Our new article (with Fay Tveranger) is out, online, open access for anyone to read!
- Hilde G. Corneliussen and Fay Tveranger. 2018. Programming in secondary schools in Norway – a wasted opportunity for inclusion. In Proceedings of Gender&IT’18, Heilbronn, Germany, May 2018 (Gender&IT’18), ACM, New York, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.1145/3196839.3196867
It will be presented tomorrow at the so far brilliant Gender & IT 2018 conference. For those of you who won’t be there, here’s the abstract, and then go and read the whole thing here: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=3196839.3196867
This paper discusses a pilot introducing programming as anelective in Norwegian secondary schools. Computing is a male dominated field, in Norway as in other European and Western countries. Despite the male dominance in the field, there were no gender inclusion or diversity measures included in the pilot . Theresult is an elective heavily dominated by boys and a wasted chance of attracting girls to computing.
Kids Code in a Rural Village in Norway: Could Code Clubs be a New Arena for Increasing Girls’ Digital Interest and Competence?, in Information, Communication & Society, 19:1, 95-110, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2015.1093529
I published this article together with Lin Prøitz in 2015, and it is now available from ICS and in a postprint version at ResearchGate: https://bit.ly/2HNg5I0
A trend, where voluntary groups teach children and youth basic computer coding skills, has spread throughout the world. After-school clubs invite children to create games in visual programming environments. The activities emphasize play, while teaching principles of computer science. We explore this phenomenon based on observations and interviews at a code club in Norway, asking whether coding represents an important skill for children and how it is distributed to include all children. We find that coding through play activity is perceived as teaching more than simply the technical skills of programming. Although the fun aspect draws in children and volunteers, parents and instructors describe the code club as being about learning to understand and control the computer, and digital competence required for achieving success in society. The Code Club is described partly as being a ‘necessity for becoming a good/efficient/empowered citizen in our digital society’, and partly as ‘children are playing with computers anyway’. These arguments have different consequences for the gender imbalance at the Code Club. Our findings suggest that the code clubs need an explicit recruitment strategy targeting girls in order to become an arena where girls can develop interest and competence in digital technologies.
Read the full article.
This topic has unfortunately only become more relevant and it is urgent to discuss the low proportion of girls participating in programming. In about two weeks I will have a new article out on programming for youth, this time about programming in secondary schools in Norway (together with Fay Tveranger).
Why are there so few women who choose ICT education in Norway? And how can we change this? One strategy is to start early to include girls in ICT and programming classes. Together with Eid vidaregåande we have received funding from the Norwegian Research Council to work with this challenge. Our project is tied to a national pilot for programming in secondary schools, and our goal is to create inclusive programming education where everybody, also girls, can feel that they belong. We collaborate with schools on all levels at Eid, as well as ICT experts from public and private sector and research institutions, and of course the pupils, to create an inclusive environment for programming. Our goal is to reflect how programming and ICT are both relevant and important in many different contexts, and also to present a large variety of ICT experts or “role models” in all kinds and shapes, illustrating that anybody can programme.
Here we are signing the collaboration agreement, the three headmasters and myself.
8 ways you can empower girls to learn coding
1. Know the specific barriers we need to overcome.
2. Start with concrete first steps in your own life.
The lack of women and girls in computer science is a well-documented problem. Now it’s time for the average person to finally do something about it.
Addressing the issue of girls and coding in your community doesn’t require you to start your own nonprofit or advocacy organization. In fact, you can start very small, like choosing to empower a girl you know.
3. Find organizations putting in the work already.
4. Be a role model.
5. Encourage your local school to teach girls how to code.
6. Lead a coding club for girls.
7. Recognize that computer science is an intersectional issue.
8. Understand where girls need to begin, too.
Source: 8 ways you can empower girls to learn coding
Encouraged by the positive feedback from the participants, we agreed that all children should get the chance to try out the basics of programming in a fun, tangible way. Word of a public code club spread through word of mouth and social media, and the registration for the first Code School filled up within an hour. Over 300 children were placed on a waiting list.
“BUT how can we get boys and girls excited about coding?” they ask in the video. By drawing with code!
Code School from Reaktor on Vimeo.
Source: Code School for children and heads of state – Reaktor
Nonprofit Girls Who Code is giving away scholarships to low-income girls who want to take their free summer coding classes. Here’s why.
Roughly 1% of girls study computer science — and just 20% of software developers are women. So Girls Who Code alumni have the potential to add a big influx of women into the STEM pipeline.
Source: Girls Who Code to give $1 million to underprivileged girls – Jan. 19, 2016