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.
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.
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.
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!
Mark your calendars! Next ’17, our marquee event for the Google Cloud community, will take place on March 8–10, 2017 at Moscone Center West in San Francisco.
Next ’17 is the destination for Google Cloud developers, partners, customers and IT professionals to learn, get inspired and experience first-hand the tools, technologies and services that Google Cloud is building for the next-generation enterprise, including all of the products across Google Cloud Platform, G Suite, Maps, Devices and Education.
We’ll kick things off on March 8 with keynotes featuring the Google Cloud leadership team, new product announcements and demonstrations and perspectives from industry leaders. There’s so much great content in the works for this year’s event that we’re adding a third day to the agenda. Throughout these three days, we’ll be hosting more than 200 sessions, hands-on code labs, solutions workshops, machine learning activities, partner tracks, technical training and certification programs.
Attendees will be able to connect with the entire Google Cloud team, including our engineers, product leadership, developer advocates and more. We’ll also have hundreds of partners involved throughout Next ‘17, bringing together the entire Google Cloud ecosystem.
Sign up here and we’ll keep you posted when registration opens and other important updates become available.
Whether you’re heading home for the holidays or escaping to some exotic destination, one of the most time-consuming and stressful parts of travel planning is finding the right flight and hotel. Sixty-nine percent of U.S. leisure travelers worry that they’re not finding the best price or making the best decision while booking a trip — making this kind of purchase more worrisome than financial investments, home improvements or electronics purchases.*
This holiday season we’re making travel planning less stressful by updating you when flights are likely to increase in price, helping you find good hotel deals, and making travel planning easier on mobile.
Making it easier than ever to choose the right flight
Google Flights can now help you be more confident that you’re booking your flight at the right time to get the best price. We now show you when prices are expected to increase for some specific flights and routes you’re interested in.
After selecting a specific flight, a notification may appear letting you know when the current fare is expected to expire and how much you can save if you book now. For example, this flight to San Diego is likely to cost more in eight hours — and you would likely save $87 if you book before then.
If you’re looking at a certain route like New York to San Diego, but haven’t selected a specific flight yet, you may see a notification bar with multiple tips showing how to find the best price for this route. Tips can include things like recommendations for alternate airports or dates. You may also see a new tip telling you about an expected price jump based on historic prices for that route. When you tap on the card, you’ll see more details like how much the price is likely to increase and when.
If you’re not ready to book yet, you can choose to track your flight or route and receive notifications via email letting you know when prices are expected to change. Fare expiration and expected price jump notifications will be rolling out over the coming weeks everywhere Google Flights is available. You’ll also continue to receive updates when prices actually do increase or decrease significantly for tracked flights.
We’re also making it easier to find flights on the go. Next time you visit Google Flights, you’ll be able to track and manage saved flights seamlessly on your phone.
If you’re still looking for inspiration on where to travel, tap on Explore to find ideas on destinations to visit based on the type of vacation you’re looking for. For example, you can look for destinations in the Caribbean with direct flights only.
Providing more ways to uncover deals in hotel search
We’re also making it easier to immediately recognize and find more deals when searching on Google for hotels in the location of your choice, like “hotels in new york”. We already label deals when a hotel’s price is lower than usual compared to historical pricing, or if there are discounts to the normal rate for those dates. Now if you want to only look at hotel deals — say, to ring in the new year in Paris — just tap in the upper left to filter for Deals and voilà!
We’ll also notify you when savings are available to loyalty members on a hotel’s website.
Don’t let travel planning stress you out this holiday season. Google Flights and hotel search on Google can help save you time and money so you can spend more time with the people you love. Wishing you safe and happy holiday travels!
Editor’s note: As part of the ExploreEDU series, schools are working with Google for Education Premier Partners to throw open their doors and invite neighboring educators to learn first-hand from their own experiences using Google tools to innovate and improve. To see if there is an event near you visit the ExploreEDU site. For those that aren’t able to join these events, we’ll also share the schools’ experiences here. Today’s guest author is David Schneider, assistant superintendent for instruction and technology from Bethpage Union Free School District. Their district is hosting an event on November 1 with CDW.
