Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ICT gender gap: stereotyped thinking continues to impact females’ choice of tech careers

My team at European Schoolnet just completed our white paper financed by Cisco.

From the press release:

"A high number of female students are not pursuing further studies or careers in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, despite having good basic computing skills, according to a study and white paper by European Schoolnet, commissioned by Cisco. The study can be downloaded from www.eun.org/whitepaper."

Some key recommendations from the report to address the problem:
  • Public-private partnership could play a role in changing perceptions about industry, by giving access to more realistic and authentic information about ICT and ICT careers.

  • Need to ensure accurate information about ICT is available to teachers, pupils and their parents.

  • Numerous initiatives launched, but mainstreaming is required to have a systemic impact.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Data privacy on social networks

EU privacy regulators are trying to improve data privacy but suggest a rather impractical approach in my view. Data privacy law like this already applies to published photos in news outlets, but even those are nigh impossible to regulate and enforce.

What would you do if you have a photo of yourself with a crowd in the background - get permission from every one of the 100 people in the photo before uploading? Not really thought out. What about people who are not using the platform, how could you get the permission verified? No obvious system to deal with that.

The old but very useful recommendation of having profiles default on private would do much more to solve the problem, as well as being able to categorise types of freinds: then people would be sharing photos with friends only, or subsets of friends, rather than the whole world/Google crawlers. And of course, educate people about privacy through initiatives like Data Privacy/Protection Day - the 2010 initiative is being supported by Microsoft and European Schoolnet (see European Schoolnet's site for last year.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cory Doctorow on open education

I recently wrote a few questions for Cory Doctorow, for a video message for the European Schoolnet International Symposium for ICT in Education Networks. Take a look!