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At New Zealand schools, Chromebooks top the list of learning tools

Category: Google | Sep 18, 2017

New Zealand educators are changing their approach to teaching, building personalized learning pathways for every student. Technology plays a key part in this approach. New Zealand has joined the list of countries including Sweden the United States where Chromebooks are the number one device used in schools, according to analysts at International Data Corporation (IDC).

“Chromebooks continue to be a top choice for schools,” says Arunachalam Muthiah, Senior Market Analyst, IDC NZ. “After Chromebooks’ strong performance in 2016, we see a similar trend in the first half of 2017 with Chromebooks gaining a total shipment market share of 46 percent, continuing to hold their position as the number-one selling device in schools across New Zealand.”

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Bombay School students learning about conductivity, electrical circuits and constructing a tune.

Technology is transforming education across the globe, and in New Zealand schools are using digital tools to help  students learn, in the classroom and beyond.  

At Bombay School, located in the rural foothills south of Auckland, students could only get an hour a week of computer access. Bombay School’s principal and board decided on a 1:1 “bring your own device” program with Chromebooks, along with secure device management using a Chrome Education license.

Teachers quickly realized that since each student was empowered with a Chromebook, access to learning opportunities increased daily, inspiring students to chart new learning paths. “Technology overcomes constraints,” says Paul Petersen, principal of Bombay School. “If I don’t understand multiplication today, I can learn about it online. I can look for help. I can practice at my own pace, anywhere I am.”

In 2014 Bombay School seniors collectively scored in the 78th percentile for reading; in 2016, they reached nearly the 90th percentile.


Students at Point England School take a digital license quiz to learn about online behavior.

In the Manaiakalani Community of Learning in East Auckland, some students start school with lower achievement levels than students in other school regions. Manaiakalani chose Chromebooks to support its education program goals and manage budget challenges. By bringing Chromebooks to the Manaiakalani schools, “we broke apart the barriers of the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. school day,” says Dorothy Burt, head of the Manaiakalani Education Program and Digital Learning Coordinator, based at Point England School. Using G Suite for Education tools on their Chromebooks, students can work with other students, teachers, and parents on their lessons in the classroom, the library, or at home.

Dorothy says “we’re seeing not only engagement, but actual literacy outcomes improve—it’s made a huge difference to the opportunities students will have in the future.”

We look forward to supporting more countries and schools as they redefine teaching and make learning even more accessible for every student, anywhere.


Championing diversity in tech and creative industries at ADCOLOR

Category: Google | Sep 18, 2017

The 2017 ADCOLOR Conference & Awards begins today in Los Angeles, CA—two days of learning and celebration with a community of racially diverse, LGBT, women, and ally professionals across tech and creative industries.

A variety of perspectives is key to creating better products and outcomes for everyone. We support ADCOLOR as part of our commitment to recognizing and connecting outstanding individuals who challenge sameness and bring unique perspectives to an otherwise homogenous industry. We’re proud to have several Googlers among the dozens of professionals and companies recognized at ADCOLOR this week:

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Erin Teague

YouTube Virtual Reality Product Lead

ADCOLOR in Tech, Honoree

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Jonathan Priester

Account Strategist

Mr. ADCOLOR, Honoree

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Alandha Scott

Global Head of YouTube Shows Marketing

Change Agent, Nominee

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Eliana Murillo

Head of Multicultural Marketing

Innovator, Nominee

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Adrian Isles

YouTube Software Engineer

Innovator, Nominee

Other highlights include our Culture Learning Programs Specialist Dominique Mungin, who will discuss how Google uses virtual reality to build empathy and understanding to catalyze change in the workplace and beyond; and an award presentation from Vice President of Global Marketing Arjan Dijk.

Jobs in technology are among the fastest growing in the U.S. By supporting and engaging with diverse technologists and creatives at events like ADCOLOR, we hope to ensure that anyone can see themselves in our industry—and work toward making equal representation in tech and creative a reality. Visit our Careers site to find your place with us.


