Tag Archives: Education

AI4ALL participants tell all—summer camps get girls involved in AI and tech

AI4ALL, a nonprofit working to increase diversity and inclusion in artificial intelligence, believes that all students should have the opportunity to learn about AI and explore its applications. We share the same belief, and have gotten more kids involved in computer science and technology by donating to organizations like Code.org, building programs like Made with Code and CS First, and most recently helping AI4ALL expand learning resources for underrepresented youth. With a $1 million grant from Google.org, AI4ALL can scale their nationwide summer camps that spark student interest in AI and help them build foundational technical skills. The Google.org grant will also create a new digital curriculum that will introduce students to fundamental AI concepts.

To learn more about AI4ALL’s impact, we caught up with Tess Posner, CEO of AI4ALL, as well as two program alums: Ananya Karthik, who recently led an AI and art workshop in Oakland for Bay Area middle and high school girls, and 15-year old Ekanem Okeke, who participated in the AI4ALL Stanford camp this summer. Hear from Tess and Ananya in this video, and read on for an interview with Ekanem.

Supporting diversity and inclusion in AI with AI4ALL
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Here's Ekanem at the AI4ALL Stanford camp

Ekanem Okeke participated in the AI4ALL Stanford camp this summer. We chatted with her about her experience:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Ekanem Okeke. I am 15 years old. I was born in Ottawa, Canada, but for the past three years I’ve been living in Michigan with my family. I have two sisters and one brother. Having lived in Canada for the majority of my life so far, I am fluent in French, but I would really love to learn Korean and Japanese. I also enjoy reading, drawing, playing soccer and basketball, and watching anime. Lastly, I am fascinated with astronomy, biology and science in general.

What was your experience with computer science and AI before camp?
Prior to attending AI4ALL, I hadn’t seriously coded. I’d heard of the development of autonomous cars using AI, but other than that, I didn’t know all that much of the applications of AI. Of course, I was curious about AI and programming before attending AI4ALL, but I hadn’t acted on that curiosity yet. Nevertheless, I am in a very CS-heavy family as both my parents are engineers and my sister is also on her way to becoming one.

What was your favorite part of camp and who were your fellow participants?
I don’t think that I could pick a favorite! I really enjoyed listening to guest speakers, like Professor Jeanette Bohg’s talk comparing computer vision to human vision. Prof. Dan Jurafsky's talk on Natural Language Processing (NLP) was also very fascinating as he discussed using NLP to evaluate police bias. Along with these talks, we watched technical demonstrations and even managed to fit in field trips to Google’s headquarters and the beach!

My fellow participants were really cool and helpful—bonding with them was a high point of the experience. We also had a pretty diverse class, with people from nine states and nine different countries. I even met a fellow Canadian!

What did you think about your field trip to Google?
I definitely think that the most enriching part of the whole experience was the panel we attended at Google. I found that all the panelists had something interesting that they were working on and something unique about their history with AI. It displayed the interdisciplinary nature of AI, as the panelists had very different jobs that all still related to AI, such as health research with machine learning.

What was the subject of your team project and what did you learn while working on it?
While at camp, I was in the robotics group that focused on autonomous vehicles. In our group, we attempted to model the navigation system that would be implemented in an autonomous vehicle. To accomplish this, we used proportional–integral–derivative controller (PIDs) and Dijkstra’s algorithm. The PID controllers worked to enable our robots to follow the lines on our map, while Dijkstra’s algorithm enabled the robots to plan efficient routes. By combining these two algorithms, the robots were able to navigate themselves from one destination to the next.

Leaving camp, has your perspective on AI changed? How?
I’ve learned how AI can solve problems. Before camp, I saw AI as somewhat of a super tool, a technology that could be used to change the world. However, I didn’t really understand what AI actually does. After the camp, I’ve come to understand AI in a more realistic sense. I now understand how to utilize AI as an actual concrete piece of technology.

