Women and computing online resource planned
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An online video resource for schools to use to encourage more women in computing is to be created by the award-winning team of TNMOC, the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) and the East of England Broadband Network (E2BN). This follows the team's highly successful History of Computing resource which was acclaimed at this year's BETT awards and is now available to 25,000 UK schools connected to the National Education Network.
The women in computing resource will be created this summer at TNMOC where it will take as its starting point the Women in Computing Gallery, sponsored by Google UK and opened in September 2013. It will include an interactive timeline highlighting the role of women in computing across the decades starting with the 1944 operators of Colossus. The resource will also explore the past and current challenges that women face in entering the industry and the changing social context of the past seven decades. Role models will feature strongly to give the coming generation the confidence to know that they can play a major role in computing.
Like the award-winning History of Computing, the completed Women and Computing resource will become available online, ready for use in classroom settings of schools connected to the National Education Network. Scheduled for release in 2015, it is expected to contain about 50 video clips designed for easy and rapid access. The resource will incorporate curriculum support material for Key Stages 2 to 5.
Kathy Olsson from E2BN, who helped initiate the History of Computing resource, will present the forthcoming Women and Computing project. Introducing the project she said: "Women are woefully under-represented in the world of computing accounting for only 17% of the IT and telecoms industry workforce(1). I was lucky enough to be inspired to take up computing by a dynamic teacher, so I realise the significance of role models. I hope that the stories of the women in computing that we will be able to tell in this new resource will act as a catalyst to encourage more girls into computing careers. As Karen Spärck Jones, a pioneer of computer search techniques, quipped: 'Computing is too important to be left to men'".
Chris Monk, Learning Co-ordinator at TNMOC, said: "Over the past year fewer than one in twenty of our visiting students have been girls. However a recent increase in the number of all-girl schools visiting proves that girls do want to study computing and need encouragement. Our museum will continue to promote the role of women in computing history and we are eager to partner LGfL in producing what we believe will be an inspiring resource."
The LGfL partner in the project, Bob Usher, said: "A History of Computing is the most successful resource LGfL has ever produced. The feedback from schools has been very encouraging, so we are very confident that the planned Women and Computing resource will be in high demand. The National Museum of Computing is a great place to base our filming because it tells so much of our computing history in an engaging, interactive way. And it is always developing: I have just returned to film the fully-restored 1951 WITCH computer which, unlike today's computers, is so visual in operation that it gives unexpected insights into modern computing."
Notes To Editors
About The National Museum of Computing
The National Museum of Computing, located on Bletchley Park, is an independent charity housing the world's largest collection of functional historic computers, including the rebuilt Colossus, the world’s first electronic computer, and the WITCH, the world's oldest working digital computer. The Museum enables visitors to follow the development of computing from the ultra-secret pioneering efforts of the 1940s through the large systems and mainframes of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and the rise of personal computing in the 1980s and beyond.
A recent pledge by an individual benefactor of £1 million if matched funding is found means that every pound or dollar donated to the Museum will count double. Previous funders of the Museum have included Bletchley Park Capital Partners, CreateOnline, Ceravision, InsightSoftware.com, Google UK, PGP Corporation, IBM, NPL, HP Labs, BCS, and 4Links.
The whole Museum is currently open to the public on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon, spring and summer Bank Holidays and increasingly during school holidays. Colossus and Tunny galleries are open almost every day. Guided tours are available at 2pm on Tuesdays. There are often additional opening times for the public -- see the website or the iPhone app for updates. Educational and corporate groups are very welcome and may be on any day or evening by prior arrangement.
For more information, see www.tnmoc.org and follow @tnmoc on Twitter and The National Museum of Computing on Facebook and Google+. A TNMOC iPhone App is also now available from the iPhone App Store.
About The London Grid for Learning
The LGfL Trust is a consortium of the London local authorities and 2.500 schools working together to provide extensive and cost effective ICT services, particularly for school broadband services. By working together schools save millions of pounds a year (about £35,000 per primary and £135,000 per secondary school) compared to schools purchasing the same services individually. See more at: http://www.lgfl.net
E2BN is a Regional Broadband Consortia (RBC) and is formed of 10 Local Authorities (LAs) and 1800 schools. E2BN schools enjoy safe, secure high speed broadband, flexible filtering and award winning online learning resources. As an aggregator of services E2BN is able to provide considerable cost savings and high service levels to all schools. Find out more at: www.e2bn.org
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