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Encouraging Girls to Participate in Computer Science
 

Encouraging Girls to Participate in Computer Science

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This presentation was used for a TCEA Technology Applications & Computer Science Special Interest (TA/CS-SIG) webinar entitled "Encouraging Girls to Participate in Computer Science". View a recording ...

This presentation was used for a TCEA Technology Applications & Computer Science Special Interest (TA/CS-SIG) webinar entitled "Encouraging Girls to Participate in Computer Science". View a recording of the webinar held January 9, 2014 at: http://tcea.adobeconnect.com/p260ure38il/

Description: Are girls in your high school missing from your Computer Science program? High school and college Computer Science programs traditionally have fewer girls than boys, which translates into fewer women pursuing careers in computer science. This webinar will share reasons why girls might be avoiding computer science, easy ways you can encourage girls to join or stay in your computer science program, and reasons why diversity is important in your computer science classroom and in the workplace.

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  • Welcome! Tonight’s 20-minute rundown is entitled “Encouraging Girls to Participate in Computer Science”Hosted by TCEA and the TCEA Technology Applications & Computer Science Special Interest Group (TA/CS-SIG)Please be sure to download the PDF of this presentation located in the bottom right corner of your screen.
  • While I tell you about myself, would you please tell me your name and what you do in the Chat box?Kim Garcia, serve as Secretary/Treasurer for TA/CS-SIGEducational Technology Coordinator for Georgetown ISD in Georgetown, TexasFormer Computer Science and Webmastering teacher.
  • Computer Science teachers in the audience, can you estimate the percentage of your students who are female? Please share your answer in the Chat box.The highest overall percentage of girls in my courses was 13%. If I looked at CS I, CS II, and CS III separately, the percentage dropped sharply in each successive course.As a beginning teacher, I knew that I wanted more girls to become interested in computer science and to stay in my classes, but I wasn’t sure how to do that.I hope to share some research and some insighton how to encourage girls to participate in and stick with computer science!
  • Did you know that:In elementary school, girls like science as much as boys do?Girls and boys who take the AP Computer Science exam score equally?Since gender doesn’t impact computer science ability, let’s look at some factors that may influence girls’ decisions.
  • Girls’ perceptions of Computer Science may be holding them back90% of girls want to go into careers that help people. Girls may not thinkof computer science as a field that helps people. They may think of more traditional female gender roles such as teacher, nurse, doctor.Girls think that a computer scientist is a geeky guy who likes to be alone at a computer or gaming console. The TV show “The Big Bang Theory” does a lot to perpetuate the stereotypical scientist. Computer scientists are perceived as having traits that are incompatible with the female gender role…that they lack interpersonal skills and that they are completely focused on computers.Girls don’t feel they fit in to the computer science environment/classroom
  • Girls’ perceptions of their own abilitiesGirls feel people are born with fixed abilities, especially in math. Girls often give up instead of working through difficulties.Research by Carol Dweck, Ph.D. “Of all the subjects on earth, people think math is the most fixed,” Dweck said. “It’s a gift, you either have it or you don’t. And that it’s most indicative of your intelligence.” For many boys, believing math is a fixed ability doesn’t hamper achievement — they just assume they have it, Dweck said. But girls don’t seem to possess that same confidence, and in their efforts to achieve perfection, Dweck’s research shows they shy away from subjects where they might fail.Girls often perceive that some boys’ bravado or boastful way of speaking means that the boy is more knowledgeable than the girls. Personal story.
  • 1. RecruitmentReach out to able female students through collaborative projects with student government, yearbook, newspaper, honor society, sports teams, etc.Try to recruit friendship groups so that female students will not feel isolated in your computer science class.Have current or past female students visit other classes to briefly show/tell how computing relates to interests like health, fashion, forensics, etc.Inform guidance counselors (academic advisors), other teachers (math, science, engineering), and parents (PTA/PTSA) about the opportunities in computing and why it is important for female students to study computer science. Request that they especially encourage girls to take your class.
