Did You Know It’s CSEdWeek?
#CSEdWeek takes place December 4-10, 2017 to coincide with the birthday of Admiral Grace Hopper, a pioneer in the field of computer science who was born on December 9, 1906. This annual event was first recognized in 2010 when the 111th Congress passed House Resolution 1560.
Why We Need #CSEdWeek
While technology is one of the fastest-growing, highest-paying occupations in the country, there are more jobs than qualified candidates. According to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be 1.1 million computing-related job openings by 2024, and only 45 percent of these jobs could be filled by U.S. computing graduates. (www.ncwit.org/bythenumbers)
Providing adequate computing education to students can inspire them to choose computer science majors and careers, but not all states allow computer science to count as a math or science graduation requirement. #CSEdWeek represents an opportunity to offer informal experiences outside of school, and each of us can get involved.
7 Recommendations for 7 Days of #CSEdWeek (and Beyond)
#CSforAll takes all of us. Each of us can not only show students how computing skills can take their interests and talents to the next level, but also prepare and motivate students to contribute to the computing workforce with their unique perspectives. Below are recommendations for educators, parents, industry professionals, and others to use for captivating and encouraging students, as well as taking action as allies:
Host an activity or a community event. The NCWIT K-12 Alliance will encourage its community of national and local girl-serving organizations, professional educator associations, academic institutions, and businesses to host and share events or activities, such as Family Code Night, a program that brings children and their guardians together for an engaging introduction to computing, or Create Your Own Google Logo, an online activity where students design and code their own Google logo using the programming language Scratch. Additionally, K-12 Alliance Member code.org offers a slew of one-hour activities and tutorials for students of all grades and various skill levels.
On Thursday, December 7, @NCWIT will co-host a #CSequity Twitter chat with Expanding Computing Education Pathways (@ECEP_CS) and the National Girls Collaborative Project (@ngcproject) to discuss practices for reaching equity in computing.
Introduce relatable role models. One of the most important characteristics of a role model is that students perceive them as “relatable” and similar to themselves. For this reason, NCWIT provides campaigns that profile and celebrate diverse technical women, such as TECHNOLOchicas. Co-produced with the Televisa Foundation, this campaign highlights the powerful stories of technical Latinas from various backgrounds and environments.
Next week, TECHNOLOchicas is teaming up with AT&T and Microsoft to host multiple events in Dallas, Texas and New York, New York for engaging young Latinas and their families in interactive computing activities and Q&As with computing students and professionals.
In the New York area? There’s still time to get your tickets to join the TECHNOLOchicas on December 9 at the 5th Ave Microsoft Store: http://bit.ly/2mwOtg5!
Get real. Appeal to students’ desires to solve real-life problems that draw on their existing knowledge and interests and that involve collaboration in hands-on technical projects. From LEGOS® to Scratch, view Promising Practices for introducing computing in an engaging way.
Connect the dots, and outline computing pathways. The Counselors for Computing (C4C) Intersecting Pathways poster shows students that no matter where they are in high school, multiple pathways can lead to quality jobs in technology.
Interrupt bias. Imagine this: in the capstone course, a student group decides to “divide and conquer.” They suggest that the lone woman in the group take the role of communicating with the client. What (if anything) would you do or say? Interrupting Bias in Academic Settings can help you practices ways to interrupt bias in real-life situations.
Recognize the tricky (and necessary) business of male advocacy. Since diversity and inclusivity are business issues that impact all of us, we should all come together to work on them. Use the NCWIT Male Allies and Advocates Toolkit to better understand why male or “majority-group” allies are key for successful reform and to identify actions that male allies (or anyone really) can take to accelerate change efforts.
Be an effective sponsor. Sponsors can make a world of difference in anyone’s career, but research shows that they can be especially important for female or other employees who are a minority in a majority-group environment. The NCWIT Sponsorship Toolkit outlines 10 ways to identify potential protégés and help them to advance.
Want more tips and recommendations for engaging students in computing? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more resources that you can use throughout CSEdWeek (and the other 51 weeks of the year).