Latest on the blog

5Rights Youth Leadership

Our guest blogger today is Oliver McLachlan. Oliver has recently joined a youth leadership group focused on the digital rights of young people. It’s brilliant to see Oliver get involved with this exciting project which has the potential to make a difference to young people across the country. Well done, Oliver.

The 5Rights Youth Leadership Group

 

I am thirteen years old and I attended my first Coderdojo club around three years ago.  It was in the Greenhills Library in East Kilbride and it was the club where I started my passion for coding. I had realised a little time before that I would like to learn about coding and I had a great time at this club.  Once the sessions had ended my dad and I looked around to find another club and this was when I found out about the Coderdojo at the Science Centre in Glasgow. I have been going to events there for a number of years and I find all of the people there, Craig and Natalie and all of the others members of the club really kind and helpful.

I also go to the Coderdojo sessions at Gorbals Library on a Saturday and David who manages the club is absolutely fantastic at working with you to achieve what you want to do with your coding. He is patient, kind and fun. Being a part of Coderdojo is good and I have attended events and focus groups to explain what I get out of going to the clubs and I think that it is good that people listen to the views of young people like me.

A few months ago Craig from Coderdojo sent an email to everyone who goes to the club to say that Young Scot were looking for people aged 11-19 to be part of the 5Rights Youth Leadership Group.  I applied to join the group and had to attend the Young Scot offices for two days of interviews to see if I could be a member of the Youth Leadership Group.

I was successful and I am one of the youngest in the group.  When I was interviewed and asked what I would bring to the group I said that I would bring a younger perspective!

The 5Rights are the digital rights that are important to every young person.  Young people like me use digital devices every day and I use my devices more each day. However as young people we need to be protected because we are more vulnerable than adults when it comes to some of the bad things that can happen when you use the digital world.

The 5Rights are:

  • the right to remove
    (the ability to easily edit or delete all content they have created)
  • the right to know 
    (the right to know who has access to their information and who is benefitting from it)
  • the right to safety and support
    (the right to feel confident that they are safe from illegal practices and can get the right support if they need it)
  • the right to informed and conscious use
    (the right to feel inspired to reach creative places online, but also feel able to switch off from it at any time)
  • the right to digital literacy
    (the right to be taught the skills to be able to use create and critique digital technologies, and given the tools to negotiate changing social norms)

The 5Rights Youth Leadership Group was launched last month by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs and Baroness Beeban Kidron who founded the 5Rights movement.

The group is split into five different sub groups and I am in the Young Digital Champions sub group.  There are five of us in the group and our job is to make a programme to teach young people about their rights in the digital world.

The Youth Leadership Group meet for a weekend every few months and we have work to do in between meetings.  I really like going to the group because we get to discuss real issues that are important to us and other young people and we have the support to make sure that our ideas are considered and taken forward.

We have a lot of work to get through and I am excited by the work and the challenges that we might face in making sure that our group complete a sensible and workable programme to encourage young people to be a part of the digital world and also keep safe.

If you ever see a member of the group you will recognise us by our hoodies!

The launch was fantastic and it was good that important people came and spent time with us and discussed the issues that we face in making sure that the 5Rights are enforced.

I still attend my Coderdojo clubs and know that without them I would not have become a member of the 5Rights Youth Leadership Group.  I will keep you updated on how I get on in the group.

 

For more information about the Young Scot 5Rights Youth Leadership Group, visit http://young.scot/5Rights.

You can have a look at the report by the Young Scot 5Rights Youth Commission to the Scottish Government, on how young people’s rights can be supported in the digital world.

CodeEU17

Our guest blogger today is Charlotte Johnson, CoderDojo Scotland’s first young coder to attend the CoderDojo EU Dojo in the European Parliament.  Charlotte gives us the inside scoop on the experience, which included coders from Dojos across Europe.  If you’re inspired by her experiences, keep a lookout for the call for participants for next year’s event!

We received a newsletter that gave an opportunity to attend codeEU17. These opportunities do not occur often so I applied and was accepted. I received a bursary of €100 towards travel and accommodation costs. I let @CoderScot know that I was doing this and they were thrilled. I was told a short while after that I was the first Scot to attend CodeEU which was very exciting for me.
A few days before attending I got the programme:

 

On the day I arrived early. The CoderDojo team arrived and encouraged us to get a coffee.  Later we all met up, had a quick photo shoot outside the parliament and then we were taken through security to lunch.  After clearing security into another building we went to the conference room.

