I attended a conference "for computing educators" at Heriot Watt University on Friday. The event was sponsored by Google and was designed for Computing teachers within Scottish schools. The agenda covered such things as the Curriculum for Excellence, computer games, the future of computing, and Scholar.
The keynote speech was particularly interesting. Entitled Unlocking the Clubhouse, it was about the problem of attracting women to the subject. Allan Fisher (Carnegie Mellon University) and Jane Margolis (UCLA) gave the talk. The speakers gave some statistics on the poor (and declining) uptake of women in Computer Science courses in the US, and also proposed some reasons for this - the main one being the low confidence of women who undertook these courses. They also argued that the culture in many Schools of Computer Science was not female-friendly.
Of course, Scotland has the same problem with female uptake - in every sector: school, college and university. The Curriculum for Excellence and the soon-to-start HN review give us another opportunity to address this problem. Allan Fisher pointed out that there was "no golden bullet" to solve this problem but urged us to keep trying.