Archive of European Projects

CoderDojo Training in ICT Programming Skills
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The European Union faces a critical need to identify innovative approaches in building core key life competences in youth with a strong emphasis on their future employment within the European labour market. The CoderDojo Model which has been developed and grown on a totally voluntary basis, provides such an innovative approach which can very valuably inform European policy development. The CoderDojo movement was started in Cork, Ireland, in 2011. CoderDojo is a totally free of cost voluntary movement to teach young people how to write computer code, it raises awareness of potential to set up business and it works extensively on the principal of self and peer led learning by young people - generally between the ages of 5 and 17 years of age. Leaders and facilitators of CoderDojo groups are usually private companies, higher educational Institutions, community groups or schools. From a standing start in a period of less than three years, CoderDojo is now active in 42 countries worldwide, with c.12,000 registered participants. The CoderDojo Training in ICT Programming Skills Project is led by the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT ) which was one of the first facilitators worldwide and partnering with CIT is the CoderDojo Foundation which initiated the movement and has worked since 2011 with only its own resources. Since inception the Foundation has recruited c.400 facilitating organisations with hundreds of champions and mentors around the world. CoderDojo has achieved phenomenal success in teaching young people coding skills which not only enhance their STEM abilities but also make them highly equipped for their future educational prospects and working lives. The other partners in the consortium are all well-established CoderDojo Facilitators who recognise the potential of the learning model to address European educational challenges, especially in teaching and building learner interest and competence in STEM subjects, while also preparing participants for a lifetime career. The objectives of the project are to (i) to capture the best practice in terms of organisational and learning approaches from CoderDojos and to transfer these into mainstream educational policies in Europe, (ii) to research and make recommendations on the accreditation of CoderDojo prior learning . (iii) to develop a CoderDojo international toolkit in all main European languages with a view to spreading the movement to all countries and regions across Europe and (iv) to widely disseminate the project's policy and learning recommendations . These objectives will be pursued and delivered through a number of different but interrelated project actions, with each action having its own dedicated lead partner. The project will have a dual focus in terms of its outputs. The first set of outputs will be very practical in the form of an international toolkit which will facilitate the spread of the movement around the European Union. The toolkit will address all aspects of the set up and operation of a CoderDojo Group, covering matters from recruiting facilitators, insurances required, premises, child safety issues, curriculum development guidelines, selection of mentors, assessments and so on. The practical outputs will also cover a very wide dissemination of the project toolkit and messages in terms of the spreading of the movement. The second set of outputs have a very strong policy making focus. These outputs will be targeted at Educationalists and Policy makers from the local to European levels, addressing recommendations on how the European Union can make STEM learning very much more attractive to young people, based on a model which has been shown to work extremely well. The project, to this end will include a range of workshops and events with policy maker and educationalists. The accreditation of prior learning is a major policy development aspect of the project, which will undertake in-depth research and provide detailed recommendations on how self and peer led learning in non-formal and informal settings can provide participants with European recognised qualifications that can equip them for further education or for work. The sustainability of the project after its closure is guaranteed as the CoderDojo movement continues to spread at a very rapid pace around the globe, with the continuing support of global business corporations and leaders in business. The benefits of the projects are that, for the first time the phenomenon of CoderDojo can be studied and its best practices and approaches analysed, with in-depth recommendations being developed and disseminated for European Educational and Training Policy. Additionally, while the model has been shown to work in the area of Coding and encouraging an entrepreneurial attitude among participants, which as a model be transferred to the development of young peoples’ interest and skills in biotechnologies or physics, with similar entrepreneurial skills also included.
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