Supporting teachers on the Digital Technologies Curriculum with CS4HS Grants

We’re pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Computer Science for High Schools grants in Australia and New Zealand. This annual program promotes computer science education by helping to equip educators with the skills and resources they need to teach computer science and computational thinking concepts in fun and relevant ways. Globally, this program has already trained more than 12,000 teachers and reached over 600,000 students.

Closer to home, we are supporting 20 organisations across Australia and New Zealand who will provide this important training to school teachers.

2014 recipients

New Zealand

In Australia, this year’s recipients will be expanding their workshops to focus on the implementation of the new Digital Technologies Curriculum being rolled out to classrooms across the country and include primary school and pre-service teachers in their workshops.  

In addition to the CS4HS workshops, we’ll continue to support the rollout of the new curriculum with a partnerships with Adelaide University to deliver free online professional teacher development in teaching computational thinking.  If you’ve not started yet it’s not too late to join in. There are also some great classroom resources on our K-12 educators page.

We know that an early introduction to computational thinking and coding is a great foundation for students in any career they choose, whether it’s medicine, engineering or the movies.  We hope that these practical, hands on workshops will inspire teachers across Australia as they bring new material to their classrooms.
Posted by Sally-Ann Williams, Engineering Community & Outreach  Manager, Google Australia & New Zealand

The Layouts Series 2.0 – Mobile, made accessible: Bask Digital creates HTML5 ads in minutes instead of hours

Yesterday we explained how you can use Studio Layouts to open up more time in your project schedule for the brainstorming and creative ideation for your campaigns. Today, we’ll specifically take a look at a customer who used Studio Layouts to gain access to HTML5 creative. 

Bask Digital discovers HTML5 Layouts
HTML5 ads can be tricky to build, but HTML5 Studio Layouts let you take the same assets from your flash ads, plug them into the HTML5 Layout, and create HTML5 ads in minutes. For Bask Digital, a California-based web and social media shop for political campaigns, this ease-of-use enabled them to incorporate HTML5 ads into their campaigns for the first time at a large scale.

Previously, managing partner Jonas Kleiner used to spend hours creating HTML5 ads from scratch, compressing videos and tinkering with the code. The whole process was very complex and the steep learning curve meant that training his design team to code HTML5 ads was not a realistic option.

Once Kleiner learned about Studio Layouts, he found that he and his team were able to build HTML5 ads in 15-30 minutes, compared to the hours it used to take them to hand code everything. 

“We just have to create a background image, embed a YouTube video, and it’s done. And then we have all the tracking and tabbing available, just like with other Doubleclick Rich Media ads,” says Kleiner. “HTML5 Layouts brings the campaign down to the core of design. Rather than using effects, you need to create a really good image, and then use the power of good graphic design to drive eyeballs.” 

Using Studio Layouts, Kleiner and his team at BASK have been able to incorporate HTML5 into their campaigns, where it otherwise would not have been feasible. 

What HTML5 Studio Layouts are available?
There are currently nine different HTML5 formats available in Studio Layouts, including 3D image gallery, scroll box, slideshow, swipe gallery, video and image gallery, GDN Lightbox Featured Video, YouTube video wall and a featured video format. You can view demos of all of these formats here

In the near future, we’ll be launching our first in-app Layouts (HTML5 ad units that can work within mobile and tablet applications) as well as additional HTML5 formats for mobile web. 

To get started with Layouts, simply click on the Layouts tab in the top-level navigation bar in your DoubleClick Studio account. Learn more>>

Posted by Becky Chappell, DoubleClick Product Marketing

The Layouts Series 2.0 – Making time for innovation: How to spend more time brainstorming your creative idea

We began “The Layout Series” in Aug. 2013 with the initial launch of DoubleClick Studio Layouts. This week, we’ll continue the theme with “The Layouts Series 2.0,” providing updates about the product and why it matters to you.

We have never talked to a creative who doesn’t want more time to brainstorm and innovate. The quick turnarounds for digital campaigns mean that you already have limited time to get your big ideas on paper. But your brainstorming time is also eaten up by the time it takes to build all the supplemental ad units needed to flesh out a campaign.

Today, your project timeline might look something like this:

When half of the project timeline has to be devoted to building out all the ads to match the media buy, your brainstorming and design time gets cornered into shorter periods at the beginning of the project.

We built DoubleClick Studio Layouts with this reality in mind. Studio Layouts help creative agencies and production shops condense the time it takes to build out that long-tail of standard units for a campaign, so that you have more time to come up with a great idea at the outset of the project. 

With Studio Layouts, your project timelines can now look more like this:

If you can build the long-tail of your ad units in half the time, you can make space at the beginning of the project for more brainstorming and design time, giving you the chance to come up with really innovative ideas. 

Once you’ve built your “big, bad” creative units and sold your idea into your client, take the creative assets from those primary units, upload them to the Studio Layouts filler tool, preview and publish. Instead of spending an hour or two hand-coding each additional ad unit, select from one of 21 different formats (26 different sizes) and build each ad in 5-10 minutes. 

