Teens Girls and Technology: What's the Problem, What's the Solution?

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Overview

How do we engage girls with technology and why is this important? Lesley Farmer examines how girls currently view and use technology, noting how uninformed they are as to technology's impact upon their futures. This dynamic book provides a framework that teachers, parents, and youth workers can use in motivating girls to both use and think about technology. Farmer shows us how to inspire teen girls with confidence and, in so doing, increase their interest in technology-based careers. Drawing upon the work of psychologists, sociologists, technologists, educators, and governmental agencies, the book highlights school- and community-based interventions that have successfully encouraged technology use among teenage girls.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Angela Carstensen
Many adults assume that teen girls are advanced technology users. They see these teens on cell phones, texting, shopping on the Internet, doing homework online, IMing, and e-mailing. But consider the fact that only 15 percent of AP computer science test takers were female in 2005. Farmer makes a persuasive and important argument that teen girls need encouragement to feel empowered to pursue their interests in technology. She begins with a comprehensive overview of the current situation. Until girls reach middle school, the two genders are equally interested in technology. At that point, however, stereotypes assert themselves. Teachers, parents, and other adults may unintentionally reinforce these stereotypes, and as a result, girls with a serious interest in technology must push beyond their comfort zones to change perceptions. Few are strong enough to do so. Farmer uses knowledge of teen psychology and development and studies of how boys and girls differ in their technology interests to find solutions. Girls are especially interested in social and collaborative uses of technology. They need to receive constructive reinforcement, positive female role modeling, and encouragement of risk-taking in order to feel support for pursuing careers in technology. The book's final half describes activities that deliver these necessities. Farmer provides school, home, and collaborative community-based activities that encourage technology use, emphasizing service and social interaction. The text is carefully documented throughout and concludes with an extensive list of references. This book is for teachers, administrators, parents, community leaders, and librarians alike. Many suggested activitiesand solutions are likely to be implemented by librarians, and it will be helpful for all readers to understand the roles that library spaces and librarians can play in this effort. Reviewer: Angela Carstensen
School Library Journal

The first part of this book details the role that technology plays in girlsa€™ social and academic lives. Farmer also makes the case that those who dona€™t become involved with technology are a€œdisadvantaged in life, and society does not benefit from their full potential.a€ The second section of the book focuses on the research and the realities of technology and gender-related issues. The author makes her case that schools, communities, and families need to pay particular attention to why so many females are shying away from technology-heavy fields of study and careers. She states that it is a€œsocietal attitudes and pressures that send mixed messages to young women.a€ Finally, she provides technology-enhanced learning activities broken into in-school activities, community-based initiatives, and family-based activities. This section is the booka€™s real value. It contains many suggestions on how to get girls interested in using and possibly exploring a career in technology. While the research is thorough, it is presented without any illustrative material to highlight points of interest, making the text somewhat dense and dry. Strong emphasis on curriculum and school-related issues makes this most useful for schools, but larger libraries and systems will also want to consider it.-Renee McGrath, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807748756
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I Teen Girls' Tech Reality

1 What's the Situation? 7

The Developmental World of Females 7

A Millennial World 10

The World of 21st-Century Teenagers 13

Focusing on Today's Teenage Girls 14

Teenage Girls and Technology 15

Girls and Gaming 18

2 What's the Problem? 20

Societal Messages 20

Family Issues 21

Social Issues 22

Economic Issues 23

Government Issues 24

Academic Issues 26

What Is the Impact? 30

3 What's the Solution? 33

International Recommendations 33

National Recommendations 36

What's the Positive Impact? 38

Part II Elements for Success

4 The Role of Adults 45

Adult Stakeholders 45

Checking Adult Attitudes About Technology 49

Adult Technology Competence 52

Working with Teenage Girls 55

Adult Collaboration 57

The Big Picture 61

5 Technology Resources with Girls in Mind 62

The World of Technology 62

Hardware 64

Software 65

Digital Documents 67

Telecommunications 68

6 Girls' Access to Technology 70

Physical Access 70

Intellectual Access 71

Emotional and Social Access 72

Ethical Access 74

7 How Girls Can Use Technology 77

The Grand Communicators 77

Girls Just Want to Have Fun 80

I Am a Material Girl 82

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar 84

The Times They Are A-Changin' 86

I Love Ya Tomorrow! 87

Part III Technology-Enhanced Learning Activities

8 In-School Incorporation 91

Conditions for Learning 91

Curriculum 94

Instructional Design 95

Collaboration 98

Co-Curricular Opportunities 100

Sample Activities 101

9 Community-Based Initiatives 117

Building Capacity 117

Program Development 118

Mentoring and Coaching 119

Community Partners 121

Sample Activities 122

10Family-Based Activities 136

Today's Families 136

Family Dynamics 137

The Power of Technology 139

Sample Activities 140

References 161

Index 173

About the Author 181

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