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Feminists Launch Model for Online Learning

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(WOMENSENEWS)--A year after The New York Times ran an article about Silicon Valley, which opened with "Men invented the Internet," FemTechNet is about to launch an online curricula highlighting the significant contributions of feminists to technology. FemTechNet, which describes itself as "a global network of feminist, students and artists who work on, with and at the borders of technology, science and feminism in a variety of fields," is calling the curriculum a DOCC, or Distributed Open Collaborative Course. "Dialogues in Feminism and Technology," its first DOCC course--running from Sept.16 through December in 15 universities across the United States and Canada--is something of a pilot, which starts in North America and aims to expand across the globe in the coming year. Two goals are preserving the history of feminist contributions to technological innovation and advancing feminist principles of social justice in future educational models and pedagogies, FemTechNet said in a press statement. Examples of women's contributions to technological innovation abound. A 19th century English mathematician and writer, has some claim to the title of the world's first computer programmer. American computer scientist Grace Murray Hopper developed the first compiler for a computer programming language in 1950s. Radia Perlman, an American computer scientist, is considered to be the "mother of the Internet" after she invented the spanning of tree protocol which is fundamental to modern Ethernet. Anne Balsamo, dean of the School of Media Studies at the New School in New York, is facilitating the DOCC along with Alexandra Juhasz, professor of media studies at Pitzer College in Los Angeles.
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