Supporting local journalism with Report for America

Category: Google | Sep 18, 2017

I cut my teeth in journalism as a local reporter for my hometown paper, the Northfield News, and saw firsthand how local journalism impacts a community. Local reporters go to city council meetings to hold city governments accountable. They’re the first to show up when disaster strikes, getting critical information to their readers. And they provide the first draft of history for cities and towns, providing reporting that keeps their communities safe, informed and connected.

But not all communities in the U.S. are fortunate enough to have a strong local media presence—declining sales and revenues have led to local papers closing and local newsrooms shrinking. Despite this gloomy picture, there are lots of ideas about how to strengthen the local news ecosystem, and today we’re announcing our support of one new approach: Report for America.

An initiative of The GroundTruth Project, Report for America is taking its inspiration from Teach for America and applying it to local journalism. Its goal is to attract service-minded candidates and place them in local newsrooms for a year as reporters.

The first pilot, which will start early next year, aims to fill 12 reporting positions in newsrooms across the country, in areas underserved by local media. There will also be a community element to the work—a reporter might also help a local high school start or improve their student-run news site or newspaper.

As a founding member of this exciting initiative, the Google News Lab will provide in-depth training to the Report for America Corps members focusing on digital and data journalism, and equip them with the proper technology—Chromebooks, 360-degree cameras, and mobile phones.

Joining us in supporting Report for America are the Knight Foundation, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, Galloway Family Foundation, Solutions Journalism Network and the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Report for America is just one part of our efforts to strengthen local news here at Google. Here are a few others:

  • To provide the proper exposure for local news outlets covering national stories, Google News labels those stories so readers can easily find on-the-ground reporting. Additionally we’ve made it easier for people to follow local news sources with a dedicated local tab on the Google News home page. And just last week, in the U.S., Google News went hyperlocal by adding clearly labeled Community Updates that provide information about news and events happening in your area so you’ll always know what’s going on.
  • We want to help publishers succeed financially by monetizing their content online. We have a key partnership with the Local Media Consortium—which represents more than 1,600 local media outlets—to tap into the power of our ad technology to fund and support local journalism. At their annual summit the LMC announced combined savings and revenue of more than $110 million for partners, based on that collaboration with Google.
  • At the Google News Lab, journalism training is an important component of the work we do to help journalists and newsrooms develop new skills and access the latest digital tools. Through  a partnership with the Society for Professional Journalists we’ve trained more than 9,500 local reporters across America in the last year alone. And a collaboration with the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal Labs has helped build the capacity of investigative teams in Mississippi and New Jersey, a model we’re looking to scale in 2018.

We hope Report for America will bring fresh thinking and a new approach to strengthening local news.


Startup with Google, a resource to help young companies succeed

Category: Google | Sep 18, 2017

Since 2011, Google has partnered with over 50 community organizations to help startup communities around the world flourish. Startups within those communities and spaces we run have created more than 40,000 jobs and raised more than $3.9 billion in funding. Today we’re introducing a new resource to help young companies continue to make their big ideas a reality—Startup with Google.

Ivonna Dumanyan and Gabrielle Levac are lifelong athletes. When they started playing Division 1 sports in college, they were often sidelined by injuries, leaving them isolated from their teams and forcing them to miss precious opportunities to compete after months of training. They realized these recurring injuries could be avoidable—and decided to do something about it. They developed a small, wearable device that could detect fatigue, then alert coaches and training staff of elevated injury risk.

Their device was a big hit, and soon their idea grew into Fathom AI, a startup that uses artificial intelligence to help collegiate athletes avoid injuries. Based in Durham, NC, the Fathom team works out of the American Underground tech hub space, a Google for Entrepreneurs partner. There, the Fathom team receives mentorship, training, and access to a community as well as Google resources and programming. 