About four years ago we set an ambitious goal to enable each individual student to create an individualized learning pathway, and we determined the best way to meet that goal was through providing the right technology to our students and teachers. We selected Chromebooks and G Suite for Education (formerly Google Apps for Education) primarily because of their simplicity and collaborative capabilities. In order for the rollout to be a success, we knew we needed the support of students, teachers and parents. We had to teach everyone in the district how to get the most out of the new technology. Based on our experiences here are my tips to successfully introduce new technology in the classroom:
1. Bring in outside expertise
We invited several Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) trainers on campus for our summer teacher training. BOCES offers programs to help teachers integrate technology in the classroom and meet New York education standards. 75 percent of our teachers took this initial professional development course. While all participants felt better prepared to begin the school year, our teachers were particularly inspired by the way one BOCES trainer taught the pedagogy and gave practical advice.
Throughout the year, we invited her back numerous times to provide a wide variety of professional development, from 30-minute one-on-one sessions to professional training workshops both during and outside school hours. As our district became familiar with the technology, teachers and administrators started training their peers on the basics of Google Docs and other foundational topics.
2. Encourage teachers to share insights
Before we introduced Chromebooks at Bethpage High School, many ninth grade teachers didn’t know how to use them effectively. Rising ninth grade students had been using Chromebooks for a year, and we realized we needed to level the playing field in the classroom.
Our district organized collaborative meet and greets for eighth grade teachers to share Chromebooks advice with their ninth grade colleagues. They discussed how they’re using Chromebooks in the classroom and best practices to engage students through technology. When teachers share their experiences and offer advice on ways to overcome challenges, our teachers gained a much better understanding of how the devices could make their lives more effective and efficient.
3. Turn resistors into advocates by solving their pain points
When we introduce new teaching resources, there are always some early adopters and some resistors. To win over the resistors, I decided to share a few examples of how technology can improve the teaching experience.
For example, for formative assessments such as Exit Tickets, many teachers typically printed 120 copies of a question, cut each question into separate strips, had the students fill them out, collected them and kept them organized until they read through each answer. I showed how with Google Forms, they could simply send the question and receive the responses organized in a Google Sheet. When teachers hear examples like these, it encourages them to embrace new technologies.
4. Include student training in orientation programs
Training students and parents on how to use Chromebooks is equally as important as training teachers. We wanted to deploy the Chromebooks with as little interruption of instruction as possible and give everyone a basic understanding of Chromebooks and Google Docs.
We included a technology workshop in the sixth grade orientation program, which started three years ago. We did the same workshop for seventh and eighth graders in our first year rollout. Similar to the teacher peer training, the workshops were run by students and teachers. We asked 15 early adopter teachers and returning eighth graders in the National Honor Society to lead the sessions. We taught parents how to use the devices and how to teach their children to use them. We also gave Chromebooks to every middle school student a week before school started to give them time to get comfortable with the technology.
5. Show parents the value of technology
Aside from the orientation program, we introduced a parent academy to show parents the technology in action and the true impact it has on their child’s education. For example, I once gave a presentation via Google Slides, while two principals in the audience live-edited the document. Parents were amazed by the power of real-time collaboration with G Suite for Education.
My advice to other educators rolling out new technology is to leverage your internal resources and recognize when you might need to bring in outside help. When your teachers and students share their knowledge and insights with their peers, they inspire them to find new ways to build on what’s already been done.
As the daughter of a Mexican immigrant, sharing Latino culture with my wider community is a daily part of life. From practicing Mexican folk dances with classmates to introducing neighbors to our favorite traditional foods, my family is always grateful to share our experiences as Latinos in the U.S. That’s why I’ve been excited to help with Google’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month — a time to reflect on and celebrate the contributions Latinos make to our company and our country.
HOLA members continued the HHM festivities in their home offices. Googlers in Mountain View hosted the rock band Maná, who spoke about their interest in social good and music. And just earlier this week, we welcomed Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, who discussed the importance of access to Latino mentors, the value of immigrants in the American workforce, and the necessity of technology for 21st century careers. You can meet some of ourHOLA members on our Instagram account.
Support for Latino students and families
At Google, we understand that diverse and inclusive environments are essential to building products and solutions that work for everyone. That’s why we invest in increasing educational opportunities for students of all backgrounds to pursue futures in technology. This month Google.org is committing $1 million to local Silicon Valley organizations to help close these gaps in educational success for Latino students and families.
