Title: Rutgers University Virtual Classroom Visit: Q&A with Undergraduate Computer Scientists
Lesson Objectives: By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
- Better understand both the challenges and excitement of the technology industry
Discuss the lack of diversity in the tech sphere and the need to increase it
Cite examples demonstrating the use of technological knowledge as a tool for a wide array of interests
- Students will join a Google Hangout session with a 2-3 person panel of undergraduate computer science major from Rutgers University
Instructional Materials and Resources needed
projector and screen
reliable WiFi connection
Google Hangouts/Skype permissions on school network
Warm-Up / Anticipatory Set
Before the Virtual Classroom Visit, students will have filled out the anonymous pre-panel survey detailing demographic information and initial interest and knowledge of the tech industry ▪ Survey can be found here: https://docs.google.com/forms/u/1/d/ 1exM9c2OoGhnNIqHEYzq2qujs8yFcMX1U0Orm2SbY5i8/edit? usp=sharing
Students will have prepared 1-3 questions each to ask the panelists. Sample questions might include: ▪ What does a day in the life of a programmer look like? ▪ Is coding as difficult as it looks? ▪ Why is it important to be tech-literate if I’m not interested in working in the technology sector?
Phase I: Presentation (00:00 - 00:15)
Panelists initially will not have video enabled
Panelists will ask students what the class thinks they look like.
Students will describe both physical and personality attributes of a technologist to panelists
Panelists may prompt students for certain traits
What gender am I?
What race am I?
How old am I?
How long have I been programming?
What do I do other than coding?
Once the sketch is finished, panelists will enable video and introduce themselves - name, class year, and how they first got into coding , and discuss with students how accurate or inaccurate their initial conceptions were
Panelists and students will discuss media and societal influence on who goes into tech
Silicon Valley television show
Hidden Figures movie
Marketing for children’s toys
Students will be invited to share with panelists and classmates why they may not be interested in coding or technology
In response, panelists will discuss their own experiences with the student’s challenges or hesitation, and correct misconceptions if applicable
Panelists and students will discuss the urgent need for diversity in the tech sphere, and provide examples of the benefits of a diverse workforce
Data Mining (Machine-Learning generated ads which prey on specific demographics
Product viability (new iPhones are too large for women to use comfortably)
Thought diversity (effects of groupthink)
Phase II - Guided Practice & Collaboration (00:15 - 00:35)
- Q & A : students will be invited to ask the questions they prepared for the panelists
Phase III – Assessment (To be completed after the VCV)
Students will fill out the anonymous post-panel survey after the call, reflecting upon their changes in perception (or lack there of) of the tech industryYou can fill out the survey here:
Wrap-Up / Review and Connections (00:35 - 00:40)