Tag Archives: Education

Dive into computer science with Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI)

Opportunities are live for the 2019 Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) and the Generation Google Scholarship (both available to graduating high school seniors in the US or Canada). Learn more about both programs below and apply before March 18!

Google's Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) is a three-week introduction to computer science (CS) for graduating high school seniors with a passion for technology — especially students from historically underrepresented groups in the field.
The program includes:

  • A specially designed project-based curriculum that includes HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Python and Google App Engine to help prepare students for their first year of college CS
  • Daily development sessions to help you prepare for future job opportunities
  • An opportunity to interact directly with Google engineers
  • Exposure and insight into Google’s internship programs and technical career opportunities
  • Exposure and insight into Google’s internship programs and technical career opportunities

The Generation Google Scholarship helps aspiring computer scientists from underrepresented groups excel in technology and become leaders in the field. Selected students will receive 10,000 USD (for those studying in the US) or 5,000 CAD (for those studying in Canada) for the 2019-20120 school year. Please note, only CSSI applicants will be considered for the Generation Google Scholarship.

Where & When
We offer several options for CSSI depending on where you may be attending school. You can find more details on location here. Most of our programs run from June - August 2019.

Any high school senior who plans to attend a four year institution in the US or Canada, has a passion for technology, and intends to enroll in a computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, or related department for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Google is committed to increasing the enrollment and retention of students in the field of computer science. CSSI is not your average summer camp. It's an intensive, interactive, hands-on, and fun program that seeks to inspire the tech leaders and innovators of tomorrow by supporting the study of computer science, software engineering, and other closely-related subjects.

Visit the Google CSSI page for more information and to apply. The application deadline is Monday, March 18 at 11:59 pm PST. Final decisions will be announced in mid-to-late May.

Give us a shout at cssi@google.com or generationgoogle@google.com.

Google Cloud offers global support for academic research

Today’s scientific computing demands lightning-fast speed, vast data storage, and intensive processing power in order to advance discoveries across disciplines, from genomics to climate change. Two new agreements and a range of initiatives in Europe and the United States expand Google’s support for academic researchers globally, enabling them to leverage the benefits of Google Cloud Platform (GCP), our infrastructure as a service platform.

Giving European researchers easy access to GCP through our agreement with GÉANT

With 50 million users at ten thousand institutions across Europe, GÉANT is the leading research and education infrastructure platform in Europe. Google’s new agreement with GÉANT will allow for broader collaboration across that extensive network, offering GÉANT members special educational discounts to access GCP. Together, the scientists, educators, IT leaders, and the 38 National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in GÉANT can now make direct Google connections at reduced cost to put their data to work to discover meaningful insights with the potential for global impact. Andres Steijaert, Project Leader Cloud Services at GÉANT, says that “we are delighted that Google Cloud Platform is joining the GÉANT Cloud Portfolio and can now be used easily via a ready-to-use agreement, through GÉANT. The machine learning and AI features open up a wide range of exciting opportunities for education and research.” Other benefits include data egress waivers, unique pricing for GÉANT member campuses, single sign-on support through SAML2, and a negotiated terms of service.

GCP will be available to GÉANT member institutions through Cloud Technology Solutions (CTS), one of the world’s largest cloud infrastructure experts. To get started, email H.Ed@cloudsolutions.co.uk.

Bringing scientific computing to the cloud through a cooperative agreement with NSF and Internet2

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Internet2, a computer networking consortium, have partnered with commercial cloud providers, including GCP, to accelerate scientific discoveries and promote collaboration. The first project, Exploring Clouds for Acceleration of Science (E-CAS), invites proposals to investigate the benefits of large-scale computing for scientific workflows—such as leveraging faster processing speeds, machine learning, serverless applications, and real-time analytics. “Our investments in E-CAS, Campus Cyberstructure (CC*), and related efforts aim to enable access to cloud computing services by the broader science and engineering community that NSF supports,” says Manish Parashar, Director of the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure at the NSF. “We see cloud resources as a vehicle to allow the community to leverage innovative technologies and capabilities to significantly accelerate research and education.”

