Category Archives: Google for Education Blog

The official source for information about Google’s education-related efforts

Google Earth, class is now in session

So much of what students learn in the classroom—from social studies to history, science and literature—relates to a geographic place on Earth. Recently, we announced a new version of Google Earth, and since then, educators have been telling us what a valuable tool Google Earth is for their students. They use the “I’m feeling lucky” feature to inspire writing exercises, do research exercises with Knowledge Cards, and explore satellite imagery and cloud strata with their students. Now, to make it even easier for teachers to use Google Earth in the classroom, we’ve created a new “Education” category in the Voyager section, which includes new stories—complete with classroom activities—from National Geographic Society, PBS Education, HHMI Biointeractive and Mission Blue.

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Just click the new "Education" category on the Voyager homepage for new stories, complete with classroom activities for teachers

The National Geographic Society stories take students on adventures following explorers through the Middle East, India, and coral reefs. To supplement the experience, National Geographic Society created idea for activities that highlight a range of geographical concepts, such as interpreting land forms and comparing map projections.

With PBS Education, classrooms can go back in time and track the paths of famous explorers, from Lewis and Clark to the Vikings. As students follow along, they, in turn, become modern-day explorers.

HHMI Biointeractive and Mission Blue created Voyager stories more geared towards science and math. With HHMI Biointeractive, students join “Scientists at Work” as they investigate important problems, from endangered coral reefs to the Ebola outbreak. And Mission Blue’s story teaches students about the unique oceanographic conditions of Costa Rica thermal dome. Short videos and questions embedded in the stories will help guide students with their own scientific research.

Educators everywhere can find classroom activities (created by teachers, for teachers) at our new Google Earth Education website, and easily share locations and stories directly to Google Classroom. In addition, this week Google Earth will become an Additional Service for Google for Education users, which can be managed by IT administrators through the Google Admin console.

Google Earth was built to inspire curious minds to explore, learn and care about our vast, fragile planet. With these updates, we’re excited to make it easier for the next generation to see the world from a new perspective.

Source: Education


Updates from ISTE: new tools to empower our future explorers and digital citizens

Editor's note: This week our Google for Education team will be joining thousands of educators at the annual ISTE conference in San Antonio. Follow along here and on Twitter for the latest news and updates.

Technology is transforming how students learn and the skills they need to succeed.


Today at the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference, we’ll be highlighting new tools and programs built to empower students to explore, build and think critically as active learners. Look out for a deeper dive on each of these announcements on the blog throughout this week.

Students as inventors and explorers

  • Recently we announced a new browser-based version of Google Earth that makes it easier than ever for teachers to bring the world into the classroom using Chromebooks. Today we are excited to introduce 10 new stories in Google Earth Voyager, our new storytelling platform, built specifically for the classroom. We collaborated with National Geographic Society, PBS Education, HHMI Biointeractive and Mission Blue to create beautiful, curated Voyager stories which offer students a new perspective on the world. We’re also unveiling new classroom activities for teachers to get started today. This week, Google Earth will become an additional service for Google for Education users, which can be managed by IT administrators through the Google Admin panel.

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Google Earth knowledge card of the Alamo, not far from the ISTE 2017 conference!


  • We’re always looking to highlight great educational content on Chromebooks that can be seamlessly integrated into the classroom, while also fostering skills of the future. Today we’re announcing a collection of STEM tools for Chromebooks -- Dremel 3D40 3D Printer and littleBits Code Kit -- that schools can purchase at a bundle discount from their Chromebook reseller. These tools bring engineering into the classroom and help students become inventors.


  • Coming soon, the Expeditions app for Cardboard and Daydream will offer a self-guided mode so anyone can access more than 600 virtual field trips on their own. Students and teachers will be able to pick an adventure to anywhere—from the Great Barrier Reef to the Great Wall of China—and see details on points of interest highlighted on cards. We hope that this encourages exploration and personal education, making it easy to learn using virtual reality.

Students as critical thinkers and responsible digital citizens

  • In addition to the bundle of STEM tools announced above, we are offering a discounted bundle of media literacy apps on Chromebooks, Scrible and eSpark Frontier. The tools are designed to support students as they research and write using contemporary online information and help students form opinions about the media they consume.


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Impact Portraits paint a picture of school success with Chromebooks and G Suite

Today, we’re sharing seven new Impact Portraits from school districts across the U.S. The districts range in size and demographics from Florida’s Brevard County, which covers a diverse coastal area with 73,000 students, to upstate New York’s Amherst Central, with 2,944 students.


