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Google Classroom: Now open to even more learners

Category: Google | Mar 15, 2017

When you picture a “typical” classroom, what do you see? A chalkboard, desks in neat rows, and kids with backpacks? In today’s world, we know that learning can happen almost anywhere, both in and outside of school. A kitchen table might be the go-to desk for a homeschooled student, a community center might host an after-school program for coding, and a nonprofit organization might hold a workshop for adults on resume writing and job skills.

We see value in bringing technology to people who want to learn, no matter the setting. That’s why we’re opening up Google Classroom to users without G Suite for Education accounts. Now, teachers and students in many different environments can teach or attend classes, manage assignments and instantly collaborate—all with their personal Google accounts. Starting today, these new Classroom users will be able to join existing classes and over the coming weeks, they’ll have the ability to create their own classes as well. Schools interested in using Google Classroom should still sign up for G Suite for Education.

Classroom for consumer launch.gif

Starting today, G Suite for Education administrators will see updated Classroom settings that give them new controls over who can join their classes from personal Google accounts or from other G Suite for Education domains. This update gives schools more flexibility in how they collaborate with other organizations and students: For example, student teachers or visiting students can now easily integrate into their host school or university’s Classroom set-up.

Over the past few months, we’ve worked with a number of organizations to understand how a more open Classroom can meet their needs. Youth For Understanding (YFU) is an organization that hosts virtual exchange programs for students who could not otherwise study abroad. YFU piloted Classroom during a 15-week virtual exchange among students from 5 countries, with 700 students and 24 facilitators.

YFU found Classroom valuable because it worked across devices and needed nothing more than an Internet connection. Using Classroom, YFU reported that “the ‘technological intimidation factor’ was no longer the primary challenge in running virtual exchanges.” Instead, the organization can put their focus where it belongs—on the program’s intercultural content.

We believe that Classroom can make technology work effectively in any learning relationship between an instructor and student, no matter what shape that takes. We’re excited to see new educators and learners join the Classroom community, and are looking forward to seeing how they’ll use it to meet their needs. Whether you’re a homeschooling parent or an instructor at a tutoring center, we’d love to hear your stories about how Classroom helps foster teaching and learning as you try it with your students. You can also continue to share feedback with us directly in Classroom. And if you have further questions, check out our FAQ to learn more about these changes.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/QO3qRkRyQfY/

Introducing the Family Link app: Helping families navigate technology together

Category: Google | Mar 15, 2017

The devices we carry every day open up a world of information for us to explore, sparking our curiosity and creativity. But when it comes to our kids using those same devices, it’s tricky. We want them to explore and be inspired as they embark on their digital adventure, but every family feels differently about what their kids should and shouldn’t be able to do on their device. That’s why we developed the Family Link app. When your child is ready for their first Android device, Family Link lets you create a Google Account for them, which is like your own account, and also helps you set certain digital ground rules that work for your family – like managing the apps your kid can use, keeping an eye on screen time, and setting a bedtime on your kid’s device.

Here’s how it works: First, your kid will need a new device that runs Android Nougat (7.0) or higher. Then, download Family Link onto your device and create a Google Account for them through the app. Finally, sign them into their new device, and you can then use Family Link to:

Manage the apps your kid can use

Approve or block the apps your kid wants to download from the Google Play Store.

Manage the apps_Families.png

Keep an eye on screen time

See how much time your kid spends on their favorite apps with weekly or monthly activity reports, and set daily screen time limits for their device.

Keep an eye on screentime_Families.png

Set device bedtime

Remotely lock your kid’s device when it’s time to play, study, or sleep.

Set a bedtime_Families.png

Starting today, parents across the U.S. can request an invite to the Family Link early access program. After receiving an invite, parents with kids under 13 years old can download and try the Family Link app. We’re just getting started, and we’ll be asking parents using Family Link for feedback about how to improve the experience before we make the app broadly available.

While Family Link can help you set certain ground rules around how your child uses their device, it can’t make the apps or services on their phone that were designed for adults kid-safe; it’s up to parents to choose what’s right for their kid. When you make the decision to give your child their own device, Family Link can serve as a tool that keeps you in the loop as they begin to explore.

