Building the Future of the Classroom with Google for Education

Editor’s Note: This week, we’re joining thousands of educators and students at ISTE in Philadelphia. Visit us at booth 2200, where you can demo the latest Chromebook devices and classroom technology from Google and our partners.  Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.

In order to build technology helps students learn, we try to imagine where the future of education is going. The recent Future of the Classroom Global Report identifies emerging trends in education, backed by research. Here’s how our products and initiatives line up with each of those trends: 

Emerging technologies

WithGoogle Expeditions, students can go on virtual field trips—and there are 1,000 tours to pick from, including Carmen Sandiego tours published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Through the rest of the rest of the year, we’re rolling out an improved Expeditions experience across many Chrome OS devices. Check here to see if your device is compatible.

Students can also use Tour Creator—which was just recognized as an AASL 2019 Best Website for Teaching & Learning—to create their own virtual reality tours. They can take fellow students or parents on tours of their town or school using the Expeditions App.

Innovating teaching 

We’re continuing to grow the Teacher Center, our library of free online trainings for educators. For teachers getting started with our tools for the first time, we’ve added courses for Expeditions and G Suite Editors (Google Docs and Slides ) to complement the existing trainings on Classroom, Forms, and Jamboard

We’ve also created shorter courses across a variety of topics, like helping teachers support English language learners, how to use Chromebook accessibility features, or how to get started with our CS First and Applied Digital Skills curriculums. 

And for educators who want to get the most out of Google technology, local experts are there to help. Check out our network of trainers, innovators, reference schools and local PD partners on our newly re-designed EDU Directory.  

Coaching in the classroom

For educators to benefit from investments in technology, they need to know how to integrate it into their classrooms. The Dynamic Learning Project trains teachers on how to effectively use classroom technology, and we have a new training curriculum for administrators, teaching them how to support instructional coaches in their schools. 

We’re also helping school administrators quantify their organization’s Google for Education implementation across products (G Suite and Chromebooks) and programs (Certification and Transformation) with the launch of the EDU Transformation Report

Additionally, we’ve expanded our resources to help school and district leaders think about centering equity in their school’s transformation. So we created a new Educational Equity page with resources and case studies to help school leaders understand how equity can be a central characteristic in all seven pillars of the Transformation Framework

Digital Responsibility 

Applied Digital Skillshas seven new lessons focused on digital wellbeing. Teachers can use these free, project-based lessons to teach students to build healthy digital habits, avoid online scams, understand their digital footprint, and more. 

Life Skills and Workforce Preparation

Applied Digital Skills also has new lessons that prepare middle and high school students to use G Suite fluently in college, the workforce and beyond. To prove their mastery, students can take the professional G Suite certification and add it to resumes and applications. Other new lessons focus on introducing students to machine learning, making art with Google Sheets, calculating probability, and exploring women’s history.  

Computational Thinking

CS First, our coding curriculum for students in elementary and middle school, has a new professional development session for teachers to integrate coding activities into English Language Arts, math and science classes. 

Acquired by Google last year, Workbench is a content library for educators to discover, create, remix, and share lessons and resources. At ISTE we’re announcing a new integration with the Workbench Blockly programming canvas and Google Sheets. This enables people to build Blockly programs to control multiple bluetooth devices (robots, drones, sensors, microcontrollers) and send that data to or retrieve data from Google Sheets. 

We’re honored to be a part of a global community of educators and parents who help their students develop problem-solving skills, safely navigate the digital world, and prepare for future careers. As classrooms continue to evolve, our products to help educators and students evolve as well. 

Source: Google Chrome


Helping kids learn to evaluate what they see online

Editor’s Note: This week we're launching six new media literacy activities for Be Internet Awesome, designed to help kids analyze and evaluate media as they navigate the internet. The new activities were developed in collaboration with experts Anne Collier, executive director of The Net Safety Collaborative, and Faith Rogow, PhD, co-author of The Teacher’s Guide to Media Literacy and a co-founder of the National Association for Media Literacy Education.

