Friday, February 1, 2013

CODER DOJO in the TWIN CITIES

Coder Dojo is a free, open learning environment where kids learn to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more with help from volunteers mentors.  Started two years ago in Ireland, there are now CoderDojos around the world.

An enthusiastic group of volunteers is organizing a Twin Cities CoderDojo which will launch mid April 2013.  The spring mini-season will be four Saturdays in a row. A way cool space is being donated by Clockwork. (Thanks!) 

CoderDojo makes learning to code a fun, sociable experience in a supportive, welcoming environment for both new and experienced coders.   CoderDojo also puts a strong emphasis on open source and free software. 

Update 10-1-2013   CoderDojoTC has been welcoming kids for 6 months now -- over 800 kids so far! We've moved operations from Clockwork to the University of MN campus (STSS building) and are meeting every other Saturday.  There are 8 groups:  Scratch, Web, Arduino, Games/Graphics with Unity, Linux systems, Ruby, Python and Mobile App Development. Here's the schedule and sign up information.  Kudos to our fantastic volunteers and mentors for making CoderDojoTC a huge success.

For the Twin Cities Coder Dojo, we'll need:
  • Code Learners:  We need parents and their interested kids.
  • Mentors:  If you have the ability to help kids learn programming, we want to meet you.
  • Volunteers: Not a crack coder? No problem! We also need help organizing and running sessions.
  • Laptops:  We are asking coders to bring their own, but want to have some on hand so we can welcome kids who don't have access to a laptop. 

Please visit the Twin Cities Coder Dojo website to sign up as a mentor, volunteer or participant.  Space in each CoderDojo session is limited to ensure a good experience for all, but we plan to expand the number of Dojo sites to meet the demand.  You can also follow (@CoderDojoTC) on Twitter,  join the CoderDojoTC Google group..  You may also contact


Here's a  great article with a 10 Minute Video of Coder  Dojo in Dublin, that includes interviews with many of the kids and the young founder of the movement.    "I was struck by their focus, their hunger for knowledge and their desire to build great products, but ultimately by how much fun they were having."

There's just one rule: “Above All: Be Cool“, bullying, lying, wasting people’s time and so on is uncool.   Here's more of the Dojo philosophy, from their Start a Dojo right now page:

 
The One Rule…

Be Cool!

The CoderDojo Promise…

Open Free Learning!

  • The CoderDojo Principles…
  • At CoderDojo we are open source.
  • At CoderDojo participation is always free of charge.
  • At CoderDojo we collaborate and rely on each other.
  • At CoderDojo our context is open, free, child-led, learning.
  • At CoderDojo what works in an individual Dojos is shared, not enforced.
  • At CoderDojo child safety comes before everything except common sense.
  • At CoderDojo playing and creating lead our learning and we share what we learn.
  • At CoderDojo all champions, mentors, parents and their kids are responsible for each other.



More information:

History of the CoderDojo movement. (scroll down)

first Coder Dojo in the US

Coder Dojo knowledge base (called Kata)

Inspiring interview with some Irish Kids at CoderDojo Dublin: 

Lovely, insightful blog post about the CoderDojo movement by Ann Donnelly



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