“A wasted opportunity for inclusion” – new publication on programming in school

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.


Could Code Clubs be a New Arena for Increasing Girls’ Digital Interest and Competence?

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).

Two new publications – open access

Fjordantologien 2017 is out, and I’m involved in two chapters – all open access!

Kapittel 4: Mediebruk, samfunnsengasjement og sosial kapital i en digital æra: På jakt etter minoritetskvinner sine stemmer

Abstract: This chapter draws from a project studying non-western immigrant women and their use of media related to social engagement. The authors explore social capital, including the digital, analysed through two women’s life biographies, community involvement and media use. Engaged in different arenas they illustrate different manifestations of social capital, one of them shows a high degree of digital social capital, while the other deploys alternative media.


Kapittel 9: Om teknologien som ikke fikk være teknologi – diskurser om velferdsteknologi

Abstract: Inspired by Foucault, we explore meaning created by the health authorities’ policy documents on welfare technology. We explore the meaning construction of a «technology-reducing» claim stating that «welfare technology is not about technology, but about human beings». The scientific essay illustrates how this and similar claims have gained widespread acceptance and discusses some of the effects this type of policy statements has for the users of welfare technology.

Ny rapport: Hvordan møter skolen økt frivillig engasjement for å lære barn koding?

Hilde G. Corneliussen og Lin Prøitz: Hvordan møter skolen økt frivillig engasjement for å lære barn koding? – erfaringer med koding for barn i og utenfor skolen, Vestlandsforsking-rapport nr. 6/2015

Last ned rapporten: http://www.vestforsk.no/rapport/hvordan-moter-skolen-okt-frivillig-engasjement-for-aa-laere-barn-koding

Rapporten beskriver og drøfter funn fra forprosjektet “Innovasjon i utdanning: Hvordan møter skolen økt frivillig engasjement for å lære barn koding? – Erfaringer fra Leikanger kommune”. Hovedmål er å kartlegge erfaringer fra tilbud om koding for barn innenfor og utenfor skolen for å undersøke i hvilken grad dette representerer inkluderende opplæring og hvordan det samspiller med skolens oppgave. Som resultat skal forprosjektet identifisere hvilke kunnskapsbehov skolen har i møtet med den frivillige bevegelsen som har trådt inn som en ny premissleverandør for barns digitale kompetanse. Første del er i sin helhet utført av forskerne Hilde G. Corneliussen og Lin Prøitz, mens andre del er basert på skolens egen evaluering av kodeaktivitet i skolen, der Corneliussen og Prøitz har bidratt med dialog og fungert som forfattere i rapporten. Studien er godkjent av Personvernforbunet for forskning, Norsk samfunnsvitenskapelig datatjeneste.