As a reading specialist and former high school English teacher, I’ve witnessed technology enhance our lives in and out of the classroom. But that comes with lots of challenges, like learning to communicate responsibly, being kind online and deciphering what is real and what is fake. We need the right tools and resources to help kids make the most of technology, and while good digital safety and citizenship resources exist for families, more can be done for media literacy. I’ve worked alongside dozens of educators who believe that media literacy is essential to safety and citizenship in the digital age, but agree that it’s a topic that can be tough to cover.

Fortunately, the new media literacy lessons developed for Be Internet Awesome make it easy and fun for kids to learn key skills for evaluating what they see online. These lessons complement the program’s digital safety and citizenship topics, which help kids explore the online world in a safe, confident manner.

Be Internet Awesome is like an instruction manual for making smart decisions online. Kids today need a guide to the internet and media just as they need instruction on other topics. We need help teaching them about credible sources, the power of words and images and more importantly, how to be smart and savvy when seeing different media while browsing the web.

All of these resources are not only available for classrooms, but also free and easily accessible for families as well. They’re in both English and in Spanish, along with eight other languages, and if you’d like to get some hands-on training as well, Google is partnering with the YMCA and National PTA across multiple cities to host online safety workshops.

I encourage parents to take advantage of these resources and the new activities on media literacy. Let’s not only teach kids, but also inspire, educate and empower families to make tech work better for them as well.

Google Mobile Ads SDK for Android: How to migrate to v18.0.0

Earlier this week, Google Play services released a major update to many of its libraries to migrate all Android support library dependencies to Jetpack (using androidx.* packages). This includes the play-services-ads library from the Google Mobile Ads SDK, which has been updated to 18.0.0.

While the Google Mobile Ads SDK itself hasn’t changed between version 17.2.1 and 18.0.0, you’ll need to migrate your own app and all of your dependencies to AndroidX in order to pick up play-services-ads 18.0.0 or any future versions. This is particularly important if you use AdMob mediation, as several mediation partners have dependencies on Android support libraries that aren’t compatible with AndroidX.

To make the migration process as smooth as possible for you, Android Studio offers an easy way to convert your project and its dependencies to AndroidX using the Migrate to AndroidX option.

Migrate to AndroidX

Android Studio 3.2 or higher includes a Refactor > Migrate to AndroidX menu option to convert your project to use AndroidX. We’ll demonstrate what happens when converting our BannerExample to AndroidX.

  1. Change the project’s compileSdkVersion to 28. This is a prerequisite for migrating to AndroidX.
  2. Right click the app module, and select Refactor > Migrate to AndroidX. You’ll be given an option to save your project as a zip file before Android Studio converts it.
  3. Select Do Refactor to complete the migration.

What changed?

Here is the project before the migration:

And here is the project afterwards:

First, you’ll notice that the package name for AppCompatActivity has changed to androidx.appcompat.app. The refactor has changed this project’s com.android.support:appcompat-v7:26.1.0 dependency to androidx.appcompat:appcompat:1.0.0 and fixed the associated imports.

Second, this migration added a gradle.properties file with these two lines:

android.useAndroidX=true
android.enableJetifier=true

These properties ensure your project and its dependencies use AndroidX, by rewriting any binaries that are using an Android support library. See Using AndroidX for more details on these flags.

Now that your project is converted to AndroidX, you can safely update your play-services-ads dependency to 18.0.0 in your project-level build.gradle file:

dependencies {
implementation 'androidx.appcompat:appcompat:1.0.0'
implementation 'com.google.android.gms:play-services-ads:18.0.0'
}

As always, you can follow the release notes to learn what’s changed in the Google Mobile Ads SDK. We’d also love to hear about how your migration went! If you have any questions about the release or have trouble migrating, please reach out to us on the Google Mobile Ads SDK developer forum.

Internal mobility — switching roles at Google: an interview with Alison Agüero Dooley

Have you ever wondered what internal mobility and switching roles looks like at Google? Meet Alison Agüero Dooley! Alison has been at Google since summer 2014, when she was an MBA student. Since then, she’s held three different roles: gTech Ads MBA Intern, gTech Ads Product Operations Manager (POM) for YouTube Ads, and Product Manager for YouTube Ads. To learn more about switching roles and advancing careers at Google, read on for Alison’s journey.