Other exciting new research initiatives include:

  • Supporting innovative programs in government agencies like the Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures (DRIVe), established by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to foster entrepreneurial solutions to urgent public health challenges. Using GCP, a research team at Emory University’s School of Medicine built deep learning softwareto predict the onset of sepsis in hospitalized patients. Now DRIVe can help develop and implement that platform to reduce the approximately 270,000 deaths from sepsis in the United States each year.
  • Improving infrastructure through programs like Cloud Exchange and Cloud Connect that allow researchers to access GCP’s Dedicated Interconnect network for high-capacity and secure data paths.
  • Updating existing funding programs to include cloud resourcing  like the NSF’s Campus Cyberstructure (CC*) program which improves the networks and platforms that academics rely on for their data-intensive projects.
  • Expanding GCP research credits program, previously available to academic researchers in 30 countries, to include Norway and India as well. All academics from qualified regions are encouraged to apply. Learn more on our website.

Find out how Google Cloud can support your research on our website or apply now for research credits to turn your bold ideas into new discoveries.

Teaming up with partners to make the internet safer for kids

Editor’s note: Tomorrow is Safer Internet Day, and we’ll be talking about it all week with a collection of posts from teams around Google.

A year and a half ago, we launched the Be Internet Awesome program to help kids be safe, confident explorers of the online world. We built a little something for everyone: a curriculum for teachers, resources for parents and an adventure-packed online game for kids. And we couldn’t have done it without help from partners like the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), National PTA, the David's Legacy Foundation, and Disney’s Wreck It Ralph film “Ralph Breaks the Internet.”

This year’s Safer Internet Day theme is "Together for a better internet." That's something we can really get behind—joining forces with other organizations to help make the internet safer for everyone, especially younger kids. We’re kicking off a week of announcements, starting in San Antonio with the Be Internet Awesome adventure, a bilingual interactive space designed with hands-on activities to help kids and families learn the fundamental lessons of online safety and citizenship.


There are also a bunch of new updates to the Be Internet Awesome program, including:

  • A partnership with the David’s Legacy Foundation to create a program empowering teens to mentor and teach younger kids that it’s cool to be kind online (launching later this year)
  • The launch of Be Internet Awesome in France tomorrow as “Les Super-héros du Net”
  • Teaming up with the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Ralph Breaks the Internet  (recently nominated for an Academy Award©) to encourage more families to practice online safety and digital citizenship with Wreck It Ralph
  • A Be Internet Awesome guide and set of tips designed specifically to help parents foster a conversation with their kids about using the Internet safely

Working with the community to help kids stay safe online

Today in San Antonio, we hosted a panel with our partners to discuss our latest research, conducted with 2,000 parents and 1,000 teachers in the US, to better understand how they view internet safety for kids. We’re sharing the results today—here are a few themes from the panel that stood out:

Cyberbullying is a rising concern in schools

This year, cyberbullying rose to the number one online safety concern for teachers (up from number four last year). Maurine Molak, co-founder of the David’s Legacy foundation, said the first step to reducing cyberbullying is to help kids understand that if you wouldn’t say something in real life, you shouldn’t say it online. Through her work raising awareness and support for anti-cyberbullying legislation, she has observed that teens are often the most influential teachers, because younger kids look up to them.

The online safety conversation needs to start early

Our survey found that parents, on average, said that online safety education should begin when their kids are eight years old. Erin McCowey, who joined us from FOSI, noted that it might be a good idea to start even earlier. While the average kid gets a mobile phone by age eight, the average age for getting a tablet is age six. That’s why FOSI recommends that parents talk to their kids about online safety early and often in their seven steps to good digital parenting.

