Identifi is very pleased to announce our partnership with Safety Harbor CoderDojo. CoderDojo is a worldwide movement of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for kids 7 to 17. The CoderDojo concept began in Ireland in 2011 and has since expanded to 1,100 Dojos in 63 countries.
When we first heard about CoderDojo, we knew it was something we wanted to get involved with. We were pleasantly surprised to find that there was already an active Dojo in our own backyard! The Safety Harbor CoderDojo was started in 2015 by Dojo Champions Nancy Vellucci and Anastasia Underwood. Identifi Senior Vice President of Software and Solutions, Aaron Stine reached out to Nancy and Anastasia to see if we could work together. There was an immediate connection and we started collaborating in October of last year.
Since then, we’ve worked together to provide the resources the Dojo needs to be successful. In addition to financial support, Identifi staff also volunteer their time as mentors in the program. That’s been instrumental in expanding the scope of the technology available to learn as well helping each Dojo session run more smoothly.
One of the great things about CoderDojo is how it flips the classroom concept. There’s no lecturing or traditional teaching. Instead, Ninjas (students) learn on their own as well as from each other. We provide resource cards called “Sushi cards” that they can use to learn new skills. Ninjas work at their own pace to create their code projects. We reinforce peer learning with “Team Tickets”. Ninjas can earn a Team Ticket whenever they help out another Ninja. Team tickets are required to complete projects so everyone is motivated to help!
Ninjas earn achievements in the form of belts and badges each time they complete a project. They earn colored belt pins just like a regular Dojo.
They also receive a badge that represents the coding language they used to earn their belt. Ninjas can display their belts and badges by pinning them to their lanyard and wearing them at the Dojo.
As they advance, Ninjas are required to create projects that contribute to the “social good”. For example, they can create a new website that benefits the local community or create an app that helps their school. This reinforces the practical benefits that can come from technology.
We’re thrilled to be supporting the growth of kids in the Tampa Bay Area. Every Ninja in the Dojo will gain a better understanding of the technology that’s driving our world. And for some, CoderDojo may be an avenue to a software or engineering job in the future!
We’re enjoying the ability to give back to the community that has supported us and could not be happier with our combined success!