One thing these schools have in common: they're using Chromebooks and G Suite to drive measurable improvements in everything from reading skills to AP diploma graduation rates. In the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, for example, Indiana’s measure of third grade reading skills has grown by 10% since adopting Chromebooks. Check out g.co/EduImpact to find all of the Impact Portraits, and stay tuned for a closer look at the collection later this week.


The school districts whose Impact Portraits we’re sharing today include:

Look out for a deeper dive on each of these updates on our Keyword blog throughout this week. If you’re at ISTE in San Antonio, visit us at booth #1718 in the expo hall. And check out our teaching theater sessions—taking place in room #214D—where educators and Googlers will be giving short presentations throughout the conference.

Source: Education


Teaching why, not how: My takeaways from Google’s certification training

Editor’s note: Donnie Piercey is a fifth grade social studies teacher and technology integration specialist at Eminence Independent Schools in Eminence, KY. In this post, part of Google for Education PD Week, he shares his experience of becoming a Google Certified Educator. PD Week is an opportunity for educators to learn new ways to connect with peers, learn Google tools, and get certified. If you’re an educator, learn more about #GooglePDWeek by following @GoogleforEdu on Twitter and reading the schedule. If you’re an administrator, visit the Transformation Center for inspiration on creative approaches to PD.

I’d bet I’m not the only teacher who’s looked at my room full of students and thought, “This looks like any other classroom on the planet.” I strive to avoid that; my students are special and I want them to feel it every day. But that doesn’t always happen when I’m lecturing and they’re looking at identical worksheets.

A few years ago I hit a turning point. I wanted more opportunities to work individually with my students, to develop their writing skills, and to help them become better collaborators and communicators. I knew technology could help me achieve this, but I wasn’t totally sure how my students and I could take full advantage of tools like G Suite for Education. For example, my students already loved working in Google Docs, but mostly as a substitute to pencil and paper. I thought they could do more with Google Docs to generate ideas, work together and problem solve. This sense of potential drove me to seek out more official professional development opportunities—and complete the Google Certified Education training.

The simplicity and flexibility of the training made it easy to complete both the Level 1 and Level 2 courses—the videos were easy to follow, and I could go at my own pace. It didn’t feel like mandated professional development. It was actually something I wanted to do.

After getting certified, I joined a Google Educator Group (GEG), helping to connect me with a network of tens of thousands of other certified educators around the world. I can send a message to one of my groups, like “I’m trying to figure out a way to help my students understand where important events in history took place using Google Earth,”  and learn how other educators are did this in their classrooms.

For me, training and GEGs have sparked ideas for activities. For example, I decided to have my students create YouTube videos to teach students in other classrooms how to update images of Google Street View to offer a richer view into their communities on Google Maps. My peers inspired me to engage my students with lesson plans that focus on memorable storytelling as well as the subject matter. I’ve learned how to use Google Slides to design better presentations that include videos and images. I can share a presentation with one click and my students can access the material at home.

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Donnie Piercey, fifth grade teacher and Google Certified Educator, uses technology to help transform learning for students. (Photo credit: James Allen, Eminence Schools)

Outside of lesson planning, the greatest impact of Google certification is the time I’ve saved. I’ve learned shortcuts like tagging a student in a document or using Hangouts to chat about a question from that day’s class. A few minutes here and there add up, and the extra this time goes into developing relationships—working one on one with students and talking with parents. 

In general, the time I've spent on professional development during the summer and other breaks has been more than made up for by the energy it's injected into my classroom every day. Spending a few hours on professional development during the summer and other breaks is more than worth it. In my district, half of our staff have reached Level 1 certification, and this year I’m working with a cohort on Level 2 as a Google Certified Trainer. I see the results every day in my classroom, where I’m no longer lecturing to a room of students reading from the same workbook. The experience is new every time we start a lesson. I look forward to learning more during the summer so I can bring fresh ideas to my new students this fall. Have a great summer!

Source: Education


“Be Internet Awesome”: Helping kids make smart decisions online

As a parent, I’m constantly talking with my two daughters about how they use the Internet. The way they use it to explore, create and learn inspires me to do my best work at Google, where I lead a team making products that help families and kids have positive experiences online. But for kids to really make the most of the web, we need more than just helpful products: We need to provide guidance as they learn to make their own smart decisions online.

This is one of the most significant issues that we all face as a new generation grows up with the Internet at their fingertips. It’s critical that the most influential people in our kids’ lives—parents and teachers, especially—help kids learn how to be smart, positive and kind online, just like we teach them to be offline. It's something we all need to reinforce together.

With school out and summer break giving kids more time to spend on the Internet, it’s a great time to introduce Be Internet Awesome: a new way to encourage digital safety and citizenship.