To learn more about the Family Link early access program and request an invitation, visit our Family Link website.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/tNYbXrbp_xw/

Google Classroom: Now open to even more learners

Category: Google | Mar 15, 2017

When you picture a “typical” classroom, what do you see? A chalkboard, desks in neat rows, and kids with backpacks? In today’s world, we know that learning can happen almost anywhere, both in and outside of school. A kitchen table might be the go-to desk for a homeschooled student, a community center might host an after-school program for coding, and a nonprofit organization might hold a workshop for adults on resume writing and job skills.

We see value in bringing technology to people who want to learn, no matter the setting. That’s why we’re opening up Google Classroom to users without G Suite for Education accounts. Now, teachers and students in many different environments can teach or attend classes, manage assignments and instantly collaborate—all with their personal Google accounts. Starting today, these new Classroom users will be able to join existing classes and over the coming weeks, they’ll have the ability to create their own classes as well. Schools interested in using Google Classroom should still sign up for G Suite for Education.

Classroom for consumer launch.gif

Starting today, G Suite for Education administrators will see updated Classroom settings that give them new controls over who can join their classes from personal Google accounts or from other G Suite for Education domains. This update gives schools more flexibility in how they collaborate with other organizations and students: For example, student teachers or visiting students can now easily integrate into their host school or university’s Classroom set-up.

Over the past few months, we’ve worked with a number of organizations to understand how a more open Classroom can meet their needs. Youth For Understanding (YFU) is an organization that hosts virtual exchange programs for students who could not otherwise study abroad. YFU piloted Classroom during a 15-week virtual exchange among students from 5 countries, with 700 students and 24 facilitators.

YFU found Classroom valuable because it worked across devices and needed nothing more than an Internet connection. Using Classroom, YFU reported that “the ‘technological intimidation factor’ was no longer the primary challenge in running virtual exchanges.” Instead, the organization can put their focus where it belongs—on the program’s intercultural content.

We believe that Classroom can make technology work effectively in any learning relationship between an instructor and student, no matter what shape that takes. We’re excited to see new educators and learners join the Classroom community, and are looking forward to seeing how they’ll use it to meet their needs. Whether you’re a homeschooling parent or an instructor at a tutoring center, we’d love to hear your stories about how Classroom helps foster teaching and learning as you try it with your students. You can also continue to share feedback with us directly in Classroom. And if you have further questions, check out our FAQ to learn more about these changes.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/UhZfgOuRIjs/

Introducing the Family Link app: Helping families navigate technology together

Category: Google | Mar 15, 2017

The devices we carry every day open up a world of information for us to explore, sparking our curiosity and creativity. But when it comes to our kids using those same devices, it’s tricky. We want them to explore and be inspired as they embark on their digital adventure, but every family feels differently about what their kids should and shouldn’t be able to do on their device. That’s why we developed the Family Link app. When your child is ready for their first Android device, Family Link lets you create a Google Account for them, which is like your own account, and also helps you set certain digital ground rules that work for your family – like managing the apps your kid can use, keeping an eye on screen time, and setting a bedtime on your kid’s device.

Here’s how it works: First, your kid will need a new device that runs Android Nougat (7.0) or higher. Then, download Family Link onto your device and create a Google Account for them through the app. Finally, sign them into their new device, and you can then use Family Link to:

Manage the apps your kid can use

Approve or block the apps your kid wants to download from the Google Play Store.

Screenshot: Manage the apps your kid can use

Keep an eye on screen time

See how much time your kid spends on their favorite apps with weekly or monthly activity reports, and set daily screen time limits for their device.

Screenshot: Keep an eye on screentime

Set device bedtime

Remotely lock your kid’s device when it’s time to play, study, or sleep.

Screenshot: Set a bedtime

Starting today, parents across the U.S. can request an invite to the Family Link early access program. After receiving an invite, parents with kids under 13 years old can download and try the Family Link app. We’re just getting started, and we’ll be asking parents using Family Link for feedback about how to improve the experience before we make the app broadly available.

