Computational Thinking in the Playroom, Classroom, Boardroom - Ditact

Computational Thinking in the Playroom, Classroom, Boardroom - Ditact

Computational Thinking in the Playroom, Classroom, Boardroom Jana Diesner, PhD Assistant Professor iSchool & Department of Computer Science University...

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Computational Thinking in the Playroom, Classroom, Boardroom Jana Diesner, PhD Assistant Professor iSchool & Department of Computer Science University of Illinois Urbana Champaign 1

Who cares? Why Gender Diversity is Important in Computing • Expands qualified employee pool • 32% of 1.4 Mio jobs can be filled 2010-2020 (est) • 57% of workforce women, 26% of c. jobs filled by women

• Improves bottom line • Racial and gender diversity: more sales, customers, profits

• Enhances innovation • Diverse teams: improve creativity, problem-solving, productivity • Groups with greater diversity better and faster complex problems solving

• Promotes equality • Reflecting customer base Source: NCWIT Scorecard

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Why Computing is a Good Career for Women: Low Unemployment, High Job Safety • 2013: overall unemployment rate U.S. 7.4%, computing 3.6%, women in computing 4.2% • Low unemployment in computing even through dotcom bust (average 11%)

Why Computing is a Good Career for Women: Low Unemployment, High Job Safety

Why Computing is a Good Career for Women: High Profitability

Why Computing is a Good Career for Women: High Profitability • Computing helps close gender wage gap • A woman earns $0.77 to every $1.00 a man earns (seriously), women in computing: $0.81 • Dice.com salary survey: no wage gap for tech women with comparable experience, education, and position

Preparing and Recruiting Students: High School Level • Uneven Computing Preparation – Students less exposed to computer programming than computer literacy – 17% no HS computing courses, of those 60% girls – BUT among students with programming experience, the percentage of girls has increased significantly (60% in 2013)

• AP Test taking – 2013: 1% of AP exam-takers (male or female) CS AP Exam – 56% of 2.2 million U.S. AP exam-takers were female, 19% (5807) of SC AP test takers female – Ever since 1999, the CS AP consistently lowest female percentage of any of the 37 AP exams (19% or lower)

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Status Quo: K12 Computing Education • CS: Need up, prep down • Skills: basic abilities to use computer applications (create doc, slides, find info) • Capabilities: fundamental abilities for using computing to solve problems (reasoning, test a solution, collaborate, communicate) • Concepts: fundamental ideas from CS, networking, info (digital representation, algorithmic thinking, programming, societal impact) • Tech literacy trap: skills > foundations for learning & deeper study • 14/50 states adopted CS edu standards (50%+ of ACM, CSTA’s) • 9 states allow CS courses to count as credit for math or science • 0 states require a CS course for graduation • Why? Responsible stakeholders confused, conflicted, inadequate to provide CS education

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http://runningonempty.acm.org/, 2010

What Is Computational Thinking? • A fundamental skill that people from all backgrounds can use to solve problems in their domain or profession. Like reading, writing, arithmetic. Not a rote skill • A fundamental approach to solving problems, designing systems and understanding human behavior that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science • It is not programming Wing, J. M. (2006). Computational thinking. Communications of the ACM, 49(3), 33 - 35.

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Preparing and Recruiting Students: High School Level • Uneven Computing Preparation in High School – Students less exposed to computer programming than computer literacy – 17% no HS computing courses, of those 60% girls – BUT among students with programming experience, the percentage of girls has increased significantly (60% in 2013)

• AP Test taking – 2013: 1% of AP exam-takers (male or female) CS AP Exam – 56% of 2.2 million AP exam-takers female, 19% (5807) of SC AP test takers female – Ever since 1999, CS AP consistently lowest female percentage of any of the 37 AP exams (19% or lower)

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Preparing and Recruiting Students: High School Level

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Preparing and Recruiting Students: High School Level

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Preparing and Recruiting Students: High School Level

