What is CoderDojo WA?
CoderDojo WA is the Western Australian network of “CoderDojo” – an international open source social education movement oriented around the running of fun, free and social coding clubs (Dojos) for young people aged 7-17 (Ninjas).
Dojos are run by coordinators (Champions) at businesses, schools, libraries, universities, councils and community centres. Dojos provide fun, free and social open learning environments where young people can meet others with similar interests, develop 21st century skills and build creative projects of their own choice using digital technology.
A Dojo is NOT a class or workshop. There is no curriculum. Instead, Dojos offer open, free and unstructured club settings in which young people can follow their own interests, meet like-minded people and develop self-directed learning habits with the support of Champions and Mentors.
CoderDojo WA is an initiative of the Fogarty Foundation.
What happens at a CoderDojo club?
- During a Dojo session, Ninjas will have free time to work on their own digital projects, study online using platforms like Khan Academy, socialise with other like-minded young people and explore ways to collaborate.
- If Ninjas have never coded before, Mentors will help get them started on their own coding projects (typically a game, website etc).
- If Ninjas already have something to work on, the Dojo offers a supportive environment where they can learn and advance their projects.
- Instead of offering structured lessons, Champions and Mentors encourage Ninjas to follow their curiosity, challenge themselves to improve their projects and to solve the problems that arise along the way. This helps Ninjas become self-directed, adaptive learners. Even Champions and Mentors who do not know how to code can help Ninjas helping them find answers for themselves.
- Ninjas are also encouraged to help each other.
- At the end of a session, Champions can dedicate some time for “Show Me The Code,” where Ninjas take turns getting up the front and talking about their project.
- Every organiser and Dojo is different, so sessions will vary at each location.
What are the benefits?
Ninjas who attend CoderDojo clubs are able to develop 21st century skills, including:
Ways of thinking: creativity and innovation, critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making, learning to learn and meta-cognition.
Ways of working: communication, collaboration and teamwork.
Tools for working: information literacy, ICT literacy and living in the world.
Citizenship: global and local.