Developed in collaboration with online safety experts like the Family Online Safety Institute, the Internet Keep Safe Coalition and ConnectSafely, Be Internet Awesome focuses on five key lessons to help kids navigate the online world with confidence:

  • Be Internet Smart: Share with care
  • Be Internet Alert: Don’t fall for fake
  • Be Internet Strong: Secure your secrets
  • Be Internet Kind: It's cool to be kind
  • Be Internet Brave: When in doubt, talk it out

The program includes a range of specific resources for kids, educators and parents, so everyone has the tools they need to learn and participate in the conversation.

For kids

To help kids learn these lessons in a way that’s fun and immersive, we created an interactive, online game called Interland. It’s free and web-based so it’s easily accessible by everyone, and most importantly, it’s in a format kids already love. In this imaginary world of four lands, kids combat hackers, phishers, oversharers and bullies, practicing the skills they need to be good digital citizens.

For educators

We partnered with the Internet Keep Safe Coalition and educators across the country to create a classroom curriculum that brings the five principles of being Internet Awesome to life, at school. To practice being Internet Alert, for example, students can work together to identify whether websites and emails contain signs of a phishing attempt. The lesson plans, activities and worksheets align with the International Society for Technology in Education’s Standards for Students, which educators look toward to define skills for safe and positive action online.

“Building these skills in our students will require ongoing attention as new technologies pose challenges and opportunities for students both at home and at school,”  says Carolyn Sykora, Senior Director of Standards at ISTE. “Be Internet Awesome provides materials educators and parents can use to help students learn about online safety in a fun and engaging way.”

After reviewing the game and curriculum, ISTE has awarded Be Internet Awesome its Seal of Alignment for Readiness. Educators can find the curriculum on the Be Internet Awesome resource hub, or as part of a new online course in the Google for Education Training Center.

For parents and guardians

Without some guidance, having a meaningful conversation about digital safety and respect at home can be really hard. These are sensitive topics and parents may not know where to start. To help make starting the conversation easier, we teamed up with a group of YouTube creators, including John Green, the What’s Inside? Family and MinutePhysics, to launch the #BeInternetAwesome Challenge, a video series that makes talking about online safety fun and accessible. Families can reinforce important lessons at home by signing the Be Internet Awesome Pledge to stay smart, alert, strong, kind and brave online.

My team and I will continue Google’s work to make the Internet a safer, more positive place for kids, and this is an exciting new chapter in our ongoing efforts. Ready, set, Be Internet Awesome! g.co/BeInternetAwesome

Source: Education


Our ongoing commitment to support computer science educators in Europe

The need for employees with computer science (CS) and coding skills is steadily increasing in Europe—by 4 percent every year between 2006 and 2016 according to DigitalEurope.  But educators are struggling to keep up with the demand, often because they lack the professional development, confidence and resources to successfully teach their students. 

Because of these challenges, we’re working to increase the availability of quality computer science education and access to CS skills by empowering CS teachers globally. We’ve recently launched new support in Europe, the Middle East and Africa through CS4HS, a program to fund universities and nonprofits designing and delivering rigorous computer science professional development for teachers.

We’re excited to be working with 79 organizations worldwide, and 28 in the EMEA region, who are committed to increasing the technical and teaching skills of educators, and building communities of ongoing learning. We believe that these organizations are committed to delivering high-quality teacher professional development programs with a deep impact in their local community and a strong potential to increase their reach.

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Growing the community of computer science educators  

Over the past 10 years, CS4HS has contributed $10 million to professional development (PD) providers around the world to help develop and empower teachers—like Catrobat, a non-profit initiative based at Graz University of Technology in Austria who created a free online course for students and teachers, and the University of Wolverhampton, who created a free MOOC to empower teachers of computing to teach programming in the new computing syllabuses in England, among others.

We’re excited to support new and future CS educators around the world. Even though computer science is a relatively new discipline for most schools, the enthusiasm is growing and teachers have a critical role to play in fueling their students’ interest and participation. These grants will help universities and nonprofits reach educators with PD opportunities that enhance their CS and technical skills development, improve their confidence in the classroom, and provide leadership training so that they can be advocates for CS education in their communities.

