Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing!

(Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)

Reflections, Connections, Enthusiasm and One Really Great Luncheon!
July 24, 2018

Reflections, Connections, Enthusiasm and One Really Great Luncheon!

Emily Green, MA | July 24, 2018
Research Associate, ETR

ETR is a distributed workforce. This means we have four sites spread over three cities, along with a team of remote workers spread all over the country. This helps strengthen our ability to reach different populations and bring talented people on board who wouldn’t be able to commute to one of our physical offices.

If you work in the field of Equity and Inclusion in STEM, you’ll recognize this as a structural model that encourages greater diversity in a workforce.

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Tags: Mentoring, Inspiration, Equity in tech, Equity
Work Is Not the Enemy of Education: Let's Consider Stackable Credentials
May 31, 2018

Work Is Not the Enemy of Education: Let's Consider Stackable Credentials

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | May 31, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

What comes first for young adults? Education? Or Work?

In this culture, we usually view education and work as sequential stages rather than part of a mutually enhancing cycle. Our ideal seems to be that secondary and post-secondary students need to focus on school and should not be working during the school year. At the same time, we expect education to give students skills they will need in the workplace.

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Tags: Equity in Tech, Diversity in technology, Technology education
Coding Boot Camps: Wish They'd Existed When I Was Studying Computer Science
March 1, 2018

Coding Boot Camps: Wish They'd Existed When I Was Studying Computer Science

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | February 28, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

Why bother learning to write computer code? That’s a question I used to asked myself. I believe that many women are still asking this question. They don’t perceive the value of coding until they get into the workforce and discover a host of ways coding can increase the impact of their work.

This is just one more reason we should celebrate, support and advocate for the improvement of alternative computer science (CS) training grounds such as coding boot camps.

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD
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Tags: Coding boot camps, Computer science education, Diversity in technology
The Importance of Community Colleges in Diversifying Computing
February 8, 2018

The Importance of Community Colleges in Diversifying Computing

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | February 8, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

Finally! More and more attention is shifting to the fact that community colleges could play a critical role in diversifying computing fields.

The National Science Foundation and Google have given momentum to this movement by funding and hosting a workshop, the “Authentic Inclusion of Community Colleges in Broadening Participation in Computing.” It was held January 30-February 1, 2018, at the Google headquarters. 

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD
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Tags: STEM equity, STEM equity, Community college, Diversity in technology, Computer science education
What's an Economics and Politics Student Doing at ETR?
September 7, 2017

What's an Economics and Politics Student Doing at ETR?

By Chris Connelly | September 7, 2017
Former Data Core Intern, ETR

Not many people would align my professional goals with those of a non-profit. I’m majoring in Economics and Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. After graduation, I plan to earn a Masters in Applied Economics and Finance. Then—law school. I want to use my knowledge of economics and law to work as a corporate attorney.

So why did someone like me choose ETR for an internship?

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Tags: data, internship, Evaluation, Research
Big Ideas at the Heart of Educational Equity: 5 Key Considerations
August 24, 2017

Big Ideas at the Heart of Educational Equity: 5 Key Considerations

By Chris Harrison, EdD | August 24, 2017
Program Manager, ETR

“It is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.”

 ~Sankofa, Akan tribe of Ghana

 

This is a true story. Picture, if you will, a young student “at-promise,” starting his first day of middle school. His name is Michael. He is excited about reconnecting with friends, meeting his new teachers and finding his way around his middle school.

But right after school begins Michael calls his mother and exclaims, “Mom, you have to come and get me because they have me in detention. They won’t let me go to class!”

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Tags: K-12, educational equity, equity
The "Pipeline" to CS Careers: The Metaphor is Wrong
August 22, 2017

The "Pipeline" to CS Careers: The Metaphor is Wrong

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | August 22, 2017
Senior Research Associate, ETR

Imagine a high school student who loves technology. She’s decided to pursue a career in computer science (CS). What steps will take her forward from school to career?

Planning for these steps is an essential part of the educational process, both for individual students and for educational institutions. Unfortunately, the current ways most institutions are thinking about the CS pipeline—or even the more flexible model of pathways—aren’t workable for a lot of students. 

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Tags: Computer science education, Diversity in technology, Community college, Technology education
What Students Say: Taking Community College Pathways to Computer Science Degrees
December 1, 2016

What Students Say: Taking Community College Pathways to Computer Science Degrees

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | December 1, 2016
Senior Research Associate, ETR

Why isn’t the tech field more diverse? And what can we do to change that?

One of the challenges is the so-called “pipeline” issue. We don’t have enough women and underrepresented minority students pursuing, and then completing, computer science degrees. That means we don’t have enough trained and skilled professionals to do all of the work that needs doing.

