Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day #20 Blast from the past - Tech Savvy Girls win Video Content

Playing catchup after missing a couple days away from the blog due to our moving the bus and preparing for FETC conference in Orlando, but still inspired to write about girls and technology and  determined to  play catchup and get back on track.

 Here's a post about a past Tech Savvy Girls success that's worth sharing.


Students were involved in every step of this video Having pictures and cameras in the girls’ hands throughout the week has always been one of our success strategies – let girls use creativity tools to tell their story – then provide them with some good content (themselves learning new tech skills) to film and photograph.  


Using the tools to create digital stories of girls using technology reinforces the message that ‘girls can and should be’ in the picture of a tech-savvy society. This strategy helps counter the images they might encounter in real life such as computer classes that are 90% male as they walk through school; boys huddled around robotics or computer centers in their classroom; or career role models that reinforce gender stereotypes that technology is a guy’s world.

During the week, the girls tell a different story – a story where they are in the picture of a high tech world. . One group of girls took pictures that captured the essence of Tech Savvy Girls and created the introduction using Animoto (an online video tool). Another group of girls learned that Scratch – the program they used to create computer games, could also be used to create animations for a digital story. These girls recorded the narratives and wrote the computer scripts to animate the characters using the same software they had used to create their computer games.

This further reinforced the concept that a high tech career can involve many roles, including careers that use their creative sides. Another group of girls interviewed one of the junior counselors and each other using Flip Cameras, Digital Cameras, and Audacity – again further reinforcing the concept that girls like technology when they are making a difference and have something real and meaningful to do with it. The logo at the beginning of the movie was created by yet another group of girls using Aviary – an free online tool that they can use beyond camp.

Yet another group of girls took the Flip Video footage from the week and sliced and assembled it into small video segments for the “on location” parts of the video. They got feedback from each other to get each segment to capture the spirit of that camp activity within the ‘time constraint’ given for each segment – yet another key to creativity. Although each segment was created during Tech Savvy Girls Summer Camp week, the finally stitching together of the final program submitted was not done by the girls as time ran out. As adults we put their work together into one video and uploaded it to You Tube. Unfortunately, the final product loss some quality when it was finally assembled into yet another tool – but we feel that the process of creating a digital story with real tools that were accessible in the daily lives of these girls trumped having a high quality rendition of a product produced by specialized tools that are not available to them beyond camp.

This video production project provided Tech Savvy Girls with with confidence, skills, and experience with accessible tools – all strategies for closing the gender gap found in today’s high tech world. 

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