My twitter feed was lit up this morning with quotes from #techmums presenter & founder @Dr_Black - love to see more #womenlearningtech!
Admiral Grace Hopper Links
Image source: Computer History Museum
By a Syster: Laurian Vega
Originally posted: April 13, 2012
Admiral Grace Hopper is a role model to many women in computer science. She was one of the pioneers of the computing field doing such amazing acts as making the first compiler, was the founder of COBOL, is infamous for explaining just how long a physical nano-second is, and is credited with being the first one to discover a computer ‘bug’ – a moth trapped within a machine. If you would like to read the bio of this amazing woman, systers have posted the following materials:
- Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age by Kurt W. Beyer
- Grace Hopper, Admiral of the Cyber Sea by Kathleen Bromme Williams
- Grace Hopper, Computer Pioneer by Joanne Mattern
- This Woman in a Computer Pioneer by 60 Minutes Overtime Staff
- Visualizing a Nonosecond posted by Mike Szczys
“Hi, I’m Grace Hopper” by Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
I like to think I know why Admiral Grace Hopper is still making an impact on all of our lives. All you have to do is watch this video of her talking with Letterman, to get a hint at it. Or maybe you can just look at this picture from the Computer History Museum where she appears to be looking around and thinking, “Ughs, I’m surrounded by nerdZ.” You just have to watch her for a little bit to know that she had a whole lot of pizazz and charisma.
When I get in trouble, I like quoting her for saying, “It is better to ask for forgiveness than permission.” It is that kind of attitude, where she ruthlessly refuses to accept the status quo, combined with that quirky personality, that makes her presence still be felt by women in computing.
*Image at the head of this article is provided courtesy of the Computer History Museum. Access date: March 19th, 2012; Identifying Number: P4521. The description of the picture reads, “Black and white image of Grace Hopper examining in front of UNIVAC magnetic tape drives. She holds a COBOL programming manual in her hand.”
I didn’t learn about Grace Hopper until well after graduating college. I hope these days all CS majors learn about her and other amazing women in CS.
HB 1054 High school diploma course and credit requirements; computer science
Dear Senate Education and Health Committee Members,Jobs in computing and information technology are expected to grow to 4.2 million in the U.S by 2020, that’s 150,000 new computing jobs every year (Computing in the Core, 2010). Unfortunately, there are currently not enough people in the educational pipeline studying STEM fields to fill these positions. The Virginia Employment Commission predicts that 40% of the skilled STEM labor force will retire within the next five years and finds the number of students currently in the pipeline inadequate to replace them (VDOE, 2007). Computer science education in particular is key to fixing the STEM job preparedness pipeline as computing will make up over 70% of STEM jobs by 2018.I recently completed a research study on addressing education and culture locally with regards to the STEM job preparedness pipeline. I found that the elective nature of computer science and engineering classes had a negative impact on the perception of those fields and whether students would pursue them. Here are some quotes from the study:"It is a huge barrier. You are going to keep every kid that is motivated to get into a very competitive university from taking that class because it is never even going to enter that conversation even for the kid or more importantly for the parent.""At very least half of STEM is technology and engineering and those are treated as an exploratory, they aren’t a requirement and they frequently aren’t even available in an elementary school setting unless the teacher can work it.""By high school kids are leaving elective fields because those grades, regardless of how well they do in them, bring their GPA down."These are serious issues that can begin to be addressed by passing HB 1054 High school diploma course credit requirements for computer science.Regards,Kim Wilkens, MEd & Tech-Girls founder
Two Amoeba’s who discuss everything microbiological with using cutest cartoons ever.
Claire talks about…
I kind of like being a techie, so I was curious to check out CIO’s 10 signs you’re probably a techie, a slideshow in which they “covered the most techie of tech people for decades and have come up with 10 signs that you’re among their ranks.”
Okay, here we go. Sign #1: You’re Probably a Guy. Geez, knocked out in the first round.
I know it’s all tongue-in-cheek, but I didn’t fit many of the other signs, either. So I wrote my own list of 10 signs you’re probably a techie, albeit from a decidedly woman-in-tech point of view.
Join the global Hour of Code by making your own Holiday Postcard!
All you need to do to join the global Hour of Code with Webmaker is to try one of our great starter projects - like this one where you can make a Holiday Greeting Card all your own by making changes to the code you see.
You can use the tutorial linked below to walk you through the project step by step.
When you’re ready to begin, hit the big green Remix button on the project and start making your changes in the code, where the notes suggest. Then save, and share your link.
Get started now:
It’s been great sharing this activity live & local at HackCville and Computers4Kids! And it’s so cool to be able to see the holiday card hacks from around the world @ https://webmaker.org/en-US/search/?type=all&q=hourofcode. This webmaking is powerful stuff!
The Brain Scoop: Where My Ladies At?
This was an incredibly difficult video for me to write and record. I haven’t been this uncomfortable or nervous about an episode since we decided to launch the Wolf series. I did it because I know my fellow female creators are with me: these comments are not easy to ignore, and they do have a negative impact on our desire to make videos and blaze trails.