CS4HS by google

• CS in HS: – Taught by teachers with little tech background or techies with little teacher training – Hard to integrate across curricula due to education and testing requirements – Standards exist, but often translate into familiarity with office software (skills, using apps)

• Factors encouraging students to study computing: – – – –

Early positive experiences with computing Adult encouragement (especially parental) Positive female role models Info about what computing professionals actually do

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Role Models 2

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Female Students in Computing • Undergrad: few women study computing, 2012: – 57% of all undergrad degrees – 59% of all undergrad degrees in biology – 42% of all undergrad degrees in math – 18%/ 19% of all undergrad degrees in computing/ engineering

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Female Students in Computing

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Female Students in Computing

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Female Students in Computing

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Female Students in Computing: Moving the Needle • CMU: 7% female CS majors to 40% in 4 years • Recruiting through feeder networks and outreach • Revise admission criteria: maintain high academic standards, deemphasize experience • Multiple entry points to accommodate different levels of experience • Supportive peer community for women

• UCI: pass and retention rates up without lowering the bar • Pair programming • Providing better training for TAs • Introducing peer lab tutors • Increased shared lab time

• UVA: 27% of minority students, 33% of females chose CS majors • Mandatory intro to CS course for freshmen, different sections per experience 19

Female Workforce in Computing

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Female Workforce in Computing: Loosing the Women

• Top 5 reasons for why women leave tech workforce: Unconscious bias, isolation, supervisory relationships, promotion processes, competing life responsibilities 21

Female Workforce in Computing • Despite job security and good salaries, mid-career women (10-20 years) leave the private sector (56% in tech) • Women leave computing at twice the rate of male peers, but most keep working: – 49% stay in computing (public sector or self-employed) – 31% move to non-technical field – 20% leave work force

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Female Workforce in Computing: Leadership • 2013: 60% of new tech jobs filled by women (highest since 2004) • Fortune 500 companies, women: 4% of the CEOs, 14% of executive officers, 16% of board of director positions

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Strategies for Student Recruiting and Retention I: Mentoring •



E.g. MentorNet (http://www.mentornet.net) – Provide ALL US STEM students with access to effective mentorships in vibrant community committed to student success – Scalable mentoring platform that combines social networking tech (strategic matching) with social science of mentoring – Connect mentors & protégés across generational, gender, racial, cultural, & socioeconomic boundaries 10 tips for mentoring: Bernice Sandler, "Women as Mentors: Myths and Commandments" (http://www.women.cs.cmu.edu/What/BigLittleSisters/tipscommandments.php) – E.g. teach protégées how to seek other career help whenever possible, such as money to attend workshops

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Strategies for Student Recruiting and Retention II: Outreach • CMU: TechNights, Take Your Child to Work Day, Roadshow, High School Day (http://www.women.cs.cmu.edu/What/Outreach) • In 2009 I started Adventures in Computing: program that provides middle school students (K6-8) with opportunities to discover and practice basic principles of computing and computational thinking through fun activities – Resources: CS Unplugged, CS4fn (http://www.cs4fn.org/magic), programming with Alice and Scratch, Lego Mindstorms (Robots)

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Strategies for Student Recruiting and Retention III: Networking • Role Models: Talks, Interviews, Awards • Professional Organization (http://www.women.cs.cmu.edu/Resources/Graduate/) – E.g. Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, CRA Women, ACM Committee on Women in Computing • Conferences - CS research + career development – Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (their pics below) – Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing • Social events: tea hour, pumpkin carving, ….

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DIY Resources for Effective Change: NCWIT Extension Services for Undergraduate Programs

http://www.ncwit.org/sites/default/files/reso urces/resourcesforchangeagents_web_1.pdf

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Thank you! Q&A • For questions, comments, feedback, follow-up: Jana Diesner Email: [email protected] Phone: (412) 519 7576 Web: http://people.lis.illinois.edu/~jdiesner 28