CoderDojo Open Community Call – January

Couldn’t join our Community Call on January 24th? Listen to it below!

You can view what content we shared on screen during the call above from 13:25!

Overview of the discussion:

Review of CoderDojo Content Pipeline (Philip)

  • Philip Harney our CoderDojo Content Lead gave an update on the Sushi cards that he has been working and an overview on the chopsticks tool.
  • Questions about CoderDojo Chopsticks and the development of Gitbook.
    • Community like this idea

Structure & Future of Content (Philip)

  • Update from Philip
    • UX/UI
    • Appinventor
    • Online safety
    • Ruby
    • Update older content
  • Update on Gitbook
    • Philip detailed the new sushi tool that he has been creating to replace chopsticks
    • LINK: http://dojo.soy/php
  • Update on Kata
  • Update on the definition of Mentor
    • Some other names for mentors: Sensi, Guru, Coaches
    • Discussion on Ninjas that are used for content

Community Resources (Ross)

Open to the Floor for Feedback/Additional Topics (all)

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Karen Wellington says

Thanks for making this call available. The level of openness and transparency is rare for organisations, but essential for one like CoderDojo.

Nice work with all the resources Philip. I really love the idea of making the challenge card templates available to the community to make their own cards. What's so unique and wonderful about CoderDojo is how you invite the community to create and share their own content. Creating educational content is a really great way to consolidate ones own learning; which opens up opportunities for Champions, Mentors as well as motivated Ninjas.

One thing we've done with CoderDojo WA in the past is a "SWOT" analysis of our organisational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. In the threats section we identified all other "competing" organisations offering "competing" resources (for instance, privately run coding workshops etc, running similar things to CoderDojo). Our view of our "threats"/"competitors" wasn't that we should be worried about other educational coding opportunities - instead, our reaction to "threats" was that we should really try to get to the core of what makes CoderDojo so unique and special, and focus on helping our community get really great at providing that unique thing that no other service provides well. We found that CoderDojo's unique offering in Western Australia wasn't the educational content that was provided by the main website, but that the unique proposition of CoderDojo in WA was the whole notion of the fun, free and open social environment where young aspiring coders could further their skills and their own unique learning goals, at their own pace, in the presence of supportive adults (something not offered by any other service). With CoderDojo international itself, I see its unique proposition in terms of how you are supporting community contributions (rather than providing a top-down dictatorial approach). If CoderDojo focused only on providing coding instructional resources then it won't be able to "compete" with the thousands of other sources of such material. However the fact that you are opening up the potential for the community to create their own content - well that is distinctly unique.

My feedback for the new website is that it is GREAT! The direction it's going with the hosting of regional body sites within the main site, I think that's fantastic.

I couldn't find the part of the video that talked about the Mentor definition (I've only just been able to skim through this video). If there was the suggestion to provide several different terms for different classes of Mentor (i.e, Sensei for a Mentor with Technical skills, and Mentor for a person without technical skills),.... then I would suggest that this would replicate the exact problem that we have tried to escape in WA (problems with individuals self-identifying their own technical skills - for better or worse, and also introducing that aspect of a 'hierarchy' of superiority or inferiority when it comes to technical skills). To be clear, it's our intention that any Mentor without technical skills coming into a Dojo, should be starting to learn coding themselves. So if they're not technical to begin with, they should be at least a little bit soon. It's our opinion that the term Mentor will encapsulate all "classes" or "types" of people who support Ninjas as they learn. Ninjas in a Dojo will soon learn which of the Mentors are better at helping with certain problems, but that's just about getting to know individuals.

Thanks again for all your support and inclusion! I feel proud to be part of this community :D

Nuala McHale says

Hi Karen,

Thanks for the lovely words about the openness of CoderDojo. Being open is one of our principles and something we strive towards always being. The part where we discuss definitions is from 24:50 of the call if you want to listen in to that bit. Your insights in this area in relation the definition is really interesting. Promoting inclusivity and a feeling that all skill levels can participate and learn more is important, which is exactly why we wanted to bring it up on the community call. Feel free to start a discussion on our Forums too. It's lovely to hear how proud you are to be part of the community.

All the Best,

Nuala