What excites you the most about AI?
I think the most exciting thing about AI is that it is very much a blank canvas. The broad scope of how interdisciplinary AI is makes it such an interesting and curious field. Although AI is not some kind of all-powerful tool, it is a new technology that can improve one’s daily life. AI’s usefulness is really just limited to our own imagination, and there’s many more possibilities available beyond an autonomous car.

As you look to the future (no pressure!), do you have a sense for what you might be interested in pursuing?
Through this program, I was exposed to many things, which allowed me to picture my own future in any career. I’ve really come to understand that there are a lot of amazing specialized careers that I haven’t heard of before. Attending AI4ALL really encouraged me to follow my passions and turn my passions into a career. As a result, I feel like it would be a waste for me to decide what I want to do right now when there’s so much out there and so much to come.

After NEXT 2018: Trends in higher education and research

From classrooms to campus infrastructure, higher education is rapidly adapting to cloud technology. So it’s no surprise that academic faculty and staff were well represented among panelists and attendees at this year’sGoogle Cloud Next. Several of our more than 500 breakout sessions at Next spoke to the needs of higher education, as did critical announcements like our partnership with the National Institutes of Health to make public biomedical datasets available to researchers. Here are ten major themes that came out of our higher education sessions at Next:

  1. Collaborating across campuses. Learning technologists from St. Norbert College, Lehigh University, University of Notre Dame, and Indiana University explained how G Suite and CourseKit, Google’s new integrated learning management tool, are helping teachers and students exchange ideas.
  2. Navigating change.Academic IT managers told stories of how they’ve overcome the organizational challenges of cloud migration and offered some tips for others: start small, engage key stakeholders, and take advantage of Google’s teams of engineers and representatives, who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable allies. According to Joshua Humphrey, Team Lead, Enterprise Computing, Georgia State University, "We've been using GCP for almost three years now and we've seen an average yearly savings of 44%. Whenever people ask why we moved to the cloud this is what we point to. Usability and savings."
  3. Fostering student creativity. In our higher education booth at Next, students demonstrated projects that extended their learning beyond the classroom. For example, students at California State University at San Bernardino built a mobile rover that checks internet connectivity on campus, and students at High Tech High used G Suite and Chromebooks to help them create their own handmade soap company.
  4. Reproducing scientific research. Science is built on consistent, reliable, repeatable findings. Academic research panelists at the University of Michigan are using Docker on Compute Engine to containerize pipeline tools so any researcher can run the same pipeline without having to worry about affecting the final outcome.
  5. Powering bioinformaticsToday’s biomedical research often requires storing and processing hundreds of terabytes of data. Teams at SUNY Downstate, Northeastern, and the University of South Carolina demonstrated how they used BigQuery and Compute Engine to build complex simulations and manage huge datasets for neuroscience, epidemiology, and environmental research.
  6. Accelerating genomics research. Moving data to the cloud enables faster processing to test more hypotheses and uncover insights. Researchers from Stanford, Duke, and Michigan showed how they streamlined their genomics workloads and cut months off their processing time using GCP.
  7. Democratizing access to deep learningAutoML Vision, Natural Language, and Translation, all in beta, were announced at Next and can help researchers build custom ML models without specialized knowledge in machine learning or coding. As Google’s Chief Scientist of AI and Machine Learning Fei-Fei Li noted in her blog post, Google’s aim “is to make AI not just more powerful, but more accessible.”
  8. Transforming LMS analytics. Scalable tools can turn the data collected by learning management systems and student information services into insights about student behavior. Google’s strategic partnership with Unizin allows a consortium of universities to integrate data and learning sciences, while Ivy Tech used ML Engine to build a predictive algorithm to improve student performance in courses.
  9. Personalizing machine learning and AI for student services. We’re seeing a growing trend of universities investigating AI to create virtual assistants. Recently Strayer University shared with us how they used Dialogflow to do just that, and at Next, Carnegie Mellon walked us through their process of building SARA, a socially-aware robot assistant.
  10. Strengthening security for academic IT. Natural disasters threaten on-premise data centers, with earthquakes, flooding, and hurricanes demanding robust disaster-recovery planning. Georgia State, the University of Minnesota, and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business shared how they improved the reliability and cost-efficiency of their data backup by migrating to GCP.
We've been using GCP for almost three years now and we've seen an average yearly savings of 44%. Whenever people ask why we moved to the cloud this is what we point to: usability and savings Joshua Humphrey
Enterprise Computing, Georgia State University