Things can be said about women being more sensitive than men, or that men deal with these comments too, or that we should just accept that they’re going to happen.. but if I do, I’ll quit. If I accept that this is just part of the deal, this is what it is and always has been, it’s a requirement of my job to toughen up and barrel through, I won’t be able to continue. The remarks are enough to make me want to throw my hands up and retreat to a tiny cabin in the middle of nowhere. If the compromise is that I need to become desensitized, I would probably just do something else instead.
Let’s not create that kind of environment for our peers. Let’s be supportive, encouraging. Focus on the content, not the presenter. Ignoring the fact that these comments are uncomfortable is dismissive and counter-productive: let’s have less tolerance for both those comments, and the apathetic attitude attached to how they affect our community.
And, please: check out the women in the video description for more fantastic channels to subscribe to.
1) This is a real problem and as someone who works to try to get more girls interested in STEM, we gotta talk about the trolls.
2) The YouTube #womeninSTEM list is a great start. We need a space to cultivate, support and encourage more participation.
born into conflict - my #globaled13 reflection
“If the cold war in 1964 is being fought by informational technology, that is because all wars have been fought by the latest technology available in any culture.” ~ Marshall McLuhan
I had the amazing opportunity to moderate a session at #globaled13 by Atilla Nagy from Kosovo on “how to teach in an ex-conflict area”. While a war is no longer raging there, conflict certainly is. Mitrovica is a city divided by a river, language, culture, ethnicity, politics & laws. He’s teaching law in a city with two factions that don’t even recognize each others laws. I asked if he taught students from both sides. He does. I asked if they were aware of each other and their differences. He said they’ve been born into this conflict, where they are aware of and know about each other, but it’s dangerous to even interact.
Can you imagine?
I bet our children can. Maybe the conflict is not as striking as living in Mitrovica, but our kids see and experience conflict all around them being perpetrated by adults that are supposed to “know better”. Conflict can be found in the way we work, communicate, govern and educate. I experience it as an “either - or” mentality with people staking out their territory, declaring that you must pledge allegiance to this or that. Liberal or conservative, believer or skeptic, maker or hacker, coder or designer, teacher or learner, professional or parent, nerd or geek, public or private, profit or non-profit, virtual or reality. Because of technological advancements, I believe we can choose to do “both and”, but this is a challenge in our current culture. Marshall McLuhan alluded to this challenge, “everything is changing - you, your family, your neighborhood, your education, your job, your government, your relation to ‘the others’” because of this great period of technological transition, we resist it and face great anxiety because we continue “trying to do today’s job with yesterday’s tools - with yesterday’s concepts”.
How do we deal with the conflict/anxiety/fear?
For me, finding community is key. I used to search for like-minded communities, but I still felt like an outsider. I’m learning that it’s communities that embrace diversity and encourage inclusivity that help me deal with conflict/anxiety/fear. The annual Global Education Conference provides this type of community. This is a group of folks that understands everything is changing and are facing the challenges head on, trying to do today’s education with today’s tools and concepts. This year saw the collaboration on and creation of the Global Education Declaration. This is how we ensure future generations do not continue to be born into conflict.
My #MozFest Experience
I got to hang out a little at MozFest this weekend, but I wasn’t there in person (sniff, sniff). I’ve been having a bit of writer’s block with the blog and see I haven’t really written about any conference experience since EduCon in Jan - even though I participated in ISTE, STEMxCon & WomenETC.
In a nutshell, ISTE was overwhelming. @reesegans & I tried to help facilitate a hands-on physical computing activity to a crowd of 100+ — it didn’t work out so well. That’s kind of how I felt about the whole experience. Luckily I did get to connect with some CS educators who are rocking it (@keledy, @Sheena1010 & @mbteach). STEMxCon was a really good virtual conference experience with lots of great content & connections and I got to co-present with a couple of amazing women - @AdrienneGifford (CS4All) & @catherinecronin (where are the girls?), but it kind of felt like “preaching to the choir”. WomenETC is a regional gem and definitely an experience I needed to help recharge my batteries for my girls in tech work plus I got to thumb wrestle with @avantgame.
What MozFest gave me was hope and affirmation that working grassroots is how you get stuff done. I was lucky to have some encouragement and breadcrumb trails to follow from @epilepticrabbit, @chadsansing & @missphilbin. They helped lead me to:
- @amirightfolks - Girls in Tech Scrum Leader extraordinaire. The team welcomed my remote contributions and created a very engaging Girls in Tech Teaching Kit
- @camillefrancois - you gotta listen to her keynote on privacy, it’s epic!
- #teachtheweb mega-scrum board - beware jumping down this rabbit hole because you may find you can’t go back to yesterday
- A bunch of stuff that got made - these folks definitely believed in way more than 6 impossible things before breakfast
Obviously this is just the tippy top of the iceberg of awesomeness that is MozFest and it is so good to know that the experience is not bound by time and space, but by collaboration and ongoing action.