Across the U.S., Latino students aren’t being adequately prepared for college experiences or college level math. In our own backyard, Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District, 73 percent of Hispanic high school juniors do not meet math standards — compared to 34 percent overall. So we’re providing Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) $750,000 to support its work narrowing the achievement gap through its student-focused programs, school district policy support, and collaborations with business communities to bring innovation into the classroom. Googlers are already active volunteers with SVEF’s summer intervention program, Elevate Math.
Google.org has also committed $250,000 to the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley (HFSV), which aims to increase high school and college graduation rates for Latino students. Over the course of the next two years, HFSV will conduct Spanish-speaking Parent Education Academies that will reach parents of low-income, Latino students who are at-risk of falling off track. These workshops will ensure Latino parents are knowledgeable about the local education system and how best to support their children to achieve academic results and fulfilling careers.
As Hispanic Heritage Month 2016 comes to a close, we look forward to continuing our support of the Latino community — at Google and beyond!
Google has joined forces with three leading Dutch companies — AkzoNobel, DSM and Philips — to jointly source power from renewable energy projects in the Netherlands. Our first agreement is to buy power from a new wind farm initiative established by a new community-owned cooperative of 4000 people in Zeeland called Windpark Krammer. With this investment, we’ll be positioned to power even more of our European operations with renewable energy, following on the heels of our news from the Nordics in June.
This new agreement also marks the first time Google has teamed up with local citizens to create what is effectively a consumer-to-business energy partnership. Together the four companies have agreed to source a total of 0.35 TWh per year from Windpark Krammer when it becomes operational in 2019. The agreement is both crucial for the funding of the wind park and for the sustainable ambitions of all four companies.
Our Dutch datacenter will run on 100% renewable energy
We are committed to powering 100% of our global datacenter operations with clean energy, and in the Netherlands, this is the second renewable energy purchase commitment Google has made. In 2014, we announced that Google would purchase all of the energy output from a new wind park in Delfzijl. Thanks to this agreement 19 new wind turbines have been built and our datacenter in Eemshaven will run on 100% renewable energy from the day it opens later this year.
The four companies in the consortium have spent worthwhile time putting their effort into working together to exploring market opportunities. Our partnership represents a new approach in the Netherlands in which corporations join hands to enter jointly into a renewable Power Purchase Agreement.
Largest purchaser of renewable energy…and helping others do the same
The new collaboration fits into Google’s goal to help power the world with clean energy. So far we have committed to purchase nearly 2.5 gigawatts of renewable energy — equivalent to taking over 1 million cars off the road and making us the largest non-utility purchaser of renewable energy in the world.
Separately, we’ve committed to invest nearly $2.5 billion in renewable energy projects globally, which makes us one of the largest corporate investors in renewable energy in the world. We believe that through these two initiatives, we’re creating a better future for everyone. Having reached these impressive milestones, we’re very excited to help other companies green their own footprints as we are doing with ours.
Over the last several years, fact checking has come into its own. Led by organizations like the International Fact-Checking Network, rigorous fact checks are now conducted by more than 100 active sites, according to the Duke University Reporter’s Lab. They collectively produce many thousands of fact-checks a year, examining claims around urban legends, politics, health, and the media itself.
In the seven years since we started labeling types of articles in Google News (e.g., In-Depth, Opinion, Wikipedia), we’ve heard that many readers enjoy having easy access to a diverse range of content types. Earlier this year, we added a “Local Source” Tag to highlight local coverage of major stories. Today, we’re adding another new tag, “Fact check,” to help readers find fact checking in large news stories. You’ll see the tagged articles in the expanded story box on news.google.com and in the Google News & Weather iOS and Android apps, starting with the U.S. and the U.K.
Google News determines whether an article might contain fact checks in part by looking for the schema.org ClaimReview markup. We also look for sites that follow the commonly accepted criteria for fact checks. Publishers who create fact-checks and would like to see it appear with the “Fact check” tag should use that markup in fact-check articles. For more information, head on over to our help center.
We’re excited to see the growth of the Fact Check community and to shine a light on its efforts to divine fact from fiction, wisdom from spin.
