I’ve always enjoyed mentoring at Coder Dojo but I have to say I got such a kick out of mentoring at last Saturday’s Limerick Dojo. Eugene had asked me to have a look at networking Scratch for the advanced Scratch group. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to scope out what was involved before hand so it was a leap into the unknown when I arrived on Saturday. Luckily we had a great lesson prepared by Michael Madden from the Athenry Dojo to guide us but given that networking wouldn’t be my forte I was a little apprehensive!
It didn’t help that I couldn’t manage to get my laptop to do what it needed to do – I could have done without the Startup Repair in the middle of it all! but actually once I ditched my own laptop the real fun started 🙂 I had nothing to refer to so relied on the ninjas to drive the session. We were having some problems with Wifi in the room we were in – we tried a router which wouldn’t work either and we even resorted to trying iPhone hotspots (thanks Barry for all the help trying to get that sorted). The upshot seemed to be that we needed everyone to be on the same network (lots of learning involved there!!) so we moved bag and baggage to a room where the Wifi was working well. By this stage we were half way into the Dojo and I wondered if we would manage to make it work in the remaining time.
In the next hour and a half I was reminded again of what I get from being a mentor at Coder Dojo. The 6 teens led the session figuring out among themselves how to get it working. All that was needed was the occasional nudge to refocus as they got carried away when they got someone else onto the mesh and into the chat 🙂 The icing on the cake for me was that one of those teens was a girl and she was really enjoying being involved in it. I think all of the adults involved enjoyed being part of the learning experience on the day – so much so that some of the parents who really wanted to get away to watch the rugby stayed until we got it working! Before they left on Saturday the ninjas were chatting about networked games ideas. I can’t make it to the Dojo next Saturday but I’m really looking forward to getting back the week after to see what they come up with.