How to Earn your CoderDojo iDEA Badges (UK & IRL)
The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, known as iDEA, aims to equip young people in the UK and Ireland with digital and enterprise skills. Inspired by The Duke of Edinburgh Award (which has supported 8 million young people since its inception), iDEA helps young people learn how to make, create, build and grow in the digital world.
Although the iDEA badges are open to anyone, some early piloting in Dojo’s has found that the content and subject matter is probably best suited for age 13 and above – but don’t let that stop anybody giving it a go! CoderDojo Founder, Bill Liao is a fan of the initiative which he believes empowers learning through achievements. Youths can apply what they learn to supplement their Dojo coding skills.
How does it work?
Learners take part in a series of challenges in order to win awards. For every new skill and learning experience mastered, iDEA learners are awarded a digital badge. Each badge carries a number of points. When participants earn enough points, they are awarded the Bronze, Silver or Gold Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award.
There are badges which can help you to be safe online, and pick up tips and techniques on topics such as web design, cyber security, cloud computing, animation and how to use colours in digital creations.
How might it benefit our ninjas?
iDEA is a good way for them to gain external recognition their wider understanding of the digital world, and also a way for them to test their knowledge. In the ever increasing competition for Further and Higher education it’s exactly the sort of external recognition which can be added to personal statements and CVs to verify extra curriculum effort.
Specifically to support the launch of this initiative those who achieve the Bronze level might also win the chance of attending an award ceremony with the Duke of York at the Palace!
How does it fit with other badges?
The iDEA scheme is not intended to replace any existing badge schemes but instead is aim at complementing them, encouraging participants to broaden their skills, and achieve a similar recognition to those already taking up the Gaisce programme or the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) award activities (in fact your ninja’s could even use the iDEA badges to underpin the “new skills” development under DofE!).
The existing CoderDojo badges available through the Zen Platform are still a great way for rewarding & recognising ninjas skills both within and across Dojos. iDEA provides a broader suite of content for digital skills and focuses on external recognition.
Both of these (and other) badge schemes can also support some of the possible outcomes being investigated under the CoderDojo Erasmus research project, which is looking into recognition of prior learning when kids move on within Further/Higher education.
How do we get involved?
Anyone can take part in the programme. All participants need is to be online at idea.org.uk – iDEA works on all modern devices, browsers and operating systems. Ultimately, iDEA aims to be a nationally recognised Award that will help people stand out from the crowd and become economically active. Give it a try you’ve got nothing to lose!
— Bill Liao ☯ (@liaonet) January 18, 2017