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Bring developers together for Hash Code 2017

Category: Google | Oct 24, 2016

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an engineer at Google?

Hash Code logo

Now’s your chance to satisfy your curiosity by volunteering to host a Hash Code hub at your university, office or any local co-working space. Hash Code, a team-based programming competition, tasks university students and professionals across Europe, the Middle East and Africa with solving a real Google engineering problem. And we’re looking for developers to help bring the excitement to their own communities in February 2017. Are you up for the challenge?

Last year, 17,000 students and professionals from more than 90 countries teamed up to optimize drone delivery schedules for Hash Code’s Online Qualification Round. While teams can compete from wherever they’d like to, many opted to join in from one of the 300+ hubs organized by fellow developers (where, it’s safe to say, they had even more fun).

Teams work together to schedule satellite operations during the 2016 Hash Code Final Round at Google Paris.

Teams work together to schedule satellite operations during the 2016 Final Round at Google Paris.

Laco Pápay organized the hub at his university in Bratislava last year (and is now a Googler based in Zurich). “Before the competition started, we had a lot of fun with set-up: decorating the room, taking pictures for the hub photo contest,” he said. “When the problem was announced and people sat down to work, the fun continued. Competing against teams on a scoreboard is great, but it’s even more exciting if the teams you’re up against are sitting just one desk over.”

The Online Qualification Round for 2017 will take place on February 23, 2017. From there, the top 50 teams will be invited to Google Paris for the Final Round on April 1.

If you think you might want to host a hub, find out more and sign up on our site. If you’re not able to host but would like to compete, you can be among the first to know when registration opens in December.


San Diego Unified School District designs today’s classroom for tomorrow’s workplace

Category: Google | Oct 20, 2016

Editor’s note: San Diego Unified School District has more than 132,000 students across 226 schools. They’re about to embark on what will soon be one of the largest 1:1 Chromebook programs for a school district. Leading the charge is Cindy Marten, superintendent of San Diego Unified School District. We’re proud to work with San Diego Unified School District  on this journey and excited about what’s to come.

At San Diego Unified School District  it’s our mission to prepare our students, who represent more than 180 countries and 60 spoken languages, for the competitive global economy, and we believe that integrating technology into the classroom is a core part of these efforts. To ensure students graduate with the skills, motivation and curiosity to thrive in the workplace of the future we’ve launched a over 47,000 Chromebooks and G Suite for Education, including Google Classroom, district-wide to give all students access to collaborative technology both in the classroom and at home.

A new way to evaluate classroom tech

The innovation technology team at San Diego Unified School District, lead by Dan Stoneman, our chief innovation officer, created a 178-point rubric for evaluating classroom technology. The team created the rubric with careful attention to the skills we believe will be important in the future workplace — namely, the skills to collaborate effectively and work in the cloud. It’s crucial to reinforce these skills by providing access to technology in the classroom. Many of our students don’t have computers or internet at home. We believe that this program will level the playing field and prepare all of our students for the future workplace. This is why a total of 43 of our schools will be 1:1 with Chromebooks by the end of the year, giving over 16,000 students the ability to use them at home and in the classroom.

Our district saved nearly $10 million by choosing Chromebooks for our 1:1 roll-out. Chromebooks are less expensive than other devices on the market, but they are much more reliable. This has made it possible for us to both save money on purchasing new devices as well as invest in devices that will last longer. The money we’ve spent goes much further now that we’re using more affordable devices. This enables us to ensure that every student has a working device that’s up to date with the latest software.

Our district saved nearly $10 million by choosing Chromebooks for our 1:1 roll-out.

Cindy Marten

Superintendent, San Diego Unified School

[edu] san diego

An elementary school student shows her father a class project on her Chromebook

Building skills for the future

We’re seeing the impact of Chromebooks and G Suite for Education at schools like Jefferson Elementary, which launched 147 Chromebooks for use in the classroom at the start of this school year. We wanted to see students learning to collaborate in the cloud, socialize online and work simultaneously on projects in Google Docs. These tasks require a great amount of critical thinking and communication skills and even though we’re only a month into the school year, we’re starting to see positive results.