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in a Peruvian household in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., and I’m the eldest of three girls. I love dancing (especially salsa and merengue), being with family and friends, devouring ice cream, and spreading the word about DreamWakers, a non-profit for which I’m an Advisory Council member.

What has your career path at Google looked like? What role(s) and team(s) have you been on?
I was first a gTech Ads MBA intern based in New York City on a team of solutions consultants focused on supporting agencies in their use of Google Marketing Platform. I devised strategies and tools for helping my peers better understand how to allocate their focus across assigned customers, and how to make better business cases for product feature requests.

My first full-time role with Google was in gTech as a Product Operations Manager for YouTube Ads. In this role, I served as a bridge between gTech and YouTube Ads Product Managers. In one direction, I learned about new product launches from the Product Managers and made sure the gTech teams had the tools necessary to support customers. In the other direction, I surfaced relevant feedback up to the Product Managers and lobbied for development of features that would make the product easier for customers to use and for gTech to support.

After two years in the role, I transitioned to a Product Management role within YouTube Ads.


What inspired you to switch roles?
After two years as a Product Operations Manager, I started to feel the itch to push myself to learn something new. Since I was working with Product Managers frequently, it seemed like the next great opportunity to incorporate my strengths, and also build on and expand my existing skillset. My past roles had been pretty operations heavy, so I was excited to try a role where I could think more holistically about product solutions and play a more active role in setting the strategy for, designing, and delivering products.

Can you tell us how you leveraged transferable skills to pivot to a new role?
The transferable skills from my previous role were critical to starting off on the right foot in my new role as a Product Manager. From a broader perspective, in each pivot of my career I had one foot in a strength and the other foot in something new. I started in consulting, where the industry I focused on was federal government agencies and the functional expertise I developed was in operations strategy. In my first role at Google as a gTech Product Operations Manager, my functional expertise stayed in operations strategy, but my industry expertise shifted to digital advertising with YouTube Ads. In my next role at Google, my industry expertise stayed with YouTube Ads but my functional expertise shifted to Product Management. Using this approach ensured I would always have a solid foundation to build upon in each new role.

Specifically with respect to my transition to Product Management, I leveraged the deep YouTube Ads product expertise I gained from my role as a Product Operations Manager; the holistic business thinking I gained from my MBA at UVA Darden; the analysis, communication, relationship management, and thriving-in-ambiguity skills I gained as a consultant; and the technical skills and exposure to product development I gained in my Systems Engineering studies as an undergrad at UVA.


How did the internal mobility process go for you? What did it entail?
I first set up coffee chats with Googlers in my network to learn about roles that interested me and get their advice on how to transition. I also updated my resume and set up job alerts in our internal job posting site. As soon as any interesting roles popped up, I immediately applied. I ended up interviewing for a few roles, but none of them worked out. However, It turned out to be a blessing in disguise!

I had made sure to have a coffee chat with the lead of the YouTube Ads Product Management team I had been working closely with in my existing role. Months later, a role on the team opened up. Because (1) I had already expressed to them my desire to transition to Product Management, (2) I had gained deep expertise in their product area from my existing role, and (3) because they had familiarity with my skills and work ethic from our work together in my existing role, they offered me a chance to join the team by doing a full-time rotation.

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare yourself to move into your new role?
I leaned heavily on the generosity of others, who offered me their time in giving me advice, doing mock interviews with me, sharing their experiences with me, and more. I also made use of our internal career mentors program by meeting with an amazing career mentor several times. She was key to helping me identify the right time to start looking for a new role and in giving me strategies for making the move.

In preparing for Product Management specifically, I read the canonical books (e.g., Cracking the PM Interview), met with current Product Managers to learn from them, and did my own self study to brush up on my technical skills.


Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Lean into your strengths! Yes, it’s important to make sure you’re being challenged and learning new things, but make sure you’re doing so in an environment in which you’re also building on the foundation of your natural strengths and interests.