Ivonna and Gabrielle are just two of the many startup founders who have taken advantage of Google’s startup resources and communities to get the expertise and connections to help them grow, as well as tools like G Suite, Google Cloud, AdWords, Android and Google Play to help them build. Now, by bringing together all our resources for startups in one place with Startup with Google, we hope to make it even easier for startups like Fathom to thrive.


Ivonna Dumanyan and Gabrielle Levac, founders of Fathom AI

At Startup with Google, you’ll find insights from startup founders and Google teams on hiring, improving team collaboration, and raising a round of funding. Startup with Google also features our network of Campus coworking spaces, Google Developers Launchpad programs, and partner communities, which provide opportunities for founders to connect with the local community, mentors, and investors who can help them succeed.

Startup founders like Ivonna and Gabrielle have big things to accomplish. We can help them, and other founders—check out to find Google’s resources for startups, all in one place.


The state of data journalism in 2017

Category: Google | Sep 18, 2017

Data journalism has been a big focus for us at the Google News Lab over the past three years—in building tools, creating content and sharing data with the data journalism community. We wanted to see if we’re taking the right approach: how big is data journalism, what challenges do data journalists face and how is it going to change?

Up until today, we really haven’t had clear answers to those questions. So, in collaboration with PolicyViz, we conducted a series of in-depth qualitative interviews and an online survey to better understand how journalists use data to tell stories. We conducted 56 detailed in-person interviews with journalists in the U.S., UK, Germany and France and an online survey of more than 900 journalists. Our analysis offers a glimpse into the state of data journalism in 2017 and highlights key challenges for the field moving forward. 

The result is one of the first comprehensive studies of the field and its activity. A decade ago, data journalists there was only handful of data journalists. 

Today, this research shows that:

  • 42% of reporters use data to tell stories regularly (twice or more per week).
  • 51% of all news organizations in the U.S. and Europe now have a dedicated data journalist—and this rises to 60% for digital-only platforms.
  • 33% of journalists use data for political stories, followed by 28% for finance and 25% for investigative stories.

There is a big international variation, even within our study. In France, 56% of newsrooms have  a data journalist, followed by Germany with 52%, the UK with 52%, and the U.S. with 46%. Despite its huge growth, data journalism still faces challenges as we head towards 2018.

  • 53% of the sample saw data journalism as a speciality skill that requires extensive training, and is not easy to pick up.

  • Survey respondents also discussed the time pressures they face and the limited bandwidth from dedicated data journalists who can clean, process, and analyze data. We found that 49% of data stories are created in a day or less.

  • Our research also found that data visualization tools are not keeping up with the pace of innovation. As a result, reporters are building their own solutions: a fifth of data journalists use in-house tools and software, whether it’s data visualization tools or even data cleaning solutions.


More than half of respondents want their organizations to use more data to tell stories. But, some felt the return on investment was unclear as the production of data journalism can take significant time and resources.

The future of data journalism, though, has never been as important as it is today, nor as much a part of the way journalists work every day, as this study shows. As one of our interviewees put it:

We heard from one data journalist in the U.S. that “data is a good way of getting to the truth of things … in this post-truth era, this work is increasingly important. We are all desperately searching for facts.”


The Spanish Data Protection Authority (AEPD) confirms compliance of Google Cloud commitments for international data flows

Category: Google | Sep 18, 2017

Millions of organizations use Google Cloud services every day, relying on Google to provide world-class privacy and security protections. Data protection is central to our mission, and we’re always looking at ways to facilitate our customers’ compliance journey.

Today we’re pleased to announce that the Spanish Data Protection Agency (“Agencia Española de Protección de Datos” or “AEPD”) has issued a decision confirming that the guarantees established by the contractual commitments provided by Google for the international transfers of data to U.S. connected to its G Suite and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) services are adequate. Therefore, the international transfers to U.S. under such contractual commitments are deemed authorized by the AEPD provided the conditions established by the AEPD’s decision are met.

