Tag Archives: Education

Wrapping up Google Code-in 2018

We are excited to announce the conclusion of the 9th annual Google Code-in (GCI), our global online contest introducing teenagers to the world of open source development. Over the years the contest has not only grown bigger, but also helped find and support talented young people around the world.

Here are some initial statistics about this year’s program:
  • Total number of students completing tasks: 3,123*
  • Total number of countries represented by students: 77
  • Percentage of girls among students: 17.9% 
Below you can see the total number of tasks completed by students year over year:
*These numbers will increase as mentors finish reviewing the final work submitted by students this morning.
Mentors from each of the 27 open source organizations are now busy reviewing the last  work submitted by participants. We look forward to sharing more statistics about the program, including countries and schools with the most student participants, in an upcoming blog post.

The mentors for each organization will spend the next couple of weeks selecting four Finalists (who will receive a hoodie too!) and their two Grand Prize Winners. Grand Prize Winners will be flown to Northern California to visit Google’s headquarters, enjoy a day of adventure in San Francisco, meet their mentors and hear talks from Google engineers.

Hearty congratulations to all the student participants for challenging themselves and making contributions to open source in the process!

Further, we’d like to thank the mentors and the organization administrators for GCI 2018. They are the heart of this program, volunteering countless hours creating tasks, reviewing student work, and helping bring students into the world of open source. Mentors teach young students about the many facets of open source development, from community standards and communicating across time zones to version control and testing. We couldn’t run this program without you! Thank you!

Stay tuned, we’ll be announcing the Grand Prize Winners and Finalists on January 7, 2019!

By Saranya Sampat, Google Open Source

Celebrating Google’s heroes at the Army-Navy game

Each fall, students from the U.S. Military Academy and U.S. Naval Academy, and members of the U.S. military community brave the cold for the famed Army-Navy football game. In the 128 years since the first kick-off, the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen have developed a fierce rivalry that keeps thousands coming back to the game every year.

At Google, we take immense pride in the military community members who make up the Google Veterans Network, or VetNet as we call it. This year, Grow with Google, an initiative to create economic opportunities, will be an Associate Partner of the Army-Navy game to continue to show our support for transitioning service members, veterans and their families. On behalf of Grow with Google, Googlers from our VetNet community, many of whom are alumni from USMA and USNA, will attend the game to support their respective teams. To celebrate the big game, we highlighted six of our VetNet community heroes.

How do students prepare for the big game?

Larraine Palesky 
Former Engineer Officer, U.S. Army and Staffing Channels Specialist at Google, Texas 
“The biggest event we celebrate leading up to the game is where we host a large boat burning. Yes, we actually fire up and burn a boat. We take beating Navy very seriously!”
Larraine Palesky, USMA Class of 2013, with her daughter Joelle.
Peter Yu
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy and Program Manager at Google Fiber, Utah
“At USNA, the week itself is unofficially coined ‘Army-Navy Week.’ The Navy Flying Club occasionally will fly over a West Point noon formation and drop thousands of ‘Go Navy’ flyers right on top of the West Point cadets' heads.”
Peter Yu, USNA Class of 2003, with his wife Jahan.
What’s it like to participate in a game that dates back to 1890?

Yu: “Whether a student or a player, it is a great honor knowing that the nation is looking onto the large wave of uniformed Annapolis and West Point students with pride and high expectations.”

Andrew Burger
Former Captain, U.S. Marine Corps and Staffing Channels Specialist at Google, Texas
“I'm proud to say that I played on the football team for four years and we never lost to Army during that time! I was always in awe actually being at the games, because I remember watching them as a kid with my family, thinking, ‘How do these soldiers and sailors have time to play football?’ All the while, not realizing they were just college kids and through some strange pattern of events, I would one day become a USNA football player, too.”
Andrew Burger, USNA Class of 2010.
Why is Grow with Google’s work in support of the military community important?

Burger: “The veteran community is one of the largest untapped talent pools our nation has to offer. I’m not alone in that I struggled to define my strengths and talents in order to identify what profession I wanted to dedicate my time towards once I had to find a ‘real job.’ Grow with Google has the ability to help them personally define their particular skill sets, especially those that interest them.”