For example, in Lisa Martin’s fourth grade class students are using Chromebooks to work together on projects that teach communication, collaboration and problem-solving skills. At the beginning of the school year, students interviewed their peers, wrote profiles in Docs, and worked in group settings to share and edit their drafts.

Lisa is now seeing students learn how to relate to others both personally and professionally. In her own words, “The students aren’t just learning from me, they’re learning from each other. I have been able to step back and become a better facilitator,” she says.

Inspiring more confident, engaged students

Teachers report that students are showing more confidence in the classroom. This is especially true for students who struggle with reading and writing and those who speak English as a second language. “Many students struggle with handwriting assignments, but when you give them a computer, they can focus on the work and show their thinking,” says Jon Kevorkian, a fourth grade teacher at Jefferson.

We’re particularly thrilled by students’ enthusiasm about using technology. “I run the after school Maker club, and the students often bring their Chromebooks to show me the work they’re doing in class” says Dorothy Dunham, a fourth grade teacher at Jefferson. “I’ve never seen anything like it before. The students would rather work on Chromebooks than play with legos after school.”

Our administrative team is excited about these early results and we’re looking forward to seeing the overall impact across the district. Our Chromebook program is helping us achieve our mission: for all students in our diverse community to graduate with the skills, motivation and curiosity to thrive in the workplace of the future.


Android Pay says “Nei hou” to Hong Kong

Category: Google | Oct 19, 2016

Whether you’re heading out to buy groceries, grabbing a cup of coffee, or picking up some egg tarts for your family and friends, now your Android phone is all you need as you walk out the door. Starting today, Android Pay is available in Hong Kong to help you speed through purchases in stores and in apps. 

Android Pay in Hong Kong

Hongkongers can now use Android Pay at over 5,000 locations in Hong Kong where contactless payments are accepted, including stores such as at 7-Eleven, Circle K, Fortress, Mannings, Maxim’s Cakes, MX, McDonald’s, Pacific Coffee, PARKnSHOP, SmarTone, Watsons, Wellcome and more. Android Pay also stores your gift cards, loyalty cards and special offers right on your phone.

Featured Stores for Android Pay in Hong Kong

Android Pay can also help you breeze through checkout in your favorite apps, including Boutir Collect, Deliveroo, Kaligo, Klook, Snaptee, and coming soon, Uber and more. Just look for the Android Pay button, and say goodbye to entering your payment and address details each time you buy.

Featured Apps for Android Pay in Hong Kong

To get started, download the app from Google Play. It’s available on all Android devices that are NFC-enabled, supporting Google Play Services, and running on KitKat 4.4 or higher. Android Pay works with MasterCard and Visa cards from BEA, DBS, Dah Sing Bank, Hang Seng Bank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong. You can add multiple cards (there’s no limit to how many you can add) and select which card you want to use before you pay, so you can always enjoy the best deals available.

Networks & Issuers for Android Pay in Hong Kong

Merchants, want to accept Android Pay?

As an open platform, Android Pay is available to merchants that want to push mobile payments forward. In-store merchants can access the Android Pay Merchant Help Centre or reach out to acquirer partners such as DBS, First Data and Hang Seng to learn more about accepting contactless payments.

For online merchants, just visit the Android Pay API developer site to learn how to accept Android Pay in your app. We’re working with payment processors such as: Adyen, Braintree, First Data, Global Payments, Stripe and Worldpay to make enabling Android Pay in Hong Kong simple and easy.

Featured Partners for Android Pay in Hong Kong

Get started with Android Pay in Hong Kong today: Download from Google Play, add your card and start tapping and shopping!


New time-saving features in G Suite for Education

Category: Google | Oct 19, 2016

G Suite for Education helps students move from collecting ideas to creating projects and papers as quickly and easily as possible. Google Docs achieves this by facilitating collaboration, making it easy to work on any device, and weaving in machine intelligence to handle the more mundane elements of getting work done.

Today we’re introducing new time-saving features to Docs, Sheets and Slides designed to speed up and simplify the way teachers and students work, so they can focus on what’s really important—teaching and learning. These apps still have all of the same functionality that students and teachers love, with the addition of these new features.

