Highlights of our #ChatDojo Discussion – October

 On 22 October, we held a two-hour #ChatDojo Twitter Chat. This was a lively session where community members had the opportunity to share feedback and answer questions. We’d like to thank everyone who took part and also share some key findings from the discussion.

Topics of interest

We conducted a poll on Twitter and in our Facebook group in advance in order to find out what topics would be of interest. The most popular suggestions were:

  • Increasing the percentage of girls in Dojos
  • Online courses and training
  • Fundraising and sponsorship

Questions and responses

Q1. Tell us about your Dojo

We always kick off our Twitter Chats with a general question, so that everyone involved can get to know each other. There was a great mix of older and newer Dojos represented, including five clubs that have been running for 6+ years! Volunteers also shared how their Dojo group sizes ranged from 6 to 85 Ninjas — wow!

 

Q3. What type of learning resources do you use in your Dojo?

Many volunteers reported using the Raspberry Pi projects site, while others shared how they create their own resources such as this example by CoderDojo Dingle. David from Cape Town also shared an awesome progression pathway that he has developed for his Dojos.

Q6. What skills do volunteers learn at your Dojo that they don’t in other places?

This question earned the most engagement. Amanda from Ireland shared how the parents at her Dojo become involved over time, and end up gathering skills of their own. “Accidental networking” and connecting over shared goals was also mentioned as a positive side-effect of running a Dojo.

Sanneke from the Netherlands shared how learning news skills needn’t be scary. This is something that many non-tech mentors are faced with when trying coding for the first time! 

CoderDojo Clon highlighted how their team have made strides in making their Dojo more accessible, as a result of supporting young people with disabilities. Our Accessibility Guide is also available to support the CoderDojo community in this mission.

Nadia from Iraq shared how some mentors at her Dojo have gained confidence so much that they now receive invitations to host training sessions! You can read more about upskilling your Dojo volunteers here.

Q9. Do you do anything special at your Dojo to ensure that girls feel included?

Many volunteers cited using role models as a way to keep girls coming back. Chinedum from Nigeria mentioned a female youth mentor at his Dojo who taught herself HTML and continues to inspire the younger girls.

Brian — who runs a Dojo in Russia — shared how his Dojo use gender-neutral themes in their projects. Making sure girls’ voices are heard, and having female role models in place, are also themes he spoke of.

You can find more information about how we are increasing the percentage of girls in CoderDojo here.

Q11. Has your Dojo taken part in any competitions or events? What have Ninjas or mentors learned by taking part?

Several volunteers mentioned how their Ninjas have taken part in Coolest Projects in the past, and hope to do so again! The event is open to children of all levels and abilities and the dates for Coolest Projects 2020 can be found here. Peter from Ireland also shared that he’s been encouraging his Ninjas to get involved in the CoderDojo Boo Challenge — the deadline is 12 November, so hurry!

Thanks to all of those who took part in our Twitter Chat on 22 October. It was wonderful to see so much discussion amongst participants and insights shared. Our next #ChatDojo will take place in the new year — so watch this space!

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