While Family Link can help you set certain ground rules around how your child uses their device, it can’t make the apps or services on their phone that were designed for adults kid-safe; it’s up to parents to choose what’s right for their kid. When you make the decision to give your child their own device, Family Link can serve as a tool that keeps you in the loop as they begin to explore.

To learn more about the Family Link early access program and request an invitation, visit our Family Link website.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/TZJX1Z6JDCQ/

Code Jam returns: Do you have what it takes?

Category: Google | Mar 15, 2017

Today we invite anyone with a passion for coding—from students to professionals, and newbies to pros—to sign up for Code Jam, Google’s largest, most challenging programming competition.

Last year, Code Jam welcomed 60,000 Code Jammers from more than 130 countries. The competition features multiple online rounds of intense, algorithmic problems, a track for coding in a distributed environment, an on-site World Finals and the opportunity to win a cash prize of up to $15,000. While we’ve changed and grown from our humble beginnings in 2007, much of the essential ingredients that make Code Jam beloved by so many remain the same.

Here’s what you need to know:

The languages are many. Code Jam allows competitors to use any coding language throughout the competition—everything from C++ to JavaScript to INTERCAL, LOLCODE, and Whitespace. We’ve even heard of a competitor who solved the 2015 Dijkstra problem using only a spreadsheet. Whatever language you speak, you’re part of a broader Code Jam community. This global community of current and former participants (and fans of the competition) has grown to more than 200,000 across our Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Facebook channels. And on any given day, you can participate in discussions about competition puzzles or get tips and tricks from past competitors.

The problems are memorable. The quality of the problems keeps many of the world’s best programmers coming back each year. All Code Jam problems are written by Google engineers. Hundreds have dedicated their time over the years to make every problem rewarding and fun for Code Jammers, from the easiest Qualification Round problem to the most fiendish challenge in the World Finals. You can check out past problems here and try your hand at them for practice. A lesser known fact is that the engineers who authored the problems in last year’s World Finals were actually competitors before they were teammates: all four were finalists in Code Jam 2005.

The stakes are high. In addition to receiving the limited edition Code Jam t-shirt (given to the top 1,500  performers), the top 26 finalists will be invited to compete in the World Finals at Google’s office in Dublin, Ireland for the chance become the Code Jam Champion and a cash prize of up to $15,000. As always, we’ll livestream the World Finals on YouTube so that thousands of fans can experience the magic from home. Can’t wait until then? Check out this behind-the-scenes look at Code Jam in the meantime.

Register today. We hope to see you jamming with us in Code Jam’s Online Qualification Round on April 7 — you can register here. Join our community on social media, follow us at #CodeJam2017 and help us spread the word.

Visit our website g.co/codejam to learn more about Code Jam spin-offs and other opportunities to test your coding skills while having fun with Google.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/O1d9IUCLkkc/

Code Jam returns: Do you have what it takes?

Category: Google | Mar 15, 2017

Today we invite anyone with a passion for coding—from students to professionals, and newbies to pros—to sign up for Code Jam, Google’s largest, most challenging programming competition.

Last year, Code Jam welcomed 60,000 Code Jammers from more than 130 countries. The competition features multiple online rounds of intense, algorithmic problems, a track for coding in a distributed environment, an on-site World Finals and the opportunity to win a cash prize of up to $15,000. While we’ve changed and grown from our humble beginnings in 2007, much of the essential ingredients that make Code Jam beloved by so many remain the same.

Here’s what you need to know:

The languages are many. Code Jam allows competitors to use any coding language throughout the competition—everything from C++ to JavaScript to INTERCAL, LOLCODE, and Whitespace. We’ve even heard of a competitor who solved the 2015 Dijkstra problem using only a spreadsheet. Whatever language you speak, you’re part of a broader Code Jam community. This global community of current and former participants (and fans of the competition) has grown to more than 200,000 across our Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Facebook channels. And on any given day, you can participate in discussions about competition puzzles or get tips and tricks from past competitors.

