About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6034-6042
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

CREATIVE COLLABORATIVE COMPUTING ACTIVITIES IN COMPUTER ANIMATION AS A METHOD OF INCREASING YOUNG WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION IN TECHNOLOGY CAREERS

M. Palazzi

The Ohio State University (UNITED STATES)
There exists a long-established and growing gender gap in technology-related fields. Historically, women have not pursued computer science and technology-related careers at the same rate as their male counterparts. As of 2008 only 25% of professional IT-related occupations in the U.S. workforce were held by women according to a report by the National Center for Women & Information Technology. (1) The report and a recent San Francisco Chronicle article suggest that a lack of role models, insufficient preparation in middle and high school, the industry's “geeky” image and insufficient corporate commitment contributed to the decline. (2) A study by the American Association of University Women states that alternative paths or “multiple points of entry” to computer science can attract girls to technology-related fields. (3)

Computer animation may play a role in bridging the gap because of its motivational value, underlying basis in storytelling, and collaborative nature. Using an innovative approach to presenting unconventional entry points into technology, we have designed and delivered a collaborative learning and mentoring summer program in computer animation for 7th and 8th grade girls since 2001. The relationship to the arts is what makes this program unique as a study on how young women relate to and view technology as an integral part of their career choices.

Many of the technology mentoring programs currently in place for young women are designed purely around scientific applications of technology. Using active learning practices our program uniquely presents technology as an integral partner in creative activities in the process of making computer animation. With the introduction of technology through computer animation principles, the participants experience the underlying ties of technology to art, mathematics, science and storytelling as a construct for complex ideas. The main activities of the program are structured as small team projects. The projects are centered on a single social issue so that the students, working in groups, experience a directed work process of research and drafting before completing a final animation project. The groups are mentored by women graduate students currently studying computer animation in a dynamic and focused technological experience using the same high-end software used in animated feature-films like Toy Story, Shrek and Avatar.

The four primary components we use to structure the experience are Collaborative Learning, Creative Hands-on Exploration, Mentoring and Field Experiences, and Synthesis. These components provide a framework for fostering an opportunity for girls to discover technology-related fields that might have otherwise remained unexplored. In this presentation these components will be defined and best practices and their implementation within the program will be detailed. Program outcomes, which seek to broaden the range of technology career options by increasing educational opportunities for young women in our community, will be examined.

References:
(1) TechAmerica, National Center for Women & Information Technology, http://www.techamerica.org/ncwit .
(2) Vanessa Hua, “Girls on the Motherboard,” The San Francisco Chronicle (August 18, 2003), E1
(3) AAUW, Tech-Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age, Washington, DC: AAUW Educational Foundation (2000), xii.
@InProceedings{PALAZZI2010CRE,
author = {Palazzi, M.},
title = {CREATIVE COLLABORATIVE COMPUTING ACTIVITIES IN COMPUTER ANIMATION AS A METHOD OF INCREASING YOUNG WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION IN TECHNOLOGY CAREERS},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {6034-6042}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Palazzi
TI - CREATIVE COLLABORATIVE COMPUTING ACTIVITIES IN COMPUTER ANIMATION AS A METHOD OF INCREASING YOUNG WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION IN TECHNOLOGY CAREERS
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 6034
EP - 6042
ER -
M. Palazzi (2010) CREATIVE COLLABORATIVE COMPUTING ACTIVITIES IN COMPUTER ANIMATION AS A METHOD OF INCREASING YOUNG WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION IN TECHNOLOGY CAREERS, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 6034-6042.
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