Dr Billy Wong

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Billy Wong

@billybwong

Lecturer in Education, University of Roehampton. Research interest in youths and STEM education

Workshop

Technical boys and creative girls: The career aspirations of digitally competent youths

 Computers and technology are increasingly central to our lives, particularly among young people. However, there remains concern from government and businesses of a digital skills gap because many youths, especially girls, tend to be consumers rather than creators of technology. Drawing on 32 semi-structured interviews with teenagers (aged 13-19) from two computing summer schools, we investigate the career aspirations of digitally competent youths. Using a gendered lens of identity, we examine how gender discourses can interact with the type of computing and technology careers that are of interest to digitally-skilled boys and girls. Our findings reveal that boys are more likely express an interest in the technical aspects of computing, whereas girls find the creative elements in digital technology more attractive. Implications of the findings for computing education are discussed. In particular, we focus on the new computing curriculum in England, which prioritizes technical computing skills, and discuss the potential concerns with regards to the gender digital divide.

About Billy

Lecturer in Education, University of Roehampton. Research interest in youths and STEM education

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