Teachers and parents need to work together

83 percent of teachers feel they need more resources to teach online safety in the classroom. And in addition to feeling ill-equipped, 87 percent wish parents were more involved when it comes to keeping their kids safe online. Leslie Boggs, President-Elect of National PTA, discussed their PTA Connected program, which encourages conversations about online safety between parents and teachers. As part of that effort, Google and the National PTA partnered earlier this year to facilitate 200 online safety workshops nationwide, providing grants and kits to help parents teach one another about these topics.

A week of online safety goodness

Check in tomorrow as we’ll be sharing a set of security tips that can help you and your whole family stay safer online, and stay tuned throughout the week as we’ll be sharing more about what we do to keep everyone safe online.

Grow with Google is heading to libraries in all 50 states, starting today

For many people in cities and towns across America, the public library is the central place to access information, search for a job or even learn about running a small business. And librarians aren’t just checking out books to patrons—they’re providing key digital resources for their communities.

At the end of last year we announced our plans to bring Grow with Google to more local communities by teaming up with libraries in all 50 states across the country to help ensure that economic opportunity exists for everyone, everywhere.  

We’re kicking that work off today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—where Benjamin Franklin established America's first free public library—by hosting in-person workshops for job seekers, small businesses, librarians and nonprofit leaders. Later this week, we'll be continuing the Pennsylvania workshops in York and Erie, then heading to more states like Connecticut and Maryland. We’re looking forward to people across the country joining us at their local library to learn digital skills, from online marketing tips to how to use a spreadsheet.  We’ll have plenty of Googlers available for one-on-one training and to answer your questions. Follow our events page to see when we’ll be visiting your state.

To make sure that every library and nonprofit can access our free tools, content and programs, we’re launching the Grow with Google Partner Program. Partners can leverage the online resources and guides to meet the evolving needs of jobseekers, students and small businesses in their communities. We invite organizations to learn more and apply at grow.google/partners.

To further support local libraries, Google is providing a $1M sponsorship of the American Library Association to support digital skills trainings through microfunds to libraries across the country.  Pennsylvania libraries can now submit their ideas for training to the American Library Association. This funding will be made available as Grow with Google visits each state in the country.

It’s our mission to help people across the U.S. get the skills they need to grow their careers and businesses, and we're proud to get to work with nonprofit partners and libraries to make it possible. We hope to see you at the library.

Adapting to the needs of learners, educators and schools with Chromebooks

Editor’s note: This week, we’re joining thousands of educators and students at BETT in London. Visit us at booth C230, where you can demo a range of Chromebooks designed for education, including the brand new Chrome OS tablet. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.

We aim to build products that help educators, school staff and students thrive in and out of the classroom. Ever-evolving education standards and students’ diverse learning needs means teachers need adaptable devices that can keep up with these changes. For administrators, it’s about the ability to manage large groups of students and educators while protecting their data. For students, intuitive and easy-to-use devices help them learn in a way that’s conducive to their needs. For these reasons and more, our latest lineup of Chromebooks feature a wide range of devices from laptops to tablets, admin management, deployment options, accessibility features, input options, and a growing number of quality apps. Whether you’re a student mastering your times tables or a teacher deploying a 1:1 device program to thousands of users, there’s a Chromebook for everyone.

Adapting to the needs of learners

To adapt to different student learning needs, Chromebook’s tools have built-in accessibility features. Accessibility settings sync across any Chrome OS device, so as students switch between shared devices or log in at home with their G Suite for Education account, their settings automatically update. This means no additional instruction time wasted setting up assistive technology, and inclusion of students who might otherwise require an additional device or aide. With visual aids, stylus support, voice typing, audio support, input capabilities beyond typing and trackpad and an entire world of Chrome extensions and partners, we’re adapting to support the ever-changing needs of learners.

