The CoderDojo Movement; 2016 in Review
As 2016 comes to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to personally extend a huge thank you from everyone at the CoderDojo Foundation to you, our growing and ever global CoderDojo community of Champions, volunteers, parents, ninjas, partners and supporters.
2016 was an undeniably huge year for CoderDojo, from hitting huge growth milestones, to changes internally in the Foundation team and strides made across our areas of focus. When I joined the Foundation less than four years ago there was 93 verified Dojos, and we will close the year with more than 1,200 active Dojos. These Dojos, led by dedicated and passionate volunteers have given over 35,000 ninjas the opportunity to learn how to code and create in fun spaces all over the world in 2016. This year we welcomed volunteers from Armenia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Lithuania, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, and Taiwan to the CoderDojo movement, bringing the total number of countries with a CoderDojo to 70 worldwide.
Changes within the Foundation
Internally the Foundation team has changed, this summer we said goodbye to Mary Moloney the CEO who led the Foundation for two years, under her leadership the Foundation and community scaled exponentially. From July, I was honoured to take up the role of Executive Director. My primary aim in this role is to ensure we at the foundation are delivering tangible benefit to the community across all areas of our work. Our plans are laid out in the Enabling, Engaging and Scaling strategy we released in September.
We also welcomed a number of new employees, Philip, our first dedicated Content Lead who is responsible for building out the suite of content available to Dojos. Philip has since released seven series of new Sushi Cards and launched new concepts like Bento Boxes and Challenge Cards, which we’ll be seeing more of in the future. Guillaume and Daniel joined as Senior Software Engineers overseeing the Community Platform. Since their arrival significant improvements have been made including a UI/UX redesign, stability improvements and a focus on increasing the credibility of badging through evidence of completion feature. The community platform is now available in twenty languages with more to be added. Nuala joined the team after completing an internship with us to look after all aspects of Communications & Engagement, and Rachel a CoderDojo Mum and Volunteer joined the team to work across various projects and initiatives such as Child Protection.
2016 marked a number of key milestones for the CoderDojo movement. We celebrated the 5th birthday of the movement by releasing the results from the first ever CoderDojo Alumni Survey. Thanks to the incredible work of Clyde Hatter from the Bray Dojo, we launched the first official CoderDojo book, CoderDojo Nano: Create with Code. It was published in English, Dutch, Spanish and Slovak. CoderDojo was recognised as the Global Winner in the Education & Learning category of the World Summit Awards, awarded a European Citizen’s Prize on behalf of all of the work of CoderDojo volunteers, recognised for its contribution to learning in the Irish Early Career Awards and secured the public service award in the Docklands Business Awards.
We’ve been involved in a number of flagship events, from being showcased to business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos to supporting the CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards which saw 1,000 ninjas showcase their creations to 13,000 attendees. Our annual EUDojo event was a phenomenal success as we brought 40 CoderDojo ninjas to Brussels to demo their skills to MEP’s from around Europe.
This October we also saw over 200 Community members from 10 countries gather in Dun Laoghaire for the global DojoCon event to learn from one another, share knowledge and experiences. A number of regional DojoCon events took place throughout the year including DojoCon Japan, DojoCon Poland and DojoCon Toscana and this is something we are excited to see grow in future years in various locations around the world.
From everyone here at the CoderDojo Foundation, thank you to all CoderDojo community members for your commitment, passion, and dedication to the global movement. Community feedback, is always appreciated. If there is anything you would like to discuss with myself, or any team member on specific areas such as Community, Content, Platform, Best Practices etc then please get in touch and I’d be delighted to arrange a call.
To you and yours, I wish you a peaceful and enjoyable festive season,