Looking back on 2017
Hey everyone, it’s Rachel here. As most of you know by now (well I hope you do) I’m the administrator/go-to person at the CoderDojo Foundation. I joined the team mid 2016 and have been working to support both the team in Dublin and the global community since. I hope by now the majority of our global community members have had some form of contact with me, I certainly enjoy chatting with you all!
Looking back on 2017 is amazing, a lot has happened!
One major milestone was, of course, the CoderDojo Foundation and the Raspberry Pi Foundation joining forces. I’ve really enjoyed working alongside the UK based team throughout the year, I’ve gained knowledge and expertise that I can transfer to projects I’m working on day-to-day, and I’m sure they’ve enjoyed learning from us and our community too.
What did this mean for the CoderDojo Community?
- More free educational materials and resources for Dojo’s.
- Increased support for anyone looking to start and run a Dojo.
- Improving the depth and consistency of support across all areas
While this merger was (and still is) very exciting, there has been lots of other, equally exciting things happening within our CoderDojo community. One such exciting project is the CoderDojo Girls Initiative.
Celebrating CoderDojo Girls
Following results from the Annual Survey in 2016, we discovered that 29% of Dojo attendees globally are girls. Following some discussion at the start of the year, the CoderDojo Girls Initiative Working Group was formed, our aim being to consider the findings of the annual survey, combined with other community and industry research and set about improving gender parity within Dojo’s. We set a target of increasing the percentage of girls in Dojos from 29% to at least 40% over a three year period.
This year The CoderDojo Girls Initiative focused around 5 key activities:
- Highlighting role models within the CoderDojo Community
- Developing and improving content
- Developing and sharing a Guide of best practices for encouraging and sustaining girls in a Dojo setting
- Conducting and learning from research
- Communicating the need to have wider discussions on this issue
See what we have achieved as part of the initiative to date here.
I’m really looking forward to analysing the results of the CoderDojo Girls Initiative 2017 early next year, seeing what impact the project has had and hopefully finding new and innovative ways to continually inspire more and more girls to join CoderDojo!
Bringing Coders to the European Parliament
Another highlight for me this year was being on the EUDojo organisational team, EUDojo is one of my favourite annual CoderDojo events to attend and run. I LOVE watching ninjas from around the world come and hang out in the European Parliament and wow MEP’s and delegates with their amazing projects! It makes me very very proud, especially as 50% of the ninja’s who attended EUDojo 2017 were girls!
Our Annual Community Conference: DojoCon
Thank you to the DojoCon 2017 team, I heard I received a lovely shout out at the event! I was so sad that I missed it, I was struck down with tonsilitis the day before I was due to attend, this was not a 2017 highlight for me! I hear it was a massive success, congratulations to all involved!
In other news, I want to thank the Irish community for being so proactive and helpful as I worked towards onboarding CoderDojo volunteers working with children to the National eVetting platform in 2017. Irish CoderDojo Champions and Child Protection Officers have been truly amazing at implementing the streamlined CoderDojo eVetting Process in their Dojo’s. In 2018, I will continue to onboard any new volunteers and manage Garda Vetting for Irish Dojo’s.
Looking forward to 2018, well, I just hope to have as much fun as I’ve had this year. As the CoderDojo community continues to grow and develop I look forward to just being a part of it all, it’s all just very exciting! Oh and CoolestProjects….very excited for the 26th of May 2018! Earlier than last year, registration opens early next year.
Wishing you and yours, the very best of everything in the New Year, warmest, Rachel.