Volunteer

Becoming a volunteer facilitator for OurKidsCode offers you the opportunity to bring OurKidsCode Family Coding Clubs to your local community.

 

My confidence has grown as I’ve gone along and tackled the various issues that come up. I really enjoy solving problems and there’s a great spirit of cooperation in the workshops, with parents, children and facilitator working together to overcome the challenges of the online format.
                                                – Mary, OurKidsCode Volunteer

What’s involved in the training?

The training you will receive is based on the model we have developed for establishing a family coding club. Our team here in Trinity College Dublin will provide free training for you and any other volunteers in your area.   This training will fully prepare you on how to get started setting up and running a club.  Training takes place over a two week period, and typically involves four workshops of approximately 1 hour each.  This training can be delivered online or in person, where we have a cohort of volunteers in a particular geographical area.  You will receive a Certificate of Completion from Trinity College Dublin to certify that you have been trained to run OurKidsCode workshops.

What will I do after I’ve been trained?

As the volunteer facilitator, your role is to recruit families in your area and share information about the upcoming club dates.  The model you will be trained on is a scaffolded approach.   The role of the facilitators during the first session is very hands on, but by the end of the four weeks the families are working together to plan and run the sessions.  

It is the goal of our project that the families will continue, with your support and our support, beyond this four week period.  However, there is no obligation on volunteer facilitators or families to continue.

Who is this training suitable for?

Applicants should be already be working with families with primary-aged children and have an opportunity to run workshops in a venue and time that such families can attend – we have found after school works well. You might be a parent, community leader, teacher or grandparent!

What venues are suitable?

The venue may be in the context of a local primary school, your local Broadband Connection Point (BCP), library or a community centre.  The aim is to encourage the families to sustain further meetings independently, although your support may be sought from time to time!

Is there any cost involved?

The training is provided for free by Trinity College Dublin for this pilot phase funded under the SFI Discover Award.   We will supply the club with an OurKidsCode Kit to get you started with the four-week model.  If your club continues and grows beyond this, you may need to buy additional materials and equipment.  Funding may be available locally to support this.

Are you interested in volunteering as a facilitator?

Are you interested in bringing OurKidsCode to the families in your local community? OKC will give you the tools to learn how to host meetings of curious children and their families to help de-mystify computer programming for our next generation of computer users and makers. 

Training is provided by OurKidsCode and aims to give you the tools you need to introduce interested families to the world of coding in a fun and engaging way. 

Interested? Sign up for email updates and an invitation to the next available training session. 

 

Read more about the experience of being an OurKidsCode Facilitator:

I signed up to be a facilitator for Our Kids Code because I’m enthusiastic about getting children into STEM subjects, I enjoy a challenge and I loved the idea of creating opportunities for parents and children to learn together.

The workshops are very enjoyable to deliver. No two workshops are the same because no two groups of families are the same, so there’s always something new to learn and experience and I love that. The most rewarding moments are when I see parents and children cooperating with each other on a shared task and then their shared triumph when it all comes together and the micro:bit lights up and does what they’ve asked it to do. When it comes to the coding, children often take the lead because they’re less nervous of the IT but I love when parents come in saying that they’re put off by technology and then get stuck in and surprise themselves by enjoying it. The workshops aim to encourage families to help each other when one gets a bit stuck, and I think it’s brilliant to foster that independence.

My confidence has grown as I’ve gone along and tackled the various issues that come up. I really enjoy solving problems and there’s a great spirit of cooperation in the workshops, with parents, children and facilitator working together to overcome the challenges of the online format.

As an OurKidsCode facilitator, it helps to be able to convey enthusiasm about technology and coding, but it’s really about creating an atmosphere of fun and cooperation where children and parents feel safe to explore, to make mistakes and to ask for help. For me, the real satisfaction comes from seeing families develop their confidence around IT and simply enjoy being together in that space.

Mary O’Mahony, Cork

Completed training to deliver OurKidsCode workshops online, Summer 2021