Learnings from the March session

Over the last few months, the leadership team at CoderDojo KC has been quietly making notes and reflections in order to enrich the Dojo experience (stay tuned for a quick introduction to the leadership team). It’s been exciting to be part of but it’s sad when learning is limited to a select few. So we’re going to start posting our top post-session reflections!

  1. We’re going to post regular updates on this blog to help everyone see the depth of CoderDojo. This is a blog post. Hurray!
  2. We need to keep track of which mentors come to each session. We love being mentors and we know that all of our mentors love it too. Mentoring at CoderDojo is a strictly volunteer affair and an enriching part of some very highly trained professional’s weekends. The mentors who often attend have learnt the ropes, and may want to be able to help more. Keeping track of mentor attendance will help us identify those mentors!
  3. We have a love-hate relationship with Scratch. It’s a fantastic tool for new coders, especially the younger ones. Kids get good at it and they want to do what they’re good at. Hurray! But they often get stuck building gratuitous sketches that don’t take advantage of the full power of Scratch. Not to mention they miss out on learning the other complex programming technologies that mentors use every day. That’s a shame. So we’re going to put more emphasis on helping kids with complexity.
  4. After each session, we’ll gather at least the leadership team at the next KC Geek Night and reflect on what worked and what didn’t. We have leadership meetings before each session, but by that time it’s been weeks since the last session. Reflections and memories fade.
  5. Circling back around to  #2, we are going to start handing out per-session responsibilities to some mentors. Even if we have really insightful and implementable reflections, the small leadership team alone can’t afford to be micromanaging during sessions. Our mentors are very capable people and we want those qualities embodied in each session.

Are you a mentor with a suggestion? Or a participant or a parent? Or a CoderDojo co-conspirator from another city? Post a comment or come to the next Geek Night to keep the Dojo love alive!

Posted in Session Reflection
One comment on “Learnings from the March session
  1. Lindsey Frye says:

    it would have been nice to see the mentors circling and interacting more. For most of the time I noticed the majority, though I’m sure available, just standing around in back. At one point I had to tell my kid to ask for help because it was his first time and he had no guidance even though we had registered and mentioned a few times that we had never been before.

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