To learn more about our solutions for higher education, visit our website, explore our credits programs for teaching and research, or speak with a member of our team.

Getting to know a research intern: Nicola Pezzotti

Google Research tackles the most challenging problems in CS and related fields. Being bold and taking risks is essential to what we do, and research teams are embedded throughout Google, allowing our discoveries to affect billions of users each day.

The compelling benefit to researchers is that their innovations can be implemented fast and big. Google’s unique infrastructure facilitates ideas’ speed to market — allowing their ideas to be trialled by millions of users before their papers are even published.

Today we’re talking to PhD Research Intern, Nicola Pezzotti, coming to us from the Google AI team in Zürich. Read on!


So tell us about yourself and your PhD topic …
I’m a PhD student in the Computer Graphics & Visualization group at the Delft University of Technology. My research interest is mainly oriented towards the application of Machine Learning algorithms, in particular Manifold Learning techniques, in a Visual Analytics context.

I’m particularly interested in the extraction of knowledge from large and high-dimensional datasets without an a-priori model of what we can find in the data. This is particularly useful in the context of exploratory data analysis of medical data and for the interpretation of AI models.

How did you get to work in this area?
I remember implementing my first AI, a not-so-intelligent one that played Tic-Tac-Toe, during the first year of high-school and I have always been interested in AI since then.

That being said, during my years at the University of Brescia, I started focusing on general purpose graphics processing unit programming (GPGPU) for Geometry Processing and I left my passion for AI on the side. I really had a lot of fun in implementing general purpose algorithms that make use of graphics hardware, and I continued to do so in my first work in industry in 2011.

Four years ago, I founded a PhD position in the Computer Graphics & Visualization group in Delft. The position was within the ImaGene project and aimed at finding insights that can help address neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. I found the possibility to help in this domain very exciting and it gave me the opportunity to combine my knowledge of GPGPU techniques with my passion for AI.

Moreover, the name of the project is VAnPIRe, which gave me the opportunity to make a lot of silly jokes in the office ;)

Why did you apply for an internship at Google and how supportive was your PhD advisor?
GoogIe has top notch AI researchers – I wanted to join Google since the beginning of my PhD. My supervisor, Dr. Anna Vilanova, was very supportive and agreed with me that it would be an amazing opportunity to get in touch with some of these researchers and to make my research more impactful.

Last summer, I felt that I had enough contributions in the field to make my internship at Google a success. Hence, I applied for an internship in research at Google’s Zürich office. The hiring process was extremely fast and well handled and I found a host that was interested in my research topic.

What project was your internship focused on?
My host at Google is Alexander Mordvintsev, the creator of Google DeepDream. You may imagine the excitement that I had when I learned that I was chosen to support him in the development of novel techniques for better interpreting Deep Neural Networks results.

During my four month internship I worked on two different projects. First, I helped Alex in experimenting and getting DeepDream to work on different kinds of media, such as 3D objects and Compositional Pattern-Producing Network. This work focused on the artistic aspect of image parameterizations and is published on Distill.pub, an interactive and online journal. It has been particularly exciting to make the results of these techniques available to a large audience directly in the browser through Distill.pub, and reproducible in Google’s Colab Notebooks.

Then, I focused on developing a new implementation of the tSNE algorithm that scales to very large datasets and runs in the browser! tSNE is a manifold learning technique which is used to visualize high-dimensional feature vectors in 2-dimensional scatterplots while preserving the presence of clusters at different scales.

