February 12, 2003
Issue 3

Distance Learning Consortium,
Florida Virtual Campus

Consortium Information:

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In the News:

Getting Girls Excited About Technology!

An article in FETConnections asks the question: Can girls and technology be successfully integrated? A growing body of research suggests that girls are not involved in technology at the level needed to advance the critical thinking skills that are highly valuable in math, science, and technology careers. Research explains why many girls do not engage in technology and offers suggestions to educators on what to do about it. A report by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), “Tech Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age,” analysis previous research, teacher surveys responses, and focus groups of middle and high school students.

Educators Robyn Treyvaud and Lori Rounds have begun a project to provide girls with encouragement and support in their efforts to use technology to meet their specific needs and goals. The girls participating in the project are forming design teams and working on collaborative projects. Since the project began, girls in Australia have begun working with girls in the U.S. and other countries using chat, PC-to-phone, and video conferencing technologies to discuss, debate, and create projects that use technology.

The enthusiasm generated by these girls has led to the formation of a club called “Geek is Chic,” which includes girls from the age 11-14. Treyvaud and Rounds say the first step to starting a similar club at your school is getting a group of girls together to discuss their perceptions of technology. They have found that girls are more likely to use technology in a social environment, rather than being isolated in front of a computer. It is easy to find project-based resources on the Internet and it’s not necessary to start from scratch, Treyvaud and Rounds say. They have seen their female students development a feeling of empowerment through a sense of ownership of the technology and say their model may be what girls need to say “Geek is Chic!”

Robyn Treyvaud is a curriculum coordinator in Melbourne, Australia and can be reached by email at robyn.treyvaud@wesleycollege.net.
Lori Rounds is a director of technology in Bethesda, Maryland, and can be reach by email at lrounds@woodsacademy.org.

Newsletter compiled and edited by Susie Henderson and Jenny Rosser