Chromebook accessibility features

Adapting to the needs of educators

Educators shape the minds of the next generation of leaders, thinkers, activists and creators. As the classroom changes, educators turn to digital tools, like Google Classroom, G Suite and Expeditions and third party apps to engage students and teach efficiently and effectively. In the hands of creative teachers, these tools help bring learning to life for millions of students. Plus, we support a wide ecosystem of developers, so there will never be a lack of quality educational apps for Chromebooks. A few partners building apps we love include:

  • Sphero incorporates STEAM and robotics into coding and every day classroom lessons. Look for their latest lesson plans on Workbench.

  • GeoGebra is an AR app on the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, letting students toggle between 2D and 3D shapes, graphs and more.

  • Scratch 3.0 is a popular coding app that has a new touch version (Scratch 3.0) optimized to work seamlessly on Chromebooks.

  • Soundtrap is an app that can nurture student voice through music, podcasts, language, literacy training Plus, teachers can assign lessons through Google Classroom.

  • Kamilets you annotate Docs and PDFs, making note taking using a stylus and the web much smoother.

  • Book Creatorhelps you create ebooks in a snap. Try the Classroom integration to share published books and showcase student learning.

  • Texthelp's Read&Write is a literacy toolbar that offers additional support for English as a new language learners and dyslexic students by reading out loud, researching assignments and proofing written work.

Chromebooks and Expeditions bringing learning to life

Adapting to the needs of schools

With the Chrome Education License, administrators can deploy technology at any pace, while having the flexibility to manage their fleet of devices in a number of environments. Schools can start with a 10:1 student to Chromebook ratio, zoom ahead to a 1:1 model, or add different types of devices over time, depending on the needs and budget. As schools add rugged Chromebooks and then tablets, or add more of the same trusted device type, administrators can do so with a single interface that supports all of them.

Chrome OS devices are shareable, meaning multiple students can log into their individual profiles on the same device. Without assigning a particular device to each and every student, transitions become smoother and slow startup time doesn’t eat into instruction time.. Since Chrome devices only take ten seconds to boot up and administrators can schedule system updates on their own timeframe (not during the middle of a lesson or a test), many schools and organizations have chosen to use Chromebooks in their classrooms.

We’d love to hear how you’re using tools to support all learners, so come visit us at BETT or reach out on Twitter.

Choose your own adventure with 13 Google for Education tools

Editor’s note: This week, we’re joining thousands of educators and students at BETT in London. Visit us at booth C230, where you can demo a range of Chromebooks designed for education, including the brand new Chrome OS tablet. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.

Power up a Chromebook and watch as it transports students to the Taj Mahal, the Great Barrier Reef or a state-of-the-art science lab. It’s like magic, except the magicians are the teachers who inspire engaged and focused learning. As the leaders of these journeys, teachers give students the opportunity to explore the limits of their imagination—all on a device that’s simple to use and easy to navigate. While we’re here at BETT, we’re exploring more ways to bring magic moments to the classroom. So open up a Chromebook, and try out a few of the things it can do.

Secure and accessible, out of the box

1. Learn with adaptable Chromebooks:We’re launching more devices for education, with 25+ new devices in 2019. Choose from tablets like the Asus Chromebook Tablet CT100, convertibles like the Acer Chromebook Spin 512 with a 3:2 screen ratio for a taller display to see more content, the Lenovo 300e Chromebook, and clamshells like the Dell Chromebook 3400. Chromebooks aren’t just for students—educators are turning to high performance devices like the Google Pixel Slate, Pixelbook and HP Chromebook x360 14.

2. Explore built-in security and accessibility features:When you customize your security settings with multi-layered security, automatic updates, individual profiles and data protection, they’ll follow you no matter what device you log into. Learn more about customizing settings in G Suite and on Chromebooks to support all learners—including those with visual aids, auditory aids and more.

3. Become an Internet Legend:With our online safety program developed in partnership with the experts at Parent Zone, all Key Stage 2 primary school teachers can now order the Be Internet Legends curriculum pack for free. It’s available in new languages, including Arabic, Belgian, Italian, Polish and will soon be available in Turkish.

