Tuesday, November 9, 2010

University web site addresses gender gap in “STEM” fields

Liz Exo’s Blog Post:

One of the ongoing issues in education is the gender gap. This article specifically targets the gap that is present in the science, technology, education, and math (S.T.E.M.) fields. This means that each of these fields are dominated by a specific gender, which sometimes makes it intimidating for the minority gender to want to study in that field.

This article discusses Arizona State University’s new web resource available to help close the gender gaps. The website will have “HerStory” video clips of women that have started up careers in these fields that are dominated mostly by males. These videos will depict women of specific professions, as opposed to women studying in the general field of math or science, for example. ASU believes that by giving examples of real women in specific jobs will help boost the morale of other women hoping to get into on e of these “STEM” fields.

I really think this is a great use of technology. It gives women a way to gain confidence that they can choose whichever field they want to study. I also think this article brings up another point; would this idea of “HerStory” videos be suitable for younger students as well? I almost feel that college may be a little too late to be providing the inspiration, so maybe ASU should look into using their idea for high school aged students.

Scientists move closer to live 3-D video

This article discusses the advances made by scientists towards creating live 3-D video capabilities for the internet. It explains that, if successful, the videos would resemble holograms. While the images would not actually be projected into the air, they would appear that way to someone looking at the screen. While this technology is still a work in progress, as the team working on it needs to gain more speed and more camera angles in order to create true 3-D video, it is well on its way to becoming a reality.
The article says that these videos would be used primarily in classrooms and laboratories, but also notes the implications they could have for advertisements, car and airplane design, and military training. I think that, if made readily available, this technology could have a huge impact in the classroom, specifically for science lessons. While it is currently possible to do virtual dissections online, there is much debate as to whether or not they are as valuable as real-life dissections. With this 3-D video technology, students could actually watch live dissections and get the full effect as if it were right in front of them. Similarly, advanced students could watch more involved procedures that they would not otherwise be able to witness, such as cadaver dissections and autopsies. This technology could also be useful for virtual field trips and conferences with experts and other students.