What we’ve learned during #BackToDojo 2017!

Over the last 7 weeks ‘Back to Dojo’ has highlighted resources available to you as a CoderDojo member, so you are ready to start back at your local Dojo!

Each week we shared content you can use in your Dojo and other tips to save you time and effort running your Dojo so both volunteers and children get the most out of it.

On this the last week of #BackToDojo we wanted to share everything we’ve learned so far so you can easily find all the resources in one really useful post! See all we’ve shared below.

Week 1:

This week we will be sharing a selection of beginners content and initial resources you can use when starting back.

  • Ice Breakers are a great way to energise ninjas (especially for evening Dojos) and encourage them to work together before sitting down at a laptop, let us know of other ice breakers you have tried out at your Dojo!
  • Sometimes it can be difficult for ninjas to come up with ideas for projects. Why not try out our Brainstorming worksheet to help ninjas use their coding skills to come up with solutions to problems in their local area and beyond.
  • Scratch is an amazing visual programming language that teaches coding logic and computational thinking while avoiding the issue of syntax errors that can turn a lot of young people off coding. Why not try these Scratch resources for beginners in your Dojo?
  • On the Platform we’ve made it easier for parents and young people to find and book into your Dojo. So make sure you create your #BackToDojo event on the platform or connect your Dojo page if you are already using Eventbrite so parents can book their tickets when they’ve found your Dojo!
  • What are the pros and cons of different languages/ways to start to learn coding? Here Content Lead Philip shares 3 great ways to get started, including links to our awesome ScratchHTML/CSSJavascript and Python, including the benefits and draw-backs of each.

As always Philip and Ciara would love your feedback so we can keep improving our resources for the CoderDojo Community, so feel free to tag them and tell them how you found the resources above! :D

Week 2:

This week we are highlighting how you can organise and plan your first Dojo back, how to created a ticketed event on the CoderDojo Platform, publise it and even check in attendees.

  • See how to create and promote your first Dojo back here! Including content for recruiting mentors and making it easier for parents!
  • Did you know if your Dojo is currently using Eventbrite you can connect it to your Dojo page on the CoderDojo Platform? See benefits and how you can connect your Dojo Page so that more ninjas can find and attend your events here!
  • This time of year, after a short break is a great time to look over what you’ve done and make plans for the year/term ahead. See our tips and insights into planning your Dojo here.
  • To keep ninjas excited about returning to your Dojo why not try out new things at your Dojo? CoderDojo volunteers can get a free digital subscription to Hello World magazine, with tips and projects for tech educators. Dojo Volunteers in the UK can get a free printed subscription! You can also see past issues on their site. The next issue out September 1st! Sign up for yours here!

Week 3:

This week we are highlighting the importance of online safety for both parents and youths as well as new releases related to child safeguarding.

  • Check out our guidelines for Ninjas to follow to make their use of the internet safer and more responsible. Why not print them out, have a discussion and design projects with the Ninjas in your Dojo about online safety?
  • We’ve just launched the beta version of our new e-learning module, Safeguarding young people in CoderDojo. This module will be really useful for all volunteers to top up their knowledge and try to put best practices around safeguarding into action in your own Dojo. :thumbsup_tone2:
    Let us know what you think as we continue to develop the content and the module in the feedback form once you’ve completed it or respond below!
  • CoderDojo parent and Mentor, @Rachel-Schoene shares her experiences here of navigating the online world and precautions to take with her children as they get older.

Week 4:

Volunteers are the backbone of the CoderDojo Community, without them CoderDojo wouldn’t exist and thousands of children would not have the amazing opportunity to be tech creators!

This week we are highlighting some of the awesome work of CoderDojo Volunteers around the world:

  • such as the community content they have created for Dojos to use.
  • Our tried and tested e-learning modules as well as our newest module on Safeguarding children in Dojos which you can find out more about here.
  • Ciara our Educational Content Intern wanted to say a big thanks to all those who have contributed content so far as well as highlighting the benefits of sharing and how you can see all the Community Content she has collected and released so far in this video, you can also see her forum post here.
  • As a volunteer would you love to learn more about physical computing using a Raspberry Pi and Python? Or try out Object-orientated programming in python? The Raspberry Pi Foundation are offering free online courses that teach just that (and more!). There are two course currently available with the third starting on September 4th! Check them out here.

Week 5:

This week we are looking at inclusivity at Dojos. How can you make your Dojo as inclusive as possible to children of different ages, genders, cultures and sensory abilities? We would love to hear what you’ve done to make your Dojo as inclusive as possible below!

  • Learn more about inclusivity in Dojos by taking our e-learning module on the CoderDojo Ethos, which you can find out more about here.
  • You may have already heard about our CoderDojo Girls Initiative which aims to increase the global % of girls attending Dojos from 29% to at least 40% over the next three years. As part of this we have released:
    • A guide for parents and guardians highlighting why it is important for girls to learn code, what your daughter will learn at a Dojo and how to support their learning journey.
    • A guide for Ninjas (youths) informing them how important coding skills are for them to learn, how CoderDojo can support girls to do this, as well as an example of projects made by CoderDojo girls and examples of resources available to them.
    • We’re publishing content tried, tested and approved by girls, including a series working with wearables, one focusing on building apps using App Inventor
    • Try out the (Beta) mini-sushi cards designed by @Ciara-McHugh as part of our upcoming CoderDojo Girls guide (mentioned below). We would love your feedback on these to make them even better! :slight_smile:

  • We’re also looking for ways Dojos can adapt to the accessibility needs of Ninjas in relation to things including autism, dyslexia, hearing, mobility or vision. Let us know here.
  • Translating and Localising resources into Dojo’s local language and make them appropriate to the cultures they are being used in is another way to insure inclusivity of CoderDojo resources. We are planning to host another Content Hackathon this November, which you can find out more about and sign up to here.

Week 6:

This week we are highlighting content for returning and advancing Ninjas! We have a wide range of intermediate content both developed by our Content lead @Philip-Harney and Educational Content Intern @Ciara-McHugh as well as community resources developed by the awesome volunteers involved in the CoderDojo movement! See all our resources available here.

See our comprehensive summery of the latest intermediate and advanced Scratch, HTML/CSS and Javascript Sushi Cards all here; where Philip explains a number of reasons you might choose to focus on a small number of topics at your Dojo and really dig into them ‘through depth’.

Some of the resources highlighted in the blog include:

Or if you fancy something a bit different, why not also try these fun Community created resources!

Week 7:

Last week we talked about using depth as a way of developing your Dojo. Giving Ninjas a chance to grow their skills in a particular topic—like Scratch, HTML or JavaScript—as a way to continue to develop as coders. The alternative, which we’ll look at this week, is breadth. Breadth is about exposing Ninjas to a range of topics in the tech space, so they can find what they enjoy.

  • In this weeks blog we showcase a range of languages you can try at your Dojo including: App Inventor, Arduino, Java, PHP, Unity, Wearables and more!
  • Why not try something different with your older ninjas! Pioneers run different challenges throughout the year, giving 11-16 year olds 10 weeks to come up with their own group project. Dojos in the UK and Ireland can register and receive a pack to help them get started, but any Dojo around the world can use the worksheets or starter activity and make a project in their Dojo.

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