  • 2. Make people aware of stereotypesDiscuss stereotypes and find out what the students consider a stereotypical computer scientist to be.Dispel the stereotype Describe the characteristics of computing occupations. Emphasize that computing jobs are flexible because they let you work in any industry in any part of the country, that they require working with others such as team members and clients, that women in computing occupations are on average more satisfied with their jobs than women in other occupations, and that job openings will be plentiful and salaries high.Help students understand how computer science helps people Give students specific information about computing careers that accomplish tasks they consider important. For example, computer scientists create clothing that aids blind people in navigating their environment; they write software for cochlear implants that let deaf people hear; they create secure databases for recording human rights abuses while shielding victim and witness identities; they create tools that help ordinary people collect extraordinary amounts of money for important causes.Be conscious that your students may not want to think of themselves as nerds or geeks. Be inclusive in your language and the images you use. For example, use a gender mix or gender indeterminate names in your assignments
  • 3. Show female role modelsWhile discussing the history of computer science, include women pioneers in the industry and prominent women computer scientists.Invite former female students who are studying computer science in college or who have internships or jobs in computer science to speak to your classes. Invite math, science, and engineering classes to attend the talk.Invite local female computer scientists to speak to your class. Make connections through your Chamber of Commerce or through one of the organizations listed in this Top 10 Women in Tech Organizations article. This is a GREAT list – please check it out.
  • 4. Decorate your classroom with objects that are not considered stereotypical of computer scienceFor example, Star Trek and video games are stereotypical, while nature posters and phone books are not. Those will appeal to students of both genders.Decorate your classroom with images of women leaders in computing, group pictures of students (if female students are in the pictures), or artifacts from past projects.
  • 5. Provide praise and encouragement for girls AND boys (the right kind of praise)I recommend you read the article below on “Giving Good Praise”!Emphasize that computer science skills (and all skills, really) are learned through a process of setbacks (“failures”) and overcoming challenges.Praise students for:the process or strategy they are using to think through a problem or a segment of codetaking on a hard thing and sticking to it
  • 6. Teach with social and hands-on learning activitiesPair programming – pair female students. Share personal story.Promote the social and teamwork aspects of computer science in a blended-learning environment. Have students post proposed problem solutions or programs to a class discussion board in Schoology or Edmodo. Students make suggestions for improving each other’s code, praise each other’s work, and learn from other student’s strategies.
  • 7. Recruit female students to attend camps with a focus on women in computer science, help them find internshipsUniversity of Texas at Austin’s FirstBytes campNCWIT’s Aspirations in Computing lists camps, internships, and more
  • 8.Introduce programming early. Some ways to do this:Organize or lead Code.org’s Hour of Code events at Grades K-8Texas Technology Applications TEKS require that students be exposed to programming languages as early as Grades K-2. Work with your district leadership to ensure that the Technology Applications TEKS related to programming are implemented in K-2, 3-5, and 6-8.Free Apps and websites: Kodable (iPad), Hopscotch (iPad), Scratch, AliceRobotics: Play-I, Lego NXT MindstormsBoard Games: Robot Turtles
  • Reasons Why Diversity is Important in Your Computer Science Classroom and in the WorkplaceIt may lead to innovations in science and engineering, since people from different backgrounds bring diverse approaches to problem-solving—in the classroom, laboratories, and on the job—that can improve our daily lives.Women, perhaps because of their experience caring for babies and children, have invented technologies useful for child care, such as disposable diapers, folding cribs, and the baby-changing stations found in public bathrooms.More diversity (gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background) helps guard against bias and may lead to new ideas that will improve life for everyoneHelp boys and girls understand why diversity is important. Don’t exclude or marginalize boys in your quest to recruit and retain girls!
  • Thank you so much for joining us this evening! Please connect with us, and be sure to download the PDF of this presentation, which includes links to the great resources and research that made this presentation possible!

