Inclusion in Computer Science Education

Inclusion in Computer Science Education

Presented as keynote at CCSC-NW

Inclusion is an important component of higher
education in Computer Science. This talk will show
how inclusive techniques can be used to not just
support students but also fellow faculty through these
trying times


Rebecca Long

October 02, 2020


  1. Inclusion in Computer Science Education REBECCA LONG | @AMAYA30 CCSC

  2. Welcome! REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020

  3. Thank you to the CCSC- NW committee for all their

    hard work organizing this great, virtual, event! REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  4. Hello, my name is … ▪Rebecca Long ( @amaya30 )

    ▪Eastern Washington University Computer Science double alum ▪EWU CS Professional Advisory Board Chair ▪President & Founder of Spokane non-profit Future Ada ▪Quality Assurance Manager at Engie Impact ▪15 years in software engineering ▪Taught CS & CompLit classes at EWU, SCC, and NIC REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020

  6. Definition ▪“the act or practice of including and accommodating people

    who have historically been excluded (as because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability)” ~ Merriam Webster ▪“Inclusion in Education” is a common term which refers to integrating students with disabilities with students without disabilities ~ Wikipedia ▪Inclusion is much bigger and should include ALL students getting an equitable chance for succeeding in any classroom, in any subject, at all levels throughout their education ▪Computer science education can benefit from incorporating inclusive practices into how this exciting industry is taught REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  7. DEI Diversity The presence of differences that may include gender,

    race, sexual orientation, age, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, nationality, language, political perspective, or family makeup. Equity Promoting justice, impartiality, and fairness within our processes, systems and institutions. Inclusion The means to allowing diverse individuals to thrive and achieve equity by having them feel welcome and their voices heard. REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  8. Why is this important? REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020

  9. Let’s look at some numbers… REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW

  10. REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020

  11. Women in Tech Stats REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW

  12. Inclusion -> Greater Diversity in CS & Tech Creating inclusive

    environments leads to spaces diverse individuals want to be Creating inclusive environments allows all people to feel they belong REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  13. REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020

  14. REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020

  15. Inclusion Basics REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020

  16. First Steps Toward Inclusion Leave assumptions at the door Treat

    everyone with equal respect - regardless of gender, age, background, experience, etc. Be open to different ideas & support your students and colleagues ◦ Give others opportunities to participate in problem solving and solutions ◦ Help provide safe spaces to share ideas and have open discussions Commit to continuous improvement – learn, listen, & accept feedback Have empathy Speak up if you see or hear of injustices or misbehavior REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  17. Inclusive Language “language that avoids the use of certain expressions

    or words that might be considered to exclude particular groups of people, esp gender-specific words, such as "man", "mankind", and masculine pronouns, the use of which might be considered to exclude women” REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  18. Using Inclusive Language Respect the language people call themselves Recognize

    different family situations Avoid negative or demeaning language around people with disabilities Avoid using statements which perpetuate stereotypes (e.g. “girls aren’t good at math”) Be thoughtful on what imagery you use Avoid idioms, jargons, and acronyms (provide definitions when these are unavoidable) Use gender-neutral terms (hint: “guys” is not one of them) REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  19. Inclusive Terms INCLUSIVE TERMS Parent, caregiver Children Folks, people, y’all

    People of all genders, esteemed individuals Siblings EXCLUSIVE TERMS Mom, dad “Boys and girls” Guys “Men and women”, “ladies and gentlemen” Brothers and sisters REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  20. People First Terms AFFIRMATIVE TERMS People with disabilities Person with

    a disability Person who is deaf Child has autism Person with intellectual, cognitive, developmental disability Person with psychiatric disability; mental illness NEGATIVE TERMS The handicapped, the disabled Impaired, invalid, crippled, afflicted Deaf and dumb Autistic child Retarded, slow, idiot, moron Crazy, insane, nuts, psycho REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  21. Be Mindful of Unconscious Bias o Unconscious biases are deep

    rooted social stereotypes about certain groups of people which get formed outside a person’s conscious awareness. REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  22. Take the Test! Learn about your own unconscious bias by

    taking a test from Project Implicit via Harvard University REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  23. Inclusion in CS REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020

  24. Representation Matters Create a space where everyone feels they belong

    Be mindful of visuals and who you depict as a “computer scientist” or “technologist” Use diverse representations of historical and modern computer scientists ◦ Gender, race, age, ability Students who see themselves in others in the industry helps with fostering a since of belonging and allows them to relate better REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  25. Accessibility Incorporate learning materials for students of all abilities Special

    keyboards and other tools are available for students with limited mobility Programming options for students who are blind are available: ◦ Quorum - ◦ Code Jumper - ◦ Blocks 4 All - Web D2 (Web Design & Development) is a free online course curriculum that incorporates accessibility into learning web development technologies which can be resourced and adapted to any class level ◦ REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  26. Inclusion During COVID-19 REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020