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD
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Tags: Diversity in technology, Computer science education, Community college, Underrepresented populations
Preparing Students for Information Technology Careers: The Role of Career Technical Education
November 28, 2016

Preparing Students for Information Technology Careers: The Role of Career Technical Education

By Jill Denner, PhD | November 28, 2016
Senior Research Scientist, ETR

Vocational education is making a comeback! Nationally, we are seeing new attention being brought to career-technical education (CTE). Revitalized efforts are seeking to provide students the mix of technical training and academics that will prepare them for real-world, 21st century careers. We expect this trend to continue.

Computer science skills—including the ability to code—play a role in a number of the established CTE pathways

By Jill Denner, PhD
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Tags: Diversity in technology, Technology education, K-12, Community college, Tech industry
In Search of Quality Computer Science Education for All: A New Framework Can Help
October 17, 2016

In Search of Quality Computer Science Education for All: A New Framework Can Help

By Jill Denner, PhD | October 17, 2016
Senior Research Scientist, ETR

Computer science for all? If you’ve been reading the headlines, you have seen the explosion of articles. Proponents argue we must offer computer science (CS) education to all students, in a combination of school and afterschool programs. At first glance, making CS available to all sounds like a great idea. But there have been concerns about what this looks like in practice.

By Jill Denner, PhD
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Tags: Diversity in technology, Computer science education, Computer science for all, Education standards
Building Math Confidence: It Takes Math to Make a STEM Career
October 4, 2016

Building Math Confidence: It Takes Math to Make a STEM Career

By Eloy Ortiz, MURP | October 4, 2016
Research Associate, ETR

Our nation has a vital interest in building a better pipeline to careers in STEM. However, females, Blacks and Latinos are substantially underrepresented in tech professions. ETR has had a longstanding commitment to exploring ways to boost the presence of women and underrepresented minorities in the tech world. A number of our research projects explore strategies to support a more diverse presence in the field.

Our Math Pathways project seeks to provide some pieces in the puzzle of identifying the factors that will help Latino students succeed in math. We know it’s important to build and sustain math confidence early in children’s education. Most students who decide to focus on STEM studies make that choice during high school, and increasingly, STEM competence is seen as a necessary emphasis for all students, from pre-K through grade 12.

By Eloy Ortiz, MURP
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Tags: Research, Diversity in technology, Math confidence, Math Pathways, Family influence, math education
Extra Innings: Using a Video Game and Baseball to Teach Science and Math
September 15, 2016

Extra Innings: Using a Video Game and Baseball to Teach Science and Math

By Erica Marsh | September 15, 2016
Project Coordinator, ETR

Extra Innings is a new project which will be building a mobile video game to teach math and science. It’s a collaboration between ETR, dfusion and Science of Sport.

What’s new and different about it? We’re using a curriculum called Science of Baseball as the foundation, and we’ll be doing a formal evaluation of its efficacy.

By Erica Marsh
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Tags: Research, STEM, STEM education, Baseball, Mobile apps, math education
Increasing Diversity in STEM: Free Tip Sheets Can Boost Your Success
August 17, 2016

Increasing Diversity in STEM: Free Tip Sheets Can Boost Your Success

By ETR | August 17, 2016

One of ETR’s areas of focus is Diversity in IT. Our team is nationally known for its work in research, evaluation and promoting strategies to increase diversity in STEM fields. They’ve done original research, developed and tested programs and learning approaches, and built partnerships that boost pathways from school to college to the workforce.

The team has also developed three tip sheets that can help boost the efficacy of school- and community-based programs with youth. See them all on this page, or go to the individual pages below.

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Tags: Diversity in technology, STEM, Technology education, K-12
Pair Programming: 10 Cool Tips to Make It Work in Your Classrooms
August 2, 2016

Pair Programming: 10 Cool Tips to Make It Work in Your Classrooms

By Shannon Campe | August 2, 2016
Research Associate, ETR

Fifteen years ago, ETR started working with middle school girls to help them build computer programming skills and confidence. This was Girls Creating Games, a project where girls designed and programmed their own games. It was one of the earliest projects in our Diversity in IT group.

In the world of technology professions, females, Blacks and Latinos continue to be substantially underrepresented. Through partnerships, consulting and research projects like Girls Creating Games and The Girl Game Company, we have designed and supported efforts to increase diversity in STEM fields. (Find out more about the research we’ve done, and a list of our group’s publications, here.)

One of the strategies we’ve frequently used and studied is pair programming. We’ve developed some classroom tips that can make pair programming more effective.