You may be familiar with its results due to its use for interpreting Deep Neural Network outputs in the TensorFlow Embedding Projector and TensorBoard. However, tSNE does not scale well to large datasets, due to its computational complexity. During my internship I developed a new implementation that scales much better thanks to a GPGPU approach that is implemented in WebGL. This implementation is released in the TensorFlow.js family ad you can try it directly in your browser.

I really liked this work as it shows how lateral thinking using a GPGPU approach can solve otherwise unscalable problems.

Did you publish at Google during your internship?
I did publish two papers, one for each project (ArXiV). I believe that my experience in Google will make my PhD thesis stronger and more impactful. I had the chance to publish on such a novel and creative journal such as Distill.pub, while remotely collaborating with researchers in Mountain View. It has been really a nice way to explore a new medium that brings academic knowledge to a large audience through easy to understand and interactive diagrams.

How closely connected was the work you did during your internship to your PhD topic?
Since I’ve been focusing on the scalability of the tSNE algorithm, in particular, and on Deep Neural Network understanding, in general, my work at Google was very much related to my PhD topic. You can read more about it here.

It has been particularly exciting to release my work as an open source work in the TensorFlow.js family. Bringing openly available algorithms to a larger audience is the icing on the cake for any PhD research.

Did you write your own code?
Writing code is my main driver and I’ve been happy to get in touch with so many exceptional programmers in Google. Releasing open source code has been very easy and I received a lot of support from different Google AI teams in Zürich and Cambridge.

What key skills have you gained from your time at Google?
I had the chance to work with a programming language, Typescript, that was completely new to me. It has also been really eye opening to learn how code is developed in a rigorous and high-quality way at Google.

What impact has this internship experience had on your PhD?
I see my experience at Google as the culmination of my PhD project.

I have been working on the topic of the scalability of manifold-learning algorithms such as tSNE for the last 3 years. Having an open source implementation that can run in the browser for large datasets is really satisfying and I can’t wait to see what other researchers can build using this code. I would not have been able to have had such exposure and impact without this experience.

Looking back on your experiences now: Why should a PhD student apply for an internship at Google? Any advice to offer?
Besides working closely with great researchers and engineers, I have to say that the most striking aspect of my time at Google was how wide the exposure to high quality and open research is.

Every week a number of extremely interesting guests are invited to host talks held in the office. You are free to join, either in person or on a video stream. Some days you really have to choose which one is the best to attend since they are so good and there are so many! If you join Google for an internship you should not miss them, they can help your research in unexpected ways.

Your Google for Education Guide for Back to School

This back to school season, inspire creativity, and run at maximum efficiency with the latest features and tools from Google for Education. We’re rolling out new features in Classroom and G Suite for Education, AR and VR on Chromebooks, Google Earth and Science Journal updates, and new trainings from the Teacher Center and Applied Digital Skills.

New tools in Classroom and G Suite

Google Classroom is getting its biggest refresh yet. We’ve added a Classwork page to help teachers and students stay more organized. With Classwork, teachers can easily group assignments into units or modules, and reorder work to match their class sequence. We’re also introducing a new grading tool, which lets educators quickly toggle between student submissions when grading, and save commonly used feedback. The tool improves the grading workflow, so that educators have more time to spend personalizing feedback. Finally, we’ve made it easier to setup classes and manage information. Read more here, and check out the Back to School 2018 FAQs for full details.

In addition to using a Learning Management System (LMS), many schools use G Suite to collaborate. Until now, there hasn’t been an easy way to integrate G Suite with many LMSs. That’s why we introduced Course Kit in July, a free toolkit that allows instructors to use Google Docs and Drive to collect assignments, give faster and richer feedback to students, and share course materials within the LMS they’re already using. It’s built using the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard so it's easy to set up and works with all LMSs that support LTI. If your institution uses G Suite for Education, you can get started by requesting access to the beta.