Tate Jarrow
Captain, Infantry, U.S. Army and Investigator at Google, California
“Veterans have an amazing sense of duty, selfless service, motivation, and an ability and desire to learn. Grow with Google can help veterans build on the skills and attributes developed during their service, and help them fully leverage their previous experience so they can be successful in their future endeavors.”
Tate Jarrow, USMA Class of 2004.
Larry Green
Supply Corps Officer (Lieutenant), U.S. Navy and Health and Performance Program Manager at Google, California
“The military experience embeds the values of maturity, teamwork, hard work, discipline, integrity, courage, being successful under pressure, and the list goes on. These core human values are timeless and will always be in demand in any industry.”
Larry Green, USNA Class of 1995.
Joe Schafer
Captain, Infantry, U.S. Army and Software Engineer at Google, California
“There’s a wealth of experience amongst veterans related to leadership, process management and integrity that is broadly useful across technology companies.”
Joe Schafer, USMA Class of 2010.
Which Grow with Google tools would you recommend to help fellow veterans transition to civilian life?

Palesky : “The Grow with Google tool I would share with fellow veterans looking to start a small business would be the veteran-led business attribute where veterans can identify their local businesses as veteran-led on mobile Google Search and Maps. The attribute helps businesses stand out, and makes it easy for everyone to proactively support veteran-owned businesses.”

Burger: “The Military Code Job Search Tool is a fantastic start in providing free and comprehensive assistance to curious and/or frustrated veterans and transitioning service members. It truly affirms to me Google’s mission, ‘Organizing the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’ to all!”

Live from the North Pole: what’s new at Santa’s Village

It’s the 15th year of Santa’s Village, an interactive holiday hub where you can play games to learn coding skills, create original artwork, exercise your geographic chops, and more. Here’s what’s new this year:


Entertain yours-elf with a new game🧝

With our Elf Maker, you can customize an elf from head to toe to make sure they’re stylin’ for all of the holiday shindigs happening on the North Pole this year. Choose an outfit, accessories, hairstyle, and even facial hair to add some flair to your little friend.


build and elf

Giving you a better way to follow Santa📍

One of the hardest parts about being married to Santa is that he always forgets to let me know where he is. This year, I’ve enlisted our elite team of cartographelves to let everyone know where he is as soon as he takes off from the North Pole. In the days leading up to Christmas, Santa will share his location with you on Google Maps so you can see his travels as he moves across the map. Follow along with him there or on our Santa Tracker dashboard on December 24 so you don’t miss his visit.


location sharing santa

Going global for the holiday season 🌎

From beaches to blizzards, you can get a better glimpse into how people all over the world are spending the holidays. You’ll see holiday photos from Local Guides and you can test your knowledge of holiday traditions with a festive quiz powered by Google Earth and Street View. Curious about how to say “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy New Year” in other languages? Check out our Translations game to take your snowmenclature to new heights.


translations game

These and other educational games, lesson plans, PDFs and instructional videos can be found in Santa’s Villagestarting this week. If you want more holiday fun, make sure to tell the Google Assistant to tell you a holiday story or starting December 23, ask, “Hey Google, where’s Santa?”. And make sure to keep things festive with new Gboard holiday stickers found on iOS and Android, and in the Santa Tracker Android App.

From the Claus family to yours, have a very happy holiday. And remember: you’re sleighing it. 👊

Catching the eye with seasonal ads

Reading time: 4 minutes

Seasonal campaigns go beyond the holidays - Cyber Monday, Mother’s Day, and Small Business Saturday are also a huge part of the retail year. They’re less about targeting seasons, and more about finding moments with a common appeal in your client’s industry.

Brands need to be present in these moments, ready to greet panic-driven deal hunters with the perfect solution. So we sat down with Shopify’s CMO Hana Abaza on the Google Partners Podcast to get her top tips for seasonal campaigns that drive sales.


Find your season

Every business has an element of seasonality; times when interest piques and traffic spikes. All you need to do is identify them! Robust Google Analytics reports are a great place to start. Export your data onto a spreadsheet, and with some clever formatting, trends will start to light up like fireworks on New Year's Eve. 

Analytics also helps you uncover biases that may be hiding behind “failed” campaigns. For example, if you pumped a lot of your budget into targeting Valentine’s Day last year without success, it would be easy to write the day off as a ‘bad fit’ for your brand. Take a fresh look at the data, carry out an honest review, and you may find that small tweaks are all that’s needed to turn things around next year. 


Spot your opportunity

You’ve identified the seasons that matter to your business, now make sure your marketing budget is ready to handle the increased workload. Use Google Trends to spot search trends across each region you’re targeting, then compare that to search volume data in Google Ads to find keywords that fit your offering. 

In the build-up of individual events, Consumer Barometer can help you better understand how to reach your audience at the right time, with the right message. Different events bring up different emotions, so keeping track of consumer trends is a great way to make sure your ads strike an emotional chord with your audience. 


