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Digital Divas : Putting the Wow into Computing for Girls (Paperback) (Julie Fisher & Catherine Lang &
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There is ample literature detailing lack of interest girls particularly in their later teen years show in computing generally and the subsequent decline in the number of women entering the IT workforce. In 2007, to address this problem, we trialled a new and revolutionary program designed to excite girls' interest in Information Technology (IT); we called our program 'Digital Divas'. As far as we know there has only been one other longer term intervention program which was run in the United Kingdom, designed to change girls' perceptions of IT. Our program was unique because it ran in schools as part of the school curriculum. The underlying philosophy of Digital Divas was that if we provided educationally sound materials that tapped into the interest of girls, delivered in all-girl classes within the school curriculum we could change girls' perceptions of IT careers. The pilot program was a success and this led us to design a larger project the outcomes of which are the subject of this book. The authors all have backgrounds in secondary teaching and three also have an IT background. The project ran for three years and was implemented in nine secondary schools in Victoria and one in New South Wales. Digital Divas ran usually as an elective over 10-12 weeks or a school semester and all the class were girls only. Many of the schools elected to run the program for more than one semester. We collected a significant amount of pre and post qualitative and quantitative data from both teachers and students at the school. We also conducted a number of focus groups at the schools one or two years after the girls had undertaken Digital Divas. As a result of the data collected we are able to conclusively demonstrate among other things that such a program can increase girls' self-efficacy with IT, change their stereotypical image of IT being only for men and boys and have them seriously consider IT as a career option. This book details the rationale and motivation we had for designing Digital Divas, the evaluation planning and framework which underpinned both the design of the program and the research, the research approach and data gathered and the results. We also discuss the wider impact of the program. Finally wed reflect on what has been learned, the things that worked, those that did not and what surprised us in the hope that others may benefit from our experience.
Number of Pages: 197
Sub-Genre: Computers + Technology
Series Title: Education
Publisher: Intl Specialized Book Services
Author: Julie Fisher & Catherine Lang & Annemieke Craig & Helen Forgasz
Street Date: January 1, 2016
Item Number (DPCI): 248-08-6184
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