Clubzone: Kids get tech-savvy at Tory Top library

Clubzone: Kids get tech-savvy at Tory Top library

Club members Darragh McAuliffe and Diarmuid Walsh. Picture: David Keane

Coderdojo is a Cork founded phenomenon which runs free computer programming clubs for young people.

The classes have gathered speed at a ferocious pace since kicking off in 2013.

Tom Somers and David Lesiak in Tory Top Library at the CoderDojo club. 	Picture: David Keane
Tom Somers and David Lesiak in Tory Top Library at the CoderDojo club. Picture: David Keane

Created by a Cork native James Whelton the clubs were set up to educate ages 7-17 on the intricacies of computer programming.

In Ballyphehane, Coderdojo is a very popular pastime for kids with 15-20 kids taking part in sessions at Tory Top Library.

This is one of a number of Dojo sessions run in Cork city and county.

Having fun at CoderDojo were Joe Somers and Jack Brennan. 	Picture: David Keane
Having fun at CoderDojo were Joe Somers and Jack Brennan. Picture: David Keane

Coderdojo volunteer Daniel Brohan, 21, set up the Ballyphehane Coderdojo club two years ago with another computer-savvy teenager and the club has gone from strength to strength ever since.

Daniel, who is studying Creative Digital Media in CIT teaches three main computer languages to the kids, HTML, Javascript and CSS.

As the teacher of the class, Daniel said the extent of the children’s learning is limited only by his own limitations.

Ben Davis getting instructions from MichaelSlattery. 	Picture: David Keane
Ben Davis getting instructions from MichaelSlattery. Picture: David Keane

“I can only teach what I know, but thankfully I am in college and learning new things all the time.” Daniel said all the kids in his class can make their own website from scratch, using code.

“I teach them things that can be adapted and used in other formats. The most important thing is that the kids understand what they are doing, not that they can do it.” The 21-year-old also said it was not just a case of giving back to his community but said that he finds the experience extremely rewarding.

Rebecca Murphy and Alex Barrett concentrating on their work at the CoderDojo club at Tory Top Library, Ballyphehane. 	Picture: David Keane
Rebecca Murphy and Alex Barrett concentrating on their work at the CoderDojo club at Tory Top Library, Ballyphehane. Picture: David Keane

“I have found it very helpful for my self-confidence, before I started teaching I had a lot of trouble giving presentations in college, now I fly through it.” Daniel said the Coderdojo classes are not a babysitting service and parents are asked to attend to ensure their child is learning and paying attention.

“It can be difficult, just with the nature of the class, being on computers, online, kids can just play games very easily, but for the most part, they are engaged in the class. It is all about finding the balance.” For more information about Coderdojo and to find a Dojo in your area, log onto www.coderdojo.com.

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