currently working on this with more info to follow soon), in the UK Disclosure and Barring Service checks are necessary, advice can be found on Volunteering UK. Not all countries have a nationwide criminal record check system in place. There are other alternatives to vet mentors such as getting references, phoning a previous boss etc. Getting references and following up on those references from Mentors is recommended everywhere, particularly in places where criminal record checks are not available.
Parents as mentors:
Cons: Parents tend to take over at times, some kids are less creative when their parents are around, they feel less comfortable.
Pros: Parents can help teach, take some of the weight off mentors. Parents can help work with them at home out of Dojo hours. Parents could work with other people’s kids.
Booking for the March Community Call
CoderDojo Community Calls are open to anyone from anywhere in the world to join. We encourage both existing Mentors and new champions to take part so that everyone can get something out of the calls. Booking is only in place so that we can prepare for the number of people on the call.
Please note the Community Calls are separate to the Community Committee.
Your Eventbrite ticket confirmation email will have all the connection details you need. You can connect either through your computer or by telephone. It is best to have a system where you can mute your microphone while others are speaking so that there is limited audio interference.
You do not need to connect to the video shareing side of Join.me as we will be using a Google Doc that all can edit during the call. The link will be in your Eventbrite confirmation email.
Looking forward to talking to you all on the next Community Call.