Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Crombie, G. (1999). Research on Young Women in Computer Science: Promoting High Technology for Girls.
When the public school system of Ontario, Canada, began offering an all-female computer science course for girls in grade 11, female enrollment in computer science increased to approximately 40%. This increased enrollment level has been maintained for 3 years. The new course's effects on girls' attitudes were examined in a survey of 184 grade 11 students enrolled in the Ontario computer science course. The sample included 45 girls enrolled in all-female sections of the course and 114 boys and 25 girls enrolled in mixed-gender sections of the course. Girls from the all-female classes and boys reported similar levels of perceived teacher support and similar levels of confidence and intrinsic value, whereas girls from the mixed-gender classes reported less perceived support, lacked the confidence of their peers, and did not enjoy working with computers as much as boys or the girls from the all-female sections of the course did. A successful summer camp program to increase elementary students' understanding of and skills in science and engineering was described along with efforts to promote high technology for girls. The strategy included building a consensus with a local high-technology firm to develop a proactive enrollment strategy and positive learning environment and talking with female students to diminish sex stereotypes.
Farmer, L., & American Library, A. (2008). Teen Girls and Technology: What's the Problem, What's the Solution?. ALA Editions.
Are teenage girls being left behind in the technology race? According to author and professor Lesley Farmer, teenage girls are not embracing technology and all of its potential impact on their futures. In "Teen Girls and Technology", Farmer explores the developmental issues of teen girls, including the reality of girls and tech as it now stands. She addresses adults who work with teenage girls and offers ideas for reframing technology use by girls in terms of empowering their personal and professional growth. In the last section, she provides concrete activities that adults can use to bring teenage girls into a deeper relationship with technology and its applications. Concerned adults will discover: (1) Recommended interventions and strategies to motivate girls; (2) How to create a positive environment around technology use; (3) Institutional and family-based solutions for gaining technology skills; and (4) Connections between technology and career success for teenage girls. To offset society's perception of girls as technophobic, educators, librarians, and caring adults must actively reach out with programs to engage girls with technology. Only then will their interventions open the doors for success.
Heemskerk, I., Dam, G. t., & Admiraal, W. (2009). Gender Inclusiveness in Educational Technology and Learning Experiences of Girls and Boys. Journal Of Research On Technology In Education, 41(3), 253-276.
The use of technology (information and communication technology, ICT) in secondary education is an important aspect of the current curriculum and of teachers' pedagogy. Learning supported by computers is supposed to be motivating for students and is, therefore, assumed to have positive effects on learning experiences and results. However, the question remains whether these motivating effects are equal for all students. Although the gender gap in the use of ICT and knowledge about it has diminished, there are still indications that the use of technology in education affects girls and boys differently. The present empirical study focuses on the relationship between the inclusiveness of educational tools and the learning experiences of girls and boys. The results show that gender scripts are embedded in educational tools, which are reinforced in classroom practice and affect learner experiences. A greater inclusiveness of the tools appears to improve the participation of students, enhances positive attitudes toward learning and technology, and improves the learning effects as reported by girls and boys. Girls especially tend to benefit from the inclusiveness of educational tools.
Hohlfeld, T., Ritzhaupt, A., & Barron, A. (2013). Are gender differences in perceived and demonstrated technology literacy significant? It depends on the model. Educational Technology Research & Development, 61(4), 639-663. doi:10.1007/s11423-013-9304-7
This paper examines gender differences related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) literacy using two valid and internally consistent measures with eighth grade students ( N = 1,513) from Florida public schools. The results of t test statistical analyses, which examined only gender differences in demonstrated and perceived ICT skills, indicate significant differences in all areas in favor of females. Females had higher factor scores in perception measures for Frequency of Computer Use, Perceived ICT Skills, and Attitudes toward Computers. In addition, female students had significantly higher scores on all six sections from the Student Tool for Technology Literacy, a performance-based assessment. These results counter many empirical research studies that show males generally perform better with ICT skills and have overall better attitudes toward computers than their female counterparts. However, when adding predictors to the model and using multilevel modeling statistical methods, findings indicate that gender was no longer significant. These findings question the importance of the gender differences related to ICT skills that were found with previous statistical examinations. Using more advanced statistical methods to answer research questions pertaining to ICT skills is important in order to determine which factors have the greatest potential for intervention programs that focus on developing equitable ICT skills and career choices for all students.
Koch, M., Gorges, T., & Penuel, W. R. (2012). Build IT: Scaling and Sustaining an Afterschool Computer Science Program for Girls. Afterschool Matters, (16), 58-66.
"Co-design"--including youth development staff along with curriculum designers--is the key to developing an effective program that is both scalable and sustainable. This article describes Build IT, a two-year afterschool and summer curriculum designed to help middle school girls develop fluency in information technology (IT), interest in mathematics and computer science, and knowledge of IT careers. Build IT is a problem-based curriculum consisting of six units that capitalize on girls' interest in design and communication. The authors outline the need for sustainable, scalable afterschool computer science programs targeting girls, and describe the development of Build IT. Evaluation research on girls' learning of computer science and on the capacity of afterschool staff and organizations to provide computer science programming leads to their description of a research-based approach to sustaining and scaling the program nationally--an approach that other programs might use to expand their reach and impact. (Contains 1 figure.)