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What is CoderDojo?

CoderDojo is an open source, volunteer led movement orientated around running free not-for-profit coding clubs and regular sessions for young people aged 7-17. CoderDojo puts an emphasis on self motivated learning through project work, peer to peer mentoring and the creation of socially innovative projects. To go to the CoderDojo website please click here.

What is a Dojo?

At Dojos, young people between 5 and 17 learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more. Dojos are set up, run by, and taught at, by volunteers. In addition to learning to code, members meet like minded people, present what they’ve been working on and engage with their peers. CoderDojo makes development and learning to code a fun, sociable, kick ass experience. CoderDojo also puts a strong emphasis on open source and free software, and has a strong network of members and volunteers globally, there are currently over 400 Dojos in 43 countries.

What is taught in Dojos?

What is taught at Dojos in normally dependant on the mentors who are there and what their skills are combined with the interests of the young people. The focus is on guiding the young people with the basics and then facilitating them in creating their own projects.

We recommend starting with Scratch. It is used a lot in Dojos, especially with beginners, and is a programming language that was developed specifically to help young people learn programming. You can see Scratch here: http://scratch.mit.edu/

The website also contains lots of tutorials and sample projects and you can find much more on YouTube. Most Dojos usually run a beginners Scratch session at first and then develop the curriculum based on the skills of the mentors and the prefered projects of the young people attending to HTML, CSS, Python etc.

You can see more projects and sample lessons create by CoderDojo organisers from all over the world here.

How to set up a Dojo

First please register your interest as a new Champion here.

The main steps towards organising a Dojo are as follows:

  • Gather your Team - Find interested local technical volunteers to mentor, find parents who can help out and volunteer when they bring their children etc. You do not need to have a big team but it is always better to have support from a core team when organising a Dojo. You can then have planning meetings with your team in advance of setting up your Dojo.
  • Find your Venue - Dojo's cannot be hosted in private residences, they must be in a public space such as a library, business, canteens, schools or community centres. We recommend that the young people attending bring their own laptops so the venue should have, at least, plug sockets for laptops, internet access and tables and chairs for the attendees.
  • Set a Date and Plan - Pick a date to get started, have a meeting with your team to plan what content you are going to cover with your mentors and advertise your Dojo so that you have some kids to come along! Most Dojos run once a week/twice a month etc. We recommend deciding on a regular time and date for your Dojo to ensure consistency. We recommend setting up an email address and Twitter account for your Dojo to deal with queries and promote your Dojo.
  • Get your Dojo verified on Zen - Once you have completed the above steps and are ready to get started you need to register, login and create a listing for your Dojo on our database Zen, http://zen.coderdojo.com To create a listing for your Dojo on Zen you will need to sign the CoderDojo Charter of Ethics. You can see the Charter here.

We recommend contacting Dojos in your area that are currently active, local and national, and if possible visiting them while a CoderDojo session is in action or having a chat with their organiser. You can search for your nearest Dojos here: http://zen.coderdojo.com/

CoderDojo Press Release

CoderDojo is an open source, volunteer led movement orientated around running free coding clubs (Dojos) for young people between 7 - 17 years old. At a Dojo, young people learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and much more. Dojos are set up, run and led by volunteers. Dojos make development and learning to code a fun, sociable and awesome experience!

The first CoderDojo took place in Cork after it was founded by then 18 year-old coder James Whelton and entrepreneur Bill Liao. Since then, the CoderDojo movement has grown to become a global phenomenon. On any given month, between 10,000 and 20,000 young people are mentored by volunteers to code in more than 429 Dojos in 44 countries around the world (as of April 2014). Today there are Dojos in locations such as Romania, Manchester, San Francisco, Tokyo, Africa, Hawaii and many more!

CoderDojo is supported by the CoderDojo Foundation (formerly the Hello World Foundation), a charitable organisation set up by CoderDojo co-founder James Whelton to scale and support the movement on a global level. To join your local CoderDojo, you can find your nearest one from CoderDojo Zen. If there is not a CoderDojo near you, would you be interested in setting one up? For further information visit www.coderdojo.com and www.hwf.io. Twitter: @CoderDojo

Videos about CoderDojo

CoderDojo, One Rule: Be Cool!

CoderDojo in 90 Seconds

Coding the Future, The Story of CoderDojo so Far

Playlist of videos about CoderDojo