Digitals Divas: Putting the Wow into Computing for Girls
By Julie Fisher, Catherine Lang, Annemieke Craig and Helen Forgasz, with Amber McLeod
Digital Divas is now available for free download in PDF format, thanks to the generous support of the Knowledge Unlatched project; it is hosted by the OAPEN Foundation.
Read Digital Divas - free download
The geek is male. Or so it seems. As is well documented, there is a distinct under-representation of girls studying computing at high school level and, correspondingly, going on to have careers in IT.
To address this problem in 2007 the authors of this book, with backgrounds in secondary teaching or IT, trialled a new and revolutionary program in schools: ‘Digital Divas’.
The Digital Divas program, based on the idea that it was possible to change girls’ perceptions of IT careers with educationally sound materials that tapped into their interests and were delivered in all-girl classes within the school curriculum, was a great success.
In Digital Divas: Putting the Wow into Computing for Girls, Fisher, Lang, Craig and Forgasz recount what they did and how they did it and reflect on the significance of this program, which has indisputably led to an increased self-sufficiency with IT amongst girls, challenged stereotyped understandings of IT as a male activity, and increased the pursuit of IT careers by young women.
About the Authors
Dr Julie Fisher is a Professor in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University, Australia. She has worked and conducted research in the information systems field for the last 20+ years. For most of this time Julie has researched the area of gender and IT and been part of teams which have implemented intervention programs designed to encourage girls into IT. This work contributed to the design of the Digital Divas research project which she led. Her other research has focused on usability and health informatics. Julie has published widely in leading journals and conferences.
Dr Catherine Lang is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Her research focus since 1996 has been on the under-representation of women in computing, which culminated in the national research project that is the topic of this book. She has published on the topics of student transition to higher education, computing education and pedagogy as well as social networking in education. She is the recipient of several competitive national and university grants and awards in recognition of her research strengths and her teaching and learning abilities. She tweets at @Clang13
Dr Annemieke Craig is an Associate Professor in the School of Information and Business Analytics, Deakin University. Annemieke’s career and research journey has been focused on computing education at all levels; secondary, adult education, TAFE and tertiary education. Her research interests revolve around engaging students with and in ICT. There are a number of threads contributing to this overarching research umbrella including increasing gendered participation in ICT, exploring the use of digital technologies to support teaching and learning, and improving student engagement in the ICT discipline within higher education programs.
Dr Helen Forgasz is a Professor of education and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Education, Monash University. The focus of her research and teaching is on gender issues and the affective domain in mathematics education; technology use for mathematics learning has been an area of particular interest. Helen is a regular presenter at national and international education conferences. She has edited several books, and has authored numerous book chapters, as well as a wide range of scholarly and professional journal articles.
Dr Amber McLeod is a Lecturer in Education at Monash University. She has a BSc in Applied Biology at RMIT and worked as a microbiologist before completing a Diploma of Education at La Trobe University and a Masters in Linguistics at Monash University. Amber was awarded a PhD scholarship as part of the Digital Divas project. Her PhD thesis examined the relationship between community attitudes to ICT and the outcomes of the Digital Divas Intervention Project. Amber is also interested in cross-cultural understandings of ICT.
For media inquiries, please contact our Marketing Coordinator, Sarah Cannon.
While many of our books are published online for free, this does not mean that the books are in the 'public domain': copyright laws do still apply.
Copyright for all material published on this site is owned or licensed exclusively to Monash University Publishing. All rights reserved. Apart from any uses permitted by Australia's Copyright Act 1968, no part of this book may be reproduced by any process or in any form without prior written permission of the copyright owners. Inquiries should be directed to the publisher, Monash University Publishing.
Readers are free to read, copy, download, print and display a work provided that:
• this is solely for personal use or use within the reader’s organisation;
• full acknowledgement is made of the author/s and the original copyright owner;
• the work is not used for any commercial gain in any form; and
• the reader in no way alters, transforms or builds on the work outside of its use in normal academic scholarship without the express permission of the author and publisher of the publication in question.
In all cases of re-use or distribution, readers or authors must make clear to others the license terms of the work. Enquiries should be directed to Monash University Publishing.
Authors of Monash University Publishing titles are not permitted to publish these works on any website other than their personal sites, without written permission from the publisher. Authors are encouraged to post the title of their book on any website and post links on any site that direct readers to the Monash University Publishing site.
Every effort has been made to obtain copyright permissions for the images reproduced in our publications. If you are a copyright owner of materials reproduced in one of our works and have concerns regarding their use please contact Monash University Publishing.