Encouraging Girls to Participate in Computer Science Encouraging Girls to Participate in Computer Science Presentation Transcript

  • TA/CS-SIG 20-Minute Rundown Encouraging Girls to Participate in Computer Science
  • Presenter: Kim Garcia  TCEA’s Technology Applications & Computer Science Special Interest Group (TA/CS-SIG) Secretary/Treasurer  Educational Technology Coordinator, Georgetown ISD, Georgetown, Texas  Former High School Computer Science and Webmastering Teacher
  • What Percentage of Your Computer Science Students are Female? Kim's CS Enrollment Male Female 13% 87%
  • Did You Know?  In elementary school, girls like science as much as boys do  Girls and boys who take the AP Computer Science exam score equally Source: Edudemic, “Why Are Girls Not Pursuing Computer Science Degrees?”, by Katie Lepi, October 12, 2013 http://www.edudemic.com/girls-computer-science-degrees/
  • Reasons Girls Might Be Avoiding Computer Science 1. Girls’ Perception of Computer Science  Computer Science doesn’t help people  Computer scientists are geeky guys who like to be alone at a computer or with a gaming console  Girls don’t feel they fit in to the computer science classroom / environment Sources: Edudemic, “Why Are Girls Not Pursuing Computer Science Degrees?”, by Katie Lepi, October 12, 2013 http://www.edudemic.com/girls-computer-science-degrees/ “Ambient belonging: how stereotypical cues impact gender participation in computer science,” by Cheryan, Plaut, Davies, and Steele, December 2009 http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/a0016239
  • Reasons Girls Might Be Avoiding Computer Science 2. Girls’ Perception of Their Own Abilities  Girls feel people are born with fixed abilities, especially in math. Girls often give up instead of working through difficulties.  Girls perceive boys’ bravado or boasting means that boys are more knowledgeable than girls Sources: Mind/Shift, “Giving Good Praise to Girls: What Messages Stick”, by Katrina Schwartz, April 24, 2013 http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/04/giving-good-praise-to-girls-what-messages-stick/ Featuring the research of Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. https://www.stanford.edu/dept/psychology/cgi-bin/drupalm/system/files/cdweckmathgift.pdf
  • Ways to Encourage Girls to Join or Stay in Computer Science 1. Recruitment  Reach out to female students through collaborative projects with campus clubs/organizations and classes  Recruit friend groups so female students won’t feel isolated  Current female students visit other classes to explain how computer science relates  Meet with guidance counselors, teachers, and parents to share opportunities in computer science Source: NCWIT, “Top 10 Ways of Recruiting High School Women into Your Computing Classes” https://www.ncwit.org/resources/top-10-ways-recruiting-high-school-women-your-computing-classes/top-10-ways-recruiting
  • Ways to Encourage Girls to Join or Stay in Computer Science 2. Make People Aware of Stereotypes  Discuss stereotypes with all students and find out what they consider a stereotypical computer scientist to be  Dispel the stereotype  Help students understand how computer science helps people  Be conscious that your students may not want to think of themselves as nerds or geeks Sources: NCWIT, “Top 10 Ways of Recruiting High School Women into Your Computing Classes” https://www.ncwit.org/resources/top-10-ways-recruiting-high-school-women-your-computing-classes/top-10-ways-recruiting Edudemic, “Why Are Girls Not Pursuing Computer Science Degrees?”, by Katie Lepi, October 12, 2013 http://www.edudemic.com/girls-computer-science-degrees/
  • Ways to Encourage Girls to Join or Stay in Computer Science 3. Show Female Role Models  Discuss pioneering and prominent women in the field of computer science  Invite former female computer science students to speak  Invite local female computer scientists to speak. • Make connections through your city’s Chamber of Commerce or through one of the Top 10 Women in Tech Organizations: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-newmark/10-women-intech-orgs-you-should-know_b_4005325.html Sources: NCWIT, “Top 10 Ways of Recruiting High School Women into Your Computing Classes” https://www.ncwit.org/resources/top-10-ways-recruiting-high-school-women-your-computing-classes/top-10-ways-recruiting Edudemic, “Why Are Girls Not Pursuing Computer Science Degrees?”, by Katie Lepi, October 12, 2013 http://www.edudemic.com/girls-computer-science-degrees/
  • Ways to Encourage Girls to Join or Stay in Computer Science 4. Decorate Classroom with Non-Stereotypical Objects Star Trek and video games  Nature posters and phone books • Some images that include women: computing leaders, group pictures of students x Sources: NCWIT, “Top 10 Ways of Recruiting High School Women into Your Computing Classes” https://www.ncwit.org/resources/top10-ways-recruiting-high-school-women-your-computing-classes/top-10-ways-recruiting “Ambient belonging: how stereotypical cues impact gender participation in computer science,” by Cheryan, Plaut, Davies, and Steele, December 2009 http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/a0016239