Chromebook accessibility features

Plan with efficiency, collaborate & explore, check for understanding

4. Plan with Classroom and Course Kit:In addition to the new Classwork page, Classroom has a refreshed look and feel. And if you love G Suite but use a different LMS, you can now use Course Kit, a free toolkit that incorporates G Suite into your existing LMS.

5. Collaborate with Jamboard: Create, edit, and view Jams (a “Jam” is a collaborative whiteboard space) on your Chromebook or from a Chrome browser with Jamboard or the Jamboard app. You can now modify frames, switch quickly from selection to drawing and use familiar keyboard shortcuts when jamming. Soon, you’ll also be able to add images. Head over to Workbench for a new course on student agency and engagement using Jamboard.

6. Explore the world in Augmented and Virtual reality:Now students can create VR tours using Tour Creator on their Chromebooks, and view them together through a guided experience using the Expeditions Android app (coming soon to iOS). We’re also translating our most popular VR and AR tours into Arabic, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

7. Sign up for the locked mode and Gradebook betas:On managed Chromebooks, locked mode prevents students from browsing away from the Quiz until they submit their answers. The new Gradebook in Google Classroom lets you check grades, see average grades by student or assignment, and choose to calculate grades by weighted average or total points-based.

Classroom 101

Bringing learning to life with STEAM

8. Code with CS First: We recently introduced CS First + Scratch 3.0, the latest version of the coding language designed for kids. The 3.0 version is complete with new videos and digital materials, plus lesson plans easily shareable in Google Docs. Check out the CS First Starter Guide and learn more about Scratch 3.0.

9. Prepare for the future with Applied Digital Skills: Students learn critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity and digital skills with new lessons mapped to the UK Essential Digital Skills Framework and the Computing National Curriculum in England, all on the new UK English Applied Digital Skills website.

10. Get hands on with Science Journal:Now, you can sign in with your G Suite for Education account to save and access your experiments across your devices using Google Drive. Check out new training modules and lessons on the Google for Education Teacher Center and Scholastic. For more hands-on science, order the new Science Kit from Arduino for middle school science classrooms, or try out Science Journal’s Android app with Vernier's new Go Direct line of classroom sensors.

11. Travel the globe with Google Earth:Bring the whole world to each desk in your classroom, no download required. Students can quiz their animal knowledge in Street View, learn about weather, volcanoes and sea surface temperature with map layers, measure area and distance, and see 3D views of buildings and landmarks.

Science Journal

Supporting educators through professional development

12. Learn with the Teacher Center:We’ve added new trainings on Jamboard, CS First, Applied Digital Skills and Science Journal. To support educators globally, the Teacher Center is now localized in 17 languages, with Italian coming later this year.

13. Engage with the education community:Looking for an expert? Coming soon, an updated Google for Education Directory can help you find a local expert to assist a school in any number of areas including teacher trainings, transformation support and advice from other schools. Looking for in-person interaction?  We just announced our 2019 Innovation Academies, with more locations including Stockholm and London, so apply now.

Visit us at BETT this week to check out the entire ecosystem of our tools, and if you’re not able to be with us in London, stay tuned on Twitter for more news.

Source: Google Chrome

Around the world and back with Google for Education

Editor’s note: This week, we’re joining thousands of educators and students at BETT in London. Visit us at booth C230, where you can demo a range of Chromebooks designed for education, including the brand new Chrome OS tablet. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.

It started with an idea in 2006: how might teaching and learning improve if we brought Google’s suite of productivity tools to schools? 13 years later, there are 80 million educators and students around the world using what has become G Suite for Education. 40 million students and educators rely on Google Classroom to stay organized and support creative teaching techniques. 30 million more use Chromebooks to open up a world of possibilities both inside and outside the classroom. We’ve introduced new devices to adapt to the needs of educators, schools and students, and created features that work across our products, like locked mode in Quizzes through Google Forms. As we kick off the week at BETT, let’s take a look at how classrooms have used Google for Education across the globe over the years.

