FEATURE: Grrrls get computing!

WHERE WOULD WE BE WITHOUT COMPUTERS?!

Everyone knows how to use a computer, right? We practically live on them. Whether it’s a laptop, a desktop, a mobile phone, or a tablet people of all ages are spending more and more time on them.

We chat to friends on computers, we work on them, we take photos and make videos with them, and we share all these things with other people using our different devices.

And you guys are in the group that use them the most because, unlike your parents or older brothers and sisters, you have grown up with computers and the technology like Facebook and YouTube that let you create and share things so easily.

Using apps like Instagram and Snapchat comes naturally to you – it’s almost as if you were born already knowing about filters and tags!

And older grrrls aren’t doing so badly online either – just look at our fellow bloggers and vloggers Zoella, Louise at Sprinkle of Glitter:,

Glozell:

and Geek Gurl:

But do we actually know how the apps and computers we use so often actually work?

This year was The Year of Code, when everyone was supposed to learn more about the basics of computers, not just how we can use them, but how we can make them.

“SO what is code?!” we hear you cry! Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as its sounds. Code is basically the way we speak to computers to tell them what to do. It’s a language made up of numbers instead of letters.

And as the jingling of sleigh bells is getting closer and teh Year of Code is coming to an end, at Grrrl’s Life we thought it was time to ask why coding is so important so we spoke to Dan Bridge.

Meet Dan:

Dan Bridge spoke to Grrrl's Life to explain why he thinks it's important that girls learn more about computers

Dan Bridge spoke to Grrrl’s Life to explain why he thinks it’s important that girls learn more about computers

He’s on a mission to help more of you get creative with computers, and not just leave it to the boys.

Because a lot of schools in Wales don’t teach coding Dan set up Computer Craft as a way to help girls at school understand more about how computers and apps work.

To show how computers are basically made from different building blocks, like lego, Dan’s designed a kit where you can make your own cardboard computer which holds as those picture and word files we save .

These Craft Computers show you just what else is behind the screen, like the memory and the Central Processing Unit – which is essentially the brain of a computer!

Building a real computer is really very similar to building one from card, because it’s made up of lots of smaller parts and Dan’s craft kits are a great way to understand the basics of computers and how they work.

Here at Grrrl’s Life we’ve been getting stuck in, figuring out how everything fits together so why don’t you give it a go? You can download the kits FREE here!

We’ll let Dan tell you all about the inspiration for Craft Computers and why it’s so important for girls to get coding in our first podcast!

So now I know how a computer works, I’m all set?

Not quite. Dan also told us that a lot of the girls he teaches use their computers and phones for the social media apps, and that they love using them to keep in touch with each other – sound familiar?

We know that most of you are all over Facebook and are pretty savvy Instagram and Snapchat users, but do you know what’s going on behind the scenes?

Here at Grrrls Life we think it’s important to know that everytime you use anything like Facebook or Twitter and give them your details, they sell them on!

We caught up with Grrrl’s Life reader and follower Eleri to talk about what she uses social media for and to discuss what this means for you guys…

And once she’s learnt enough about coding to make her own app, what will Eleri design?

Grrrls have been coding for over 100 years!

Because we rely on them so much, and they make so much money, computer companies pretty much run the world. And like Dan said, the people that run those companies are mostly men like him. But we totally agree with Dan that girls can be just as good, if not better at using computers, science and maths than boys.

In fact, when the first basic computer was created by Charles Babbage it was a Countess who became the first ever computer programmer, and was able to make it work!

In 1842 Ada Lovelace became teh world's first computer programmer!

In 1842 Ada Lovelace became the world’s first computer programmer!

It’s not just good old Ada, women have been doing important work with computers and technology since right up to now. In September, Sheryl Sandberg became the Cheif Operating Officer at Facebook!

Sheryl Sandberg is now pretty much running the world at Facebook!

Sheryl Sandberg is now pretty much running the world at Facebook!

If that’s not inspiration to get cracking on those computers, we don’t know what is!

Coding isn’t compulsory at schools in Wales, so if we’ve caught your attention and you want to learn more about computers there’s plenty of help on Twitter where you can follow: @girlswhocode, @DanfBridge and @blackgirlscode as well as #girlscoding. And don’t forget to download those craft kits!

 

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