James and the Giant Posters
Sunday seems to be the day for adults in the Coderdojo world to educate each other!
Last Sunday Dr James Crook of Dublin Coderdojo gathered a tribe composed of Coderdojo mentors (including founder James Whelton), a bunch of teachers who use technology, and various other excellent folk to the Science Gallery. Let me reflect on what an epic afternoon it was…
First of all, the refreshments were yum – very posh and delicious sandwiches, a sort of mezze-antipasti mash up. Second of all, the format was very well conceived and executed by Dr James who very quietly and sheepdoggedly kept us on task while gracefully drawing the best from us all. Third of all, the amazing graphic facilitator Elfie Rocher
captured our thoughts and ideas as we moved along through our challenges (see posters below). Fourth of all was the very exciting and wonderful mix in the room, some of the brightest and most creative people I have sat with (not an ego in sight!) sharing each others language, ideas and ambitions. Fifth and last and most of all, everyone in the room was focussed on achieving the same thing – making Coderdojo a good experience for the kids.
James asked us to focus on three areas: (and speaks eloquently on them at his own blog here
- share a piece of teaching or mentoring that went well
- harvesting immediate and long-term feedback in quality systems
- what is best for the kids and how do we get there?
The lovely thing about the outcomes of the discussion process – and the posters show the evidence – is that what everyone (whether consciously or not) has agreed on needs and ideas that are fundamental to any educational process, be it formal or informal, continuous or in jumps and starts. Even if each coderdojo is unique to itself, it must provide the best possible positive experience for both mentors and kids participating.
It was good to see so many committed CESI folks there (Hi Tom, Miriam, Pat, MaryJo, Mary, Pat) and see them connect with the coding community (Hi Eugene and team). It was really fun to discover that my Coderdojo Cavan
colleague with whom I have been tweeting for months is practically my next door neighbour (Hey Cara!!).
Big thanks to James Crook for matchmaking this new and hopefully fruitful engagement. I must say I was chuffed to see the 40 year old CESI logo there (love your version Elfie) side by side with the year old Coderdojo logo, and look forward to seeing the two logos side by side again.
Take some time to check out the small print on the three posters here – am I right in saying they could equally grace the wall of any educational establishment or any creative programming hub?