2017 awardees in EMEA

Asociatia Techsoup Romania

Ideodromio, Cyprus

Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Informatica, Italy

Lithuanian Computer Society

Dublin City University, Ireland

Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland

EduACT, Greece

Graz University of Technology, Austria

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Asociatia Tech Lounge, Romania

Association Rural Internet Access Points, Lithuania

University of Wolverhampton, UK

Universidad de Granada, Spain

University UMK Toruń, Poland

Hasselt University, Belgium

Jednota školských informatiků, Czech Republic

University of Lille - Science and Technology, France

University of Roehampton, UK

University of Urbino, Italy

ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Vattenhallen Science Center, Lund University, Sweden

University College of Applied Sciences, Palestine

Hapa Foundation, Ghana

Let’s Get Ready, Cameroon

Swaziland Foundation for STEM Education

Laikipia University, Kenya

Mobile4Senegal

Peo Ya Phetogo in partnership with University of the Western Cape & Mozilla Foundation, South Africa

To discover more about CS opportunities near you, explore our educator resourcesstudent programs and resources, and tools.


Source: Education


Empowering a new generation of localization professionals

When her grandmother Chadia turned 80, Christina Hayek—an Arabic Language Manager at Google—and her sisters wanted to give their beloved sitto a gift that would bring her closer to them. Chadia lives in Lebanon, but her children and grandchildren are spread across the world. To bridge this geographical gap, Christina and her siblings gave their grandmother an Android smartphone. Much to Chadia’s surprise, she was able to use her phone in Arabic straight out of the box.

This isn’t magic—it’s the work of a dedicated localization team at Google, whose mission is to create a diverse user experience that fits every language and every culture. Spread over more than 30 countries, our team of passionate translators and reviewers makes sure that all Google products are fun and easy to use in 70+ languages—and sound natural to people everywhere. Localization goes beyond translation. For example, while references to baseball and donuts work well in the U.S., these aren’t necessarily popular concepts in other cultures. So for we might change them to football in Italy and croissant in France.

With more and more people from around the world coming online every day, the localization industry keeps growing—and so does the demand for great translators, reviewers, and localization professionals. So, as part of Google’s mission to build products for everyone and make the web globally accessible, no matter where people are, we’re launching a massive open online course (MOOC) called Localization Essentials.

Localization Essentials was developed in collaboration with Udacity, and is free to access. It covers all localization basics needed to develop global products, from the types of software that we use to the jobs available in this industry. By sharing our knowledge, we hope that more culturally relevant products will become available to people everywhere, and provide opportunities to them that they didn’t have before.

Source: Education


Empowering a new generation of localization professionals

When her grandmother Chadia turned 80, Christina Hayek—an Arabic Language Manager at Google—and her sisters wanted to give their beloved sitto a gift that would bring her closer to them. Chadia lives in Lebanon, but her children and grandchildren are spread across the world. To bridge this geographical gap, Christina and her siblings gave their grandmother an Android smartphone. Much to Chadia’s surprise, she was able to use her phone in Arabic straight out of the box.

This isn’t magic—it’s the work of a dedicated localization team at Google, whose mission is to create a diverse user experience that fits every language and every culture. Spread over more than 30 countries, our team of passionate translators and reviewers makes sure that all Google products are fun and easy to use in 70+ languages—and sound natural to people everywhere. Localization goes beyond translation. For example, while references to baseball and donuts work well in the U.S., these aren’t necessarily popular concepts in other cultures. So we might change them to football in Italy and croissant in France.

With more and more people from around the world coming online every day, the localization industry keeps growing—and so does the demand for great translators, reviewers, and localization professionals. So, as part of Google’s mission to build products for everyone and make the web globally accessible, no matter where people are, we’re launching a massive open online course (MOOC) called Localization Essentials.

Localization Essentials was developed in collaboration with Udacity, and is free to access. It covers all localization basics needed to develop global products, from the types of software that we use to the jobs available in this industry. By sharing our knowledge, we hope that more culturally relevant products will become available to people everywhere, and provide opportunities to them that they didn’t have before.

Source: Education


Empowering a new generation of localization professionals

When her grandmother Chadia turned 80, Christina Hayek—an Arabic Language Manager at Google—and her sisters wanted to give their beloved sitto a gift that would bring her closer to them. Chadia lives in Lebanon, but her children and grandchildren are spread across the world. To bridge this geographical gap, Christina and her siblings gave their grandmother an Android smartphone. Much to Chadia’s surprise, she was able to use her phone in Arabic straight out of the box.

This isn’t magic—it’s the work of a dedicated localization team at Google, whose mission is to create a diverse user experience that fits every language and every culture. Spread over more than 30 countries, our team of passionate translators and reviewers makes sure that all Google products are fun and easy to use in 70+ languages—and sound natural to people everywhere. Localization goes beyond translation. For example, while references to baseball and donuts work well in the U.S., these aren’t necessarily popular concepts in other cultures. So we might change them to football in Italy and croissant in France.