1. Less time spent organizing next steps with Action Items

When reviewing a student’s assignment, it’s helpful for teachers to give them clear guidance on the next step they should take, like which specific paragraphs need to be reworked in their essay. Now, when teachers type phrases like “AI: Ryan to show work on the answer to this problem,” or “Todo: Andrea to fix punctuation in this paragraph” on desktop, Docs will intelligently suggest an Action Item to assign to the right person, thanks to natural language processing (NLP).


Teachers can also manually assign an action item to a student in the Docs, Sheets, and Slides desktop and mobile apps by mentioning them in a comment and checking the new action item box. To help the student stay on track, they will get an email notification and see the action item(s) clearly highlighted with a blue bar when they open the file.

[edu] docs bundle

2. Less time spent searching for the files that need attention

Once action items have been assigned, it’s now easy for students to identify documents, spreadsheets, and presentations that need their attention. The next time they visit Docs, Sheets, Slides (or Drive) from their laptops or mobile apps, they’ll see a badge on files with action items assigned to them, plus any unresolved suggestions that others have made to their files.

[edu] docs bundle

3. Less time spent building questions with smarter Forms

Since its launch in 2008, over a billion questions have been asked in Forms. With the help of neural networks, our tools reviewed anonymized data and identified many common patterns in Forms. As a result, Forms can now predict the type of question that is being asked and suggest response options based on what is typed, resulting in 25% faster form creation.

For example, a teacher can collect information for the marching band’s upcoming trip. When she types “What day of the week are you and your parent/guardian available?”, Forms will intelligently determine that “Checkbox” is the ideal question type, and generate the days of the week as the appropriate response options that can be added one by one or all together.

[edu] docs bundle

Also debuting today, is a top-requested feature from our education customers — the new “File upload” question type. Students can now upload files from their computer or Drive — all of which are neatly collected in a folder in the teacher’s Drive. This means students can now add files—from a photo for the marching band program to videos of French dialogue practice—directly to Google Forms. Note: This feature is currently only available for intra-domain use.

[edu] docs bundle

4. Less time spent typing with a set of new voice typing commands

Last year, we launched Voice typing in Docs on the web helping to capture ideas, big and small, without lifting a finger. Today, we’re adding new ways for teachers and students to format and customize content with voice commands for changing text color, deleting words, inserting links and comments, plus a number of other ways to format, hands-free.

With the combination of today’s updates and last month’s Explore launch, we’re channeling machine intelligence to help students stay on track with their assignments and give them time to focus on the things that will help them succeed.


Five new ways to reach your goals faster with G Suite

Category: Google | Oct 19, 2016

One of the core promises of Google Docs is to help you and your team go from collecting ideas to achieving your goals as quickly and easily as possible. That’s why last month we launched Explore in Docs, Sheets and Slides — with machine intelligence built right in — to help your team create amazing presentations, spreadsheets and documents in a fraction of the time it used to take.

Today, we’re introducing five new time-saving features designed to speed up and simplify the way you work, so you can focus on bringing your team’s ideas to life.

1. Spend less time figuring out who owns what with Action Items

According to research by the McKinsey Global Institute, employees spend about 20 percent of their work week — nearly an entire day — searching for details internally and tracking down colleagues for answers.  This can be especially true when a document is full of ideas, requests and comments, making it difficult to get a clear sense of who’s responsible for what.

To help keep your projects moving, when you type phrases like “Ryan to follow up on the keynote script,” or “Andrea to schedule a weekly check in” on desktop, Docs will intelligently suggest an Action Item to assign to the right person, thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP).

G Suite Bundle: Image 5

You can also manually assign an Action Item to someone in the Docs, Sheets and Slides desktop and mobile apps by mentioning their name in a comment and checking the new Action Item box. The assignee will get an email notification and see the Action Item(s) clearly highlighted with a blue bar when they open the file.

G Suite Bundle Image 1

2. Spend less time searching for the files that need attention

Once Action Items have been assigned, it’s easy for team members to identify documents, spreadsheets and presentations that need their attention. The next time they visit Docs, Sheets, Slides (or Drive) from their laptops or mobile apps, they’ll see a badge on any files with Action Items assigned to them, plus any unresolved suggestions that others have made to their files.

