CoderDojo Allumiere – “The Family Creative Learning Workshop”
CoderDojo Allumiere was founded about two years ago by current Champion Marco Vigelini, a software engineer at Capodarco. Capodarco is a cooperative company founded in Italy in 1966. The non-profit organisation is inspired by ideas and programs for social good, whose main goal is to guarantee equal opportunities and the best living conditions to the disadvantaged and impoverished.
Marco Vigelini: “I joined the CoderDojo movement because I wanted to promote digital inclusion, trying to remove obstacles in the equitable application of information technology. I think many other substantial improvements still need to be made to remove social barriers for youth and families without the necessary skills or any kind of technical resources to learn computer science”.
Allumiere is a small rural village, isolated and quite distant from the main city, where it could potentially be easier for kids to meet, discover and understand new technologies. At the same time in Allumiere, luckily, it is simple to establish relationships and help one another. So, in the last year, even with only few motherboards and other tech, bought by myself, I ran my Dojo. I received a lot of support, in terms of time, from parents and local teachers that made it possible for me to open the Dojo once every two weeks and to promote other well appreciated activities, in addition to coding, such as tinkering, computer science unplugged and the latest and most successful, the “Family Created Learning Workshop”.
Coderdojo Allumiere has recently introduced a workshop series where whole families and young people can learn together through the use of creative technologies,. At the workshops we use Scratch and a Makey Makey board or we utilise everyday objects to build scribbling machines, pencil trebuchets or paper rockets.
The session, inspired by the “Family Creative Learning” initiative developed at the MIT Media Lab by the Lifelong Kindergarten group, obtained great appreciations: rather than using and interacting with technology alone, young people are engaged with their parents in becoming creators and full participants in today’s digital society.
There are several interesting aspects behind these kind of workshops:
- Families learn how to support one another in their learning from asking questions, giving feedback, and persevering through challenges just like it normally happens in our dojos between kids
- Parents can deeply understand why kids love new technology building their own games
- Children can play roles supporting their families to learn new things about technologies they also connect with other families by sharing meals, engaging in inter-family activities and eventually sharing their projects.
The workshop feels like big holiday dinner, focused around community, food and family! It includes times when the children and parents are both together and separate, but everyone takes part and contributes. Parents and children were so satisfied by these sessions, that CoderDojo Allumiere wants to adopt and promote the fifth P of Creative Learning guidelines:
Projects, Peers, Passion, Play… and Pizza!
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