  • Ways to Encourage Girls to Join or Stay in Computer Science 5. Praise and Encouragement for Girls and Boys  Emphasize that computer science skills are learned through a process of setbacks and overcoming challenges  Praise students for: • • The process or strategy they are using to think through a problem or a segment of code Taking on a challenge and sticking to it Sources: Mind/Shift, “Giving Good Praise to Girls: What Messages Stick”, by Katrina Schwartz, April 24, 2013 http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/04/giving-good-praise-to-girls-what-messages-stick/ NCWIT, “Top 10 Ways of Recruiting High School Women into Your Computing Classes” https://www.ncwit.org/resources/top10-ways-recruiting-high-school-women-your-computing-classes/top-10-ways-recruiting Edudemic, “Why Are Girls Not Pursuing Computer Science Degrees?”, by Katie Lepi, October 12, 2013 http://www.edudemic.com/girls-computer-science-degrees/
  • Ways to Encourage Girls to Join or Stay in Computer Science 6. Social and Hands-on Learning Activities  Pair programming  Promote social and teamwork aspects of computer science in a blended learning environment (Schoology, Edmodo) Source: Edudemic, “Why Are Girls Not Pursuing Computer Science Degrees?”, by Katie Lepi, October 12, 2013 http://www.edudemic.com/girls-computer-science-degrees/
  • Ways to Encourage Girls to Join or Stay in Computer Science 7. Computer Science Camps & Internships for Girls  University of Texas at Austin’s FirstBytes camp https://www.cs.utexas.edu/outreach/first-bytes  NCWIT Aspirations in Computing https://www.aspirations.org/participate/opportunities
  • Ways to Encourage Girls to Join or Stay in Computer Science 8. Introduce Programming Early  Code.org’s Hour of Code at Grades K-8  Texas Technology Applications TEKS Grades K- 2, 3-5, and 6-8 require that students be exposed to programming languages  Free Apps and Websites: Kodable (iPad), Hopscotch (iPad), Scratch, Alice  Robotics: play-i Bo & Yana, Lego Mindstorms  Board Games: Robot Turtles Source: Edudemic, “Why Are Girls Not Pursuing Computer Science Degrees?”, by Katie Lepi, October 12, 2013 http://www.edudemic.com/girls-computer-science-degrees/
  • Why Diversity is Important in Computer Science  May lead to innovation. People bring different approaches to problem solving.  Women have invented technologies useful in child care, for example, because of their unique experiences  More diversity (gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background) helps guard against bias and may lead to new ideas that will improve life for everyone  Help boys and girls understand why diversity is important. Don’t exclude or marginalize boys in your quest to recruit and retain girls! Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education: “More Gender Diversity Will Mean Better Science,” by Sue V. Rosser, October 29, 2012 http://chronicle.com/article/More-Gender-Diversity-Will/135310/
  • Women in Computer Science Resources  University of Texas at Austin’s FirstBytes camp https://www.cs.utexas.edu/outreach/firstbytes  National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT): http://www.ncwit.org/  NCWIT Aspirations in Computing https://www.aspirations.org/participate/opportunities  UT Austin’s Women in Engineering Program on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/utwep/  Huffington Post: “10 Women in Tech Orgs You Should Know” by Craig Newmark on September 27, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-newmark/10-women-in-techorgs-you-should-know_b_4005325.html  American Association of University Women (AAUW) supports computer science education – find your local group: http://www.aauw.org/article/hour-of-code/
  • Introduce Programming Early Resources  Code.org’s Hour of Code http://code.org/  Texas Technology Applications TEKS http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter126/  Kodable app (iPad) http://www.surfscore.com/  Hopscotch app (iPad) https://www.gethopscotch.com/  Scratch http://scratch.mit.edu/  Alice http://www.alice.org/  play-i https://www.play-i.com/  Lego Mindstorms http://mindstorms.lego.com  Robot Turtles http://www.robotturtles.com/
  • Presentation Resources  Edudemic: “Why Are Girls Not Pursuing Computer Science Degrees?” by Katie Lepi on October 12, 2013 http://www.edudemic.com/girls-computer-science-degrees/  NCWIT: “Top 10 Ways of Recruiting High School Women into Your Computing Classes” https://www.ncwit.org/resources/top-10-ways-recruiting-high-school-women-your-computing-classes/top10-ways-recruiting  Mind/Shift: “Giving Good Praise to Girls: What Messages Stick” by Katrina Schwartz on April 24, 2013 http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/04/giving-good-praise-to-girls-what-messages-stick/  Huffington Post: “10 Women in Tech Orgs You Should Know” by Craig Newmark on September 27, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-newmark/10-women-in-tech-orgs-you-should-know_b_4005325.html  The Chronicle of Higher Education: “More Gender Diversity Will Mean Better Science” by Sue V. Rosser on October 29, 2012 http://chronicle.com/article/More-Gender-Diversity-Will/135310/  The Stereotypical Computer Scientist: Gendered Media Representations as a Barrier to Inclusion for Women http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11199-013-0296-x  Ambient belonging: How stereotypical cues impact gender participation in computer science http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/a0016239
  • Questions & Discussion + Connect with Kim, TCEA, & TA/CS-SIG  Questions & Discussion  Connect with Kim Garcia – Twitter: @DigitalLearners – Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/digitallearners/computer-science-education/ – Diigo: https://www.diigo.com/user/digitallearners/Computer_Science  Connect with TCEA: http://www.tcea.org/  Join TA/CS-SIG: http://www.tcea.org/membership/sigs/tacs-sig