Mentoring

Call for Mentors

At a CoderDojo session, young people learn how to write code, develop websites, apps, games and more. Dojos are setup, run by and taught by volunteers. All this is completely free to participants.

CoderDojo Dun Laoghaire started in January 2013.  We run two weekly sessions:

  • Wednesdays 6:30 p.m. – 8:20 p.m. IADT (Carriglea building)
  • Sundays from 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m METNS (Primary School Hall)

Sessions normally run during school term times; we take breaks over half-term, Christmas, Easter and the summer holidays.

About 50 kids come to each session to learn about web technologies and programming. Topics include HTML/CSS, Scratch, Python, AppInventor, Minecraft modding and Arduino/Raspberry Pi.

We are always looking for extra mentors to join our team of volunteers, to help the kids learn and come up with new ideas.  It’s a great opportunity to get involved in a fun, creative, and worthwhile youth movement.

If you have any coding experience or other skills that would be useful to CoderDojo, and would like to apply to become a mentor, please complete the form below (over 18s please):

Note: All volunteers will undergo Garda E-Vetting, and will be required to supply proof of identification (in 2 formats please) and address.

ALL PROSPECTIVE MENTORS NEED TO READ THE CODERDOJO IRELAND CHILD PROTECTION POLICY BEFORE COMPLETING AN APPLICATION.

ALL PROSPECTIVE MENTORS NEED TO START THE GARDA VETTING PROCESS WHEN FIRST JOINING THE GROUP.

Vetting is a two stage process.

  • Step 1 – A Vetting Application form will need to be completed both in writing and online. The hard copy application and copies of proof of address should be sent to the Coderdojo Foundation/NYCI for processing. Applicants will then receive an e-mail with a link to the Gardai E-Vetting Portal. Please ensure you copy the Admin Team dunlaoghaire.ie@coderdodjo.com on any correspondence.
  • Step 2 – Applicants must then complete the E-Vetting within 30 days. Youth members, age 16/17, who mentor must also complete a Parental Consent Form. Please start your application with us by completing the form below:

If you have a topic you would love to share with the kids, please contact us at dunlaoghaire.ie@coderdojo.com

Being a Mentor

BEING A CODERDOJO MENTOR IS FUN, REWARDING, BUT NOT A CAKEWALK. HERE ARE SOME GUIDELINES TO HELP SEE IF YOU COULD BE A TECHNICAL MENTOR, PLUS MORE DETAILS OF WHAT IS INVOLVED.

  1. Take a look at this 90 second video: do you recognise yourself in it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HntLmTymmyc
  2. Is the technical jargon in the video familiar? If not, you may be able to help as an admin mentor, or with fundraising. Otherwise, read on.
  3. Can you make it to the upcoming Dojo program at least 4 weeks out of 6?
  4. In addition to 2+ hours per week at the Dojo, are you willing to do some prep work for each session, to make sure you are familiar with the tools and can provide assistance to kids?
  5. Will you install the following on your own computer (PC or Mac) before mentoring and get familiar with how they work:
    1. Wireless networking (just the basics)
    2. Google Chrome (especially Developer tools)
    3. Komodo Edit (work with HTML, CSS, JavaScript files locally)
    4. MIT Scratch (build a game; join the website)
    5. All the software is available here: http://goo.gl/PRSVr
    6. If you need to refresh or learn HTML, visit:
      1. http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp
      2. Typical content for a first Dojo session: http://goo.gl/T6f6o
    7. If you need to refresh or learn Scratch see these resources:
      1. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2E6EED8E1A69F2A5&feature=plcp
      2. http://scratch.ie/primary/resources
    8. If you need to refresh or learn JavaScript, see http://www.crunchzilla.com/code-maven
  6. Depending on the area where you think you could mentor, before mentoring will you build a small project in that area using the above tools? Current coding teaching areas are
    1. HTML/CSS
    2. JavaScript
    3. Scratch
  7. Are you familiar with raspberry pi / arduino / taking computers apart and putting them together again? If so, you may be able to help with some of our hardware teaching projects.

If you answered Yes to most of the questions above, you probably have the technical background we need. To become a technical mentor, follow these steps:

– Read any mails sent to you by lead mentors, with specific info on the next session

–  In doing your mentoring, pay attention to child protection considerations

– Children under 12 must have a parent or guardian present at the Dojo, whom you can consult and involve as required

– Health and Safety are important; what to do in case of fire, evacuation, minor accident: ask a lead mentor if you are unsure

– Data protection: Although publishing their Dojo work to the web is a main goal of their learning, discourage kids from publishing information of a personal nature on the web as part of their Dojo projects, such as their name, address, contact details

– Do not initiate contact with Dojo kids outside the Dojo, or collect or use kids email addresses or other contact details in any way

– Do not mentor at a table where your own children are taking part; this disrupts mentoring for the whole table

– Try to remember kids first names and what they are working on from week to week

– While mentoring your group, note that:

  1. kids may raise their hands or not, if they need help; if they don’t raise their hands, just enquire from time to time if all is going well / they need any help
  2. initial help may include getting software installed (you may need a memory stick), getting on wifi, locating files, opening files, saving files
  3. later help may include more technical questions where it will be handy for you to have independent access to the session materials via your phone/tablet or printout
  4. if 6 kids on a table need help at the same time, see if any of them can help each other (see below); if not, work your way around; get help from another mentor if things are held up for too long
  5. for some questions the best answer is to suggest a Google search or visit a resource on the web; that is a useful tip for kids to help themselves
  6. they will get most benefit if they learn how to help themselves and how to piggyback the work of others, e.g. by using the web
  7. CoderDojo will not suit them all; some may leave early / lack interest etc and that is also fine
  8. Keep your distance so that they can get on with it. If some are working well, take an interest, praise and encourage them. If some are not making progress, take an interest and see why they are stuck; maybe they do not know what they should be doing, or are missing one key bit of info.
  9. Encourage the kids to help each other, rather than always ask you for help: ‘Ask three, then me”
    1. During the first session in a program, this will not be easy, but improves as kids get to know more (and each other) in the program
    2. If you are asked a question and are floored by it:
      1. i. See if any kids on the table can help
      2. See if any kids from other tables that are acting as mentors can help
      3. Ask a more experienced or knowledgeable mentor colleague in your area
      4. Make sure that the kids question is not forgotten and that someone deals with it, even if it cannot be resolved successfully
    3. Praise any kids that help you to mentor

At the end of the session, stick around for a few minutes to tidy the place up and pack away the tables and all our stuff. Ask a lead mentor if you are not sure how to help.