Create separate campaigns

It’s important that you measure success without the noise of other, non-seasonal campaigns. This helps you identify nuances in each season, and optimize next year’s campaigns with those insights in mind. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment with copy. Products like Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) can help you test different messages with very little effort. All you need to do is enter multiple headlines and descriptions about your products, and Google Ads will test different combinations to identify the best fit for your audience. 


Don’t miss last-minute shoppers

There’s been a 120% increase in “same-day delivery” searches since 20151. For urgent searches, 74% of shoppers say that when they’re searching on mobile, they look for the most relevant information, regardless of the company or brand2. As a result, the retailer that provides the most seamless experience wins. 

Season-specific promotion extensions help your ads stand out on Google’s results pages, and spotlight special promotions you may be running for the event. Highlighting services like same-day delivery, last-minute sales, or gift-wrapping may be all it takes to tip customers in your direction. 

Great seasonal campaigns are all about planning. Arm yourself with industry trends, plan your marketing budget with those trends in mind, and remember to tap into your consumer’s emotions with ads that resonate. With the right tools, a detailed content plan, and thorough research, you’ll be setting yourself up for seasonal success. 

Watch the video below and tune in to the Google Partners Podcast for more actionable tips and insights for seasonal success. 


1 How to reach today’s impatient shoppers - whether they’re shopping online, by voice, or in store, Think With Google, May 2018 
2 How to reach today’s impatient shoppers - whether they’re shopping online, by voice, or in store, Think With Google, May 2018

Happy CSEdWeek! A look into one educator’s hour of code

Computer Science Education Week kicks off today—and it’s a great opportunity for educators around the world to introduce their students to coding. I know, learning to code can sound intimidating, but it only takes an hour to try it out. As a part of Hour of Code, educators can bring our new CS First activity, “An Unusual Discovery,” to their classrooms as an easy first step into the world of coding. In the activity, students create unique stories about a newly discovered object, like sneakers or even a rocket, with code.

As a founding partner of CSEdWeek in 2009, this is one of our favorite weeks of the year. But computer science is important all year long; we encourage diverse students to try computer science with ongoing programs, including Made with Code, Grasshopper coding app and Applied Computing series. We’ve also given more than $60 million in Google.org grants since 2013 to support computer science education through nonprofits like 4-H, code.org and Scratch.

As someone who works on coding education programs everyday at Google, I love chatting with educators who benefit from our programs. Denese Anderson, a library media specialist from Illinois, recently tried out “An Unusual Discovery” with some third graders. I caught up with her early this week to chat about the activity and why bringing coding into the classroom is so important:

Adam: Hi Denese, for starters, what’s your background in teaching computer science?
Denese: I actually don't have any formal experience teaching computer science. My teaching background is special education and I've worked in a school library the past ten years.  

IMG_4528.JPG

Mrs. Anderson ready to show students how to create a story using code

And now you're using the library to help kids learn to code. Can you tell us more about that?
Libraries are a lot different than they used to be. They’ve always been a place for people to explore new ideas and learn new things. Many libraries have incorporated makerspaces as an opportunity to learn new skills through creation. I turned our makerspace into a place where kids can learn how to code.

So, how have you integrated “An Unusual Discovery” into your library?
Anytime I can connect new technology with storytelling, it's a win and that is just what this CS First activity does. We had been reading a story about penguins so I challenged these students to retell part of the story using CS First. It was super creative.

That’s awesome! What did the kids think of the project?
Our third graders were engaged during the activity and loved being able to customize their stories using different backgrounds, sprites and dialogue. As a librarian, I loved showing the students how coding is a form of storytelling.  The coding site was easy to get to and easy for the students to navigate.

Why do you think students should learn to code?
It’s the language of the future. So many jobs today involve coding and computer programming, not just jobs in the computer science field. More importantly, coding encourages students to learn lots of valuable skills—so while they're learning to code, they're also becoming better critical thinkers and communicators.

One last question. What would you tell educators who want to try out “An Unusual Discovery” during CSEdWeek?
You don't need to know how to code in order to share this project with your students. Most students pick it up quickly and the introductory video teaches them the basics. The best part is actually watching the students helping each other out along the way, and showing off what they built. The excitement is contagious. 

IMG_4516.JPG

Denese and other educators and library professionals are preparing for CSEdWeek, and we’re committed to supporting the work they do. Over the course of this week, 250 libraries will teach coding activities with support from Grow with Google, as part of our broader commitment to enhance the role libraries play as digital community centers. We are excited to see students engage in an Hour of Code in Illinois and around the country! If you're an educator, you can give the new CS First activity a try today and let us (@Googleforeducation) know how it goes on Twitter. 

