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Digital Divide: The Special Case of Gender
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Digital Divide: The Special Case of Gender

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This slideshare summarizes the article: The digital divide: the special case of gender. Cooper, J. (2007). The digital divide: The special case of gender. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 23. p. …

This slideshare summarizes the article: The digital divide: the special case of gender. Cooper, J. (2007). The digital divide: The special case of gender. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 23. p. 320-334.

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  • 1. The digital divide: the special case of gender Cooper, J. (2007). The digital divide: The special case of gender.  Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 23.  p. 320-334. Summary
  • 2. Summary
    • A gender digital divide disadvantages women because the best opportunities in technology go to a disproportional high percentage of men.
    • As technology in the workplace continues to grow, there is evidence that the gender divide will continue to grow.
  • 3. Summary – Research Indicates:
    • Women own and use computers less than men.
    • Women take fewer technology courses.
    • Women do not enjoy using computers as much as men.
    • Women are less like to graduate with degrees in Information Technology.
    • Boys have more positive attitudes towards computers as early as kindergarten.
  • 4. Summary – The Gender Divide through time and the world.
    • Computer anxiety has been shown to plague more women than men since at least 1980, and continues today.
    • The gender divide is evident worldwide.
  • 5. Summary – Let’s Break it down: Gender Stereotype
    • Competitive, violent and adventure games (“boy-toy games”) cause anxiety and withdrawal for most girls.
    • When using a gender-neutral game to teach the same skills, girls and boys do equally well.
    • Studies show more negative attitudes and anxiety towards computers among women of all ages.
    • (EXCEPT in situations where there were no males present or in private – very interesting indeed!)
  • 6. Summary – Gender Stereotype
    • Girls prefer software prepared as a learning tool.
    • Boys prefer software prepared as a game.
    • Programmes written for students (mix of girls and boys) are much more like the ones written specifically for boys than the ones written specifically for girls.
  • 7. Summary – Gender specific attibutional patterns
    • Boys believe any success they achieve while using technology is more likely due to their ability.
    • Girls believe any success they achieve while using technology is more likely due to effort or luck.
    • Boys are more likely to believe any failure is due to bad luck or lack of trying.
    • Girls are more likely to believe any failure is due to their own ability – OUCH!
  • 8. Summary - Gender specific attibutional patterns
    • Studies have shown girls’ self-concept of their math ability is more likely to match their parents perceptions than their actual ability. We can expect similar perceptions about technology use.
    • Parents are likely reinforce the notion that success with technology is due to boys’ abilities, and girls’ luck or effort.
  • 9. Summary – Self-fulfilling prophecy
    • It’s well understood that teachers can actually produce the behavior in their students that they hold about them.
    • This means: teachers who believe girls dislike computers or are not good with them will teach to the boys interest and preferences.
  • 10. Summary – Stereotype threat
    • The “confident and able girl is still at risk of succumbing to the negative consequence of the stereotype.” p. 329
    • How is this possible?
    • Girls are aware when there’s a stereotype and put themselves under more pressure.
    • The pressure and will to prove themselves, makes it more likely girls will make a mistake – and this is even more upsetting because girls fear the stereotype being proven true!
  • 11. Summary – Stereotype threat and computer performance study
    • High school females identified by gender on a computer graphing test did significantly worse than females identified by a student number.
    • “ The implication of these findings is that the mere knowledge of a stereotype that holds that girls are not good at computers causes girls to suffer stress when learning from a computer and leads to decrements in computer performance . . . At least when their identify as females is made salient.” p. 331
  • 12. Summary – Let’s Put the Pieces Together
    • Gender stereotype
    • Leads to:
    • Gender-specific attributional patterns
    • And
    • Stereotype threat
    • Leading to
    • Computer Anxiety
    • Which Contributes to the Gender Divide
  • 13. Summary – Even the Playing Field: Suggestions for Change
    • Educational software that is gender neutral – or provide software that appeals to girls.
    • Provide opportunities for girls to work with computers in small all-girl settings.
    • Parents and teachers consciously facilitate and guide girls to view success with computers as more related to their ability – and to failure using computers more to poor luck or their lack of effort.
    • Focus on females in technology as role models.