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ACM SIGCHI SF Bay Area Kid-Computer Interaction (Announcements)

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Hi all,

Just a reminder that our panel discussion is coming up next Wednesday.

Also, please note a small change: you can now sign in and enter 
directly at SRI's Building I, without having to go to Building A first.

Looking forward to seeing you there,
Beth McCullough & Shahani Towfiq
BayCHI-Kids' Co-chairs

DEVELOPING GIRLS' TECHNOLOGY FLUENCY

Wednesday, April 19, 2006.
6.30PM Networking
7PM Panel Presentation

SRI International
333 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park
International Building

Directions at: http://www.sri.com/contact/ibldg.html

PANEL OVERVIEW:
Experts believe students need to become fluent with information 
technology to gain a deep understanding of the fundamental concepts 
behind how technologies work and to acquire an ability to use 
technology tools to solve practical problems in different disciplines 
(National Research Council, 1999). However, little is known about how 
to identify and measure technological fluency. Further, girls express 
little interest in becoming technologically fluent or in pursuing IT 
careers (AAUW, 2000). Our panelists will describe how after-school 
programs and settings can provide innovative and motivating learning 
opportunities for girls to achieve technological fluency and to develop 
interest in IT careers. The panelists will relate research on girls' 
access to computers and the Internet, and then share specific research 
on three community-based programs. Panelists will then dialogue with 
the audience about how to support and assess technological fluency 
across learning contexts.

PANELISTS
Rebecca London, University of California, Santa Cruz
Jill Denner, ETR Associates
Deborah Kim Emery, Center for Technology in Learning at SRI 
International
Melissa Koch, Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International

PANELISTS' RESEARCH IN BRIEF
Rebecca London, University of California, Santa Cruz :  A Longitudinal 
Study of Girls' Access to Computers and the Internet
Although adolescent girls have begun to close the gender gap in science 
and math coursework, they continue to lag behind boys in 
technology-related coursework, particularly at the advanced level 
(American Association of University Women Educational Foundation 1998). 
Access to computers and the Internet at home affects school attendance, 
high school graduation, and other educational outcomes. This study will 
describe the findings from a longitudinal study of how home computer 
and Internet access for girls ages 5-17 has changed. The data will be 
used to describe changes over time in girls' home computer and Internet 
access, where they use the Internet (e.g., school and the library), and 
the family and personal characteristics that affect the probability of 
home computer and Internet access. This study will also describe 
variations across subgroups of the population, including differences by 
race/ethnicity, age group, family type, metropolitan status, and region 
of residence. Finally, the data will be used to offer comparisons 
between girls and boys in their access to computers and the Internet at 
home, and their use of the Internet at other locations.

Jill Denner, ETR Associates:  Girls Creating Games: The Development of 
Information Technology Fluency
Girls Creating Games is an after school and summer program which 
utilizes a constructivist approach to put girls in the role of 
producers (not just users) of technology. Girls learn to design and 
program an interactive "choose your own adventure" game. In addition to 
game design, program activities encourage identity formation, link 
technology with real-world applications, support collaboration, and 
connect girls with technical female role models. This program has led 
to significant gains in some aspects of IT fluency for participating 
girls. In our study, we describe the process through which participants 
develop IT fluency. We collected data to determine how producing 
technology in programming pairs affects girls' fluency, interest, 
active participation, and persistence in technology studies. We will 
report on the girls' fluency with regard to problem solving, 
creativity, and conceptual understanding.

Deborah Kim Emery, Center for Technology in Learning at SRI 
International : Learning Opportunities for Adolescent Girls in a 
Community Technology Center
Community technology centers (CTCs) are contexts in which youth find 
safe havens and opportunities to engage in authentic learning 
opportunities with peers and adults, as well as new technologies. Teen 
TechArts is an after-school, community-based program intended to foster 
belonging and a sense of safety by providing opportunities for girls to 
interact with one another and a clear program structure. Using a 
sociocultural lens and ethnographic methods, this research examines how 
girls' participation in activities and use of technology tools within 
activities transformed over time. Three profiles of participant 
trajectories revealed that negotiation of new roles was an individual 
process and followed a nonlinear pattern, and that the opportunities 
provided by Teen TechArts were such that participants did negotiate 
increased ownership of the program and take on greater responsibilities 
over time, but participants also went back and forth between roles as 
"participants" using technology and "instructors" helping younger youth 
learn how to use it.

Melissa Koch, Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International : 
Build IT: Supporting Girls in Building Their Information Technology 
Fluency Through Design
Build IT is a design- and problem-based curriculum that capitalizes on 
girls' interest in design and communication technologies. In this 
after-school program for low-income middle school students, girls 
develop IT fluency, interest in math and taking math courses, and 
knowledge of IT careers. Girls learn from IT professionals about IT 
careers and participate as design partners in the software engineering 
process. By introducing girls to women professionals in IT, the project 
directly challenges girls' stereotypes about the types of careers 
available in IT as well as the characteristics and lives of people in 
IT careers.The Build IT program includes embedded performance tasks 
that support girls in demonstrating their understanding of and skills 
in using and programming information technology to themselves, youth 
leaders, teachers, and parents/guardians.

http://www.baychi.org/bof/kids/

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