CoderDojo is a worldwide movement of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people. Anyone aged seven to seventeen can visit a Dojo where they can learn to code, build a website, create an app or a game, and explore technology in an informal, creative, and social environment.
The CoderDojo movement believes that an understanding of programming languages is increasingly important in the modern world, that it’s both better and easier to learn these skills early, and that nobody should be denied the opportunity to do so.
CoderDojo is not a classroom — it is a free, fun community of children aged 7 to 17 who learn to code. The focus is on self-led learning with volunteer mentors offering assistance.
Our aim is to help our kids (called ninjas) to learn the concepts of computer programming, and to encourage interest, exploration and understanding of technology.
Ninjas learn by working on projects in an informal atmosphere, talking among themselves and working together. Mentors get involved only if the attendees can't solve the problem using the internet or by asking their peers. Ninjas are encouraged to choose projects that are of interest to them, rather than everyone doing the same project.
CoderDojo encourages and supports an environment called ECHO — Ethos, Culture, Happiness and Outcomes. The overarching rule at Coder Dojo for both attendees and volunteers is be cool, learn together and have fun.
Parents of children under 12 are required to stay for the session, and other parents are welcome to stay. By staying, parents can better understand their child's work and help their child to take home their projects to support their hobby at home.
Don't worry, it's not boring, you don't have to "know computers", and you'll learn something too! In fact, we've found parents can be a great help in the dojo, and we will make you very welcome and encourage you to get involved.
Bring your own computer or tablet if you have one. Realm has kindly donated some technology and facilities to the dojo but we do not have enough to go around, plus there is a massive benefit to using your own technology — by taking your hobby home, you get to learn and practice and become a better coder.
A CoderDojo Mentor guides dojo ninjas in their learning and project work. Mentors are not teachers, and CoderDojo is not a classroom. Mentors, help facilitate self-learning, research and problem solving.
Mentors will focus on the ninjas' specific projects, but their aims are to develop independent research and self-learning skills rather than just having the ninja learn a particular technology.
When helping ninjas, mentors will try to guide them through online resources and try to point them in the right direction, rather than solve their problem outright. Also, ninjas are encouraged to ask other attendees in the group for help, an to help others when they know something.
An important principle of the dojo is that we all learn together — age is not an indicator of experience, and it's quite possible that a ninja knows more than a mentors on a particular topic. We are all openly learning together in this fast-paced environment of Information Technology, and mastery of coding takes a lifetime.
If you'd like volunteer as a technical mentor or a non-technical volunteer, then we'd love to talk — get in touch!
Coding is a really rewarding experience and lots of fun, and we look forward to helping you learn and have fun with us.