What we got up to at DojoCon 2017!

This years DojoCon was our most hands on yet. Dojo members travelled from Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and the UK to learn new skills to bring back with them to their local areas as well as meeting Community members from near and far to share their CoderDojo experiences. This year was the first time DojoCon has been held outside of the island of Ireland. The event, which included over 50 workshops, talks and sessions for attendees, did not disappoint!

Opening of DojoCon 2017

On Friday evening DojoCon 2017 opened with an introductory talk from organisers Chris and Rob. Chris Hillidge highlighted his desire to make coding and creative technology as accessible to children as possible, particularly those from areas of disadvantage that would otherwise not be able to avail of such opportunities.

Rob Curran of Wilmslow Dojo shared how he got involved and how his hopes for DojoCon were “to ensure that every attendee leaves with at least one thing they can use in their Dojo back home“.

Lightening talks

Lightening talk speakers included Sandra, host of last years DojoCon in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland. She discussed how we can engage youths, particularly older teens to continue developing their projects beyond CoderDojo’s Coolest Projects Showcase into a product and support them with a more rounded set of skills to enable them to market and launch their ideas if they wish.

Daniel from the CoderDojo Foundation demoed a prototype for a new learning resources platform that would replace Kata. Check out the video below and let us know your thoughts!

Mark from the Raspberry Pi Foundation talked about the latest edition of Pioneers, which is open to young people aged aged 11-16 in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Young people can create a project and send a video of what they’ve made by December 1st to be eligible.

Finally Peter of CoderDojo Belgium and a Computer Science professor at Ghent University shared details on an awesome platform he has been developing with programming assignments that gives Ninjas instant feedback on the coded work they submit.

Keynote by Pete Lomas


Hands on Workshops

During the day there was a jam packed schedule of workshops that attendees could choose between to learn skills most suited to them and their Dojo. Workshops included practical sessions on Micro:bits, 3D printing, T-shirt Printing, E-Textiles, KODU, Mozilla tools, Drone Coding, Web Accessibility and much more!

For organiser Chris his highlight was “the delegates ‘can do’ attitude to the hands on stuff – we didn’t know how it would be received but everyone really got into the spirit of #allhandsontech”

He noted “What I feel was gained was the spirit of co-operation across Europe and the world – that we face many of the same challenges in our Dojo’s and it’s great to re-energise sometimes and share experiences. In a post-Brexit world, we in the UK need to work even harder to ensure we are part of a global CoderDojo & digital society.”

His favorite session was robotics because of how inspiring youths Reuben and Amelia were running it. “This session was entirely planned and run by the 12 (Reuben) & 14 (Amelia) year old mentors from the CoderDojo Warrington. They were so professional and effective leading groups of delegates from around the World in what was an engaging and complex session. It really shows the ability of CoderDojo to empower young people to be passionate about things that aren’t necessarily mainstream. Reuben was back the day after to run his session for the MegaDojo with 300 kids – such resilience!”


On Sunday after a fun social evening on Saturday getting to chat to all the CoderDojo attendees some more, we got to try out our newly learned skills in a Dojo setting at MegaDojo!

At the closing of DojoCon 2017, the host of next years DojoCon was announced…CoderDojo Kilkenny! Keep an eye out this week for our blog with more details on next years event!

See more photos from DojoCon here.

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