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Send Your Kid for Free Coding Classes at the CoderDojo

Our children are the leaders of tomorrow. Whether that excites you, or terrifies you, we need to prepare them for the big, bad world they'll soon be commanding. With technology starting to affect nearly every aspect of our lives, it's necessary to ensure they know how to use computers and the internet. However, one non-profit in Ireland recently took things a step further with free classes that teach children to code. Now, thanks to a partnership with GitHub, the organization will soon take on North America.

GitHub today announced that it had teamed up with CoderDojo to open their first Dojo in the United States. The Dojo will teach children between the ages of 7- and 18-years-old to code and develop websites, apps, programs, games and more, and will be located in the GitHub offices. The first session is scheduled for 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on February 25 and GitHub is encouraging kids to sign up on CoderDojo's website. As with all of CoderDojo's clubs, each class is taught by a professional in the given topic and if your kid doesn't have a laptop to use during the session, one will be provided for him or her.

CoderDojo was started by an Irish student James Whelton. Sometime in early 2011, while Whelton was still in high school, he garnered some publicity for hacking his iPad Nano. As a result, some of his classmates expressed an interest in learning how to code, so Whelton started teaching people basic HTML and CSS. A few months later, he met Bill Liao, an entrepreneur and philanthropist that wanted to grow the project beyond after-school sessions in a school computer lab. Liao and Whelton founded CoderDojo and opened up their first Dojo in June 2011, in the National Software Centre in Cork. A huge success, the Dojo had regular attendees that were traveling from Dublin (well over 100 miles) just to participate in classes. Soon, additional Dojos were opened up around Ireland, including one in Google Europe's office in Dublin.

You can learn more about CoderDojo, including how to join, volunteer, or start one, here

Follow @JaneMcEntegart on Twitter for the latest news.      

  • NuclearShadow
    This is nothing short of awesome. This will not only be teaching kids a skill but give them something to do that is productive. Sadly it doesn't seem they accept donations through their website. I would have gladly supported this.

    Whether that excites you, or terrifies you

    After reading this it certainly helps it lean a little more towards excitement.
    Reply
  • mesab66
    Well done, a great concept!! It's great that they are including such a young age!! Hope it resurrects the extremely high skill levels and total (obsessive?) passion once found in the 80's - 'bedroom programmers' of the C64/Spectrum/BBC Electron/Amiga/ST/etc. These guys knew how to program - particularly in assembly - the CPU (and GPU's...remember the blitter anyone??) HAD to be programmed efficiently - no sloppy programming here if you wanted smooth saleable gameplay. This era also encouraged - by default - thinking outside the box in order to efficiently optimise EVERY subroutine / programming challenge. You'll correctly guess this is an era I have very fond memories of :)
    Reply
  • Novulux
    Not exactly my kid, but I thought about asking my parents to send my younger brother. He's always wanted to program,but unlike me, he can't stay focused while reading programming books.
    San Francisco is a little too far though, so I guess we will follow this for a while.
    Reply
  • 11796pcs
    ZingamWhen I have kids I will have 3. One will be a politician and it will pass laws to regulate the software industry, the second will be a lawyer and will sue the coders and the third will be a psychiatrist to cure broke coders. My kids will never touch a computer!!!Why do you not want your kids to touch a computer? Realize as well that your entire statement makes you sound a bit like a hypocrite. A computer (by extension I am including the Internet) is one of the best ways to be empowered by having access to the truth in the world. By blocking access to a computer, you are censoring information. Why don't you just send your kids to North Korea?
    Reply
  • __-_-_-__
    coderdojo aka nerdcamp
    Reply
  • SoiledBottom
    Opening up just across the street from CoderDojo is the new Cobra Kai Coderdojo, things could get ugly.

    Where are you Mr. Miyagi ?
    Reply
  • egidem
    I know some guy who had a different career path that had nothing to do with programming or coding. This guy had a quick, sharp and logical mind. I gave him one of my Intro. to Computing books and he loved it. His career is now changed towards a different path, and is well majoring into this field. He tells me that had he discovered this sooner at a young age, he wouldn't have wasted any time doing anything else.

    I think this idea of exposing kids to the innards of programming at such young ages is brilliant. Not only does it give these young kids basic fundamentals of what goes inside the computer in terms of software, but it could also easily help discover/channel some of these kids' interest into something that would be an awesome skill to have at a young age. Amazing talent could easily come out of CoderDojo.
    Reply
  • Pawessum16
    egidemI know some guy who had a different career path that had nothing to do with programming or coding. This guy had a quick, sharp and logical mind. I gave him one of my Intro. to Computing books and he loved it. His career is now changed towards a different path, and is well majoring into this field. He tells me that had he discovered this sooner at a young age, he wouldn't have wasted any time doing anything else.I think this idea of exposing kids to the innards of programming at such young ages is brilliant. Not only does it give these young kids basic fundamentals of what goes inside the computer in terms of software, but it could also easily help discover/channel some of these kids' interest into something that would be an awesome skill to have at a young age. Amazing talent could easily come out of CoderDojo.I've had a similar experience happen personally to me. I came to college only having a rough idea of what I wanted to major in. I saw one of my EE friends taking an intro CptS course, and I decided I wanted to take it the next spring. After taking that intro course, next thing I know I'm teaching myself PHP, CSS, HTML, sql queries, a dash of javascript, and I'm reading up on how to set up a linux server. Now a year later after seeing the first bit of code in my life, I'm engaging with Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook about possibly getting an internship this summer. It's been great!
    Reply
  • ericburnby
    Great idea. My 8 year old daughter is programming PIC Micros (the PICAXE version) to do simple things like turn LED's on/off in patterns or in response to switches.

    Simple stuff for sure, but a good start.
    Reply
  • mcd023
    Awesome! I wish I coulda done this when I was a kid! Now I'm teaching myself, but this is great!
    Reply