Home GitHub Wants to Teach Kids to Code with the First US CoderDojo

GitHub Wants to Teach Kids to Code with the First US CoderDojo

If you have kids (or you are one) and you’re in or near the San Francisco area, you might want to sign up for the GitHub-sponsored CoderDojo coming on February 25th. CoderDojo is a free, not-for-profit movement with a strong open source emphasis on open source that seeks to teach young people how to code and make learning “a fun, sociable, kick ass experience.”

The organization was founded by James Whelton and Bill Liao, and has focused mostly on Ireland until now. (There’s also a CoderDojo in London.) The program is for kids between seven and 18, and according to GitHub’s Cameron McEfee has been teaching “HTML, CSS, Javascript, iOS app development, and pretty much anything else they think sounds awesome.” Kids also get guest lectures from tech mentors and tours of tech companies, in addition to instruction on development.

The sessions cost nothing, and kids that can’t bring their own laptops will be provided with one. McEfee says “Each class is taught by a professional in the given topic. To help create the best environment for kids to ask questions, there is a mentor for every three kids in a session. For all this awesome learning potential there is only one requirement: ‘Above all, be cool.'”

CoderDojo uses a series of badges and belts to recognize ability and achievements. Kids earn badges in categories like HTML or JavaScript by meeting criteria like creating a Web site using certain Javascript features. After a certain number of badges, kids level up in the belt system.

The session is from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the GitHub HQ in San Francisco. You can sign up via the CoderDojo site but space is limited. Follow the @CoderDojoSF Twitter account for more info, and see McEfee’s talk about CoderDojo to learn more about the program.

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