My mum and I sat down and after a few talks from the executive director of CoderDojo, @GuistinaMizzoni, EU commissioner for digital, economy and society, @GabrielMariya, CoderDojo champions from Portugal and France, as well as CoderDojo sponsors, I had two MEPs (@hudgtonmepSNP and @julie4nw) ask me questions about coding.

 

There was another woman who asked me questions and she really showed interest in what I was doing. She was from @libertyglobal and my mum and I had met her in the coffee shop when we’d arrived early.

 

Five of the 80 children who attended presented their work.  The Dojo was then called to a close and a very quick photo was taken as we were encouraged to leave quickly because there was another meeting scheduled and we had run into some of their time.
We had been given a tee shirt to wear to the Dojo and received a goody bag at the end.  When we left the conference room there was a robot dancing to “gangnam style” which was very entertaining.

 

— Charlotte Johnson

CoderDojo Girls Initiative

How can we increase the number of girls at CoderDojo clubs?

Earlier this year, with funding from the Scottish Government Digital Participation and support from Glasgow Science Centre, Natalie Price and I were able to analyse attendance data from four years of Dojos to see which of these interventions were most effective.  The results can be viewed as a brief, interactive report or in its full text format.

With funding from the Digital Xtra Fund, I was  able to use these results as the basis of an online Gender Balance Toolkit .*  This was intended to help Dojos and other coding clubs improve the gender balance of attendees by outlining a number of simple interventions that could be tried. Since its publication in March this year the Toolkit has been viewed just under 500 times. Viewers have been based across the UK and Ireland, and in countries around the world, including Australia, the USA, Finland and Jordan.

This week the CoderDojo Foundation launched its own Toolkit as part of its Girls Initiative. The Toolkit includes case studies from mentors and ninjas from Dojos across the world, along with best practice suggestions and links to materials likely to appeal to both girls and boys. It also features several sections drawn from our two gender balance publications and a case study on our experience with one-off girls only Dojos.

The Foundation is aiming to increase the percentage of girls attending Dojos to 40% over the next three years.  We at CoderDojo Scotland hope to do the same.  We’ve come a long way since the first Scottish Dojo in 2012 which featured a webpage with a dinosaur on wheels and the Batmobile zooming around in the IMAX downstairs, but only one girl attending as a young coder.

Dr Claire Quigley
CoderDojo Scotland

National Coding Week – 18-23 September 2017

logo-national-coding-week

 

National Coding Week’s aim is to inspire people to learn coding and other digital skills during this week.

It’s great to see so many events being organised across Scotland to get more people interested in coding. There’s a big range of activities from teaching a parent or guardian how to code to physical computing at a Raspberry Jam. By showing the importance of coding and introducing more people to this skill we can hopefully start to address the skills shortage in this area.

– Dr Martin Goodfellow, National Coding Week Ambassador for ScotlandCoder in Residence for Glasgow Life
 

(more…)

Prewired Summer Hack 2017

Picture of young girls and boys at tables with laptops
Prewired Summer Hack 2016 at Codebase

We are excited to announce that we are running Summer Hack again this year — a week-long team programming competition for young people of secondary school age.

The Summer Hack will take place every day 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, from this Monday, August 7th to Friday, August 11th 2017 at CodeBase Events Space, 38 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh EH3 9SJ.

We still have a few places, so if you want to be involved, or know someone else who might want to, sign up now!

Register for Summer Hack

  • What is involved? You will be working in a small team, working together on a small project.
  • Will there be prizes? Yes. At the end of the week, each team will give a demo of their project, and prizes will be awarded in various categories.
  • Do you need to bring a laptop? Not necessarily — we can provide one.
  • What about food? We will provide snacks but you will need to bring your own lunch.

To get more of an idea of what will happen, check out this video of highlights from last year’s Summer Hack, kindly produced for us by the awesome team at Product Forgehttps://youtu.be/K9JfPVBy6jQ

CoderDojo Edinburgh taken by Storm!

Exciting new update from CoderDojo Edinburgh!

The coding club for ages 7-17 will now be held once a month at the Storm ID offices in Leith. This also means the club will benefit from the support of their experienced coder employees! CoderDojo Edinburgh Champion Amandine, who has been running the club since August 2016, is also a web developer at Storm.

You can read more about Storm’s involvement in the company blog.

 

The Dojo has a great selection of creative and fun activities planned using BBC micro:bits. Check some of them out below!

The BBC micro:bit is a nifty wee device that can be used for all sorts of cool creations, from robots to musical instruments, and is a fun way to learn to code!

 

A Story Come Alive: Thursday 27th April 2017 (5:30-7pm)

Tell a story like never before with the help of a BBC micro:bit. Use cardboard, conductive paint and your imagination to bring a book to life. Draw your own circuit and brighten up your story with lights, sounds and movement.