Global growth of Chromebooks

Asia Pacific collaborates and prioritizes CS education on Chromebooks 

In Japan, public schools are using G Suite and Chromebooks to help meet the nationwide goal of teaching computer programming to all children by 2020. In all 139 high schools in Saitama Prefecture, Chromebooks aren’t just helping students learn programming—they’re also fostering better collaboration between students and teachers when combined with G Suite tools.

Down under in Australia and New Zealand, schools are also using Chromebooks in the classroom. All secondary students in Canberra were provided with Chromebooks in 2018. In New Zealand, Chromebooks have been the top choice for schools since 2017. To keep devices secure while saving teachers and IT administrators time and money, the Ministry of Education in New Zealand began providing Chrome Education licenses to all state and state-integrated schools in November 2018.

St. Thomas More School

Making technology more accessible in Latin America

Schools across Latin America are making technology more accessible to more people in the region. Recently, the Secretary of Education of Bahia, Brazil partnered with Google for Education to make computers accessible to all students and teachers in public schools across the state. Now, dozens of states and municipalities are following in Bahia’s footsteps. Brazil is also home to the first-ever Google reference University, UNIT, where 23,000 students are using G Suite and Chromebooks to build and learn.

Many different states in Mexico are choosing Google for Education’s tools for schools, too. @prende, an office in the Ministry of Education, chose to implement Chromebooks because of the Chrome Education license. The license gives teachers an easier time managing their classroom, thanks to features like the shared identity model (where multiple students can use the same device, while ensuring workspace and data isolation). Opting for a simple solution helped the Ministry make teacher training a priority.

Brian, #inovarparami

Improving engagement in European classrooms

In Europe, Filey Junior School and Leeds City College brought Chromebooks into the classroom as they were trying to improve student retention and engagement. Students at Leeds College, who range from being full-time parents to Olympic divers, balance their studies with outside of school commitments since they’re able to use their Chromebooks no matter where they are. To work on improving their writing skills, Filey Junior students used Google Docs to review one another’s work. They focused on peer editing, giving constructive criticism and experimented with writing styles—while also learning how to communicate in a new format.

Elsewhere in the UK, we’ve been working with London Grid for Learning to help over 90 percent of schools across the city bring technology to more students. The project includes free training in Classroom, G Suite and other tools to upskill teachers.

Chromebook popularity continues to grow in the Nordics—for instance, the city of Vantaa, Finland adopted 13,000 devices in March 2018. The Director of Education cited the user-friendliness as a reason why they implemented Chromebooks. And in Trondheim, Norway, the Trondheim Kommune adopted the new G Suite Enterprise for Education as a result of the additional security features offered, for all 40,000 students and educators.

Chris Lickold, Tring School

Preparing U.S. students for the future with 21st century skills

In North America, we’ve been improving our products and spending time in schools. Down in Texas, Burleson ISD has a vision for every learner to graduate with 21st century problem-solving and reasoning skills. This led them to redesign their learning spaces—they replaced traditional desks with work spaces to encourage the collaborative and self-directed ways students learn today. They also created makerspace areas, where students can learn about 3D printing, engineering and other STEM activities.

In South Carolina, students who recently graduated from Fairfield County School District feel that they have a competitive advantage in college and the workforce from having used G Suite and Chromebooks throughout middle and high school. Even at the college level, schools like Lafayette College are beginning to use the enterprise-grade capabilities within G Suite Enterprise for Education. And with the addition of Dartmouth, all eight Ivy League schools now use G Suite for Education as a productivity tool of choice for their faculty, staff and students.

Fairfield County School District

To teachers, administrators, and students around the world, thank you for continuing to inspire us, learn with us, and grow with us.