The problems are memorable. The quality of the problems keeps many of the world’s best programmers coming back each year. All Code Jam problems are written by Google engineers. Hundreds have dedicated their time over the years to make every problem rewarding and fun for Code Jammers, from the easiest Qualification Round problem to the most fiendish challenge in the World Finals. You can check out past problems here and try your hand at them for practice. A lesser known fact is that the engineers who authored the problems in last year’s World Finals were actually competitors before they were teammates: all four were finalists in Code Jam 2005.

The stakes are high. In addition to receiving the limited edition Code Jam t-shirt (given to the top 1,500  performers), the top 26 finalists will be invited to compete in the World Finals at Google’s office in Dublin, Ireland for the chance become the Code Jam Champion and a cash prize of up to $15,000. As always, we’ll livestream the World Finals on YouTube so that thousands of fans can experience the magic from home. Can’t wait until then? Check out this behind-the-scenes look at Code Jam in the meantime.

Register today. We hope to see you jamming with us in Code Jam’s Online Qualification Round on April 7 — you can register here. Join our community on social media, follow us at #CodeJam2017 and help us spread the word.

Visit our website g.co/codejam to learn more about Code Jam spin-offs and other opportunities to test your coding skills while having fun with Google.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/qR1QEzOInng/

One million trained! But the task of getting Africa digital is just beginning.

Category: Google | Mar 15, 2017

“It’s all about helping young people start new careers and create opportunities for themselves,” says Segun Abodunrin. He’s one of 1 million young Africans who have taken advantage of Google’s digital skills training program, and who are finding their way in the world of digital.

Last April, we set out to help bridge the digital skills gap in Africa when we pledged to train 1 million young people in the region. Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve met that target. One million Africans have now been trained and equipped with the skills they need to navigate and take advantage of the opportunities of the web.

But that’s not the best part of the story. Through these new digital experts, the continent is seeing an increase in the number of young people equipped with digital skills—a domino effect of sorts.

In 2016, Segun Abodunrin hired his first two employees in Lagos. Just a year before Segun had never thought about opening his own business. But after taking our digital skills training program, he went on to start Tway Media, a digital consulting and training company credited to have trained 5,000 young Africans in 2016 alone.

DigitalSkills_Africa_Segun.jpg

Segun Abodunrin at one of his trainings

When we announced our commitment to provide digital skills training, we believed that more needed to be done to empower more young people in Africa to succeed. The web is at the heart of economic growth across the world, and it presents opportunities for anyone to create connections and access opportunities that will positively change their lives and boost economies.

As a result of this training and other similar initiatives, we’ve discovered a new generation of Africans who are eager to explore how to take better advantage of the internet and the opportunities it offers. But the task of helping more Africans to leverage the growing digital market is one that requires continuous support from organizations, companies and also from governments. We’ve been glad to see the rising number of government-led initiatives focused on helping to train more young Africans on how to use online tools.

But there’s more to be done by governments—policies and laws still need to be passed to create the right conditions for digital entrepreneurs and businesses. Everyone needs to play a part.

So what’s next for us?

We’re now extending our commitment to help more communities outside urban centers of Africa acquire digital skills. We’ll focus on relationships at the regional, country and local community levels through partnerships that lead to jobs and business growth. We’ll do this in a variety of ways:

  1. We will  provide offline versions of our online training materials to reach individuals and businesses in low access areas where we were unable to hold physical trainings. Our goal is to ensure that everyone, regardless of location and online status, is able to access these trainings.
  2. We will  deliver our offline trainings in Swahili, IsiZulu and Hausa. We understand the role of local languages in communicating with rural communities of Africa and want to ensure that more non-English speaking Africans get an opportunity to take these trainings.
  3. Our offline training effort to reach students, job seekers and business owners will continue through face-to-face trainings managed by our partners.
  4. We will hold regular meet-ups to drive engagement around the value of the web at the community level with those trained, Policy makers and influencers within those communities.
  5. Finally, we’ll continue to focus on achieving gender balance by ensuring that at least 40 percent of the people trained are women.

We’re committed to helping Africans make the most of the digital revolution. There’s never been a better time to be in Africa.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/-q1xJbxUkR8/

One million trained! But the task of getting Africa digital is just beginning.

Category: Google | Mar 15, 2017

“It’s all about helping young people start new careers and create opportunities for themselves,” says Segun Abodunrin. He’s one of 1 million young Africans who have taken advantage of Google’s digital skills training program, and who are finding their way in the world of digital.