We heard from educators and students it can be challenging to format in Google Docs when writing and assigning papers. That’s why we’re sharing new Docs updates focused on margins and indentations to improve the overall writing experience, especially when making MLA style citations. Now, you can use hanging indents and set specific indentations using a dialog box. Be on the lookout for customizable header and footer margins, and a vertical ruler coming to Docs this fall.

Margins in Docs

Bring learning to life with Daydream, Google Earth, and Science Journal

Your student explorers can show and tell in 360-degree VR, because Tour Creator now allows photos taken on your own device with the free Cardboard Camera app (available on Android and iOS) to be added to tours. And coming soon, you’ll also be able to add VR180 photos to tours which can be easily taken from any VR180 camera. Have curious students wanting to explore ancient ruins, swim in the Indian Ocean, and save the endangered elephants in Africa? Coming this fall, ARCore will run on the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 so students can experience Expeditions AR and other AR apps directly on their tablets.

Adventures continue with 30 newly released activities and lesson plans, in 8 languages from Google Earth. Students and teachers can explore Mars, the world’s oceans and protected environments with NASA, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, The Ocean Agency, and the National Geographic Society.

Student scientists wanting to test hypotheses can use the Science Journal website, which has been updated with new content, including activities from the band OK Go in the OK Go Sandbox. Coming this fall, the new Google Drive integration will also allow students to conduct, document and access science experiments from any device running the free Science Journal app.
Tour Creator

Innovative training with the Teacher Center and Applied Digital Skills

We heard that first time G Suite users and educators looking for a refresh found our #FirstDayofClassroom resources to be helpful, and now we’re expanding to include our other products, starting with Google Forms. Our new trainings in the updated Teacher Center are curated video trainings made by educators, for educators, with actionable steps to get started with G Suite for Education. We want to hear from you as we add more trainings and products, so submit your favorite Google for Education tips here.

Based on one of the top requests from teachers last year, the free video-based curriculum Applied Digital Skills site now enables instructors to assign lessons through Classroom. Students can share in the excitement too, with the ability to track their classes, lessons and the last video they viewed in the new Student Dashboard.
Applied Digital Skills

Previously announced in June, at ISTE

We shared that the first tablet running the same reliable operating system as Chromebooks, the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, is now shipping, and also announced a new affordable, no charging or pairing required stylus by STAEDTLER which will soon be available. Educators will soon have the ability to create a Quiz in Google Forms from Classroom and enable locked mode for distraction free testing, only on managed Chromebooks. And for all of the admins out there, make sure to check out Device Off Hours and subscribe to our revamped release notes.

From all of us at Google for Education, welcome back to school. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish during this upcoming school year. Be sure to follow along on Google for Education’s Twitter and Facebook pages for more information and resources for you and your students.

Source: Google Chrome


Your Google for Education Guide for Back to School

This back to school season, inspire creativity, and run at maximum efficiency with the latest features and tools from Google for Education. We’re rolling out new features in Classroom and G Suite for Education, AR and VR on Chromebooks, Google Earth and Science Journal updates, and new trainings from the Teacher Center and Applied Digital Skills.

New tools in Classroom and G Suite

Google Classroom is getting its biggest refresh yet. We’ve added a Classwork page to help teachers and students stay more organized. With Classwork, teachers can easily group assignments into units or modules, and reorder work to match their class sequence. We’re also introducing a new grading tool, which lets educators quickly toggle between student submissions when grading, and save commonly used feedback. The tool improves the grading workflow, so that educators have more time to spend personalizing feedback. Finally, we’ve made it easier to setup classes and manage information. Read more here, and check out the Back to School 2018 FAQs for full details.

