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Give Girls Some Space: Considering Gender in Collaborative Software Programming Activities

, , , University of California, United States

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Freiburg, Germany ISBN 978-1-880094-30-3 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


Equitable computer collaborations in mixed gender teams have been a pressing issue for many years. While some have argued for creating single-gender teams or girls-only computer activities, our approach was different. The current study examines a three-month software design activity in which mixed teams of girls and boys [10-12 year olds] designed and implemented multimedia astronomy resources for younger students. In this context we assessed how students' levels of access to technology were impacted by gender differences at the project outset, and how these participation patterns changed throughout the project duration. We found that the documented positive change in girls' access was impacted by the configuration of social, physical, and cognitive “spaces” in the project environment. We discuss the implications of these results in regard to issues surrounding the development and maintenance of gender equity in computer use and further research.


Ching, C.C., Kafai, Y.B. & Marshall, S.K. (1998). Give Girls Some Space: Considering Gender in Collaborative Software Programming Activities. In T. Ottmann & I. Tomek (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 1998--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 56-62). Freiburg, Germany: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 26, 2019 from .


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