The Ultimate Guide to Hash Code 2019

Looking for your next programming challenge? Google’s flagship team coding competition, Hash Code, is back and registration is now open! The sixth (and first global) edition is bound to be bigger than ever. In the past, contestants have attempted to optimize the layout of a Google data center and transport commuters via self-driving cars. This February, developers of all skill levels will flex their coding muscles, get a glimpse into software engineering at Google, and have some fun (oh, and did we mention potentially win $4,000 USD?). Follow our top tips to make the most of Hash Code 2019:

Tip 1: Mark your calendars. Hash Code kicks off with an Online Qualification Round on Thursday, February 28th from 17:30 to 21:30 UTC. Top teams from the Online Qualification Round will then progress to April’s Final Round, hosted at Google Ireland, where they’ll compete for the title of Hash Code 2019 Champion. Check out last year’s Final Round highlights video to get a sense of the action!

Tip 2: Form a team. To compete in Hash Code, you’ll need to form a team of 2 to 4 people. Your team can be made up of classmates, peers, coworkers, friends, strangers, or – a combination! No matter your team composition, be sure to connect with your team before the contest to talk strategy, preferred programming languages, and, of course, come up with an awesome team name. Not sure where to find teammates (or just looking to connect with other Hash Coders)? Join our Facebook group or Google+ page to connect with the Hash Code community.

Tip 3: Get your team ready. Hash Code problems are modeled after real Google engineering challenges – and just like the problems that Google engineers tackle, there is no one right way to solve them! Instead, each round of the competition is designed as a battle of heuristics, meaning there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Hash Code’s optimization problems allow your team to approach the challenge in many different ways – and the best way to get comfortable with this type of coding is to practice. Use the Hash Code archive to hold a practice session with your team.

Tip 4: Join a hub. Hubs are locally-organized meetups that allow teams to compete side-by-side during the Online Qualification Round. These meetups are hosted by fellow Hash Coders at universities, coworking spaces, and company offices all around the world. Competing from a hub adds even more excitement to the Online Qualification Round and is a great way to meet new people plus strengthen your local developer community. Check out hubs in your area and be sure to join one before they fill up. Think you might be interested in organizing a hub? Learn more and apply.

Tip 5: Have fun. Whether you’re competing from a hub or from home with your team, or whether this is your first Hash Code or your sixth, the best part of Hash Code is the exciting, fun environment and community! Show Hash Coders around the world how your team is getting ready for the competition using #HashCode on social media.

If you’re up for the challenge, be sure to register at g.co/hashcode by February 25th. Follow these tips and who knows, maybe we’ll see you in Dublin for the Final Round!

Scratch 3.0’s new programming blocks, built on Blockly

Posted by Erik Pasternak, Blockly team Manager

Coding is a powerful tool for creating, expressing, and understanding ideas. That's why our goal is to make coding available to kids around the world. It's also why, in late 2015, we decided to collaborate with the MIT Media Lab on the redesign of the programming blocks for their newest version of Scratch.

Left: Scratch 2.0's code rendering. Right: Scratch 3.0's new code rendering.

Scratch is a block-based programming language used by millions of kids worldwide to create and share animations, stories, and games. We've always been inspired by Scratch, and CS First, our CS education program for students, provides lessons for educators to teach coding using Scratch.

But Scratch 2.0 was built on Flash, and by 2015, it became clear that the code needed a JavaScript rewrite. This would be an enormous task, so having good code libraries would be key.

And this is where the Blockly team at Google came in. Blockly is a library that makes it easy for developers to add block programming to their apps. By 2015, many of the web's visual coding activities were built on Blockly, through groups like Code.org, App Inventor, and MakeCode. Today, Blockly is used by thousands of developers to build apps that teach kids how to code.

