Great Expectations

A blog of the Department of English at BGSU:A place for faculty, students and alumni to connect.

English Department Co-Sponsors Girls’ Computer Camp

Posted by bgsuenglish on August 5, 2007

From Aug. 8-11, BGSU will host “The Digital Mirror,” a computer camp for girls in grades 6-8. The three-day camp is intended to pique girls’ interest and confidence in digital literacy at a critical age developmentally, and allow them to explore the ways they define themselves within technological environments.

Through a blend of hands-on computer lab work in Web writing and design, digital imaging, and video and audio editing; mentoring by University women involved in careers in technology across campus; and access to the resources of COSI Toledo, the camp strives to engage girls in an exploration of how technological literacy is a vital part of their academic and professional careers.

The twenty participants will stay in campus residence halls to enhance the intensive mentoring and training environment.

“This is an excellent opportunity for community engagement on the part of women faculty, students and staff,” according to Kris Blair, chair of the English department and co-developer and director of the camp. “A number of research studies, including those by the AAUW (American Association of University Women), suggest that it is during early adolescence that girls begin receiving cultural messages that technology is not for them.“

In addition to Dr. Blair, other English Department participants include Rhetoric and Writing doctoral students Jen Almjeld, Erin Dietel-McLaughlin, and Meredith Graupner, and Creative Writing MFA graduate Julie Platt. They, along with other campus participants from Communication Studies, Computer Science, HIED, and the School of Art, co-developed the camp as part of an Institute for the Study of Culture and Society (ICS) Research Cluster, “Webbing Cyberfeminist Practice,” the title of Blair’s forthcoming co-edited collection with Radhika Gajjala and Rhetoric and Writing graduate Christine Tulley (2001).

In addition to ICS and the English Department, the camp is co-sponsored by a number of other campus units, including the Graduate College, the Office of the Executive Vice President, the School of Art, and the Student Technology Center. The camp has also received support from the AAUW and COSI Toledo and is being videoed for a story with BGFile, a local technology and community organization affiliated with SeaLion Studio.

The department hopes the camp will be an annual event.

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