Last April, we set out to help bridge the digital skills gap in Africa when we pledged to train 1 million young people in the region. Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve met that target. One million Africans have now been trained and equipped with the skills they need to navigate and take advantage of the opportunities of the web.

But that’s not the best part of the story. Through these new digital experts, the continent is seeing an increase in the number of young people equipped with digital skills—a domino effect of sorts.

In 2016, Segun Abodunrin hired his first two employees in Lagos. Just a year before Segun had never thought about opening his own business. But after taking our digital skills training program, he went on to start Tway Media, a digital consulting and training company credited to have trained 5,000 young Africans in 2016 alone.

DigitalSkills_Africa_Segun.jpg

Segun Abodunrin at one of his trainings

When we announced our commitment to provide digital skills training, we believed that more needed to be done to empower more young people in Africa to succeed. The web is at the heart of economic growth across the world, and it presents opportunities for anyone to create connections and access opportunities that will positively change their lives and boost economies.

As a result of this training and other similar initiatives, we’ve discovered a new generation of Africans who are eager to explore how to take better advantage of the internet and the opportunities it offers. But the task of helping more Africans to leverage the growing digital market is one that requires continuous support from organizations, companies and also from governments. We’ve been glad to see the rising number of government-led initiatives focused on helping to train more young Africans on how to use online tools.

But there’s more to be done by governments—policies and laws still need to be passed to create the right conditions for digital entrepreneurs and businesses. Everyone needs to play a part.

So what’s next for us?

We’re now extending our commitment to help more communities outside urban centers of Africa acquire digital skills. We’ll focus on relationships at the regional, country and local community levels through partnerships that lead to jobs and business growth. We’ll do this in a variety of ways:

  1. We will  provide offline versions of our online training materials to reach individuals and businesses in low access areas where we were unable to hold physical trainings. Our goal is to ensure that everyone, regardless of location and online status, is able to access these trainings.
  2. We will  deliver our offline trainings in Swahili, IsiZulu and Hausa. We understand the role of local languages in communicating with rural communities of Africa and want to ensure that more non-English speaking Africans get an opportunity to take these trainings.
  3. Our offline training effort to reach students, job seekers and business owners will continue through face-to-face trainings managed by our partners.
  4. We will hold regular meet-ups to drive engagement around the value of the web at the community level with those trained, Policy makers and influencers within those communities.
  5. Finally, we’ll continue to focus on achieving gender balance by ensuring that at least 40 percent of the people trained are women.

We’re committed to helping Africans make the most of the digital revolution. There’s never been a better time to be in Africa.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/4JhNmQ-7r7k/

Journey under the Earth’s surface in Street View

Category: Google | Mar 15, 2017

More than a thousand miles off the coast of Australia is the remote country of Vanuatu, an archipelago of 80 tiny islands—brimming with lush green jungles, pristine black sand beaches, and nine erupting volcanoes.

Vanuatu 2

Walk the beaches of Ambrym 

Starting today in Google Maps, we invite you to join us on a journey to the edge of one of the largest boiling lava lakes in the world on the Vanuatuan island of Ambrym. To get  inside  the active volcano, we partnered with explorers Geoff Mackley and Chris Horsley, who repelled 400 meters into the Marum crater with a Street View Trekker collecting 360-degree imagery of the journey down to the molten lava lake, which is roughly the size of two football fields. 

You only realize how insignificant humans are when you’re standing next to a giant lake of fiery boiling rock.

Geoff Mackley

V 3

Marum Lava Lake 

“Standing at the edge and feeling the heat lick your skin is phenomenal,” said Chris Horsley after returning from his descent into the crater. “I hope that by putting this place on the map people will realize what a beautiful world we live in.”

v 4

Marum Lava Lake 

Ambrym is defined by the desolate 39 square mile volcanic caldera hosting two active volcanic cones called Benbow and Marum. But the tropical island is also home to more than 7,000 people who live in the rainforest down the mountain. While the volcano has played a significant role in defining their history due to unpredictable eruptions and influence on agriculture and environment, they’ve learned to live in harmony with this beautiful yet deadly natural phenomena.