  27. Empathy First Living through a pandemic is adding an enormous

    amount of stress to everyone’s lives Have endless amounts of empathy for your students and what they are experiencing ◦ Family situations – elderly care, multifamily homes, children ◦ Schooling from home for their own kids ◦ Working from home or working as an essential worker or unemployment ◦ Shared or limited Internet access and bandwidth ◦ Sickness and death of loved ones Have endless amounts of empathy and self compassion for yourself ◦ Transitioning classes to remote learning and virtual setups is complicated ◦ You likely have all the same stresses your students are experiencing REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  28. Prioritize Self-Care Impact may be visible or not on yourself,

    your colleagues and students Make a point to prioritize self-care in your life and encourage your students to do the same ◦ Take breaks – build them into your schedule! ◦ Meditate ◦ Do what you can to safely care for your mental wellbeing REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  29. Check-in With Students Check-in with your students regularly to see

    how they are doing ◦ Schedule 1-1’s with each student throughout the quarter/semester Consider renaming “office hours” to “learner hours” ◦ Invite students to bring their questions or to come so you can get to know them better ◦ Can have an open Zoom folks can hop into ◦ Have students schedule time with you during this time window (Calendly offers a great way to do this) Know what resources your school offers students ◦ Share these resources with your students to be sure they know how to seek support if needed REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  30. Build Community Use the start of your classes to put

    focus on building connection & community Create a shared discussion guideline with students so everyone is held accountable for creating and maintaining a safe, inclusive learning environment Model trans inclusive practices ◦ Add your own pronouns to your Zoom account and email signature & encourage your students to also ◦ Everyone should respect the preferred pronouns presented to the class Provide ways for students to do breakout sessions in smaller groups Provide discussion groups for students to have online chats Affirm your commitment to each of your student’s success REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  31. Accessibility While Remote Follow Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Principles

    as your starting point ◦ Should be more than one way to: 1) represent your information 2) engage with your information 3) express comprehensive information Have captions for all videos ◦ Google Slides now offers live captioning for synchronous classes when using in the Chrome browser All materials should be presented verbally as well as in writing Best practices from NYU for accessibility for remote instruction / work ◦ work.html REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  32. Staying Safe While Remote Security is important when setting up

    remote tools for students If you use Zoom, follow the tips for securing your account here: ◦ Have students start muted, video off, name (with pronouns!) and profile updated Important to do your best to maintain an open remote classroom while also preventing “zoombombers”, microaggressions or other disruptive behavior from occurring Intervene immediately if an inappropriate disruption takes place ◦ Acknowledge impact on the students from the disruption (and on yourself!) REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  33. Extra Resources REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020

  34. Inclusion Resources CS For All - Microsoft Guide to

    Inclusive Computer Science Education uNMn Project Include - Compassionate Coding - Better Allies - Tech Inclusion - Google Diversity - Atlassian Diversity - REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  35. Book Club Ideas Antiracist CS Education Reading Group this-summer-93e4adc78c24

    How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  36. More Book Club Ideas Inclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace &

    the Will to Change by Jennifer Brown How to be an Inclusive Leader: Creating Trust, Cooperation, and Community Across Differences by Jennifer Brown Belonging at Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take to Cultivate an Inclusive Organization by Rhodes Perry Better Allies: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces by Karen Catlin REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  37. Connect Students with Opportunities Anita Borg Institute Grace Hopper

    Celebration of Women in Computing Computing Research Association – Widening Participation Women in CyberSecurity REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  38. In Conclusion… REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020

  39. Inclusion is Extra Critical Now More important now than ever

    to be mindful of inclusive practices within classrooms Shifting remote has added many challenges to life and teaching, but there is a great opportunity as well for providing safe spaces for students to still thrive First educate yourself on inclusive best practices, the importance of diversity, and how to build these into your everyday life Second look for ways to apply these best practices into your classrooms, into your interactions with colleagues and all students REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  40. Inclusive practices will not just help your students… … they

    will help you, as well, as we all work to find a new normal during this pandemic. REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020
  41. Thank you! Connect with me: Rebecca Long ◦ ◦ ◦ @amaya30 Future Ada ◦ ◦ ◦ @futureada REBECCA.LONG | @AMAYA30 | CCSC-NW 2020