How To Engage Girls In Technology

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How can you inspire the new generation of ed-tech leaders?

In Europe, women hold only 11.2% of leadership roles in the tech world and this is not ‘just one of those things’.

One of the few women to fall under this category is Hannah Munro, managing to overcome problems encountered whilst breaking into the tech world was no easy task but she decided not to let her gender or age get in the way of her becoming a Senior Business Technologist. Hannah described her experience of technology in school:

It wasn’t challenging, it wasn’t interesting. Even though I was really interested in technology, I didn’t think of this as a career choice to begin with because there was absolutely no push from my teachers or career staff to explore this area. It was like there wasn’t a choice …”

Inspire your girls with technology: 5 Top tips

How can we ensure we’re not making the same mistake?

Sometimes as teachers, we feel limited by the curriculum. We need forward-thinking, so that we can make the curriculum fit to what the children need and tailor IT classes to their real life experiences of technology. I spoke to my whole class about this issue and they offered some brilliant insights into what it is that they enjoy about using technology.

5. Don’t feel confined!

In ICT or Computing, teachers can often feel as though they have to stick within the constraints of using Word or Excel, maybe a PowerPoint if they’re feeling adventurous. Don’t. Be that teacher who takes them on a journey through the digital world.

4. Be a role model

A child in my class stated, “maybe they don’t see adult women they know using technology, that might make them think that they can’t.” This came from a ten-year old boy who had recognised the gender gap in a world that is so far from his own.

3. Use real world contexts

Don’t give a child data to input in Excel, that’s not interesting to most children. Get them to create films, walk through booking tickets for transport to explore timetables, create their own vlogs imitating their heroes.

2. Make sure there’s an emphasis

If we want to inspire young girls to go into technology then we need to make it a big deal. Make it real and possible and tangible. Make them believe that it is an avenue that they can explore after school, not just one of those lessons that is in the afternoon, bit of a jolly.

1. Use TechFuture Girls:

TechFuture Girls (formerly known as CC4G) is an out-of-the-box after-school club that has been specifically designed to encourage girls to stay engaged in IT.

It helps girls develop their tech skills through a series of fun challenges, themed around their interests – like music, sport and dance. Running TechFuture Girls doesn’t need any specialist IT expertise or software, it’s fully curriculum-compliant, and girls love it. It supports girls’ learning in IT and across the curriculum, and benefits their confidence and self-esteem.

Clubs like this are exactly what we need in our schools. Encouraging young girls to learn through their own interests, with their friends in a non-exclusive society where they feel confident to explore and experiment. I will definitely implement this club in the near future for the girls in my class.

By signing up to TechFuture Girls, this gives a school:

* Access to all 8 TechFuture Girls learning topics, including over 60 hours of online and more than 150 hours of offline extension activities

* Unlimited access at home for all staff and students in the school

* A getting started pack sent to the school, including a hard copy of a Getting Started Guide and posters to help advertise the club around school

*Access to a dedicated club facilitator area where teachers can manage their members and reward them with credits and certificates, plus support materials to help prepare for and deliver clubs.

Why not inspire the next Sheryl Sandberg or Susan Wojcicki and sign up today?

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Hollie Anderton

Hollie is currently a primary teacher in North Wales with a degree in Theatre. She trained in Bath Spa University to gain her PGCE and has an experimental classroom which she has developed from other practitioners. She is a firm advocate for anything collaborative and creative and has a huge interest in managing classroom behaviour.