The Real Reason Girls Don’t Like to Code

My friend shared this article with me on Linkedin yesterday and it resonated with me. I like how the author says we have to change our arguments when promoting STEM fields for girls, that the argument of “this is where the jobs are” though true, is not enough.:

We need to stop telling an entire gender they need to embrace STEM because it’s good for their brain or if they don’t, boys will get all the good, high-paying jobs. It’s not working, and I’m kind of glad, because it means girls aren’t buying the logic that they need to do something just because boys do. We need to play to girls’ strengths and invite them to participate in projects that create solutions for social issues or problems that they care about — and then offer accessible tech which empowers girls to stop thinking about doing STEM and just use the technology, developing skills along the way as a means to an end. When STEM is simply a set of skills and tools to help solve problems we care about, it takes the scary out of tech.

Which is what we are doing with our newly minted Technovation Challenge team! The teams consist of girls aged 10-23 from all around the worl. The challenge is to create a prototype of an app that helps solve a community problem. Technically, the challenge doesn’t begin until January, but our girls are so hung ho we have begun to meet regularly on Thursday after school.

In fact, you might have seen this form in your inbox this morning. It would be wonderful if you could take a minute and think about a problem that has been bugging you in the community (it could be at school, in your neighbourhood or all of Montreal) and tell us about it. Although the girls have a lot of great ideas, it would be awesome to hear from the community at large. Take a minute and tell us your ideas!

I don’t believe that girls are turned off by STEM because it’s hard or simply because girls think they’re bad at math. Girls aren’t wimps or wilting flowers; they don’t shrink from challenges just because something isn’t a strength. We, as a culture,…


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Educators still trying to attract more women to technology, science fields

I read this paragraph this morning and almost choked on my cappuccino:

Standardized test scores released Tuesday show that at the Grade 8-level girls have closed the gap in science and math, performing as well and sometimes better than their male classmates. But participation in those courses begins declining in high school and drops further in university: Females account for just 39 per cent of undergrads in math and physical sciences and only 17 per cent of undergraduates in engineering and computer science, according to data from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

17%? 17%???? This causes a stir of panic in my stomach, mainly because if women are not participating in the building our world (in the virtual and physical sense) how is it possible that it will be a world that includes them?

There have been some modest gains at the postsecondary level, but female participation in science and math courses declines in high school and drops further in university


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Connected Educators: Digital Citizenship Survival Kit–>Leads to Innovative Use Tool kit

Once again, Lisa Johnson gives us a very handy visual in order to think about Digital Citizenship and the questions that come up. She also includes a great list of resources for parents on how to support their child’s mindful use of technology. It also made me think that another suitcase is needed though- this is the basic one, the one that sets them up for appropriate use. But their journey is going to be a long one, and they are going to need a trunk for innovative use, don’t you think?

(Thanks to Sonia Livingstone for forwarding the links to many of these sites)


What I would put in my trunk:









What else should we add to our Innovative User’s Tickle Trunk?

P.S. Lisa Johnson links to my blog in the post below! Oh, the joy of being linked by a colleague…

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» Connected Educators: Digital Citizenship Survival Kit |

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Why Are Girls Not Pursuing Computer Science Degrees? – Edudemic

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Why don’t more girls pursue technology careers, become scientists, or become computer scientists? They seem to be self-restraining from computer science degrees and more.

Lina Gordaneer‘s insight:

“Basically, girls are just as good at computer science as boys are, but they begin to perform differently once they begin to think that boys are better at it. ”

Whoah. Although we have an initiative at our school that is about to launch, this infographic adds a little bit of urgency to it…

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Here is the infographic: