Announcing the NEW CoderDojo Community Platform!

If you have been talking to any of the CoderDojo Foundation staff over the last year we might have mentioned the new Community Platform, it has been a long time coming. We finally signed the contract this week with nearForm, a Waterford, Ireland based development house that specialises in developing with Node JS. nearForm were selected out of many other applicants by democratic vote by a consultation group made up of CoderDojo Foundation staff, Champions, Mentors, independent experts and even both CoderDojo Founders.

The CoderDojo Community Platform will initially be a replacement for Zen, the Dojo registration system, but in the long term will offer profiles for Champions, profiles for mentors, profiles for youth, an adult forum, a youth forum, ticket issuing and management, Dojo Email creation and awarding of Mozilla Open Badges.  In keeping with the CoderDojo ethos the Community Platform will be released as open source once it is completed. Please see below for an outline of the planned functionality.

Registration

A smoother registration/on-boarding process for Champions, Mentors, Attendees over 13 and parents so that you have all the information you require in one secure place. Parents will be able to create and manage accounts for youth attendees under 13.

Ticketing

All attendees to your Dojo will now be able to register and you will be able to issue tickets for your Dojo event from within the Community Platform and check them in when they attend.  This will be as flexible as we can make it to be suitable for the many different ways Dojo issue tickets currently. ie. Weekly or term length tickets and release waves.

Open Badges

Open badges are becoming more popular as a legitimate method of validating digital skills and are a great way to give  attendees recognition for their achievements that are at no expense to Dojos. Dojos will be able to create and issue both their own badges and use CoderDojo Foundation created and approved badges within the Community Platform to registered attendees. Open Badges can be linked to number of events attended or one off events as well. The badges will be compatible with the Mozilla Open Badge standard so they can be moved out to other backpack and used on other sites as well.

Forums

The CoderDojo community has grown exponentially in the last year or so, the CoderDojo Org group can no longer support the needs of the community. With the platform we are addressing the need of a forum for community members. We did consider the installation of a forum months ago, however, we would have had the same issue we’ve had with Kata, with the management of user accounts and keeping them synced. The new forums installed with the platform will allow sign-on streamlining the whole process.

Reporting

While running our own Dojos we have felt the pain of not being able to report on how many unique attendees have been impacted in a given time frame so now that attendees  will have the ability to be registered we all will be able to report more accurately.

Access to other applications/Single Sign on  (OAuth)

We know that the community will want to “plug” other applications onto the platform over time. We are building out the platform so that it can be the main registration server for the other applications that can be added over time. Kata is one main example, once you register on the platform and are approved by a champion, your account will automatically allow you to log in to Kata as a registered user. This will remove the need to create a separate account and request access 🙂

While all the above is being built, Data Protection, Child Protection and Localisation will be at the core of the project from the very start and we will be reaching out to the community for translations when the time comes.

Keeping with the CoderDojo ethos the community platform will be fully open sourced once it is built, so the community can improve and change it to suit their needs.

If you would like more details on what is being developed please find attached the Requirements Specification created by the CoderDojo Foundation and the successful proposal submitted by nearForm.

CoderDojo Foundation Requirements

nearForm Proposal

If you would like to give your feedback please do so in the comments section or feel free to email us at [email protected]

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Radu Ticiu says

Great to see nearForm involved in development of the new CoderDojo community platform!

Welcomed Cian O’Maidin and Richard Rodger some years ago when they were starring in a very good node.js event in Timisoara where they also have a development team l hope will be involved in the CoderDojo project!