Archive for April 8, 2013

Opening a Gateway for Girls to Enter the Computer Field – NYTimes.com

All these efforts to draw in more girls to computing are great, but the last sentence is a big deal.  How do we keep them?  How do we help girls to survive the thousand paper cuts?

Girls Who Code is among the recent crop of programs aiming to close the gender gap in tech by intervening early, when young women are deciding what they want to study. With names like Hackbright Academy, Girl Develop It, Black Girls Code and Girls Teaching Girls to Code, these groups try to present a more exciting image of computer science.

The dearth of women in the tech industry has been well documented. Even though women represent more than half the overall work force, they hold less than a quarter of computing and technical jobs, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology based at the University of Colorado, Boulder. At the executive and founder levels, women are even scarcer.

via Opening a Gateway for Girls to Enter the Computer Field – NYTimes.com.

April 8, 2013 at 1:54 am 5 comments

Stanford teams with edX: Shaking out open learning options

The announcement that Stanford teamed with edX is interesting, but may be less significant than the interpretation that Stanford is nixing Coursera and Udacity.  Rather, Stanford faculty will have options between Coursera, iTunes U, and YouTube.  The report suggests that Class2Go will “publicly merge” with edX, so there will be one fewer options for Stanford faculty.  (Discussed further in the The Chronicle.) This is also the first I’ve heard about MIT faculty feeling that OpenCourseWare is not a useful path to pursue.  The options for open learning are shaking out, with multiple options going forward, but some falling by the wayside.

Mitchell said Stanford faculty members will continue to post material on Apple’s iTunes U, on Google’s YouTube and on Coursera, and to also generally allow faculty to pick among different platforms.“We will work on a case-by-case basis with individual faculty,” Mitchell said.

And, even though it is nonprofit, edX will also eventually need to make money. MIT and Harvard both chipped in $30 million apiece to get edX off the ground.While other open education resources, like MIT’s OpenCourseWare, are perpetually profitless and donor-backed, there may be little appetite to do that again. For instance, MIT faculty and trustees are “convinced that they cannot go down the same path again,” according to a new book about MOOCs by William Bowen, the former president of Princeton University.

via Stanford teams up with edX | Inside Higher Ed.

April 8, 2013 at 1:42 am 3 comments


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