Abstract: "The present research examines undergraduates’ stereotypes of the people in computer science, and whether changing these stereotypes using the media can influence women’s interest in computer science. In Study 1, college students at two U.S. West Coast universities (N = 293) provided descriptions of computer science majors. Coding these descriptions revealed that computer scientists were perceived as having traits that are incompatible with the female gender role, such as lacking interpersonal skills and being singularly focused on computers. In Study 2, college students at two U.S. West Coast universities (N = 54) read fabricated newspaper articles about computer scientists that either described them as fitting the current stereotypes or no longer fitting these stereotypes. Women who read that computer scientists no longer fit the stereotypes expressed more interest in computer science than those who read that computer scientists fit the stereotypes. In contrast, men’s interest in computer science did not differ across articles. Taken together, these studies suggest that stereotypes of academic fields influence who chooses to participate in these fields, and that recruiting efforts to draw more women into computer science would benefit from media efforts that alter how computer scientists are depicted."
Abstract: "Our course, "Designing for Diversity: Anthropology and New Technologies," teaches how and why people experience technology as discriminatory in order to guide students to imagine more inclusive futures for the design and development of new technologies. We recognized that while interest and enrollment in computer science has increased dramatically over the last five years, few courses centered on the human-user and ethical issues related to designing and building technology. We created this course as a new opportunity to engage our students interested in entering the technology industry with principles of ethnography, disability studies, and critical race, feminist, and queer theories. With these new frameworks, students pursued small research projects that would prove valuable for future software engineers and the future of technology development. By training future technologists to recognize and remedy the encoding of bias into technology, this course offers a prototype for teaching students how to envision more desirable futures for technology in relation to gender, race, and disability. In this way, our pedagogy draws on a design perspective that addresses the future as something that will be both imagined and made to be ethical and inclusive."
Abstract: "This research to practice full paper presents the results from using a games design intervention to encourage diversity in the uptake of computer science by young people, explore stereotypes with them and increase their awareness of careers in the sector. The intervention is based on an integrated pedagogical framework appropriate for use with primary age school children (age 7 - 11 years). Despite the increasing use of technology, the percentage of young people taking up a computer science education-career path remains stubbornly low in the UK and across a number of other countries, particularly for females and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Previous research suggests that games can be used to generate interest and engage young people with computer science. Other studies advocate targeting young people at an earlier age (7 years or below) and sustaining engagement throughout their education to widen participation in a particular sector. In this intervention, young people designed and developed individual games through a three stage process: design and story development; game building; testing and evaluation. This research adopts elements from two pedagogical learning theories Direct Instruction and Cognitive Constructivism to create an integrated pedagogical framework to support the game creation process and enable effective learning. This provides an approach that can cater for a range of participants' abilities along the novice-expert spectrum and provide an engaging and age appropriate educational experience.The intervention was completed in two cycles: cycle 1 consisted of a series of workshop sessions with 20 young people aged 9-10 years over a period of 5 weeks; and cycle 2 was a single session with 19 young people aged 7-11 years. A quasi-experimental approach was adopted for evaluating the intervention using the following instruments; pre and post questionnaires, planning sheets, the games created by the participants and a set of already developed engagement factors. Results show an increase from 5% to 25% in participants' aspiration towards a computer science career. 45% of the young people also knew more careers in the game industry post-intervention. Girls chose a variety of diversity in their lead characters while boys chose mainly male human lead characters in the games that they designed. Participants' evaluation of each other's games using the engagement factors showed girls were more interested in receiving feedback than boys. This paper highlights the effectiveness of combining different learning approaches to provide an age appropriate intervention. It also presents evidence on the positive effect of using games in the classroom to explore stereotypes, and learn about, and encourage career choices in computer science."
About: "Black Tech Unplugged was created by Deena McKay. As a Black woman who often found herself as the “only one” in many scenarios she felt alone in the tech scene. However, over time she has met a ton of amazing Blacks in tech who are creating amazing products. Black Tech Unplugged was created to tell the stories of Blacks in Tech. These stories are created to help YOU, the listener, hear what others have went through to get where they are. To share resources and advice so you have guidance on your tech journey."