G Suite Bundle: Image 2

3. Spend less time building questions with smarter Forms

Since its launch in 2008, more than a billion questions have been asked in Forms, allowing us to identify common patterns, like question types and the response options that usually go with them. With the help of neural networks, we can now predict the type of question you’re asking and suggest potential responses for you to choose from, giving you back about 25 percent of the time you used to spend creating a Form.

Let’s say you’re planning an all-day event at the office and need to know which day works best for your team. When you type “What days are you available next week?” Forms will intelligently determine that “Checkbox” is the ideal question type, and generate related response options that you can add one by one or all together.

G Suite Bundle: Image 3

Also debuting today is a top-requested feature from our business and education customers — the new “File upload” question type. Your respondents can now upload files from their computer or Drive — all of which are neatly collected for you in a new Drive folder.  Note: This feature is only available for G Suite customers in Forms shared within their organization.

G Suite Bundle: Image 4

4. Spend less time typing with a set of new voice commands

Last year, we launched Voice typing in Docs on the web to help you capture ideas, big and small, without lifting a finger. Today, we’re adding more ways to format and customize content with commands for changing text color, deleting words, inserting links and comments, plus a number of other ways to format, hands-free.

5. Spend less time switching between apps to get things done

We want you to be as productive and collaborative as possible, regardless of the tools you choose to work with, so we’ve partnered with Slack to make it even easier to work with Google Docs files.

With a click of the “+” button in Slack, you can bring files from Drive directly into a conversation with your team, or create new Docs, Sheets and Slides files right from Slack. You can check out more details on Slack’s blog.

G Suite Bundled: Image 7

With the  introduction of Explore, and more and more updates to products that build in machine intelligence, taking back time spent on mundane, repetitive tasks will only get easier with G Suite. Now, you can focus your energy on creative and strategic work, not busy work.


Supporting women in tech at GHC 16

Category: Google | Oct 19, 2016

The 2016 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) begins today, and we’re thrilled to join the 15,000 women and allies convening in Houston for three days of learning, inspiration and community building. Thousands of women at Google are building tools and products that organize the world’s information, help businesses get online and prosper, and forge connections across a growing digital community of 3.5 billion people. So it only makes sense that Google would be part of the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. We see GHC as a critical way to connect women in tech and help clear hurdles to their professional development.

GHC emojis

We know that there’s much more work to do to help level the playing field — and that’s why the mission of the Grace Hopper Celebration is so important. Just yesterday we reported new U.S. research from Gallup and Google that suggests girls are less likely than boys to be told by parents and teachers that they would be good at computer science. We also found that girls are less likely than boys to be aware of computer science learning opportunities outside of school.

We’ve worked hard to recruit and support amazing women leaders since the very beginning of Google, but we also want to support efforts to improve women’s representation across the entire tech ecosystem. That’s why we’ve been part of of GHC since 2004. For the past 12 years, we’ve also worked with the Anita Borg Institute (ABI), which produces GHC, to bring more women into computer science careers. Google’s Alan Eustace is a founding member of the ABI Board of Trustees, and his friendship with Anita Borg herself gave rise to the Women Techmakers Scholars Program (formerly known as the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Program). To date, the program has awarded more than 1,000 scholarships globally, and we’ve been very happy to hire many of them to come work here.

If you’re planning to attend the conference, don’t be a stranger. If you see one of us sporting a Google T-shirt, we’d love to meet you. Stop by our booth (#1730), or come to one of our 25 presentations. Some of the highlights include our VP of Engineering and Machine Learning Anna Patterson, who will deliver a keynote on entrepreneurism and receive the 2016 ABI Excellence Award; and Captain of Moonshots Astro Teller, who will discuss how to embrace failure in the name of breakthrough. Follow us on Twitter for updates from the show floor and definitely visit our Careers site to find your place with us.


It takes a teacher to create a family-like community at school

Category: Google | Oct 18, 2016

Editor’s Note: Over the next few months, we’ll be shining light on the creative power of teachers worldwide. We’ll share a series of teacher stories, building towards a global online gathering of educators on December 3: Education on Air. Join the movement by sharing what teachers mean to you with #ItTakesATeacher.