Interested in making your first move at Google? Apply today: google.com/students

Dev Channel Update for Desktop

The dev channel has been updated to 77.0.3831.6 for Windows and Linux. Mac update coming next week.



A partial list of changes is available in the log. Interested in switching release channels? Find out how. If you find a new issue, please let us know by filing a bug. The community help forum is also a great place to reach out for help or learn about common issues.
Srinivas Sista
Google Chrome

Security Crawl Maze: An Open Source Tool to Test Web Security Crawlers

Scanning modern web applications for security vulnerabilities can be a difficult task, especially if they are built with Javascript frameworks, which is why crawlers have to use a multi-stage crawling approach to discover all the resources on modern websites.

Living in the times of dynamically changing specifications and the constant appearance of new frameworks, we often have to adjust our crawlers so that they are able to discover new ways in which developers can link resources from their applications. The issue we face in such situations is measuring if changes to crawling logic improve the effectiveness. While working on replacing a crawler for a web security scanner that has been in use for a number of years, we found we needed a universal test bed, both to test our current capabilities and to discover cases that are currently missed. Inspired by Firing Range, today we’re announcing the open-source release of Security Crawl Maze – a universal test bed for web security crawlers.

Security Crawl Maze is a simple Python application built with the Flask framework that contains a wide variety of cases for ways in which a web based application can link other resources on the Web. We also provide a Dockerfile which allows you to build a docker image and deploy it to an environment of your choice. While the initial release is covering the most important cases for HTTP crawling, it’s a subset of what we want to achieve in the near future. You’ll soon be able to test whether your crawler is able to discover known files (robots.txt, sitemap.xml, etc…) or crawl modern single page applications written with the most popular JS frameworks (Angular, Polymer, etc.).

Security crawlers are mostly interested in code coverage, not in content coverage, which means the deduplication logic has to be different. This is why we plan to add cases which allow for testing if your crawler deduplicates URLs correctly (e.g. blog posts, e-commerce). If you believe there is something else, feel free to add a test case for it – it’s super simple! Code is available on GitHub and through a public deployed version.

We hope that others will find it helpful in evaluating the capabilities of their crawlers, and we certainly welcome any contributions and feedback from the broader security research community.

By Maciej Trzos, Information Security Engineer

Stories of Yoga on Google Arts & Culture

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/bKIJotzBb6eXKxx0QAr076phfHy0gVDt1IKvVpCfgK00_uZV2lrqBPc5DNOJkbgtXCJ_Cb1aaJgJiA87nAY19z1Pfni3l8mvqYLTDexlMmLFbOamFVvdLyk9jJCQ0GLD1h7E_6q2

Yoga has been around for a few millennia, but I’m completely new to the practice and have only practiced a few poses, like Ekpadasana (the “one leg posture”). Just like a yoga teacher would lead you through the steps of this posture, a new Google Arts & Culture collection called Stories of Yoga, takes you through the history, culture and science behind the practice. If you’re a new yogi like me, follow the sequence below to learn the “one leg posture,” and read on for some insights our partners have shared for the “Stories of Yoga” exhibit.




1. Come to a standing posture. Take in a deep breath. 
Do you know what the word “yoga” means? It has a lot of nuanced interpretations. The ancient Indian text, called Rigveda, implied yoga means “achieving the unachieved,” “harnessing,” or “connection,” and the exhibition “What is Yoga?” explains other interpretations.


2. Finding your balance, bring up your right foot and place it in the center of the inner thigh of your left leg. Your toes should point downward. 
One of the most widely-known gurus, Swami Sivananda, introduced five principles of yoga: proper exercise (āsana), the right breathing (prāṇāyāma), relaxation (śavāsana), proper diet, and positive thinking & meditation (vedānta). 


3. Bring your palms together in front of your chest as if in prayer, and focus your gaze on a spot in the distance in front of you. Exhale.
Yoga is older than you might think, it actually dates back by a few millennia. The so-called Vedas and Upanishads started referring to yoga around 3000 BC. Two of the earliest teachers who recorded texts dedicated to yoga were Yajnavalkya and Patanjali. Visit the Museum of Classical Yoga and explore a brief timeline.