V 5

Chief Moses in the local village of Endu explains, “We believe that the volcanoes Marum and Benbow are devils. If you go up to a volcano you have to be very careful because the two volcanoes could get angry at any time. We believe that Benbo is the husband and Marum is the wife. Sometimes when they don’t agree there’s an eruption which means the spirit is angry so we sacrifice a pig or fawel to the volcano.” As part of the Google Maps journey, Chief Moses of Endu invites you to take a walk through his village and hopes you’ll be inspired to visit this sacred place he calls home. Following Cyclone Pam a few years ago, the country has been rebuilding its infrastructure. Now Chief Moses and his village are ready to welcome travelers back to Vanuatu to experience its stunning beauty and learn about its cultural traditions. He believes making Vanuatu more accessible to the world is a key step in the island’s recovery and ability to  establish a sustainable economy and preserve its culture.

V 6

Village of Endu

In Street View you can wander the streets of 81 countries and visit incredible historical and natural sites around the world like the Samburu National Park in Kenya, The Grand Canyon, or  New Zealand’s Great Walks. Today, for the first time, Street View is going beneath the surface and into the heart of the earth—enjoy exploring Vanuatu’s Marum Crater and Endu village at Ambrym.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/X1UGfjo2fyE/

Journey Under the Earth’s Surface in Street View

Category: Google | Mar 15, 2017

More than a thousand miles off the coast of Australia is the remote country of Vanuatu, an archipelago of 80 tiny islands—brimming with lush green jungles, pristine black sand beaches, and nine erupting volcanoes.

Vanuatu 2

Walk the beaches of Ambrym 

Starting today in Google Maps, we invite you to join us on a journey to the edge of one of the largest boiling lava lakes in the world on the Vanuatuan island of Ambrym. To get  inside  the active volcano, we partnered with explorers Geoff Mackley and Chris Horsly, who repelled 400 meters into the Marum crater with a Street View Trekker collecting 360-degree imagery of the journey down to the molten lava lake, which is roughly the size of two football fields. 

You only realize how insignificant humans are when you’re standing next to a giant lake of fiery boiling rock.

Geoff Mackley

V 3

Marum Lava Lake 

“Standing at the edge and feeling the heat lick your skin is phenomenal,” said Chris Horsly after returning from his descent into the crater. “I hope that by putting this place on the map people will realize what a beautiful world we live in.”

v 4

Marum Lava Lake 

Ambrym is defined by the desolate 39 square mile volcanic caldera hosting two active volcanic cones called Benbow and Marum. But the tropical island is also home to more than 7,000 people who live in the rainforest down the mountain. While the volcano has played a significant role in defining their history due to unpredictable eruptions and influence on agriculture and environment, they’ve learned to live in harmony with this beautiful yet deadly natural phenomena.

V 5

Chief Moses in the local village of Endu explains, “We believe that the volcanoes Marum and Benbow are devils. If you go up to a volcano you have to be very careful because the two volcanoes could get angry at any time. We believe that Benbo is the husband and Marum is the wife. Sometimes when they don’t agree there’s an eruption which means the spirit is angry so we sacrifice a pig or fawel to the volcano.” As part of the Google Maps journey, Chief Moses of Endu invites you to take a walk through his village and hopes you’ll be inspired to visit this sacred place he calls home. Following Cyclone Pam a few years ago, the country has been rebuilding its infrastructure. Now Chief Moses and his village are ready to welcome travelers back to Vanuatu to experience its stunning beauty and learn about its cultural traditions. He believes making Vanuatu more accessible to the world is a key step in the island’s recovery and ability to  establish a sustainable economy and preserve its culture.

V 6

Village of Endu

In Street View you can wander the streets of 81 countries and visit incredible historical and natural sites around the world like the Samburu National Park in Kenya, The Grand Canyon, or New Zealand’s walking tracks. Today, for the first time, Street View is going beneath the surface and into the heart of the earth—enjoy exploring Vanuatu’s Marum Crater and Endu village at Ambrym.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/2frt6SRE0fs/