Beatriz Porro’s mom was a teacher in Argentina, but she never thought she’d follow in her mother’s footsteps until she saw the impact teaching had on students’ lives. Today, after 27 years of inspiring children in the classroom, Porro continues to create strong connections with students, empowering them to reach their potential. She teaches Spanish 3, Spanish V AP Language and Culture and Spanish VI AP Literature and Culture at East Leyden High School in Illinois. We talked to Porro to hear how she creates a community in and outside the classroom:

It takes a teacher to listen and empower students to speak up

For Porro, teaching isn’t just a way to pay the bills and keep the heat running. It’s her passion. In her classroom students have equal input into the curriculum, are comfortable coming to Porro for help and know she’ll always push them to achieve more. “Students see that I love teaching them, and they know they can tell me when they’re having trouble with an assignment or concept,” she says.

After a career spanning three decades, Porro is retiring this year, and principal Jason Markey wanted to know her secret for connecting with students. Her answer: listening. Some teachers simply instruct and don’t take the time to understand what students are interested in learning or what topics they’re struggling with. Porro believes listening to students is the key to engaging them in the classroom and encouraging them to study and pass the AP exam. She asks students for ideas and modifies the curriculum based on their feedback, designing classes that everybody can get excited about.

For example, Hilda, a senior at East Leyden who previously lived in Mexico, suggested that her class discuss their thoughts about the book Letters from Hernan Cortes, and share their ideas with her former classmates in Mexico. The two classes are planning to talk via Skype about Cortes’ conquests and why the U.S. celebrates Columbus Day. Porro welcomed the opportunity to give her students a culturally-rich perspective of Hernan Cortes. Hilda and her classmates are also interested in talking about the U.S. election and Donald Trump’s relations with Mexico. Porro and East Leyden’s principal recognize that these are going to be controversial discussions, but engaging with students in Mexico will give them with a new point of view of Mexico’s history and a different perspective on U.S. politics.

“I love the fact that we can express our perspective toward both current and past events that affect our community today,” says Hilda. “The best conversations were initiated by someone in the class bringing up a controversial thought and Señora Porro encouraging us to continue the conversation by stating our point of view towards that specific topic.”

Porro ensures that students have a well-rounded Spanish education and learn about current events in addition to history and culture. Once a week, students in her Spanish 3 class find an article from one of 28 Spanish-speaking newspapers and present what they’ve read to the class. This exposes them to international news that impacts the U.S. and other Spanish-speaking countries.  

It takes a teacher to support students in their personal and school lives

Some students don’t have the support they need at home, so Porro opens her arms to students whether they need help with Spanish literature or personal troubles. “Last week two students who are going through tough times came to me and said they needed to talk. They didn’t have an adult to confide in, and I was there for them,” she says. Earlier this year, assistant  principal Karen Ritter wrote Porro a letter telling her that many students see her as their second mom.

“Señora Porro has a passionate, understanding, open, warm heart that welcomes all people regardless of who they are,” says Ronahy, a freshman in college who took three classes with Porro. “She makes students feel like they’re part of her own family. She is always there to vent to when you need someone to listen. I was very fortunate to have a teacher that accepted me and really loved the presence of her students.”

It takes a teacher to create authentic cultural experiences beyond the classroom

Porro gives students the opportunity to experience rich Latin American culture by hosting class dinners and creating a reciprocal relationship outside school hours. The day before the AP exam, Porro invited her 16 students and the school principal to her house to study and enjoy a home-cooked Argentinian BBQ. When Porro gets the AP exam results in July, she rewards her students by treating them to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.

Porro tells her students that when they graduate college, they can return the favor. Earlier this month, one of Porro’s former students who is now in college invited Porro and her husband for a home-cooked meal at her parents’ house. The student’s mom cooked mole to show her appreciation for the support shown to her daughter through high school and into college.

“Señora Porro encourages us to find the connection between the didactic material and how we interact with each other as a society,” Hilda says. “She always has the objective to not only teach Spanish literature and culture but also to teach life lessons.”

To connect with and learn from teachers like Beatriz, join us for Education on Air on December 3rd.

We also invite you to join this movement by sharing what teachers mean to you with #ItTakesATeacher and seeing your own and others’ stories re-shared at


¡Oye! Discover even more Latin music on Google Play Music

Category: Google | Oct 18, 2016

GPM Latin 1

¡Hola! Desplazarse hacia abajo para leer este mensaje en español -Ed.

