Girls, Games, and Intrepid Exploration on the Computer
Jill Denner (Education, Training, Research Associates, USA) and Steve Bean (Education, Training, Research Associates, USA)
Copyright: © 2006
One way to increase women’s participation in technology is to create more female independent problem solvers on the computer, or what Sherry Turkle (cited in Margolis & Fisher, 2002) calls “intrepid explorers.” Studies of students who persist in computer science have shown the importance of being “intrepid”—having the desire to explore without fear of breaking the computer, and the confidence to solve problems and deal with setbacks (Margolis & Fisher, 2002). An intrepid explorer is creative and fearless about trying new things on the computer. However, how do people become intrepid explorers? How can learning environments support them? This article addresses these questions by describing ways to support girls to explore intrepidly on computers. These strategies are grounded in previous research as well as our own research on an after school program for middle school girls.