Saturday 13th October saw the first Coder Dojo Conference organised by Eugene from the Limerick Dojo. This was an opportunity for mentors across Ireland and beyond to get together to share what people are doing across the multitude of Coder Dojos that have exploded across Ireland and the world over the past year. With so much doom and gloom and recession talk about, it was a breath of fresh air to be in the same room as 150 people who voluntarily give up their free time to ensure that the next generation get an opportunity to learn how to code in a fun way. The atmosphere at the conference was very relaxed, due in no small way to the comfy couches for the panel to relax on. It really is amazing how something small like that can have such an impact on how an event works.
The early part of the day was taken up with various discussions about helping with the set up of new Dojos, the running of existing Dojos and looking at how we assess kids across the Dojos. It was interesting that in the assessment discussion the overwhelming sense seemed to be that we should be careful about rushing headlong into assessing because of the negative connotations around assessment.
What followed after lunch was for me what Coder Dojo is all about – the children and teenagers from some of the Dojos gave demonstrations of what they have been working on. The variety of the projects and the confidence of the presenters was great to see. I was certainly very proud of Daragh from the Limerick Dojo as he presented his Scratch project which came second in his category in the National Scratch competition earlier this year.
What resonated most with me on the day was that it’s OK for Dojos to be different. It’s great for us to learn from each other but the real strength of the Coderdojo movement is the diversity that you’ll find in the 100+ CoderDojo’s that you’ll find in far flung places across the globe.
I’ll leave you with my favourite picture from the day 🙂
For more information on CoderDojo check out coderdojo.com.