Google Play Music makes it easy for you to listen to the right music at the right moment. Instead of digging through our catalog of 40 million songs on your own, our concierge of playlists helps you find the perfect, expertly curated soundtrack for any mood, activity or time of day. Enjoy music for watching the sunset, cooking or working out.

Starting this week in the U.S., if you’re an avid listener of Latin music, when you open Google Play Music you’ll see many more Latin playlists alongside your other recommendations. We’ve added 10 times the number of Latin playlists to Google Play Music with more to come. Each station has been handcrafted — song by song — by our team of Latin music experts (a mix of DJs, musicians and music critics). You can now choose one of our new Latin playlists to make whatever you’re doing even better — whether it’s Rock en español para sudar during your morning workout, banda sing-alongs to make your commute whiz by, or an abuela-approved reggaeton mix for your next family gathering.

If you already have playlists and artists you like listening to, Latin music won’t replace them. We still want to give you the right music at the right time — whether that’s Britney or Romeo Santos. Now, you’ll just see even more Latin music playlists to make each of your moments better.

GPM Latin 2

¡Oye! Descubre más música Latina en Google Play Música

Con Google Play Música puedes disfrutar fácilmente de la mejor música en el momento adecuado. En lugar de buscar a través de nuestro catálogo de 40 millones de canciones, nuestras listas musicales personalizadas te permiten escuchar canciones y estaciones de radio basadas en lo que estés haciendo, tu estado de ánimo u hora del dia. Encuentra música para cuando estes viendo el atardecer, cocinando o haciendo ejercicio.

A partir de esta semana en los EE.UU., si eres un fanático de la música Latina, al usar Google Play Música verás más listas y estaciones de música Latina junto a otras recomendaciones basadas en tus preferencias musicales. Hemos añadido 10 veces el número de listas de música Latina a Google Play Música, y esto es solo el principio!. Cada estación ha sido diseñada a mano – canción por canción – por nuestro equipo de expertos en música Latina (una mezcla de DJs, músicos y críticos musicales). Ahora puedes elegir una de nuestras nuevas listas para hacer lo que estás haciendo aún mejor. Escucha “Rock en español para sudar” cuando estés haciendo ejercicio por la mañana, banda sing-alongs cuando estés manejando, o un reggaeton mix aprobado por la abuela durante tu próxima reunión familiar.

Si ya tienes listas de canciones y artistas que te gustan escuchar, nuestras listas de música Latina no las reemplazan. Queremos brindarte la mejor música en el momento adecuado — ya sea Britney o Romeo Santos. Ahora veras mas listas y estaciones de radio con música Latina para hacer de cada momento uno mejor.


Racial and gender gaps in computer science learning: New Google-Gallup research

Category: Google | Oct 18, 2016

Today, we’re releasing new research from our partnership with Gallup that investigates the demographic inequities in K-12 computer science (CS) education in two reports, Diversity Gaps in Computer Science: Exploring the Underrepresentation of Girls, Blacks and Hispanics and Trends in the State of Computer Science in U.S. K-12 Schools. We surveyed 16,000 nationally representative groups of students, parents, teachers, principals, and superintendents in the U.S.  Our findings explore the CS learning gap between white students and their Black and Hispanic peers as well as between boys and girls and confirm just how much demographic differences matter.  We’re excited to share this data to bring awareness to issues on the ground in order to help expand CS education in meaningful ways.

[edu] cs edu + gallup

Progress around access has been made in K-12 CS education. We found that 40 percent of K-12 principals say they offer CS classes with programming/coding, up from 25 percent the year before, an increase that may be explained by the tremendous increase in support and awareness of CS education. However, a great deal of work still remains, as access for students is not universal, and disparities exist particularly for underrepresented groups:

  • Black students are less likely to have access to CS in classes at school compared to white or Hispanic students. Specifically, 47 percent say they have dedicated CS classes, compared to 58 percent of white students and 59 percent of Hispanic students.  

  • Black and Hispanic students are less likely than white students to use computers at home and/or at school frequently. Only 58 percent of Black and 50 percent of Hispanic students say they use a computer at least most days at home, compared to 68 percent of white students.