This authorization benefits all of our G Suite and GCP customers in Spain, who don’t need to pursue it individually. Rather, customers need to opt in to the relevant model contract clauses (via the online processes described on our Help Centers for G Suite and GCP services, respectively) and notify their relevant transfer to the AEPD’s registry. For more details, please see the AEPD’s decision.

The EU’s Data Protection Authorities had already confirmed earlier this year that Google Cloud services’ contractual commitments fully meet the requirements to legally frame transfers of data from the EU to the rest of the world in accordance with the EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC.  

This authorization is an important milestone for Google and its Spanish customers, as it reaffirms that the legal protections underpinning G Suite and GCP international data flows meet European and Spanish regulatory requirements. Furthermore, our customers can count on the fact that Google is committed to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) across G Suite and Google Cloud Platform services.

What does this mean for our customers in the Spanish jurisdiction?

G Suite and GCP customers may benefit from a simplified process with regard to international data transfers via our services provided the conditions established by the AEPD’s decision are met.

What are the key aspects of the authorization from the Spanish data protection authority?

Customers in the Spanish jurisdiction can benefit from the authorization as long as the international transfer of personal data remains in the scope of the authorization. You can read the full authorization here. Customers will still be required to notify the AEPD and may need to comply with additional legal requirements. Please consult a lawyer to obtain legal advice specifically applicable to your business circumstances.

How can customers make use of Google’s authorization?

Customers must sign a contract. The contractual arrangements shall include the Data Processing Amendment (DPA) for G Suite / Data Processing and Security Terms (DPST) for GCP and the EU Model Contractual Clauses (MCCs). Our customers can enter into the applicable relevant model contract clauses via the online processes described here for G Suite services and here for GCP services.


Introducing Tez—a mobile payments and commerce app from Google, made for India first

Category: Google | Sep 18, 2017

With more than 300 million smartphone users  and rapidly improving connectivity in India, the internet is becoming a daily part of life for many Indians. That includes messaging friends and family, searching the web for information, reading news, watching music videos, or playing games. But when it comes to paying for things—vegetables, bus fares, splitting the bill at dinner or paying on delivery for something purchased online—those smartphones often go unused. Out instead comes… wads of paper. Indians love cash.

To make digital payments truly work for India, we wanted to build a product that can compete with cash. It needs to be simple, affordable, and work everywhere and for everyone.  So today in India we’re introducing a new mobile app from Google, Tez—a simple and secure way to pay for things, big and small, online and offline. Tez is a payments and commerce app built for India first on top of the country’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) standard.

Here are a few of the features you’ll get with Tez

  • Direct, bank-to-bank payments: Tez uses UPI for instant and secure payments, directly to and from bank accounts.

  • “Cash Mode” for nearby transactions: Pay nearby without sharing your private details like bank account or phone number.

  • Tez Shield: Backed by Google’s expertise in data security, Tez works 24/7 to help detect fraud, prevent hacking, and to verify and protect the identity of every user.

  • Tez for Business: Tez for Business is a program for large and small enterprises to connect with consumers inside the Tez app to make payments, share redeemable offers, products and updates.

For more detail on Tez and its features, take a look at our India blog post.

We’re just getting started. This is the first step on the long and important journey towards enabling a cashless India—a crucial component of a Digital India.


Five ways to co-host a dinner party with your Assistant

Category: Google | Sep 15, 2017

Now that the temperatures have dropped and fall is moving in, it’s time to bring the party inside.

Let your Assistant be the perfect co-host for your next dinner party—here are a few ways your Assistant can help prepare:

  1. Take advantage of seasonal produce: “Ok Google, find a recipe for sweet potato fries.”
  2. Prepare for a feast: “Set a potato timer for 45 minutes” and “set a pie timer for 1 hour”
  3. Make an entrance: “Play my ‘girls night’ playlist”
  4. Set the mood: “Change the living room lights to coral”
  5. Have some fun: “Play Lucky Trivia”

Last step—enjoy!