Digital Jewellery & Interactive Garments: Thursday 25th May 2017 (5:30-7pm)

Fashion with brains. Bring your jewellery and clothes to life with conductive threads, stretching sensors, lights and the help of a micro:bit. Imagine a pencil case changing colour with temperature; using your sweater’s buttons to play a ‘Simon says’ game; a sports armband that changes colour when you tense your muscles; earphones glowing in response to sound; a badge displaying a smiley in response to your voice or friend’s proximity.

Crack the code – 007 goes digital: Thursday 29th June 2017 (5:30-7pm)

Solve riddles and crack the code for tricky challenges with the help of a BBC micro:bit – every right answer will open the clue for the next code. The group breaking the code first wins a dazzling price.

 

You can book the next Edinburgh CoderDojo session here.

 

CoderDojo gets storytelling at Wee Write Family Day

Last week Glasgow Libraries’ CoderDojo ran a Twine workshop at the Mitchell Library in the first of two Wee Write Family Day for Aye Write – Glasgow’s fantastic annual book festival.

Twine is an online tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. This means you can choose alternative paths to your stories, which can grow and grow as much as you like.  It’s a fun way to turn your story into a role-playing game.

Create as many story-lines and endings as you like
Learn how to add images to your story using code

The participants had a lot of fun creating their stories. Just have a look at the great selection of stories created so far.

Drop in to the next workshop and discover how to use computer code to write a story with lots of different endings, which you can put online for your friends to read.

Twine workshop at the Mitchell Library

Next workshop: Saturday 4th March

Location: Digital Making Space, 5th Floor, Mitchell Library

Time: Drop-in between 1pm and 4pm.  No need to book.

Age Range: 12-17, no previous coding experience needed

Cost: Free!

Castlemilk Family Fun Day – Now With Added Christmas

Thanks to everyone who came along to our family fun day at CoderDojo Castlemilk.

Here are some of the resources we used:

  1. Google Santa Tracker Code Boogie (with the JavaScript version here).
  2. Scratch Christmas Night Santa Claus game.
  3. Hour of Code Minecraft Designer.
  4. Google Cardboard apps, Christmas VR and Santa’s Special Delivery videos.
  5. Our twitter-powered Christmas Tree used a Raspberry Pi with a Unicorn HAT, running Node Red.
  6. Our Christmas robot art was made using a Sphero (and lots of paint!).

You can try most of them at home.

Have a great Christmas and we’ll see you at our first session of 2017 on the 14th of January.


Visit our CoderDojo Castlemilk page for more information on the club and to book upcoming dojos.

CoderDojo Edinburgh Special Project – Robocode

Robocode – code your own virtual robot!edinburghdojo

The fantastic volunteers at Edinburgh’s newest CoderDojo not only run a quality Dojo every month…they have now announced a new weekly project.

Young coders aged 10-17 are invited to register now for the first block of sessions running every Monday from 14th November 2016 to 12th December 2016.

It is important to attend each of these sessions.

Read more about the project here.

 

EU Code Week – 15-23 October 2016

o2cqlkhq

EU Code Week is a grass-root movement run by volunteers who promote coding in their countries as Code Week Ambassadors. Anyone – schools, teachers, libraries, code clubs, businesses, public authorities – can organise a #CodeEU event and add it to the codeweek.eu map. To make organising and running coding events easier, CodeWeek have prepared different toolkits and selected some of the best lesson plans, guides and other resources.

 

CoderDojo Scotland Events during EU Code Week


Monday 17th

  • CoderDojo Inverness (Intro to Coding special for new coders)
  • CoderDojo Paisley YMCA

Tuesday 18th

  • CoderDojo Inverness (Animation)

Wednesday 19th

  • CoderDojo Bridgeton
  • CoderDojo Inverness (Data Encryption & Hacking)
  • CoderDojo Edinburgh @ Prewired

Thursday 20th

  • CoderDojo Inverness (LEGO Mindstorms Challenge – Day 1)
  • CoderDojo Renfrewshire Libraries @ Linwood

Friday 21st

  • CoderDojo Inverness (LEGO Mindstorms Challenge – Day 2)

Saturday 22nd

  • CoderDojo Edinburgh @ Drumbrae Library
  • CoderDojo GoMA Library
  • CoderDojo Glasgow Science Centre
  • CoderDojo Mitchell Library
  • CoderDojo Pollokshaws Library (Launch of the new dojo)

For more information or to book events click here.

Contact info@coderdojoscotland.com with any queries.