4. Hold the position and inhale and exhale deeply a few times. 
Yoga strengthens your body as well as the mind. Learn about Shri Yogendra, who started off as a wrestler before rooting himself into yoga and founding the Yoga Institute. Or follow the journey of well known guru B.K.S Iyengar, who used yoga to heal his tuberculosis-affected body.


5. Release back into the standing posture slowly, and repeat for the other leg. 
Did you know that women were actually barred from practicing the yoga discipline? Meet pioneer Shrimati Sita Devi Yogendra, who changed perceptions by becoming the first female guru. She introduced sequences specially tailored for women’s physiology. 


6. As a variation, you can lift your arms up all the way while holding the prayer position. As another variation, you can do the entire sequence while lying flat on your back instead of standing. 
There are so many different postures and their variations, and each school has a set of their own. Take a sneak-peek into some of the yoga centers in virtual walkthroughs and see the practice sessions up close. 


It is not a big stretch to learn more about yoga thanks to Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres & Ashrams, The Yoga Institute, Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Vivekananda House and other institutions on Google Arts & Culture at g.co/storiesofyoga.

By Simon Rein, Program Manager, Google Arts & Culture

Teach your self(ie) how to snap the perfect pic

A selfie a day keeps the doctor away? According to a study, millennials are expected to take more than 25,000 selfies in their lifetime, which comes down to one solo snap a day.


Today is National Selfie Day, so we’ve put together a few tips and tricks from our Pixel Camera experts for taking the best solo pics.


Natural light > flash: Taking photos in the dark is hard, and it may be tempting to use your phone’s flash. But flash photography often makes a selfie look washed out, and you can lose your background, or add glare to your face.


Low-light features are your friend: Having a low-light feature like Pixel’s Night Sight can enhance brightness in a dimly-lit setting, but without the white-cast caused by a flash. Night Sight takes several shots and puts them on top of each other to get a naturally lit image, even in the dark.

Night Sight

Know your angles: Positioning your face slightly to one side can make your selfie look less like an I.D. photo, and more like a natural shot. Using photography’s “Rule of Thirds” can help you snap a great picture, by bringing the focus of your photo to the area in an image where your eye naturally falls.


Surfer Selfie


Control your portraits: The subtle blur on Portrait Mode can help you pop against the background of your selfie. With Pixel 3 and 3a, you can adjust the blur to your liking. And always remember: Portrait Mode works best when the subject can stand out against a busy background.

Portrait Mode GIF

Don’t over-edit:Just like your parents have always told you: “you’re beautiful.” While editing apps are great, make sure you still look like yourself after you snap your selfie.


Stories of Yoga on Google Arts & Culture

Yoga has been around for a few millennia, but I’m completely new to the practice and have only practiced a few poses, like Ekpadasana (the “one leg posture”). Just like a yoga teacher would lead you through the steps of this posture, a new Google Arts & Culture collection called Stories of Yoga, takes you through the history, culture and science behind the practice. If you’re a new yogi like me, follow the sequence below to learn the “one leg posture,” and read on for some insights our partners have shared for the “Stories of Yoga” exhibit.

1. Come to a standing posture. Take in a deep breath.

Do you know what the word “yoga” means? It has a lot of nuanced interpretations. The ancient Indian text, called Rigveda, implied yoga means “achieving the unachieved,” “harnessing,” or “connection,” and the exhibition “What is Yoga?” explains other interpretations.

2. Finding your balance, bring up your right foot and place it in the center of the inner thigh of your left leg. Your toes should point downward.

One of the most widely-known gurus, Swami Sivananda, introduced five principles of yoga: proper exercise (āsana), the right breathing (prāṇāyāma), relaxation (śavāsana), proper diet, and positive thinking & meditation (vedānta).

3. Bring your palms together in front of your chest as if in prayer, and focus your gaze on a spot in the distance in front of you. Exhale.