In addition to using a Learning Management System (LMS), many schools use G Suite to collaborate. Until now, there hasn’t been an easy way to integrate G Suite with many LMSs. That’s why we introduced Course Kit in July, a free toolkit that allows instructors to use Google Docs and Drive to collect assignments, give faster and richer feedback to students, and share course materials within the LMS they’re already using. It’s built using the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard so it's easy to set up and works with all LMSs that support LTI. If your institution uses G Suite for Education, you can get started by requesting access to the beta.

We heard from educators and students it can be challenging to format in Google Docs when writing and assigning papers. That’s why we’re sharing new Docs updates focused on margins and indentations to improve the overall writing experience, especially when making MLA style citations. Now, you can use hanging indents and set specific indentations using a dialog box. Be on the lookout for customizable header and footer margins, and a vertical ruler coming to Docs this fall.

Margins in Docs

Bring learning to life with Daydream, Google Earth, and Science Journal

Your student explorers can show and tell in 360-degree VR, because Tour Creator now allows photos taken on your own device with the free Cardboard Camera app (available on Android and iOS) to be added to tours. And coming soon, you’ll also be able to add VR180 photos to tours which can be easily taken from any VR180 camera. Have curious students wanting to explore ancient ruins, swim in the Indian Ocean, and save the endangered elephants in Africa? Coming this fall, ARCore will run on the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 so students can experience Expeditions AR and other AR apps directly on their tablets.

Adventures continue with 30 newly released activities and lesson plans, in 8 languages from Google Earth. Students and teachers can explore Mars, the world’s oceans and protected environments with NASA, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, The Ocean Agency, and the National Geographic Society.

Student scientists wanting to test hypotheses can use the Science Journal website, which has been updated with new content, including activities from the band OK Go in the OK Go Sandbox. Coming this fall, the new Google Drive integration will also allow students to conduct, document and access science experiments from any device running the free Science Journal app.
Tour Creator

Innovative training with the Teacher Center and Applied Digital Skills

We heard that first time G Suite users and educators looking for a refresh found our #FirstDayofClassroom resources to be helpful, and now we’re expanding to include our other products, starting with Google Forms. Our new trainings in the updated Teacher Center are curated video trainings made by educators, for educators, with actionable steps to get started with G Suite for Education. We want to hear from you as we add more trainings and products, so submit your favorite Google for Education tips here.

Based on one of the top requests from teachers last year, the free video-based curriculum Applied Digital Skills site now enables instructors to assign lessons through Classroom. Students can share in the excitement too, with the ability to track their classes, lessons and the last video they viewed in the new Student Dashboard.
Applied Digital Skills

Previously announced in June, at ISTE

We shared that the first tablet running the same reliable operating system as Chromebooks, the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, is now shipping, and also announced a new affordable, no charging or pairing required stylus by STAEDTLER which will soon be available. Educators will soon have the ability to create a Quiz in Google Forms from Classroom and enable locked mode for distraction free testing, only on managed Chromebooks. And for all of the admins out there, make sure to check out Device Off Hours and subscribe to our revamped release notes.

From all of us at Google for Education, welcome back to school. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish during this upcoming school year. Be sure to follow along on Google for Education’s Twitter and Facebook pages for more information and resources for you and your students.

Source: Google Chrome


Time for a refresh: Meet the new Google Classroom

In 2014, a team of Googlers, including several former teachers, began spending time with educators. We learned that teachers loved using G Suite’s collaborative tools with their students, but found that some of the features were complicated to use. From the very beginning, Google Classroom focused on simplifying tech, so that teachers and students could spend time on learning. Today, we’re continuing that mission and announcing the biggest refresh to Classroom since its launch.

A better way to create, organize, and find work

We designed Classroom to be as easy to use as possible, so we originally provided one class Stream for teachers and students to share new content and ideas. But a single stream, while simple, became too crowded, and it was hard for teachers and students to find what they needed. That’s why we’re introducing a new Classwork page, which lets teachers better organize assignments and questions by grouping them into modules and units.

