Solder and wire or needle and thread: Examining the effects of electronic textile construction kits on girls' attitudes towards computing and arts

Richard Lee Davis, Chris Proctor, Michelle Friend, Paulo Blikstein

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The gender gap in computing has persisted—and grown—over the past 40 years. Prior work has identified a number of contributing factors for the persistence of the divide, including environmental cues, software themes, and course content. More recently, the design of software and hardware tools have been investigated as potentially contributing to the gender gap, and a new class of tools designed with gender in mind have risen to prominence. This study compared one such tool—the Adafruit Flora, an electronic textiles platform—to a comparable platform that was not designed with gender in mind—the Arduino Leonardo. While there were some shifts in self-identification, the most notable result was that the participants’ views of computing and arts became less stereotyped. However, there was no meaningful difference between workshops in this regard. Our results indicate that the relationship between e-textiles and gender may be more complicated than previously thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)800-807
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS
Volume2
Issue number2018-June
StatePublished - 2018
Event13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2018: Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age: Making the Learning Sciences Count - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 23 2018Jun 27 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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