Yoga is older than you might think, it actually dates back by a few millennia. The so-called Vedas and Upanishads started referring to yoga around 3000 BC. Two of the earliest teachers who recorded texts dedicated to yoga were Yajnavalkya and Patanjali. Visit the Museum of Classical Yoga and explore a brief timeline.

4. Hold the position and inhale and exhale deeply a few times.

Yoga strengthens your body as well as the mind. Learn about Shri Yogendra, who started off as a wrestler before rooting himself into yoga and founding the Yoga Institute. Or follow the journey of well known guru B.K.S Iyengar, who used yoga to heal his tuberculosis-affected body.

5. Release back into the standing posture slowly, and repeat for the other leg.

Did you know that women were actually barred from practicing the yoga discipline? Meet pioneer Shrimati Sita Devi Yogendra, who changed perceptions by becoming the first female guru. She introduced sequences specially tailored for women’s physiology.

6. As a variation, you can lift your arms up all the way while holding the prayer position. As another variation, you can do the entire sequence while lying flat on your back instead of standing.

There are so many different postures and their variations, and each school has a set of their own. Take a sneak-peek into some of the yoga centers in virtual walkthroughs and see the practice sessions up close.

It is not a big stretch to learn more about yoga thanks to Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres & Ashrams, The Yoga Institute, Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Vivekananda House and other institutions on Google Arts & Culture at g.co/storiesofyoga.

How we fight fake business profiles on Google Maps

Google Maps helps people explore, navigate and get things done—and increasingly people are using Google Maps to find local businesses. Over the years, we’ve added more than 200 million places to Google Maps and every month we connect people to businesses more than nine billion times, including more than one billion phone calls and three billion requests for directions. 


To help people find the places and businesses they're looking for—both big and small—Local Guides, business owners and people using Maps every day can contribute to business information. We get millions of contributions each day (like new business profiles, reviews, star ratings, and more) and the vast majority of these contributions are helpful and accurate. But occasionally, business scammers take advantage of local listings to make a profit. They do things like charge business owners for services that are actually free, defraud customers by posing as real businesses, and impersonate real businesses to secure leads and then sell them. Even though fake business profiles are a small percentage of the overall business profiles on Google, local business scammers have been a thorn in the internet’s side for over a decade. They even existed back when business listings were printed, bound and delivered to your doorstep. We take these issues very seriously and have been using a wide array of techniques and approaches to limit abuse on our platforms. 


These scammers use a wide range of deceptive techniques to try to game our system—as we shut them down, they change their techniques, and the cycle continues. Although it’s important that we make it easy for legitimate businesses to get their business profiles on Google, we’ve also implemented strict policies and created tools that enable people to flag these issues so we can take action. It’s a constant balancing act and we’re continually working on new and better ways to fight these scams using a variety of ever-evolving manual and automated systems. But we can’t share too many details about these efforts without running the risk of actually helping scammers find new ways to beat our systems—which defeats the purpose of all the work we do. 


We understand the concerns of those people and businesses impacted by local business scammers and back in 2017 we announced the progress we’d made. There was still work to be done then and there’s still work to be done now. We have an entire team dedicated to addressing these issues and taking constant action to remove profiles that violate our policies. Here’s more information about the progress we made against this type of abuse last year:  

  • We took down more than 3 million fake business profiles––and more than 90 percent of those business profiles were removed before a user could even see the profile. 

  • Our internal systems were responsible for more than 85 percent of these removals. 

  • More than 250,000 of the fake business profiles we removed were reported to us by users. 

  • We disabled more than 150,000 user accounts that were found to be abusive – a 50 percent increase from 2017. 

This year, we’ve already introduced a new way to report suspicious business profiles and have started to apply refined techniques to business categories where we’re seeing an increase in fraud attempts. To help foster a healthy ecosystem, we’re also donating settlement funds from litigation against bad actors to organizations that educate businesses and consumers about fraud. As we continue to fight against fraud, we’re making sure people people can flag issues when they see them. Here’s how: 

Every month Maps is used by more than a billion people around the world, and every day we and our users work as a community to improve the map for each other. We know that a small minority will continue trying to scam others, so there will always be work to do and we’re committed to keep doing better.