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Michigan Research Group Seeks To Boost Female Use of Software and Computers

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Michigan Research Group Seeks To Boost Female Use of Software and Computers

Ann Arbor, Mich.
Anewly forming research group at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is seeking to bridge the skills and confidence gap between American men and women with regard to computer use. The Gender and Learning Technologies group is planning to hold its official kick-off meeting March 24, at the School of Education at the Ann Arbor campus. People from every academic discipline are being invited to share perspectives on the gender gap in information technology, and to shape the formation of the Gender and Learning Technologies (GLT) group.
Michigan officials say that research has identified significant gender differences in attitudes and experiences with educational technology and in the number of students entering technology fields. While the interventions designed to reduce the gender gap have mostly focused on trying to change girls’ attitudes and behaviors toward technology, the GLT group is taking a different approach to the problem by focusing on how the design of educational technology affects the gap, according to officials.
The GLT group will also promote discussions and critiques of group members’ research in the context of gender and educational technology issues. They expect to collect resources that address gender and educational technology. Other activities include the recruitment of women into the field of educational technology and developing research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate women. 
The group’s director is Dr. Nichole Pinkard, an assistant professor of education at the University of Michigan. Pinkard is a leading educational technologist whose research has largely focused on African American students and information technology.
Interested participants should e-mail Denise Conanan at <dconanan@umich.edu>; Pinkard at <pinkard@umich.edu>; or Tiffany Marra at umich.edu>. Marra can be reached by phone at (734) 647-2130 and Conanan at (734) 647-2130. 

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