Are you feeling it? As students and educators are in the midst of the “Back to School” mindset, you may be getting excited about opportunities to support and inspire students’ computing aspirations.
While the systemic barriers to women’s participation in computing education are multiple and complex, this also means that there are many opportunities for anyone to get involved in creating change that ultimately affects youths’ perceptions, interests, confidence, and reasons for choosing a career in technology.
Whether you’re a parent, an educator, or a professional, we are highlighting doable, research-backed steps that you can take to make computing education more accessible and inclusive.
Get off to an empowering start this “Back to School” season:
What can family members do? Expect the students in your life to do well in math and technology; and, celebrate all attempts at trying new things! Find more ways that family members can encourage interest in computing in this list: www.ncwit.org/top10families.
What can educators do?
Integrate computing skills into existing curricula and/or connect students to informal learning environments that emphasize hands-on experience with technology. Consider more key points for enriching computing education in this comprehensive, yet brief, guide: www.ncwit.org/enriched.
Use EngageCSEdu to foster diversity in your introductory computer science courses. Learn how effective pedagogy can help to grow a positive student community and build student confidence with this poster: www.ncwit.org/EngageCSEduPoster.
What can professionals do? Create awareness about the phenomenon of unconscious bias; recognition is the first step in overcoming it. View and share this video that presents a series of engaging, interactive experiments on the concept: https://ncwit.org/biasvideo.
What can anyone do? Make the case for improving computing education to educators and to local, state, and national policymakers and curriculum decision-makers. In making this case, be sure to distinguish between computer literacy and computer science: www.ncwit.org/schools.
Of course, each of us can do so much more than what is listed above… Find additional resources for reaching out to critical populations and implementing systemic change on our Resources webpage. And, throughout the end of August, follow us on social media (Twitter and Facebook) for dozens of tips that you can share with your followers.