CoderDojo is a not for profit organization that aims to open the door for children to learn computer skills. The project aims to increases the much needed information technology skills in communities and create more avenues for employment, job opportunities and develop entrepreneurial skills. Portarlington is home to the first Coder Dojo in Laois.
The club was originally conceived and championed by Mary Oakley and Celia Deverell of the Portarlington Community Development Association (PCDA) and was set up initially at Oriel House, Main St. Portarlington in March 2013.
Assistance to fund Training Programme and purchase of new Equipment
The club has gone from strength to strength since then and Laois Partnership assisted the rapidly expanding group by funding the purchase of equipment including laptops, projectors and Arduino Kits (programmable circuit boards using open source software and components).
Funding was also provided to commission Camara Education to train up a group of parents and mentors to support the work of the Coder Dojo Club. The course included an introduction to the Scratch coding programme which provided parents with the basic skills to pass on to younger entrants to the club. This was effective in freeing up the more skilled mentors to deal with the more advanced children.
Portarlington Coder Dojo started with one mentor and 20 young participants (“Ninjas”). Within a year, it has grown to over 30 mentors (who provide their time free of charge). Some 100 ninjas aged 7–18 years old, over 30 ninjas on the waiting list, and a committee of ten administrators.
In addition to developing information technology skills, the training helps the children to adopt and develop essential skills required for professionalism and day-to-day living. This includes a sense of creativity, focus and learning to work independently (self-directed learning) and as part of a team.
If you have an interest in information technology, software/ apps development, Java script, css, writing codes, creating computer games, web design, programme etc. and want your kids to learn these skills? Port CoderDojo is the place to be.