Girls get shut out of technology so early and I worry that there aren’t enough people trying to make a difference… yet.
Day One of my game design class for middle schoolers this week - I asked who played games and everyone but a couple of the girls and one of the boys raised their hands.
One of the boys with his hand up said to another, “See - hardly any of the girls…”
"NOT IN THIS CLASS." I immediately interrupted him. "We don’t make fun of anyone because they don’t play games, besides most of the girls raised their hands. And,” I added, “in my experience, the girls are going to do better in this class than the boys, even if they don’t play video games. So you’d better be respectful because by the end of the week, you’re going to be asking for their help.”
Yesterday, the last day of class, everyone was enjoying their free time at the end of the day except one student - the same who was quick to try and alienate the girls on day one - who realized he hadn’t been paying enough attention and desperately wanted to finish making his game before class was over. “Teacher,” he said, “I need help doing what she did with the end of her game.”
"Well," I replied, "then you’d better ask her and hope she feels like taking the time out of having some well-deserved fun to do some more work with you."