Although structural barriers and lack of access and exposure for Black and Hispanic students are prevalent, their interest is disproportionately higher:

  • Black and Hispanic students are more likely than their white counterparts to be interested in learning CS. Black students are 1.5 times and Hispanic students are 1.7 times as likely as white students to be interested in learning CS.

  • Black and Hispanic parents want their child to learn CS. Of parents whose child has not learned CS, 92 percent of Black and Hispanic parents want their child to learn CS compared to 84 percent of white parents.

[edu] cs edu + gallup

To help broaden participation in CS learning, we also need to understand barriers beyond access.  The quality of offerings should be rigorous and social perceptions should support all students. We found:

  • Hispanic students have less exposure to role models — just 49 percent of Hispanic students say an adult in their lives works with computers or technology compared to 58 percent of white and 65 percent of Black students.

  • Hispanic students and girls are less likely to see media images of CS reflect themselves and, of students who see those in the media engaged in CS, girls are about half as likely as boys to say that they often see someone like themselves.

  • Girls are less likely than boys to report being told by parents or teachers that they would be good at CS (39 percent versus 56 percent of boys) and are less likely than boys to be aware of CS learning opportunities outside of school.

  • Not surprisingly, both Hispanics and girls have lower confidence to learn CS and are less likely to have learned CS.

As our research and decades of work have uncovered, CS education is a complex space. We must work together to catalyze the changes needed to challenge narrow social images of CS, while simultaneously working to bring about universal access to quality CS education. Yesterday’s announcement of the K-12 Computer Science Framework, which Google supports, represents a momentous step toward guiding schools on high quality, rigorous CS education. We hope that our research continues to support collaboration efforts like the framework to increase equitable opportunities for all students to learn CS.


Course Builder now supports scheduling, easier customization and more

Category: Google | Oct 17, 2016

Over the years, we’ve learned that there are as many ways to run an online course as there are instructors to run them. Today’s release of Course Builder v1.11 has a focus on improved student access controls, easier visual customization and a new course explorer. Additionally, we’ve added better support for deploying from Windows!

Improved student access controls

A course’s availability is often dynamic – sometimes you want to make a course available to everyone all at once, while other times may call for the course to be available to some students before others. Perhaps registration will be available for a while and then the course later becomes read-only. To support these use cases, we’ve added Student Groups and Calendar Triggers.

  • Student Groups allow you to define which students can see which parts of a course.  Want your morning class to see unit 5 and your afternoon class to see unit 6 — while letting random Internet visitors only see unit 1?  Student groups have you covered.

  • Calendar Triggers can be used to update course or content availability automatically at a specific time.  For instance, if your course goes live at midnight on Sunday night, you don’t need to be at a computer to make it happen.  Or, if you want to unlock a new unit every week, you can set up a trigger to automate the process.  Read more about calendar triggers and availability.

You can even use these features together.  Say you want to start a new group of students through the course every month, giving each access to one new unit per week.  Using Student Groups and Calendar Triggers together, you can achieve this cohort-like functionality.

Easier visual customization

In the past, if you wanted to customize Course Builder’s student experience beyond a certain point, you needed to be a Python developer.  We heard from many web developers that they would like to be able to create their own student-facing pages, too.  With this release, Course Builder includes a GraphQL server that allows you to create your own frontend experience, while still letting Course Builder take care of things like user sessions and statefulness.

New course explorer

Large Course Builder partners such as Google’s Digital Workshop and NPTEL have many courses and students with diverse needs.  To help them, we’ve completely revamped the Course Explorer page, giving it richer information and interactivity, so your students can find which of your courses they’re looking for.  You can provide categories and start/end dates, in addition to the course title, abstract and instructor information.

[edu] coursebuilder

In v1.11, we’ve added several new highly requested features. Together, they help make Course Builder easier to use and customize, giving you the flexibility to schedule things in advance.

We’ve come a long way since releasing our first experimental code over 4 years ago, turning Course Builder into a large open-source Google App Engine application with over 5 million student registrations across all Course Builder users. With these latest additions, we consider Course Builder feature complete and fully capable of delivering online learning at any scale. We will continue to provide support and bug fixes for those using the platform.

We hope you’ll enjoy these new features and share how you’re using them in the forum.  Keep on learning!