April: Focus on Online Safety & Dojo Recommended Practices


  • CoderDojo Foundation

    Online Safety Tips & Advice:

    The internet has become an integral part of lives of young people around the world. Young people start using computers from an early age and are increasingly using the internet whether at home, in school, or on their mobile phones. This month one of our focuses is on online safety. Parents and volunteers should understand enough about the internet to keep young people safe from harm. It is equally important that we equip youths with skills and knowledge so they can utilise the internet positively and responsibly. By raising awareness of online safety with younger children, it will help them avoid making mistakes and learn how to use the internet safely and more effectively as they get older.

    This month we will be releasing

    Best practices for Dojos:

    Dojos are run by volunteer Mentors and Champions from communities all across the world. It is vital, in order to keep Dojos a fun and safe social space, that all adults involved with the Dojo are aware of the best practices for safeguarding the young people attending their Dojos.

    As part of our Erasmus+ project “Training in ICT Programming Skills” Dojos worldwide developed an extensive set of guiding principles that Dojos can consult and choose to meet. These E+ Recommended Practices are styled in the ‘Sushi Card’ format, and serve as a guide for new and existing Dojos in the areas of Recruitment, Dojo development, Child Protection, Recognition, Entrepreneurship & Dissemination.

    Separate to these extensive practices recommended by Dojos themselves, we have updated policy documents that Dojos can learn from, and are part of CoderDojo Tao! These best practice principles were piloted in Summer/Autumn 2014 and launched in Summer 2015. This month we are releasing the updated versions of these policy documents ahead of the full relaunch of CoderDojo Tao in September.

    This month we will be releasing:

    • Erasmus+ Recommended Practices

    • Updated CoderDojo Tao (Best Practices) Policy documents

    What’s next?

    This month we will also be working on our new E-learning Module focusing on Safeguarding Children. If you have any insights or thoughts in relation to this applicable to CoderDojos around the world then please do let us know below!

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  • CoderDojo Foundation

    Check out our first online safety release!

    Online Safety Guidelines for Ninjas!

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    Let us know what you think below & we'll have an exciting competition coming up for you soon in relation to online safety & best practices!



  • DOJO BEST PRACTICE: Use an email address with your dojo's domain name

    Today I came across a Git Repo by Richard McDuff who has written up a good getting started guide for new dojo's. In this guide he suggested to create an email address for the dojo with the example of a Gmail address. I proposed a change for this concerning safety matters.

    I am the chairman for the CoderDojo Foundation in The Netherlands and we support almost 70 dojo's at the moment. When dealing with internet presence we always stress the importance of using an email address connected to your domain name. Often we will even set this up for new dojo's ourselves as well.

    Why? Simply, for security reasons! This month is safety awareness month at CoderDojo HQ. So to give a little more background on this train of thought; if you are using a generic email provider (gmail, hotmail, yahoo, etc.) it's very easy for someone else to create a similar email address (we have seen e.g. coderdojogeekville@gmail.com VS geekvillecoderdojo@gmail.com happen in The Netherlands) and act as if he / she belongs to the dojo. When the dojo uses an email address with the dojo's domain name, the recipient can be more assured they are dealing with the actual dojo instead of an imposter!

    To see my Pull Request and future discussion about this please see https://github.com/richardmacduff/coderDojoTools/pull/1


  • Moderators

    It just move the entry cost for security from "free" (gmail account) to ~10€ (domain name cost). I could register coderdojonl.org tomorrow and do the same thing :/
    It's probably a good practice when you are a regional body, but I believe a specific domain/website per dojo is far from useful/necessary.
    It feels nice, it's more unique but that's where it ends really :p



  • Well, all our dojo's do have specific domain names. They are also registered and verified through Zen and coderdojo.nl shows only verified zen dojos. So that closes the circle, if a dojo uses a domain which is verified by Zen and therefore shows on coderdojo.nl you know it is the same people. We also provide dojo's with domain names for free (CoderDojo NL pays the bill) so in our case it is even free for a dojo. Obviously it's not a 100% safety-guarentee, but as we learned during the workshop @ dojocon 2016, it is just another extra that might discourage anyone willing to do harm.


  • Moderators

    Pretty good, indeed! I really like that you provide domain names :)
    Security is all about tradeoff : in this case, the entry-cost for faking an email is higher, so yes, it's a security improvement for free considering your regional body provides them :)
    Can it be a best practice, still? It has a cost, not in your case, but that's not everybody's scenario. @Nuala-Nic-Éil Is there restrictions/criterias on what we can provide as good practice?


  • CoderDojo Foundation

    Hey G+C, we provide Dojo emails (Which is generally formated as Dojoname.countycode@coderdojo.com) to Dojos who are registered and in the process of getting verified on the Community Platform (zen.coderdojo.com). However, this is optional and some Dojo groups already have their own email set up for the Dojo and prefer to use this. It isn't mentioned in either of the documents created as part of the E+ project. But yes, I do agree with aspects of both of ye.
    Yes people can buy domain names, but as a general rule a Dojo should really only contact you with their official Dojo email address which is publicly viewable on their Dojo Profile page so that people can check it.
    If people are ever in doubt about an email they received, its content or what information is being asked (Dojos are always free, so an email asking for money/bank details etc. would be a major warning sign) they should highlight it to us at info@coderdojo.com
    As far as I am aware this has never been an issue for us here, but always good to be aware :slight_smile:


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