#teampixel shows its soft side

Category: Google | Sep 15, 2017

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—#teampixel, you continue to impress us! Each week we’re honored to share some of #teampixel’s best work, and today we’re spotlighting community member @fefefeng. Her tranquil image of a moonrise amid a soft pastel sky has us swooning.

If you’re looking for a few more moments of zen, make sure to scroll through our other featured images, which underscore #teampixel’s use of soft lighting.


Tilt Brush Artist in Residence: Meet Liz Edwards

Category: Google | Sep 15, 2017

Editor’s note: Tilt Brush lets you paint in 3D space with virtual reality. Earlier this year, we launched the Artist in Residence (AiR) program to showcase what’s possible when creative artists experiment with this new medium. The resulting works of art have been amazing, and you can check some of them out on our website, or right in the Tilt Brush app itself.

In this series, we go deeper into these artists’ processes, explore their creative influences, hear about their experience using Tilt Brush and share any tips they have for aspiring VR artists. For this post, we caught up with artist Liz Edwards. Want more? Check out our previous posts on Steve Teeps, Isaac Cohen, and Estella Tse.

1. Could you walk us through your creative process in Tilt Brush?

Working in Tilt Brush has always felt very natural. At no point during my first doodles did I ever feel intimidated by the software, and I think that’s a huge strength of Tilt Brush. Getting comfortable drawing in this new medium was just a matter of putting in the time and experimenting, which is easy to do when it’s so much fun. Lots of moments of, “I wonder if this would work?”—even a year into working with Tilt Brush.

2. How is Tilt Brush different from working in other mediums? Is the openness ever daunting?

I don’t find it daunting at all—it’s a very liberating way of working. I’ve spent years working in traditional professional 3D software, bogged down in the interfaces, clicking around for hours making 3D shapes on a 2D screen. Tilt Brush removes all of that tedium and places the artist directly into a creative space where they can conjure up anything with a few gestures in thin air. It’s magic.

3. What inspires you?

I come from a video game background, so I’ve kind of approached my VR art from that direction, creating places, vehicles and characters I’d like to see come to life in a game. All my spaceship stuff comes from a childhood of playing X-Wing, Wing Commander and the like. A cool thing—I’d never been interested in designing any kind of vehicle, even awesome spacecraft, before Tilt Brush. I’ve always much preferred drawing and sculpting characters over dealing with perspective in 2D or tedious (to me) hard surface modeling in 3D programs. Tilt Brush really opened the door for me in that regard and I’m getting to explore brand new, really fascinating subjects.

4. Were there any funny moments or cool things that happened while using Tilt Brush?

In the dark days before the ability to scale sketches was added, I had to work in some pretty silly positions to draw things like feet and the tops of heads. I nearly ended up standing on a chair to draw a tall tree but decided I didn’t want to be the first VR casualty! I have the opposite problem now—I’ll end up moving far, far above my environment to work on the sky and startle myself when I look down. I actually think it’s really cool that my own art can spook me like that!

5. Do you have any neat trips or tricks?

A lot of people ask how I get my sketches so solid. Here’s a secret: they’re not solid at all. I fill the space in between my lines with the “Wire” brush. This brush is 3D and unlit (no shadows or highlights), so even if the geometry it makes is a messy bunch of tubes, you’ll never see the mess—only the solid silhouette. As long as my silhouette looks good from most directions, the sketch looks solid and totally 3D. Same with the various “Marker” brushes— they’re all unlit, so you can get away with being a bit messy!

6. What’s your favorite piece?

My favorite personal piece has to be this spaceship in asteroid field (displayed above). The 3D-comic style I’d been pushing for finally started coming together with that piece, and I started feeling confident about doing more vehicle and hard surface work. When I look at it, I get excited to make more things in that style and world.

The piece I’m most proud of, though, has to be Wonder Woman: Art of Wonder (displayed above). It was a huge honor to bring the amazing Wonder Woman to life in Tilt Brush, and so much fun!