Microsoft Partner with the CoderDojo Foundation and Movement!
The CoderDojo Foundation & Movement are delighted to announce a new European partnership with Microsoft. To date, CoderDojo has grown to over 650 Dojos in 57 countries, reaching over 30,000 kids & young people regularly. With Microsoft’s support, CoderDojo can reach even more kids in more countries and can enrich the experience that is enjoyed by the kids attending Dojos and by those volunteers who generously give their time and resources in enabling the kids to develop coding, technology and many other skills
With the digital skills gap continuing to widen across Europe, the aim of this new partnership is for Microsoft to support the CoderDojo movement across the region and to further encourage young people to learn how to code in a fun, safe and collaborative environment. Microsoft have pledged their support to the CoderDojo Foundation as part of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative.
Microsoft YouthSpark, is a global, company-wide initiative, which aims to improve education, employability and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people worldwide. So far, YouthSpark has created opportunities for 227 million young people, including 40.8 million across Europe. This has been achieved through the provision of a range of complementary education, job-readiness and entrepreneurship programs in partnership with both education institutions and youth-focused non-profit organisations like CoderDojo.
CoderDojo is playing a vital role in addressing the digital skills gap. Coding is a new literacy, and CoderDojo believes that every child should have the opportunity to learn these 21st century skills which are of crucial importance to succeed in our increasingly connected world.
Europe is expected to face a shortfall of up to 825,000 ICT jobs by 2020. While some progress has been made in some countries to introduce coding into curricula across Europe, after school coding clubs like CoderDojo facilitate all young people from age 7 to 17 to get truly immersed in technology & coding. At CoderDojo, the young person is placed at the centre of their own learning, they choose what technology they want to develop and what coding languages and tools they want to use. They are fully empowered and are encouraged to be creative, innovative and analytical and to truly embrace computational thinking. They develop confidence in their own abilities as technology creators. Kids actively take a role in not just solving their own problems but in collaborating with and mentoring other young coders both at their own local Dojo and within the extended community of Dojos around the world.
CoderDojo is meeting a real need by providing an outlet for young people to learn how to create with technology in a fun, high energy, social environment. Supporting and scaling CoderDojo across the European region is fundamentally about reaching, impacting and inspiring more young people.
As part of this exciting partnership there are a number of key ways that Microsoft will be supporting and collaborating with the CoderDojo Foundation over the next 12 months. Including:
- Collaborating at a European level to promote CoderDojo and to encourage & support the creation of new Dojos across the region. CoderDojo will also be able to tap into Microsoft’s more than 20,000 employees across Europe as mentors who will support existing Dojos and facilitiate in the establishment and hosting of new Dojos.
- All European CoderDojos, existing & new, will be provided with access to Microsoft’s DreamSpark program. No matter if it’s learning, teaching, or research – every Dojo will have direct access to all of Microsoft’s professional development and design tools and platforms at no additional charge.
“It is important that all young Europeans have the chance to grow their digital competence, whether in or outside of the classroom,” said Sylvie Laffarge, Director of Citizenship Europe for Microsoft. “We are delighted to be entering into a new partnership with CoderDojo, and we will focus on scaling and supporting CoderDojo’s efforts to help as many young Europeans as possible discover their digital potential.”
The Microsoft grant will enable the CoderDojo Foundation to specifically focus on:
- Increasing the amount of content available to volunteers to help them to facilitate Dojo sessions. It is through the amazing contibution that Volunteers make to the movement that CoderDojo is able to support the young community of CoderDojo coders. Ensuring that these Volunteers have easy access to all of the tools that they need, is critical to the ongoing success of the movement. Pedagogy & Mentoring Best Practice material will be developed and will be shared with the community.
- Developing short training videos for mentors & Champions, eg ‘Mentoring how to’ & ‘Child Protection best practices’, with the aim of upskilling current community members and attracting further mentors and Champions to the movement.
- Developing “The CoderDojo Experience” video content – capturing activities at live Dojo sessions to showcase the variety of intitiatives and interventions deployed at Dojos and demonstrating the culture & environment at Dojos, with the aim of giving potential new Champions across Europe an idea of what is involved in starting & hosting Dojos.
Responding to the announcement, Mary Moloney, Global CEO of the CoderDojo Foundation, said:
“The support that Microsoft is providing to CoderDojo across Europe will enable the community to grow and to reach more kids and young people, enabling them to develop technology, innovation & entrepreneurial skills. Through the provision of S/W and tools to the kids and also to support our volunteers, the learning envirnonment at existing Dojos can be even further enhanced. As an organisation with such a strong portfolio of technology products & with a talented workforce of skilled technologists, Microsoft is well positioned to support new and existing Dojos all over Europe. We are excited about this great new partnership and look to forward the year ahead and to what CoderDojo can achieve with the support of Microsoft.”