Daniel Brennick, a middle school science teacher in Florida, started using Classroom two years ago. Today, it’s an everyday part of his teaching: “I distribute a Doc through Classroom, where all kids can work on the Doc together, at the same time. I project it on the board to facilitate quick discussion. It makes sure everyone gets heard, and amplifies student voice.”  Daniel is one of thousands of teachers who have been beta testing the new Classwork page, and he’s excited to use it to help him and his students stay more organized. “I love it! Our school is making a big push for long-term planning and more thoughtful units. I’ve already started using the Classwork page to create a visual for myself of what I’ll be teaching.”

Introducing the Classwork page in Google Classroom

With a dedicated page for classwork, the Stream can be a better hub of class discussion and activity.  It’s conveniently organized in a separate page to reduce clutter, so that students can have discussions in the Stream to develop their online communication skills within their classroom community.  

Better, faster feedback with the new grading tool in Classroom

Providing frequent, actionable feedback is a key part of the learning cycle, but it can be time consuming to give thoughtful, personalized feedback to each student.  So, we’re introducing a new tool, built directly into Classroom’s grading workflow, to speed up grading and encourage thoughtful engagement. Instructors now have a comment bank, so they can easily save and reuse commonly used feedback. They can also quickly toggle between student files and submissions when grading, without having to open each file individually. The new grading tool works with Docs Editors, Office files, PDFs, videos files, and more.  

Nick Shunan, who teaches digital citizenship in Ohio, is excited to use the new grading tool to streamline feedback. “The less time I have flipping back and forth to enter grades, the more time I can put into giving students more specific and individualized feedback, and foster that communication back-and-forth. I can’t wait to use it.”

Grading tool in Classroom

Easily set up and manage your class

Whether it’s updating class settings, or working with multiple sections of a class, we’re making improvements to help teachers and students get to what they need quickly.  Other exciting updates include:

Copy and reuse classwork: Now teachers who want to re-use previous classes, or educators who collaborate to design a class can easily copy all topics and assignments from one class to another.  All work will be copied as drafts, so teachers can still make modifications before posting.

Improved People and Settings pages:We’ve consolidated information to help users get to what they need more quickly.  Teachers can view and manage co-teachers, students and guardians on the People page. We’ve introduced a Settings page for all class settings, so teachers have one convenient location to update class descriptions, display or reset class codes, manage and control how students post on the Stream, and more.

Turn off notifications for a class:We’ve heard that teachers often join each other’s classes as co-teachers to share content and teaching strategies. But, getting notifications for all activity in a class can get overwhelming. There’s already a way to turn off specific types of notifications, and now, you can turn off all notifications for a given class.

And more updates coming soon

Thousands of teachers participated in our beta in the past month, and we are grateful to all of them for providing us so much invaluable feedback. Based on their input, we plan to launch these additional features soon:

  • Materials on the Classwork page:Teachers will be able to add Materials on the Classwork page. This will support sharing and organizing resources like readings or reference materials.

  • Classwork page for existing classes:Moving forward, any new class that you create will automatically have the Classwork page. For any classes you created before the refresh, we’ll soon provide a way to add the Classwork page to them.

  • Create quizzes in locked mode:We announced at ISTE that teachers will be able to use locked mode to keep students focused and distraction-free when taking Google Forms quizzes on managed Chromebooks. We’ll also be adding the ability to create Google Forms quizzes from Classroom, streamlining the assignment process and saving time.

Get to know your new Classroom, and tell us what you think

This is Classroom’s biggest redesign yet, and we’re committed to helping you master the new workflow.  We’re excited to announce new trainings in the Teacher Center, created by a dedicated community of Classroom experts. From getting started with new features, to favorite tips & tricks, these new trainings are your guide to getting the most out of the updates.

These new updates will start appearing in Classroom today, and roll out to everyone over the next couple of weeks.  For more details on these updates, check out the Back to School FAQs. As always, we encourage you to use the “Feedback” button to let us know what you think.  

