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CoderDojo Ballinamore: Making child’s play of computer coding

Liam Deegan, Ballyconnell shows how 'cool' CoderDojo is at Ballinamore County Library. 
Photo by Willie Donnellan

Liam Deegan, Ballyconnell shows how 'cool' CoderDojo is at Ballinamore County Library. Photo by Willie Donnellan

Children attending CoderDojo in Ballinamore on a Saturday afternoon, are learning how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more.

They are also part of a worldwide organisation which aims to make computer coding fun.

Over 40 locals kids are learning how to create games and codes, as they ‘play’ in the CoderDojo workshop every fortnight in Ballinamore Library.

The children aged from 5-17 are provided with codes which they use like lego to build interactive games. Most kids bring in their home laptop but Ballinamore County Library supplies some to those who don’t have one. The 2 hour workshop is completely free for children and is run by volunteers interested in computer coding. The kids can bring home their work on a usb stick and can continue to work at home on their new game.

The kids feel like playing, but they are actually learning, as well as connecting with children from all over the world. As they bring their creations to life, the children of all ages help each other out and show off the new skills they have developed.

At the advanced class, teenagers are learning complicated HTML in a fun environment, they are currently considering setting up a community website.

Tim Palmer from Corlough, Co Cavan who attends CoderDojo wrote a piece of code to change the colour of an uploaded photo. He was one of the 50 kids selected to meet with the Minister of Jobs and the Head of Science in UCD at the revealing of the Irish Super computer recently. The 13 year old is the youngest mentor at Ballinamore CoderDojo, he has given lots of lectures to the coders in CoderDojo Ballinamore.

Many think that when kids play on the computer they don’t use their imagination, but with these programs that they do, they create games and come up with individual ideas at every meeting.

CoderDojo makes development and learning to code a fun, sociable, kick ass experience, it puts a strong emphasis on open source and free software, and has a strong network of members and volunteers globally. CoderDojo has just one rule: “Above All: Be Cool“, bullying, lying, wasting people’s time and so on is uncool.

CoderDojo is an Irish led, global movement of coding clubs for young people. The non profit organisation was founded by Cork’s James Whelton and Bill Liao. There are over 200 Dojos in 23 different countries.

There are a number of mentors in the Ballinamore CoderDojo. The workshops run every second Saturday the next meetings are: 7 & 21 December, 4, &18 January, 1 &15 February,1, 15 & 29 March, all meetings start at 2.30pm. New members are welcomed every week, with no experience necessary.

For more information email: cdballinamore@gmail.com, or come in while classes are on.

 
 
 

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