Across the world, girls are less likely to finish school, less likely to pursue higher education, and thus less likely to follow career paths that lead to higher-paying, more specialized jobs. – Vicki Niu, Inspire Girls content developer, Stanford Undergraduate
Our pairs of teacher and students in countries in Africa and English-speaking countries outside of Africa aim to co-develop and field test Inspire Girls teacher resources to help African teachers inspire girls to pursue careers in technology.
- to enable and empower girls to stay in school
- to inspire them to pursue career roles as leaders and innovators
- to help them serve as valuable peers and role models to other girls.
WCE is excited to have English teachers and students and business women mentors outside of Africa beginning to work on Inspire Girls with teachers and students, our Field Associates and Country Coordinators of iEARN in the following six African countries: Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Rwanda, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
WCE Inspire Girls Pilot Project
World Computer Exchange is currently pairing six high school teachers with students in Africa with six high school teachers with students outside of Africa. Each pair of classes or clubs of high school students will work together to co-develop one of the five resources for African teachers interested in inspiring girls to pursue careers in technology. WCE also includes our Field Associate in this country and a business woman technology mentor for each pairing. Four of these pairings have started in Kenya, Liberia, Mali, and Rwanda. We have high school teachers and students in South Africa and Zimbabwe ready to begin now – do you know a teacher who might be interested?
School Requirements: Internet access after school hours in Africa and first thing in the morning in the USA, webcam, Skype or Google + account, co-develop with paired teacher/student team one of our 5 resource for interested African teachers to inspire girls in to pursue careers in technology
Preferable: experience with iEARN.org student-learning project-based project
Student Benefit: the participating class or club of students will be to better understand students in a different country, learn to work together on a project about gender equity or inclusion, learn more about technology, and learn about developing a product or “resource” that will be used by hundreds of African teachers to inspire girls to pursue careers in technology.
School Benefit: WCE Offers reduction of cost of refurbished computers for African schools and possibly a stipend for African teachers that coach an after school Inspire Girls tech club
Teacher Role: Recruit interested students, give the students a basic questionnaire to share with the students in the other country, participate in introductory/planning Google Hangout video call with other teacher, find a mutually feasible time to have the students have video calls, help the class or club share and understand about their own and the other students’, school, and country, help students understand and develop ideas to remove cultural, economic, and other obstacles to girls interested in pursuing careers in technology, and to work together with the other teacher and students to co-develop one of 5 resources to be used by interested teachers.
Businesswoman Tech Mentor: WCE will seek to recruit a business woman with some tech experience to help each teaching pair and their students. It will be helpful if each mentor can participate in the introduction conference video calls between the 2 teachers and with the WCE Field Associate in the country and on-line video conferences every 2 or 3 weeks between the two classes or clubs during the school year. So far we have mentors for our Remera Rwanda/McHenry, Illinois and Gardnerville, Liberia/Hull, Massachusetts pairs and it looks like we will soon have one from our Amalo, Kenya/Dedham, Massachusetts pair.
Communications: We are hoping that a Google hangout can be scheduled every three weeks or so between the same students to work on one of the teacher resources. In between your calls the students can communicate some back and forth by email.
Gender: It is up to each teacher if they want their team or class to be all female or a mix of male and female. Either is fine as long as all participating students are interested in working together to co-develop a resource for African teachers interested in inspiring girls to pursue careers in technology.
African Countries: Six of the nine African countries where WCE has Field Associates have recruited interested teachers: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya (paired with a Dedham, Massachusetts high school physics teacher), Liberia (paired with a Hull, Massachusetts high school history teacher), Mali (paired with a China high school computer science teacher), Rwanda (paired with Illinois primary school technology teacher), South Africa (pending – possibly with Maryland high school teacher), Zambia, and Zimbabwe (seeking a USA high school teacher and students to be paired with.
If you are interested in helping, please contact InspireGirls@WorldComputerExchange.org.
We are also looking to work with universities and gender resource organizations in these six countries in the development of these 5 teacher resources.
As the resources are rolled-out, WCE will disseminate (PLAN) them through our network of 4,430 interested groups.
Our goal is to have these resources impact 5,000 teachers to reach half a million girls in developing countries within 5 years. The 5 teacher resources that we co-develop in this initiative will also strengthen our capacity building, training and content services for our Partners in 78 developing countries. The development and implementation of this service is led by Julie Schniewind, the Chair of our Inspire Girls Consortia.