With more and more people from around the world coming online every day, the localization industry keeps growing—and so does the demand for great translators, reviewers, and localization professionals. So, as part of Google’s mission to build products for everyone and make the web globally accessible, no matter where people are, we’re launching a massive open online course (MOOC) called Localization Essentials.

Localization Essentials was developed in collaboration with Udacity, and is free to access. It covers all localization basics needed to develop global products, from the types of software that we use to the jobs available in this industry. By sharing our knowledge, we hope that more culturally relevant products will become available to people everywhere, and provide opportunities to them that they didn’t have before.

Source: Education


Inspiring the creative problem-solvers of the future

What's coming next in technology will shape our future. And because we can't predict what challenges the future will bring, we need to cultivate a new generation of problem-solvers, storytellers, and creative minds to tackle our next problems at scale. It’s not just about coding and programming computers, it’s about helping students learn skills they’ll need to approach problems in a fundamentally different way across every discipline from business to engineering to the arts.

Today, we hosted our fourth annual I/O Youth, part of a longstanding effort to get more students excited about where technology can take them. Nearly 150 5th-7th graders from schools around the Bay Area descended on Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA to explore activities focused on digital storytelling, inventing, science, and coding.

Ryan Germick, who leads our Doodle team, along with Krysia Olszewska of Technovation, emceed the day as kids delved into four activities:

  • Animating their very own cartoon with Toontastic
  • Building a wind spinner from craft supplies and analyzing its speed with the Science Journal app
  • Creating and programming a hot potato game using littleBits Code Kit, which uses drag-and-drop programming based on Google’s Blockly to help kids code
  • Coding an adventure on the high seas, programming the type of ship, height of waves, characters and dialogue, using Scratch with Google’s CS First curriculum

It wouldn’t be I/O without a Sandbox, so through “Toy Taxidermy,” an activity developed by Wonderful Idea Co, kids tinkered with mechanical toys to see how they work. The MIT Media Lab showed kids how to make their own game controllers with Play-Doh and tinfoil to control the games they created in Scratch. Kids also got to check out a virtual journey with Expeditions, learn about the Google Assistant and its sense of humor, and see examples of artificial intelligence through Google’s Quick, Draw! and Giorgio Cam AI Experiments.

Today was about opening a door to let kids see what’s possible. Mentors from littleBits, Scratch, and Technovation encouraged kids to get involved in local clubs and activities so that anyone who has a passion for technology has an outlet to keep going. And everyone went home with a littleBits Rule Your Room Kit, so they can continue creating and programming at home. We hope kids discover that a bright future isn’t some distant goal—it's something they have the power and skills to create right now.

Source: Education


Inspiring the creative problem-solvers of the future

What's coming next in technology will shape our future. And because we can't predict what challenges the future will bring, we need to cultivate a new generation of problem-solvers, storytellers, and creative minds to tackle our next problems at scale. It’s not just about coding and programming computers, it’s about helping students learn skills they’ll need to approach problems in a fundamentally different way across every discipline from business to engineering to the arts.

Today, we hosted our fourth annual I/O Youth, part of a longstanding effort to get more students excited about where technology can take them. Nearly 150 5th-7th graders from schools around the Bay Area descended on Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA to explore activities focused on digital storytelling, inventing, science, and coding.

Ryan Germick, who leads our Doodle team, along with Krysia Olszewska of Technovation, emceed the day as kids delved into four activities:

  • Animating their very own cartoon with Toontastic
  • Building a wind spinner from craft supplies and analyzing its speed with the Science Journal app
  • Creating and programming a hot potato game using littleBits Code Kit, which uses drag-and-drop programming based on Google’s Blockly to help kids code
  • Coding an adventure on the high seas, programming the type of ship, height of waves, characters and dialogue, using Scratch with Google’s CS First curriculum

It wouldn’t be I/O without a Sandbox, so through “Toy Taxidermy,” an activity developed by Wonderful Idea Co, kids tinkered with mechanical toys to see how they work. The MIT Media Lab showed kids how to make their own game controllers with Play-Doh and tinfoil to control the games they created in Scratch. Kids also got to check out a virtual journey with Expeditions, learn about the Google Assistant and its sense of humor, and see examples of artificial intelligence through Google’s Quick, Draw! and Giorgio Cam AI Experiments.

Today was about opening a door to let kids see what’s possible. Mentors from littleBits, Scratch, and Technovation encouraged kids to get involved in local clubs and activities so that anyone who has a passion for technology has an outlet to keep going. And everyone went home with a littleBits Rule Your Room Kit, so they can continue creating and programming at home. We hope kids discover that a bright future isn’t some distant goal—it's something they have the power and skills to create right now.

Source: Education