Women in Computing online resource to be created

A women in computing video resource to encourage more girls into the industry is being created.


TNMOC, the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) and the East of England Broadband Network (E2BN) have teamed up to put the resource together this summer.


When completed in 2015 it will be available online for use in classroom settings for schools connected to the National Education Network.


The resource is expected to contain about 50 videos clips, with incorporated curriculum support material for Key Stages 2 to 5. It will include an interactive timeline highlighting the role of women in IT starting with the 1944 Colossus operators.


The resource aims to address the past and current challenges faced by women entering the industry, with several role models offering support and guidance.


Kathy Olson from E2BN, who will present the forthcoming Women and Computing project, said: “Women are woefully under-represented in the world of computing accounting for only 17% of the IT and telecoms industry workforce. I was lucky enough to be inspired to take up computing by a dynamic teacher, so I realise the significance of role models.


“I hope that the stories of the women in computing that we will be able to tell in this new resource will act as a catalyst to encourage more girls into computing careers. As Karen Spärck Jones, a pioneer of computer search techniques, quipped: ‘Computing is too important to be left to men'”.


Chris Monk, leaning co-ordinator at TNMOC, said: “Over the past year fewer than one in twenty of our visiting students have been girls. However a recent increase in the number of all-girl schools visiting proves that girls do want to study computing and need encouragement.


“Our museum will continue to promote the role of women in computing history and we are eager to partner LGfL in producing what we believe will be an inspiring resource.”


The team recently put together the History of Computing resource which is now available to 25,000 UK schools connected to the National Education Network.


The LGfL partner in the project, Bob Usher, said: “A History of Computing is the most successful resource LGfL has ever produced. The feedback from schools has been very encouraging, so we are very confident that the planned Women and Computing resource will be in high demand.


“The National Museum of Computing is a great place to base our filming because it tells so much of our computing history in an engaging, interactive way. And it is always developing: I have just returned to film the fully-restored 1951 WITCH computer which, unlike today’s computers, is so visual in operation that it gives unexpected insights into modern computing.”

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