How to start a coding club for young people – Free online CoderDojo course
By Pete O’Shea, CoderDojo Foundation and Irish Code Week ambassador
CoderDojo has just launched a free online course which provides practical advice and resources on everything you need to know to run a fun, social and creative coding club for young people.
The course was developed by Philip Harney, CoderDojo’s Educational Content Lead. It gives those, who recognise the importance of empowering young people to be tech creators, the resources and supports to achieve that goal by starting a CoderDojo. The training is divided over three weeks and running for approximately 4 hours in total.
“In the first week, we’ll look at what coding is, at the worldwide CoderDojo community of coding clubs, and at the approach CoderDojo takes to helping young people learn to code. In week two, we move on to setting up your Dojo with a team, a venue and any needed materials. We also look at how to find young people to attend. Week three wraps up the course by reviewing sample plans for a Dojo session and a Dojo’s year, as well as talking about how to grow and develop your Dojo over time and as your attendees become better coders”, says Philip Harney.
Who is the course for?
Anyone interested in enabling young people to be tech creators should take this course. Parents, teachers, librarians, IT professionals, youth workers and more have all started clubs in their community. Those who have note how “it’s an amazing experience that led [them] to expand [their] personal horizons” and that they “find it really rewarding”. The course is free and open to all, so if you are interested we encourage you to sign up.
If you already mentor at a Dojo, the course is a great opportunity to revise what you’ve learned and a chance to share these insights with newcomers using the course discussion group. Furthermore, parents and guardians who wish to learn more about CoderDojo and possibly get involved are welcome to join.
What is CoderDojo?
CoderDojo is a global network of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people aged aged seven to seventeen. There are currently over 1,700 Dojos (clubs) running regularly across 75 countries. All of these clubs were started by individuals who are passionate about giving young people the opportunity to learn to code. Some people think you need to have technical skills to start a Dojo, but this simply isn’t true. The most important attribute you should have is that you can bring people together for a shared goal.