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Games Reviewed by Andee:

The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain

Math Quest with Aladdin

Phoenix Quest

Strategy Heads

Thinkin' Things 3

Andee Rubin
Co-Principal Investigator

The issues of gender and technology are especially close to my heart, since I became a female computer scientist in the early 70's, when that was still a relatively rare combination. While I had a wonderful mentor in college (without whom I never would have pursued computer science), my graduate school days at MIT were fraught with anxiety and self-doubt, fueled by sitting in classes filled with boys (some much younger than I) who knew ten times more programming languages and machines than I did. While I now work on mathematics education in a heavily female environment, I still find myself in a serious minority when I attend conferences that focus more on technology than on education.

After several years working on the Investigations K-5 math curriculum Investigations in Number, Data and Space, I have had my belief in girls' math abilities reinforced over and over. While I have only been "hooked" on a few computer games myself, I have enjoyed watching my nieces (especially) and nephews and friends' children make their way through educationally rich computer games - and love to figure out how to ask the right questions to encourage them to think more deeply about the content.

I've done some work developing educational software myself and have tried to consider the gender issues it raises. The latest example is software called CamMotion, which allows users to extract and analyze data from digitized video. The example I use most often to demonstrate it is a video of a teenage girl doing a cartwheel, an example purposely chosen to provide an alternative to the standard boy-playing-basketball that is commonly used.

I'm particularly concerned at this point about the explosion of "girl games" that treat girls like dating-and-fashion creatures with few deeply intellectual interests. I am hopeful that the Glass Wall project can start to change that trend.

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