Join The Conversation – Girls On The Web and Other Topics

I'm away on a gaming in computer science conference and while I really wanted to have a lot of great blog posts for you all to enjoy and learn from it's been tough getting all the things done that I needed to get done. But I did want to make sure some conversations kept going and perhaps start more.

There has been a lot of discussion about girls on the Internet and them being the content providers. This article in particular seems to have been forwarded to me by everyone who knows I care about getting more girls into the computer field. It talks to girls about some of the reporting by the Pew Internet & American life organization that highlights that girls are creating a lot more (and a lot more creative) content on the Internet than boys. I have to admit that I don't follow enough girls on the Internet to see this myself. A lot of my former, mostly male, students are doing a lot of content generation. But I guess overall things are different.

What are you seeing? And are girls signing up for web design courses to learn or are they all learning on their own? Does this article match what you are seeing in your school, with your daughters, with other young people you know?

The new DreamSpark program (also announced last week) makes some really outstanding design tools available for free. Unlike programming tools more of the professional quality tools for designers seem to cost money. Will girls adopt the Expression Suite of tools or will they not even hear about the program? In any case, my hope is that we can convince girls that there is creativity and self-expression in programming as well as in web development. It's a chance for everyone to put something of themselves into a project.

For the continuing conversation, two posts I made last week seemed to generate more than the usual number of comments and opinions. One was on Programming as the New Literacy. Several people disagreed with me on that one and wrote some great comments with some good links to go with them. If you haven't read the comments please go back and do so - and best of all add your own.

The other post was on the teaching of Intellectual Property and Copyright. Also some strong opinions and some good links by others. This is an important topic and one well worth discussion among students, faculty and the general public. As a published author I have an obvious bias. What about you? Drop by and join in there as well.

And as the saying goes, I'm away so please talk amongst yourselves. 🙂

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