The topic of women in IT is on my mind. As our feature article explains, despite being more IT literate than ever, young women don’t seem to be moving into technology careers very rapidly. Furthermore, current research indicates that many women IT executives leave their posts for other types of work.
The education industry, a sector of the economy as large as the pharmaceutical industry, spends just 0.1% on research and development efforts -- an amount that Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the Department of Education, said was dwarfed by the R&D spending of the potato chip industry. I hope she was kidding, but I fear she was not.
Let me begin by offering my sincerest thanks to NCWIT, including the Ohio affiliate members, for the work they do and the outreach effort that caused our Guidance Department to bring your mission to my attention. Since the April 2nd ceremony celebrating the winners of the Ohio Affiliate NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, I admit to some measure of guilt regarding my being awarded the Educator Award for Aspirations in Computing. I have been struggling to figure out how to make a more significant contribution.
Ivy League Decision Day this year was one week ago.
Naturally, most of the day, spirits ran high. My friends fell into one of two categories: the ignoramus or the anxiety case. One could choose to ignore the impending decision, or (and this seems a less happy alternative) choose to debate their options back and forth. Despite our best efforts when the decision hour arrived, we received emails and logged into college websites and read that letter, that letter that determined our future.
If kids are the innovators of the future, then what tools should we be teaching them so they can grow up to create great things? According to one group, the answer is “design thinking.” An industrial design studio and a New York City grade school have cooperated to teach middle school kids creativity and problem-solving skills in the context of real-world challenges, with a curriculum that’s implemented across subjects – from math to art to social studies.
Did you know that women rank their relationship with their boss as the most important factor in whether they stay at a company? A recent survey of women in global finance found that a supervisor’s attitude was the most important criterion for how women perceived their workplace, followed by salary, and the existence of female role models.
Did you know that stereotype threat applies to women and entrepreneurship, causing many women either to not even consider starting their own companies or to consider themselves incapable of doing it? Research from SUNY Binghamton found presented three groups of business students with three different sets of “facts” about entrepreneurship. The first group was told that entrepreneurship could be best taught through business education.
Twenty regional winners were recognized, and one national winner who is from Oregon also was honored. In addition NCWIT presented two National Educator Awards to Oregon teachers who have demonstrated strong, positive involvement in encouraging their female computer science students.
Last week my high school computer science teacher, Baker Franke, and I spoke on Capitol Hill about the importance of computer science in the K-12 curriculum. Our testimony was part of the Computing in the Core initiative, which seeks to strengthen K-12 computing education as a core discipline for all 21st-century students.
I was one of the lucky ones who got started early in computing, and it has significantly affected my life for the better. I'm currently a sophmore at Brown University, studying computer science. This is the transcript of what I said on Capitol Hill.