Example media spec sheet:

Studio Layouts can save you 75% of your production time, because it’s easy to build out all the additional units you need to complete your campaign. Plus, because all the trafficking and reporting tags are baked in to each Layout, there are fewer areas where things can break, so your ads should go through QA much faster.

Use Studio Layouts to give yourself the space to innovate for your digital campaigns, by becoming more efficient with your ad production on the backend of your project. 

You can get started using Studio Layouts today - check out the Layouts tab in the top navigation bar of your DoubleClick Studio account. Learn more >> 

Posted by Becky Chappell, DoubleClick Product Marketing

Hangout links in Android Calendar app event views

We are updating the Calendar app on Android devices so that Hangout links are available to those viewing meeting events on mobile devices. A “Join Hangout” link will appear in meeting events if a Hangouts video call was added in Calendar. Named Hangout calls will appear the same as non-named calls. The name of the Hangout will not be visible. The “Join Hangout” link is not not editable from the Android Calendar event view. This change only impacts the Google Calendar app on Android devices.

Editions included: 
Google Apps for Business and Education

For more information:
Get these product update alerts by email
Subscribe to the RSS feed of these updates

New upgrade option for Shopping campaigns

Earlier this month, we shared a few success stories on Shopping campaigns, our new campaign type for Product Listing Ads (PLAs), and that the regular PLA campaign type will retire in late August 2014.

To upgrade to Shopping campaigns, we encourage you to create a Shopping campaign from scratch and then customize your product groups and bids from there. That way, you can choose how granular you’d like to get and ensure all your inventory is included in your Shopping campaign.

However, if you would like to base your Shopping campaign on a regular PLA campaign, we’re introducing an option today to help you upgrade.

After setting up your Shopping campaign, you’ll be taken to a new page to create ad groups. Here, you’ll see two options: the ability to start fresh with one ad group or create one or many ad groups based on a regular PLA campaign.

Note that some parts of a regular PLA campaigns aren’t transferable to a Shopping campaign, like product targets that use AdWords labels or groupings. If none of your PLA campaigns are transferrable, you might not see this option.

Keep in mind
With Shopping campaigns, you no longer need to create separate ad groups or product targets to track your impressions, clicks and cost. You can analyze and report on your PLA performance by product attribute or by individual items in the Dimensions tab, regardless of your campaign structure.

As a reminder, all PLA advertisers will need to upgrade to Shopping campaigns by late August 2014, at which time all remaining regular PLA campaigns will be automatically upgraded. Over the next few months, we’ll continue to share more information and tools to help you upgrade your campaigns and manage them at scale.

To learn more about Shopping campaigns and how to upgrade, here are a few resources:

Posted by Eric Tholomé, Director of Product Management, Google Shopping

The New Google Sheets is coming to Scheduled release domains

Back in December we announced the launch of the new Google Sheets for Rapid Release domains. This new version is faster and can support larger spreadsheets. 

Over the next couple of weeks, Scheduled release domain users will automatically be upgraded to the new Sheets. Spreadsheets created after the upgrade will use the new version.

We will begin upgrading Scheduled Release Track domains starting on April 21st 2014 on a slow roll-out taking place over 3-4  days. It may take a few days before it's available in your domain.

This upgrade does not affect existing spreadsheets and only relates to any new spreadsheets created. The user will not see any prompts about the new Sheets unless they create a new spreadsheet. Feature differences between the old and new sheets are explained in this support article

Release Track:
Scheduled release

Editions included: 
Google Apps for Business, Education and Government

Understanding multi-device user behavior in a single view

In this constantly connected world, users can interact with your business across many digital touchpoints: websites, mobile apps, web apps, and other digital devices. So to help you understand what users do in the increasingly diverse digital landscape, we’re enabling the ability to see web and app data in the same reporting view.

Here’s a bit more detail on this change:

Analyze app and web data in the same reporting view
Now you can see all data you send to one Google Analytics property in a single reporting view, regardless of the collection method you use of where the data comes from. If you send data from the web and from a mobile app to one property, both data sets appear in your reports. 

If you want to isolate data from one source, like if you only want to see web data in your reports, you can set up a filter to customize what you see. You can also use other tools to isolate each data set, including customizations in standard reports, dashboards, custom reports, and secondary dimensions

If you don’t send web and app data to the same property, this change doesn’t affect your data or your account.

Measure web apps
We’ve also added some new app-specific fields to the analytics.js JavaScript web collection library, including screen name, app name, app version, and exception tracking. These changes allow the JavaScript tracking code to take advantage of the app tracking framework, so you can more accurately collect data on your web apps.

Benefit from consistent dimension & metrics names
Until today, some metrics and dimensions used different names in app views and in web views, even though they presented the exact same data. Now, all metric, dimensions, and segment names are the same, regardless if they’re used for web or app data. This gives you a clear and consistent way to analyze and refer to all of your Google Analytics data.

Visitors are now users and visits are sessions:
There are two big changes to the names in Google Analytics: First, the Visitors web metric and Active Users app metric are now unified under the same name, Users. And second, Visits are now referred to as Sessions everywhere in all of Google Analytics. 

