Learn about the idea behind awarding badges and belts here.
On 12th May 2012 CoderDojo Drogheda were the first Dojo globally to award belts in CoderDojo. Here is our experience and thoughts on ideas how to develop this further.
Previously there had been a discussion on Google Groups including James Whelton and Ben Chapman with Dojo mentors and parents from Drogheda where the ideas of belts, awards, encouragement and assessing skill levels. This led James to update the belt ranking page on coderdojo.com.
From there we spent a lot of time discussing the issues of fairness, achieving skill (not just giving empty awards), pressure from parents, mentors and kids, etc. Below are our thoughts on what might be the best way to put this into practice.
Divergence between Dojos
There is a danger that some Dojos may be tempted to go there own way and decide white belts are for younger kids and blue for older, etc which breaks away from the original idea of belts suggested James Whelton and from the thinking below.
While each Dojo is autonomous and that is generally a good thing belts must mean similar things across all Dojo's locally and globally so that we can all communicate, share and help each other. On a practical level we have already had one Dojo member move from attending CoderDojo Drogheda to Kilkenny and it was great to see that his white belt for attendance was recognised in his new Dojo!
This topic is still being discussed via the CoderDojo Organisers Google Group. At present the consensus information on USB belts is available here.