GDI Project Overview

GDTI Home> Projects




Gender, Diversities & Technology Institute projects address a number of issues. Learn more about each project by reading the summaries of our work below or visiting the project Web page.

    Building the National STEM Digital Library (NSDL)

    The Institute is a founding member of the National Science Foundation’s National STEM Digital Library initiative - a digital library portal of exemplary resource collections and services, organized in support of science education at all levels. Our 3 collections projects include:
    • Gender & Science Digital Library (GSDL)
      The Gender & Science Digital Library is an online resource of exemplary STEM educational resources and services for use in both formal and informal learning environments. The goal of the GSDL is to provide gender equitable, educational materials that will help to promote interest and engagement in STEM by all learners, particularly females and under-represented populations. Resources in the GSDL include online lesson plans and activities, courseware and instructional methodologies, analysis of national and international retention strategies for higher education institutions, on-line mentoring opportunities, scholarship and fellowship information, career development resources, internship and special program information, and much more.
    • Effective Access: Using Digital Resources to Enhance High School Teaching of STEM
      Building on the work of the GSDL, the Effective Access project is exploring how STEM educators use, and would like to use, digital resources during lesson preparation, instruction, and professional development, as well as how developers of digital resources understand the unique needs of high school STEM educators. This research is being shared with collections within the NSDL to improve educators' access to, and integration of, digital resources in the classroom.

    • CaREN
      Also known as the FunWorks, this project is a digital library of STEM career development information for middle school and early high school youth. The goal of this project is to create a comprehensive career development resource that is inviting and engaging to diverse populations of middle and early high school students, that builds on their diverse interests, and draws them into a range of career exploration options and resources.


    Living Life: Stories of Women, Men and Changing Roles in the 20th Century
    For the last 30 years, at least three generations of women and men have benefited from gender equity legislation and programs. However, the importance and impact of this work is often invisible to more recent generations who may take these rights for granted. With funding from the Ford Foundation, we are developing a book that we hope will capture the next wave of women's rights—the story that began to be visible in the 1950s, that paralleled (and connected to) the civil rights movement, and that re-emerged in a series of new laws that supported women's educational, economic, and social development. Through the stories and voices of a wide range of women and men, we will provide a positive perspective on the gender equity movement in education and give readers a sense of what this means for "ordinary" citizens. This work complements those efforts by building public understanding and support for gender equity—by highlighting the experiences and emotions in a voice that sounds like the person next door.

    Online Learning

    GEMS: Learning On-line
    The Gender, Diversities & Technology Institute at EDC, together with its partners, WestEd, TERC, Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA), and the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse, are collaborating on a major national research project to determine the impact of online learning on gender-equitable math and science instruction. Funded by the National Science Foundation's Programs for Gender Equity, GEMS may be one of the first to look comprehensively at the relationships between the design and structure of online courses, the ways in which individuals interact and learn on line, and the outcomes of that experience. This national collaborative will be joined by a national advisory group, including representatives from Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon, the Concord Consortium, and washington State University.

    The National ITEST Learning Resource Center

    The Institute (GDI) is part of National Science Foundation’s National ITEST Learning Resource Center, assists projects funded by NSF’s Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program. The ITEST program is designed to increase the opportunities for students and teachers to learn about, experience, and use information technologies within the context of STEM. The program supports both youth-based projects with strong emphases on career and educational paths, and comprehensive projects for students and teachers. The Center engage in research related to these projects and provides technical support and have responsibility for national dissemination of project models, instructional materials, and best practices. As a partner in the resource center the institute's focus is on diversifying research that support the focus on underrepresented populations.

    ICT International

    A focus on the gender dimension of information and communications technologies is essential not only for preventing an adverse impact of the digital revolution on gender equality or the perpetuation of existing inequalities and discrimination, but also for enhancing women’s equitable access to the benefits of information and communication technologies and to ensure that they can become a central tool for the empowerment of women and the promotion of gender equality.
    -Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary General

    Information and communication technologies can support the economic and social/cultural development of communities and of individuals. It can help women and girls move into new careers, expand their skills, and provide new opportunities for self-development, family stability, and democratic leadership. The Institute seeks to link individuals and organizations around the globe in a network of training, support, and discussion, designed to increase participation and ownership of the new knowledge society brought about by the Internet. Through a range of online, onsite, print, and other technology-based activities, we work with local groups or organizations to help determine local needs and then collaborate to develop systems and services that integrate ICT education and development into a local setting.

    We maintain a national network of field-based projects and researchers who are focused on increasing the interest and skills of women and girls in ICT. These range from such projects as the development of CD programs for teachers or families that integrate what we know about the ways girls learn to improve math skills to projects that introduce girls and women to the introduction and use of computers for education and work to training on the development of materials for the Internet. We provide training and consultation to individuals, schools and universities, NGOs, governmental agencies, or businesses including onsite training, exchange visits, or electronic forums. We work onsite with communities within the US and in different countries to develop a culturally appropriate approach and integration of ICT projects and resources.


    Science of Learning Center
    “Learner Diversity and Technology Enhanced Learning: Different Questions, New Understandings” is a one-year planning project, funded by the National Science Foundation’s Science of Learning Centers. The Gender, Diversities, and Technology Institute at EDC and the Autonomous Undersea Systems Institute, together with consulting partners, Indiana University Bloomington, and Concord Consortium, are setting a research agenda that will help determine how integrating the perspectives of diverse populations can improve technology design, training, and implementation to enhance learning.

    Breaking Barriers
    Breaking Barriers is a comprehensive, participant centered program that generates community involvement among often-marginalized immigrants by bridging community economic development and individual empowerment and growth. The program emphasizes social and work skills development, basic literacy and ongoing English language development, economic development, and computer skills.

    Gender Healthy Respectful Schools
    The Gender Healthy/Respectful Schools Project works with teacher teams from Boston and Cambridge public schools to support the growth of school communities that are free from sexism, gender bias, and other discriminatory practices that inhibit academic achievement. Learning environments that are socially, emotionally, and physically safe and in which students and adults respect themselves and one another provide an essential foundation for fostering academic excellence and social responsibility in all students. Funded by the Caroline and Sigmund Schott Foundation, the project supports the professional development of teachers and other educators on equity issues; strengthens and expands a network of activists and advocates for gender equity; and raises the awareness of gender inequities among district administrators, principals, policymakers, parents, and the public. The project uses a reflective practice approach that assists teams in documenting the impact of their work and disseminating their learnings about gender equity to the broader community.

    Women's Educational Equity Act (WEEA) Resource Center
    The Women's Educational Equity Act (WEEA) Equity Resource Center was established more than 20 years ago to bring support and resources to the many exceptional efforts that are improving the education of girls and women in the United States. This is no longer an active site, but its online resources are still available.