New Curricula | CoderDojo Bulgaria
Why? By 2020, approximately 95% of professions in Bulgaria will require basic digital skills, but only 35% of the people in Bulgaria have the necessary digital skills, and only 1.7% work in the ICT sector. Furthermore, prejudice and stereotypes prevent women from working in the ICT sector.
Who? The VMware team collaborated with the CoderDojo Bulgaria nonprofit. The CoderDojo movement believes that an understanding of programming languages is increasingly important in the modern world, and that nobody should be denied the opportunity to learn to code. To that end, they’ve built a global network of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people. Anyone aged seven to seventeen can visit a Dojo, where they can learn to code, build a website, create an app or a game, and explore technology in an informal, creative, and social environment.
CoderDojo Bulgaria is part of the Digital National Alliance, which is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide more young people, especially girls, digital skills training in Bulgaria in an effort to assist grow the ICT sector in Bulgaria. Digital National Alliance is part of the initiative of the European Commission Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition.
What? The Service Learning Accelerator consisted of eight VMware employees who were from Sofia, Bulgaria. The local team were passionate in helping their local community and to provide more opportunities for the kids in Bulgaria to be exposed to IT The Service Learning Accelerator team helped CoderDojo Bulgaria develop new curriculum and helped train 74 individuals who were eager to expand new offerings to their students. The group included CoderDojo mentors and champions, teachers from schools within Sofia and from outside of Sofia, Grade 8 students from the Technological School Electronic Systems (TUES) and the CoderDojo Bulgaria staff. The Service Learning Accelerator focused on:
1. Micro:bit – Micro:bit is a tiny programmable computer designed to encourage children to get actively involved in writing software for computers and building new things, rather than being consumers of media. CoderDojo Bulgaria asked the Service Learning Accelerator team to help create three curricula for 1) teaching Micro:bit to kids at a basic level, 2) teaching Micro:bit to girls, and; 3) teaching Micro:bit to kids at an intermediate level. Each curriculum consisted of five lessons.
2. MIT App Inventor – MIT App Inventor allows students to build apps for smartphones and tablets. CoderDojo Bulgaria asked the Service Learning Accelerator team to develp a new MIT App Inventor course offering to encourage more kids to learn about computing. The MIT App Inventor curriculum had seven lessons.
3. Strategy Sessions – The Service Learning Accelerator team helped CoderDojo Bulgaria team develop a growth strategy to help them expand CoderDojo Bulgaria.
Potential Impact: Approximately 2,000 students aged 7 – 17 years old are estimated to benefit from the new offerings. In addition, CoderDojo Bulgaria will serve as a pilot and example for other CoderDojos in the European Union.
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