Thursday, March 13, 2014

Women in Technology Part 3 of 4!

As I flipped through Fast Company, again, I came across an excerpt from an article written by Jillian Goodman who works for Fast Company. Of course their website did not have the full article. But SALON did (thank you!).

On October 14, 2013, Jillian Gooodman wrote an article that talked about how Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and some guy from Miami Heat (wait, athletes are educated? Really? Then why aren’t they proud and showing off their learning skills and being rolemodels for children? Isn’t that why we pay them millions of dollars?), came together and talked about how they feel it is important that every school child knows how to code.

This idea launched, a website for educators to help prepare lessons to teach coding to students. During Computer Science Education week (in early December), one hour a day should be dedicated not only to the history of computing (where Grace Hooper from my previous technology entry is mentioned), and the founders are taught, but also learning how to do basic coding (like HTML markup language). Computing in the Core, developed hour long lessons to teach kids to code in various platforms. Their goal to not let coding be for a dedicated few, but for everyone.

Eventually their goal is to have coding as an option in for highschool instead of math or science. According to the excerpt in Fast Company Magazine, schools in Tennessee were already implementing this.

Melodie Hillier, TechStart's Event and Program Manager at the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, reported that last week, her company introduced to 21 Hillsborough County school teachers. So this is already here in Florida!

My thoughts were, “oh, this is the way for the government to make more minimum waged jobs. Taking away specializations in the computing field.”

My husband had a different outlook on the article. Since he has been in computers for over 18 years, he said that honestly, there is nothing wrong with the idea, just the way they are going about it. He rather see kids learn now what coding is like so they don’t waste their money in college “thinking” they want to be programmers, engineers or comp science majors. They get there and are overwhelmed at what it REALLY is.

I countered with this: even still, there’s a huge difference between computer science and computer programming. One is more physics and math based than the other. Why have this wipe out a math or science class, when you need those basics to be a computer engineer? Why can’t they offer is as an elective?

The answer, lack of money going to schools.

What is your take?

And then I wondered if they were going to focus on teaching girls to code or is it just another subject matter that they will flaunt towards boys. Because we all saw what happened with Tinker Toys, oh no, lets sue a company trying to show girls that it’s awesome to be engineers.
Within my research to see if there were any endeavors to teach girls code had launched around this time, I came across two programs:

Girls Teaching Girls Code is a mentoring program that has its upcoming code camp in April 2014. They tell it better than I can.

Girls Who Code Seshma Raujani is a huge advocate for closing the gender gap in STEM based subject areas (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), and was the first South Asian woman to run for Congress. In 2012 she started this endeavor to show girls that coding is fun and a very important need in the future of technology. She uses stats from the US Department of labor who estimates that by 2020 there will be 14 million computer-based jobs, and she wants women to fill half of them. According to the same stats, 14% of the women graduates are going into a computer science related field. While back in the 1980s, it was 37%.

I wonder what happened?

------------ LS560 Below----------
(2014). Girls Who Code. Retrieved from

(2014). Teaching Girls to Code. Retrieved from

Goodman, J. (2013, October 14). Zuckerberg, Gates back teaching coding in school
Does every child need to learn computer science? Fast Company Magazine. Retrieved from

Hillier, M. [MelodieHillier]. (2014, March 10). Last week TechStart introduced @codeorg to 21 Hillsborough teachers. Excited to visit their classrooms in April! Retrieved from

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