We hope you have the best school year yet!

Google Student Blog 2018-08-02 01:02:00

Welcome to the 30th installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like, and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about User Experience (UX) Engineer Intern, Shea Hunter Belsky. Read on!



Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I recently graduated from Cornell University, where I studied Information Science with a concentration in User Experience. The reason I can intern this summer is because I'm returning there in the Fall to finish a Master's in Information Science as well.

 I try to focus on the union of developers and user experience. I answer questions like: How can developers be meaningfully invested in the product design cycle? Can designers be more informed about technical constraints and limitations, in order to better inform the design cycle? And how can developers and designers support each other in their goals?

In my free time, I love to run, hike, snow-ski in the winter, waterski in the summer, and practice photography all year long. I'm also recently getting into Dungeons and Dragons!

What’s your role at Google?
I'm a User Experience Engineer (UXE) on the sumUX team, focusing on Search and Assistant. I focus on internal prototyping: empowering designers and researchers to answer the big questions they have, and validate (or invalidate) their research. The process of prototyping, and the tools we use to make it happen, promote much more rapid iteration and ideation. Prototyping allows researchers and designers to quickly identify good and bad things in designs, make adjustments, and test them again until they've got it just right. I’m currently working on a tool to optimize this process even further.

Complete the following: "I [choose one: code/create/design/build] for …"
I create for everyone. Though I work mostly with other Googlers, the ramifications of the prototypes I have worked on are very far-reaching – they’re used by millions of people. It may take a long time for my prototype to eventually become the “real thing”, but when it does, I know it won't just be a few people who use Assistant, but rather countless people who use it in their everyday lives.

What inspires you to come in every day?
Right now I've been working on a tool that will allow designers and researchers to create, edit, share, and test their own prototypes, rather than needing myself or another UX Engineer to make one. This makes the process of testing, evaluating, and improving upon designs even faster. Other tools do this to an extent, but the parameters of the prototypes that the designers and researchers need are such that using one of these tools would take more time than is necessary. I’m learning it's not necessary to over-engineer a solution when something simpler can do the exact same thing, but with faster results. This excites me because it empowers members of the design process to become more involved in the creation and ideation of a product.

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
I'd applied to both the Software Engineering and Product Design roles in the past, but I didn't feel I fit strongly into either category. I had a great deal of experience in both areas (writing code and participating in the design process), but I still considered myself to be somewhere in between the two.

I discovered the UX Engineering internship role in early January, my senior year at Cornell, and it was love at first sight. Not only did I meet most of the qualifications, I felt like it was the perfect blend of development experience and design knowledge that I had been accumulating. It was the destination I didn't know I was heading towards until I saw the signs.

How did the recruitment process go for you?
I applied directly to the position on Google's job site (google.com/students). I was super appreciative of how timely, transparent, and thoughtful the recruitment process was. I had a very good idea of what was going to happen at every step of the process, and I didn't feel like I was missing anything during any step.

To finish, what do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
A UX Engineering interview is different from other engineering roles in that there's two different "lenses" to refer to a UXE – the developer-lens and the design-lens.

A developer-lens UXE writes production code, and should be familiar with writing performant and sustainable code for their platform of choice. I'm a web UXE, but there are UXE roles for other languages (I know we at least have Android and iOS UXEs.) Developer-lens UXEs collaborate with and report to software engineers more closely than designers and researchers. That being said, they are still informed in the design process and are familiar with what needs to happen in that regard.

A design-lens UXE focuses more on the design side, working with designers and researchers to help them do their jobs better (through prototyping, internal tooling, and whatever else they need). The obligations of a design UXE tend to vary on project, but focus on tooling and prototyping.

As a function of this, the interview for a UXE can vary from person to person. My interview was part development and part design, testing my general competency with web development and also evaluating my knowledge in UX. This is different from other kinds of interviews that focus on just one area or the other. That is something to be prepared for.