We’ll be making these changes starting today, and rolling them out incrementally over the next week. Visit our developer site for more information on these changes:
Posted by Nick Mihailovski, Product Manager

Code School and the Google Maps SDK for iOS

Are you an iOS developer interested in adding a map to your application? The instructional experts at Code School set out to create a course introducing the Google Maps SDK for iOS to developers like you — and they delivered!
Exploring Google Maps for iOS is a free course covering everything from adding a simple map, to using geocoding and directions, to incorporating Street View in iOS. You'll end up with a working sample application and gain the knowledge you need to build your own amazing Google Maps-based apps. Learn from videos, sample code, and Xcode-based coding challenges.
Check out the introduction video below, and then head over to Code School to get started with their interactive course!

You can also read our official developer documentation and reference docs at

Keeping Voters Informed ahead of the South African Elections

The Internet is changing the way Africans engage with politics, as we recently saw during national elections in countries such as Kenya and Zimbabwe. In next month’s elections, South Africans will celebrate 20 years of Democracy when they step out to vote, reflecting on how far their nation has come since the first free and fair elections in 1994, as well as considering the most pressing issues affecting their lives. That’s why today we’re launching the South African Elections Hub, a portal where you can follow the latest elections news, videos and information.

Voters are already turning to the Internet for information, searching for the latest news and views from parties, candidates, the media and friends. Earlier this year we saw an increase in search topics such as how to register to vote. Similar to other elections around the world, we want to help make it easier for South African voters and media to find elections-related information. Our Elections Hub is as a one-stop site compiling election related information from across the web, including party and candidate information, where to vote, real-time election news, search trends, and some of the most engaging YouTube videos from a wide range of political parties, media, civil society and youth voices.

As well as helping to drive voter engagement, We have trained local political parties, the media and youth on how to use digital tools for elections. We’re especially excited about the way young people are using the Internet to make their voices heard, through YouTube videos such as those by Live Magazine. We’ve supported these young people to engage their peers across the country in debates using technology such as Hangouts on Air.

The world will be watching closely as South Africa moves towards voting day, and we hope that citizens find the Elections Hub useful during this important time.

Posted by Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, Policy Manager, Google South Africa


Tenir les citoyens informés avant les élections en Afrique du Sud 

Internet apporte aux citoyens africains une nouvelle façon de prendre part à la vie politique, comme nous avons récemment pu le constater lors des élections nationales organisées au Kenya et au Zimbabwe. Lors des élections qui se tiendront le mois prochain, les Africains du Sud célèbreront 20 années de démocratie en se rendant aux urnes, une façon de montrer le chemin parcouru par leur nation depuis l'instauration des premières élections libres et démocratiques en 1994, et de se pencher sur les sujets les plus brûlants qui touchent leur vie de tous les jours. C'est la raison pour laquelle nous ouvrons aujourd'hui le portail des élections sud-africaines (South-African Election Hub) qui vous permettra de suivre toutes les actualités sur les élections, avec les informations et les vidéos les plus récentes.

Les électeurs commencent déjà à s'informer sur Internet, recherchant les dernières informations et commentaires des partis, des candidats, des médias et de leurs amis. Nous avons déjà enregistré depuis quelques temps une hausse du nombre de recherches Internet sur le sujet, par exemple sur la marche à suivre pour s'inscrire sur les listes électorales. Comme pour toutes les élections à travers le monde, nous souhaitons aider les électeurs et les médias sud-africains à trouver les informations qu'ils recherchent sur les élections. Notre portail est un site qui centralise toutes les informations ayant trait aux élections et disponibles sur Internet, notamment les informations sur les candidats et les partis, les bureaux de vote, l'actualité électorale en temps réel, les statistiques de recherche, et certaines des vidéos YouTube les plus intéressantes représentant les partis politiques les plus divers, les médias, la société civile et les jeunes.

En plus d'encourager la participation électorale, Google a également formé les partis politiques locaux, les médias et les jeunes à utiliser les outils numériques pour les élections. La façon dont les jeunes utilisent Internet pour faire entendre leur voix, à l'aide des vidéos YouTube telles que celles de Live Magazine est notamment un vrai motif de satisfaction pour nous. Nous avons accompagné ces jeunes pour qu'ils encouragent leurs pairs à travers le pays à participer à des débats en utilisant des technologies telles que Hangouts on Air.

Le monde aura les yeux rivés sur l'Afrique du Sud jusqu'au jour des élections et nous espérons que le portail des élections aura été utile aux citoyens pendant cette période décisive.

Publié par Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, Policy Manager, Google Afrique du Sud

Surfies, students, sweethearts, lend me your ears: Celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th birthday

You're invited to a join us for a week-long celebration of Shakespeare's most beloved works and characters. We'll be partnering with Bell Shakespeare for six live and interactive events hosted from Bell Shakespeare's Google+ page.
Here are the events you can get involved with:

You can find out more at Bell Shakespeare's website and RSVP to join in the fun at Bell Shakespeare's Google+ page.  Whether you're an modern day Romeo or an aspiring Hamlet, we hope you'll join us and Bell Shakespeare as we revisit the bard's greatest moments.

Posted by Leticia Lentini, Brand Marketing Manager, Google Australia. Who dreams of one day playing Cordelia on stage.