Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) Starts on Monday, December 3
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, and each of us can get involved.
#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:
Exchange ideas with the NCWIT K-12 Alliance on how to be more inclusive and encouraging:
- On Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. MST, NCWIT will co-host and participate in a “Showcasing & Encouraging Equity During CSEdWeek” Twitter chat with Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) and National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP).
- On Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. PST, NCWIT Research Scientist JeffriAnne Wilder will lead a webinar, hosted by National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP): “Bridging the ‘Encouragement Gap’ in STEM +C.” // Register here.
Present the case. Educate others about the importance of diversity in computing education, and offer them concrete strategies for making curricula and classrooms more inclusive with this PowerPoint presentation. (Microsoft and Microsoft Philanthropies TEALS [Technology Education and Literacy in Schools] partnered with NCWIT to develop these tools.)
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 will be out in their communities, engaging young Latinas and their families in interactive computing activities and Q&As with computing students and professionals. Follow along via social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) for a peek into all of the action.
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.
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 practice 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 @NCWIT on Facebook and Twitter for more resources that you can use throughout CSEdWeek (and the other 51 weeks of the year).
#CSEdWeek takes place December 3-9, 2018 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.