Digital Divas: Putting the Wow into Computing for Girls

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Written by Amber McLeod

Published by Monash University Publishing

Jan, 2016

208 pages



There is ample literature detailing the general lack of interest that girls show in computing, particularly in their later teen years, along with the subsequent decline in the number of women who enter the information technology (IT) workforce. In 2007, to address this problem, a new and revolutionary program was designed by Australian researchers to excite girls' interest in IT. The program was called 'Digital Divas' and it was unique because it ran in schools as part of the school curriculum. The underlying philosophy of 'Digital Divas' was to provide educationally sound materials that tapped into the interest of girls, delivered in all-girl classes within the school curriculum so as to change girls' perceptions of IT careers. The pilot program was a success and this led to the design of a larger project, the outcomes of which are the subject of this book. A significant amount of pre- and post- qualitative and quantitative data was collected from both teachers and students. A number of focus groups were conducted, one or two years after the girls had undertaken 'Digital Divas'. As a result, the researchers were able to conclusively demonstrate, among other things, that such a program can increase girls' self-efficacy with IT, change their stereotypical image of IT being for men and boys only, and have them seriously consider IT as a career option. The book details the rationale and motivation for developing 'Digital Divas', the evaluation planning and framework which underpinned both the design of the program and the research, the research approach and data gathered, and the results. The wider impact of the program is also discussed. *** Librarians: ebook available (Series: Education) [Subject: Education, Computer Technology, Gender Studies, Youth Studies]

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Digital Divas Project
Chapter 2. Evaluating Digital Divas
Chapter 3. Research Design
Chapter 4. Background
Chapter 5. Spheres of Influence
Chapter 6. Changing Girls' Perceptions of IT
Chapter 7. The Ripple Effect
Chapter 8. The Wider Community
Chapter 9. Concluding Remarks Appendix A - The Schools
Appendix B - Student Survey Instruments
Appendix C - Teacher Survey Instruments
Appendix D - Focus Group and Interview Instruments
Appendix E - Wider Community Survey Instruments


Title: Digital Divas: Putting the Wow into Computing for Girls
Author: Amber McLeod
Language: English
Length: 208
Edition: 1
Publisher: Monash University Publishing
Publication Date: 2016-01-01
ISBN-10: 1922235865
ISBN-13: 9781922235862