DojoCon2013 at Slane Castle

Here’s a few words and a selection of photos from a really fantastic day in Slane Castle.

They’re a bit random, as I was so fascinated by the place I had to take some photos that there weren’t any people in!  It was slightly weird to be discussing technology in a place constructed in the 1700s – wonder what the people around then would have made of it all.  The day was filled with positivity, enthusiasm and creativity and I think will have a very beneficial effect on the future of CoderDojo.

Some of the many people of note were:

Una Fox (@unafox) – Una, originally from Louth, and now VP in Walt Disney Company Corporate Technology group, who was MC

James Whelton (@jwhelton) – Well, if I have to tell you who James is, maybe you need to go off and do a bit of research!!!

Jerry Kennelly (@jerrykennelly) – Inspirational Keynote speaker; founder and CEO of Tweak.com and co-founder of Endeavour, Young Entrepreneur Programme and Junior Entrepreneur Programme, formerly CEO of Stockbyte, Ireland’s Net Visionary 2011; you may have seen him on RTE’s “Local Heroes”.  He talked about the importance of volunteering; the need to be not just consumers, but creators; and that we are in the Golden Era of ICT globally. He said “Innovation comes from small dynamic teams”.

Bill Liao (@liaonet) – As with James, if you don’t know who Bill is, maybe you need to get on the internet more often 😉

Kimberly Bryant (@6gems) – Kimberly was utterly inspirational in telling her story about founding BlackGirlsCode to meet the needs of young women of colour who are under represented in the field of technology, and received a well-deserved standing ovation.

Lord Henry Mountcharles has always been a cool guy (how many Lords invite the best rock bands in the world to play in his garden?!), so CoderDojo is a very appropriate cause for him to support.  He entertained us all with a potted history of Slane Castle, and gave Una Fox a birthday/thank you present of a bottle of Slane Castle whiskey.

The sun was shining as we arrived and had coffee in the reception hall:

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Bill Liao arrives; Una Fox kicks off in the Gothic Ballroom beside a painting of an ancestor of Lord Henry:

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James Whelton welcomes everybody; Rebecca Garcia (@geekgirlweb) presenting at the “Girls Initiative” Running a Dojo talk:

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Karen O’Connell (@karenboconnell) presenting at the “Girls Initiative” Running a Dojo talk; and Liam Friel of @CoderDojoBray giving really useful information on the first six months of running a Dojo:

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Una Fox interviews Bill Liao, then we break for lunch and see this wonderful chandelier as we ascend the stairs (some Del and Rodney jokes were to be heard!):

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Another magnificent chandelier (imagine cleaning that!!)

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And a couple of views out of the window:

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Back down to the reception hall:

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The rain has arrived by now, but it’s still a great view (Hey, wouldn’t this be a great place for a rock concert?!):

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And here’s an indoor view of the Gothic Ballroom with its magnificent ceiling:

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Panel discussion took place on “Sustaining and Growing CoderDojo Worldwide” with Rebecca Garcia, Dennis Donohoe, Shara Karasic, Michelle Graham and Martine Tempels – moderated by Paul McClean:

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Then back into group sessions again, Lindsay is the one standing (sorry the picture is soft, he moved!), and you might recognise James in the picture on the right!:

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Bill Liao makes a point during Cameron McEfee of GitHub’s talk “Better Together”; Deardriu Lally is sitting alongside; then we’re back in the Gothic Ballroom for Lord Henry Mountcharles to say a few words, which he does, in his own inimitable way (bearing in mind the fire in 1991, I better not say anything about bringing the house down!)

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Now we have the pleasure of hearing Kimberly Bryant speaking about Black Girls Code, and she has an amazing story to tell; Slane Castle hasn’t been so quiet all day, everyone is listening to every word.

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And, for posterity, here is Francis Reid, Liam Friel and myself!

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New batch of tickets to be released

A new batch of tickets – valid for 5 weeks – were released at the CoderDojo session on 6 March.  We have since emailed the people on our waiting list and after a day or so, we will make any remaining tickets generally available.  Demand is such that there will be very few, if any, left.  Updated information will be posted here.

Scratch – Session One

Hi Everybody,

Here is some further information from the session on Wednesday that you might find useful. If you have any questions please send us an email to

email-address

Or else just give us a shout at the start of the next session.

Scratch Website

Firstly please have a good look through the Scratch website:

You should have a look through some of the Featured Projects on the Homepage – this will give you an idea about some of the different types of programs you can create yourself.

The next most important part of the website is the Support Section. If you have a printer at home it would be useful to print and read the Getting Started Guide and once you have mastered that you should take a look at the Scratch Reference Guide – it will be very useful to you over the coming weeks, try to get a copy printed out.

Running and Reusing Other People’s Programs

Spend some time getting practice downloading and running other people’s programs.

For example to download the sample “About Me” project you could just type “about me” in the search in the top right of the Scratch website:

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Then you will get a list of links that contain “About Me” projects, pick the second link “About Me Sample Projects”

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Pick the second sample project:

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Now to the most important part – look at the top right of the page and you will see “Download the sprites and scripts of …..”:

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When you click the “About Me” link your web browser should automatically download the program into Scratch running on your PC. You can now edit this and re-use the existing code. (You might need to download the file to you PC and then open it with Scratch – please let us know next Wednesday if you have any problem downloading somebody else’s file and opening it in your Scratch editor)

Presentations

Here are the links to the two Scratch presentations we did on Wednesday night:

Session #1 – Introduction to Scratch

Session #2 – About Me

My About Me Example

Here is how I put my “About Me” project together.

Step 1 – Pick 3 things about myself that I would like to show people. I have picked playing with my daughters, listening to the Gummy Bear song and feeding our cat.

Step 2 – Pick a background – we call this a Stage in Scratch, I have chosen a Park – so I want to download an image from the Internet of my local park.

Step 3 – Gather up images or sounds that you want to put into your project, I collected images of my daughers, myself, Barbie, the Gummy Bear and our cat. Each image will be a Sprite in Scratch, a Sprite can do anything you program it to.

Step 4 – Start a new project in Scratch. Open up Scratch, Click the File menu, then New.

Step 5 – Insert your chosen background picture as the Stage for the project. Click Stage in the botton right of the Scratch screen:

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Now in the main panel click Backgrounds:

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Now click Import to bring in the picture you would like, browse to the folder on your PC that contains all of your pictures:

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You should now see your chosen background on the Stage:

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We will not be using the Cat in this project so you can delete that Sprite – just right clck on the cat in the bottom left of the screen and press Delete:

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Step 6 – Add in the Sprites for your project, we will import our Sprites from a file:

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I want to make the picture smaller so I will edit its costume, click Costumes, Edit and then the Shrink button shown:

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It is a good idea to give each Sprite a name, I have just called mine PJ:

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Do the same for the other Sprites you would like to include.

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Step 7 – Make your Sprites do something interesting. There are many different things you can do here – have a look at my simple example to get some ideas for your own projects.

Homework

Please put your own “About Me” together and try to upload it to the Scratch website.