When it comes to redefining how people go about their everyday work, Google and Salesforce have shared a remarkably similar path, with our roots planted firmly in the cloud.
That’s why we were very excited to share the stage last week at Dreamforce to showcase two integrations that Salesforce built on top of G Suite: Salesforce Lightning for Gmail and Sales Cloud integration with Google Sheets. In addition to existing integrations with Google Calendar, Gmail (for Salesforce IQ), Drive and Contacts, these new offerings will go a long way in helping people work effectively with smarter tools.
Salesforce Lightning for Gmail
At Dreamforce, we showcased the upcoming Lightning for Gmail integration, which brings together our leading CRM and email services.
With this integration, sales reps can now streamline repetitive but important tasks: they can review Salesforce records relevant to their emails, add contacts from their address book into Salesforce, and even create new Salesforce records, all from within Gmail.
A pilot of Lightning for Gmail will be available by the end of this year for free to all Salesforce customers. Interested customers can contact their Salesforce account managers to sign up for the pilot program.
Sales Cloud and Google Sheets
The Sales Cloud integration with Sheets, meanwhile, makes it easy for sales reps to link any Salesforce List View to a Google Sheet. Users can also view, edit and delete records within Sheets and sync those changes back to Salesforce. Better still, the integration also supports your business logic and validation rules.
We gave a joint preview of the Sales Cloud and Google Sheets integration at Google I/O this summer, and today are happy to announce that it will be available in beta to all Sales Cloud customers by the end of this year.
We had a blast working with the Salesforce team to bring these new solutions to life.
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
High school engineering teacher Frank Holthouse’s classroom would appeal to any sci-fi fan with a knack for tinkering. His students at Leyden High School are inventing things, using 3D printers and building robots using motors and sensors. His mission as a teacher is to help students learn how to apply engineering concepts and skills to solve real-life problems. We talked with Holthouse to hear how he helps his students give back to the community and acts as a mentor after his students graduate.
It takes a teacher to help students create solutions with social impact
Holthouse likes to find what he calls “big, messy problems” for students to solve. “If I give my students a task or a problem that’s not relevant to their lives, they won’t get much out of the experience,” he says. Many of the best issues he finds for his students to solve come through the local community. For instance, when the village board needed to replace the signs in the city parks, they called Holthouse. His students got to work immediately using software to design new signs for the parks. Says one of his 11th grade students, Uriel, “Mr. Holthouse encourages us to be persistent and have the confidence to solve problems on our own.”
Mr. Holthouse encourages us to be persistent and have the confidence to solve problems on our own.
11th grade student
There’s no shortage of problems for Holthouse’s students to solve. One of the all-time favorite projects for the students has been creating prosthetic hands for children in need. The students work in groups using Google Docs on Chromebooks to share the design and measurements for the hands. They print the prosthetics in class using 3D printers. The biggest payoff, says Holthouse, is when the students get to meet the children who will be wearing the hands. “I loved this project because we were able to apply what we had learned in class to make a positive impact in the life a little girl,” says Hilda, a 12th grade engineering student at Leyden High School.”
It takes a teacher to create ‘aha’ moments
While Holthouse’s classroom is hands-on, he describes his teaching style as hands-off. “I see my role more like that of a coach or facilitator,” he says, explaining that he empowers students to work through problems on their own and figure out creative solutions. “I love seeing that ‘aha’ moment when a student has finally solved a difficult problem or grasped a new concept.”
Holthouse is also a member of an advisory council that helps students find careers after high school. Through this program, a few of his students have even found jobs with companies who offered to pay for their college education. One of his students, Fabian Bartos, was even named to the 30 under 30 list by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers — a major accomplishment for a high school student. X’s work included designing and 3D printing a fully functional violin, which the student then learned to play.
“While teaching wasn’t the first career I had in mind — originally, I wanted to be a musician — the technical side of music led me to engineering and inspired me to teach,” says Holthouse. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen firsthand that there’s more than one path to becoming a teacher. Many of the educators we’ve spoken to, like Holthouse, come from unconventional backgrounds and they bring their passions and diverse interests into the classroom, inspiring students to think outside-the-box.
We 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 google.com/edu/teacher. To hear from Frank live, join us for Education on Air December 3rd.