One of our Product Managers, Champika (who earned her master's degree in Scratch's lab at MIT) believed Blockly could be a great fit for Scratch 3.0. She brought together the Scratch and Google Blockly teams for informal discussions. It was clear the teams had shared goals and values and could learn a lot from one another. Blockly brought a flexible, powerful library to the table, and the Scratch team brought decades of experience designing for kids.

Champika and the Blockly team together at I/O Youth, 2016.

Those early meetings kicked off three years of fun (and hard work) that led to the new blocks you see in Scratch 3.0. The two teams regularly traveled across the country to work together in person, trade puns, and pore over designs. Scratch's feedback and design drove lots of new features in Blockly, and Blockly made those features available to all developers.

On January 2nd, Scratch 3.0 launched with all of the code open source and publicly developed. At Google, we created two coding activities that showcase this code base. The first was Code a Snowflake, which was used by millions of kids as part of Google's Santa Tracker. The second was a Google Doodle that celebrated 50 years of kids coding and gave millions of people their first experience with block programming. As an added bonus, we worked with Scratch to include an extension for Google Translate in Scratch 3.0.

With Scratch 3.0, even more people are programming with blocks built on Blockly. We're excited to see what else you, our developers, will build on Blockly.

What’s new in Scratch 3.0, a programming language designed for kids

In 2013, the MIT Media Lab started creating a new version of Scratch, a graphical, block-based programming language used by tens of millions of kids to create and share interactive stories, games and animations. We partnered with the Media Lab on this new version of the language—Scratch 3.0—and the Google Blockly team developed the programming language’s graphical coding blocks. OurCS First program, which offers kids in fourth through eighth grades Scratch coding lessons, also created new activities designed to teach Scratch’s new features.

On January 2, Scratch 3.0 launched with a new look, new sprites (digital characters that perform actions in a project), backdrops (backgrounds), sounds, and extensions—plus, it’s now available on tablets. To help educators get ready for Scratch 3.0, we’ve created a comprehensive help article that includes support documents and videos featuring the new interface and customizable lesson plans.

I recently caught up with Mitchel Resnick, who leads the group at MIT that develops Scratch, to talk about the programming language and what’s new in version 3.0.

What is Scratch 3.0 and why is it cool?

Scratch 3.0 is a new version of Scratch that expands how and what students can create with code. We’re excited to see the diverse and creative projects that students will develop with it.

What are your favorite features of 3.0?

I love the Scratch 3.0 “extensions.” Each extension gives students an extra set of coding blocks to take Scratch’s capabilities even further. With new robotics extensions, students can use Scratch to program motors, lights and sensors. With the Google Translate extension, students can program characters to speak in other languages. As the library of extensions continues to grow, Scratch will have even more capabilities.

If you had to choose a sprite to represent yourself, which would you choose and why?

I’d choose the Ten80 Dance sprite. I’m a really bad dancer myself and wish I had moves like these.


What are some of the new sprites and backdrops?

We worked with artists and illustrators (including long-time Scratcher ipzy) to create a diverse collection of new sprites and backdrops. You’ll find new fashion sprites, animals, snacks, cars and more. Do you want to create a fantasy world with centaurs, griffins and unicorns? How about a game set in outer space? Are you into sports or dancing or dinosaurs? Whatever you’re interested in, we think there’s something for everyone in Scratch 3.0.

What are some Scratch 3.0 features that educators will like?

Educators will appreciate the new video tutorials in Scratch 3.0—there are tutorials to help students get started, explain new features and support new types of projects. We also worked closely with the CS First team to ensure that CS First videos and activities are ready for use with Scratch 3.0. Plus, Scratch 3.0 works on many different platforms, including touch devices like tablets—and there’s a desktop version of Scratch 3.0, so you can still use Scratch 3.0 even if you don’t have an internet connection.

Scratch 3.0 is live in CS First now, so be sure to check out its new look and features. To get some inspiration for your next creation, head to theonline community to see others’ Scratch projects.