Information Technology Fluency for Middle School Girls

S. Campe, L.L. Werner, and J. Denner (USA)

Keywords

information technology fluency, pair programming, middle school, collaboration, projectbased

Abstract

To participate in the changing world of technology, students must develop information technology (IT) fluency, rather than simply IT literacy. Fluency includes three kinds of knowledge: skills, concepts, and capabilities. The acquisition of these kinds of knowledge is more likely to happen in the context of project-based work. Because of the continued majority of males in IT, it is essential that efforts are made to increase the participation of girls. In this paper, we describe an after school program for middle school girls that aims to develop IT fluency by teaching them to make computer games. We present data from their games that show how participants have made substantial strides toward information technology fluency. The findings suggest that most girls developed skills in graphics, use of a database, and the use of the internet. They developed capabilities such as sustained reasoning and managing complexity. And they developed concepts such as algorithmic thinking and programming and information organization.

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