Find out about our free tip sheets on increasing diversity in STEM education here.
By Shannon Campe
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Tags: Research, Pair programming, Computer science education, Diversity in technology
Reprise: Social Justice, Technology and Meaning
May 5, 2016

Reprise: Social Justice, Technology and Meaning

By Yethzell Diaz | May 5, 2016 (first published April 17, 2014)
Education Manager, Digital Nest

Editor's note: In 2014, when Yethzell Diaz was a Research Assistant here at ETR, she wrote this column about technology and social justice. Recently, she accepted a position at Digital Nest. This seemed a perfect moment to re-post one of our favorite contributions to the ETR Blog. Thanks, Yethzell, for all the fine work you did for ETR, and best of luck over at the Nest! 

First, let me be clear about something. I am not a techie. At all. The first time I interacted with a computer was probably in seventh grade. Technology stuff was completely foreign to me. My family and friends didn’t know about it. And there wasn’t someone we could turn to for guidance.

I did, however, become a student at University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), majoring in sociology, and at one point I desperately needed to get into a popular class. A hundred students were competing for ten open spots. How was I going to swing it?

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Tags: Diversity in technology, Research, Technology, Social justice
Diversity in Computer Science? We Need to Look at Institutional Barriers to Getting a Degree
April 19, 2016

Diversity in Computer Science? We Need to Look at Institutional Barriers to Getting a Degree

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | April 19, 2016
Senior Research Associate, ETR

Getting a degree in computer science can be tough. In the name of “rigor,” computer science and related fields have established a structured hierarchy of course prerequisites. These need to be taken in a specific sequence. Often, however, the necessary classes aren’t offered every term. This situation forces college students to plan their schedules carefully or risk being delayed in their education.

I have sat in on many faculty meetings watching heated debates about how much math, science and computer science should be required of college graduates claiming a computer science major. But what are the implications of these decisions for who persists in computer science? And how much of this is truly necessary to prepare students for the current workplace versus simply keeping things the way they have always been?

Or, as I have been asking lately, is this about maintaining “rigor,” or just keeping out the “riff raff”?

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD
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Tags: Diversity in technology, STEM, Computer science education
Women Are Teaching Themselves Coding--And What Does the Research Say About That?
March 22, 2016

Women Are Teaching Themselves Coding--And What Does the Research Say About That?

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | March 22, 2016
Senior Research Associate, ETR

My research here at ETR looks at how women are learning computer science skills. I’ve written previously about some of the challenges facing women studying computer science in colleges or pursuing learning through coding boot camps. I find it exciting and intriguing that women in the workforce are now teaching themselves to write computer code. They’re creating their own female-only groups to help themselves learn.

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD
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Tags: Technology education, STEM, Diversity in technology
Women & STEM: College Vs. Coding Boot Camps
January 28, 2016

Women & STEM: College Vs. Coding Boot Camps

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | January 28, 2016
Senior Research Associate, ETR

All my family, friends and colleagues know I’m a researcher interested in diversifying STEM. This means that I’m constantly receiving articles from them about all kinds of efforts being made to entice more girls/women and minorities to study or work in STEM fields—computer science in particular, as that has been my focus.

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD
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Tags: STEM, Diversity in technology
Off to the White House: The MBK STEM+ Meeting
January 19, 2016

Off to the White House: The MBK STEM+ Meeting

By Jill Denner, PhD | January 19, 2016
Senior Research Scientist, ETR

On December 14, 2015, I had the privilege of attending a meeting on the grounds of the White House called MBK STEM+. The meeting was part of President Obama’s initiative called My Brother’s Keeper, which aims to mobilize education and career training resources for disadvantaged young people.

The focus of this particular meeting was to add STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to the MBK initiative, specifically creating opportunities for young people of color to pursue innovation and entrepreneurship in STEM fields. The goal was to build connections across organizations and individuals working in this space by identifying needs and resources.

The room was filled with about 80 people, many working at organizations actively involved in providing STEM preparation and training for young people across the country.

By Jill Denner, PhD
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Tags: Diversity in technology, STEM
Teachers! Your Next Big Role! "Research Collaborator"
November 19, 2015

Teachers! Your Next Big Role! "Research Collaborator"

By Shannon Campe | November 19, 2015
Research Associate, ETR

Are you a K–12 teacher? Or a school or district administrator? A teacher’s union rep? A classroom aide? An active member of your PTA? Do you have any say about what teachers do in their classrooms? If so, I’m hoping you’ll take a few minutes to read about the next big role you (or your teachers) can take to make a difference.

I’m an educational researcher and a teacher. I recruit and work with teachers for classroom-based and after-school programs that are part of research projects. If you are a teacher, I have something I really want you to do, at least once—collaborate in school-based research when the opportunity arises.

I know, yet another thing to do on top of everything else. Why should you take it on? 

By Shannon Campe
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Tags: Teachers, Research, Collaboration

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