Home Health The first (and last) CoderDojo in Montecitorio

The first (and last) CoderDojo in Montecitorio

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There was the “Quinta” crying with joy (Quinta: Stefano Quintarelli, pioneer of the Italian Web, at one point deputy and later father of the Spid that we use in many). La Boldrini who laughed (Laura Boldrini, Speaker of the House, that day in a mood he rarely showed in that legislature). The children who had fun making fun of their parents (the children: 80 brought to Montecitorio for a computer programming laboratory, when asked they answered that mom and dad weren’t capable). AND Benedetta, one of the 80 children, who at one point put some fresh fruit on a counter, connected it as in an electrical circuit to an Arduino controller and started playing Mameli’s hymn with apples. The hymn with apples. Yup.

What a day it was that October 17, 2014, when at Montecitorio there was a CoderDojo, which we thought was the first of a series and instead there have been no more. To the point that when we look to the recent past, in this Almanac, we sometimes ask ourselves if we are really moving forward, in terms of digital rights and skills, or rather if we are not experiencing a thermidor (thermidor: setback of a revolutionary process).

But that day was a beautiful party and luckily some valuable video testimonials remain on YouTube (thanks to Michele Ficara Manganelli). Now, apart from myself considerably younger and thinner, you will be able to recognize what I consider the two architects of that memorable day: Anna Masera, historical digital journalist of the Press, the newspaper from which she had taken a leave of absence to lead the press office the Chamber of Laura Boldrini; and Agnese Addone, an incomparable teacher who, if I remember correctly at the time, led the CoderDojo in Rome. Speaking of which: CoderDojo is an international volunteer organization that promotes computer use among children; not passive use, but active use, learning to program, to make your own video game for example. In 2014 in Italy there was a lot of talk about it, and they were opening in different cities. I could be wrong but that wind has recently changed direction. It would be a real shame.

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Here Boldrini explains how it works the legislative process for children; here Stefano Quintarelli he is moved; and here is a nice video summary of the day.

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