Did You Know?

Online Learning and the Curse of Knowledge
Has your institution embraced new approaches to teaching and learning? A recent conference at Harvard looked at this topic, finding that “A growing body of evidence from the classroom, coupled with emerging research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, is lending insight into how people learn, but teaching on most college campuses has not changed much.” As higher education institutions see a student body increasingly concerned with its “ROI” and feel competition from non-traditional online or vocational models, many are pushing to evolve their practices – exchanging lectures for writing or quizzes, and teaching graduate researchers how to teach. Do you think an openness to new pedagogical approaches could open the door for teaching and learning computing among a broader audience?
19 Ideas for Hiring More Technical Women
Do you want to recruit and hire more women into technology roles at your company? Then you’ll want to check out a new report from the Anita Borg Institute, “Solutions to Recruit Technical Women.” The report provides 19 ideas — such as implementing gender-blind resume screens or holding executives accountable for hiring targets — for identifying new recruitment avenues, re-tooling the hiring process, and making your corporate culture more diversity-friendly.
The Daily Muse
Have you heard about The Daily Muse? Touted as a community for professional women, The Daily Muse offers lifestyle-focused content and recently launched a job board with company profiles written by the site’s editors. So far these include profiles for companies like Klout, Kiva, Hipmunk, ZeroCater, and Justin.tv, with photos of the company’s office, interviews with various employees, a look at the company culture, a description of what the company does, links to Facebook and Twitter pages, and job listings. Sometimes women and men are attracted to different aspects of a job or company culture, so having a fuller picture of your company is a win-win. Have you pitched your company and job listings to a women-focused audience?
What Do Your Students Want to Be?
Do you know what your students want to be? Here’s an interesting story about Christian Ramos, a student at Northampton Community College studying computing and IT while working to help support his family. After dropping out of school to work fulltime, Christian was watching a PBS “NOVA” show about genetics and was inspired to re-enroll as a biological sciences major. PBS caught wind of the story as part of its “Be More” campaign, which chronicles how NOVA inspires people to explore new ideas and fields, and they are including Ramos in the campaign. “I still don’t believe it,” Ramos said. “I am a pretty average guy, a college student just trying to pay the bills. They really made me feel what I am doing is pretty good.” 
NCWIT research has found that encouragement is a highly effective way to attract and retain students in computing. Do you have a way to reach out to your students to inspire their interest in computing? How about telling your “pretty average” college students that what they’re doing is “pretty good”?
Government Support for CS Education
Did you know that the United Kingdom has proposed a new K-12 curriculum that includes expanded and more flexible guidelines for computer science? Several groups in the UK who support the new computing curriculum — including the UK games industry, the trade body of the UK semiconductor industry, and the British Computer Society — recently signed a letter to the department of education requesting that the department ensure sufficient funding and infrastructure to make the curriculum changes a reality. “If the government is to realise its ambition to make computer science in our schools ‘sufficiently rigorous’ it needs to invest more resources on a new generation of teachers and help upskill existing ones – through continuing professional development,” said Next Gen Skills, an alliance of IT industry and education groups that campaigns for better computer education in schools.
Women as Conference Speakers
Did you know that the TED conference is going on this week? The Wall Street Journal put together a quick reference sheet of facts about TED (TED brings together interesting people from the worlds of Technology, Entertainment, Design to give brief talks on “Ideas Worth Spreading”) and we noticed that it mentions the gender disparity of TED speakers. The lack of women speakers at technical and leadership conferences has been a topic of much conversation, and we’re wondering what you think. Have you applied or been invited to speak at a technical conference? Would you add yourself to a “speaker’s bureau” for technical women that would increase the visibility of women experts in particular fields?
Did You Know? is a brief round-up of information and news that crossed NCWIT’s radar this week that we think might be of interest to you. Practices or content of the news presented are not vetted or endorsed by NCWIT.

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