Get quizzing with locked mode, and grade away with Classroom

Earlier this year, we announced locked mode—a new way to ensure students are distraction-free when taking Quizzes in Google Forms. We’ve also been working on a better grading experience in Classroom. We’re now opening up locked mode and Gradebook via a beta program, so sign up to express interest.

Show what you know with locked mode

For a lot of teachers, a day in the life might look like this: teach innovatively and creatively, quiz without distractions, grade efficiently, give thoughtful and constructive feedback, repeat. Teachers assess knowledge and check for understanding every single day, and many use Quizzes in Google Forms to do just that. But we’ve heard feedback from teachers that they want to ensure their students aren’t navigating to other browser tabs while taking quizzes. Available only on managed Chromebooks, locked mode prevents students from navigating away from the Quiz in their Chrome browser until they submit their answers. Teachers can enable locked mode with a simple checkbox in Google Forms, giving them full control over assessments.

Built-in Chrome OS accessibility tools such as ChromeVox, select-to-speak and visual aids— including high contrast mode and magnifiers—are all available when using locked mode. And to support students who use Chrome extensions during test taking, teachers can find out which extensions are available with locked mode. Introducing new tools means extra support: we’ve created a step-by-step guidebrief animated tutorial, and new Help Center instructions for Instructional Coaches, PD partners, and teachers to make learning how to use locked mode even easier. Don’t yet have Chromebooks and want to learn more? Get in touch.

To streamline the assignment process, we’ve also added the ability for all Classroom users to create a Quiz directly from Classroom. Instead of creating quizzes in a separate browser, you can create a quiz and assign it directly to your class, or multiple classes.

Locked mode in Quizzes in Google Forms

Better grading in Classroom

Earlier this year, we introduced new grading tools and a comment bank for richer, better feedback. Today, we’re continuing to strengthen the grading process in Classroom with a beta for a new Gradebook to better enable teachers to keep their assignments and grades in one place, and keep this important task more organized. Here are a few things you can do with the new Gradebook:

  • View grades in one place:A new Grades page lets you can view a grid of submissions across assignments to easily enter grades, saving time and providing a holistic picture of a student’s progress.

  • Average grades:In the gradebook grid, you can view average grades per assignment and per student, and see the overall performance in your class. You can share progress with students, so they can track their grades and know where they need to improve.

  • Grade categories & settings:You can select how to calculate grades (weighted average or total points-based), add grade categories to classwork, and choose whether you’d like students to see their average grades. Access these from the Settings page.

Gradebook in Classroom

Sign up for the locked mode and Gradebook betas today

Locked mode is only available on managed Chromebooks, and you’ll need to make sure your Chromebooks are running operating system 68 or higher. We’ll be slowly phasing the rollout for locked mode and Gradebook. If you’re interested in the new features, all teachers and administrators can express interest in either of the betas.


We’d love to hear all of the ways you’re using locked mode in Quizzes and improving your grading experience during the beta period, so please send us feedback using the “send feedback” button.


Source: Google Chrome


Women Techmakers Scholarship – last chance to apply

Editor’s Note: The application window for our North America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa scholarships closes on Thursday, Dec 6, 2018. Our Asia-Pacific scholarship application will open in Spring 2019. You can find the most up to date information on the Women Techmakers Scholars site

Through the Women Techmakers Scholars Program - formerly the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Program, Google is furthering Dr. Anita Borg’s vision of creating gender equality in the field of computer science by encouraging women to excel in computing and technology and become active leaders and role models in the field.

Students selected for the scholarship will receive a financial award for the 2020-21 academic year and will be invited to the annual Google Scholars' Retreat in their region next summer. At the retreat, scholars participate in networking and development sessions, including sessions on how to lead outreach in their communities. In addition, scholars join a long term community, offering guidance and support in outreach and personal development.

Meet some of our current scholars from across the globe as they share their experiences with the program and advice to those applying:


Zoe Tagboto, Africa


Zoe is currently an undergraduate computer science student in Africa. When one of her lecturers  encouraged her to apply, she wasn’t sure if she’d be qualified. She took a chance and advises those who feel they’re not ready to trust themselves and reflect on the impact they’ve had on their communities – no matter how big or small.

“Take the plunge. Tech is fascinating and multifaceted. You aren’t restricted. You can be creative in so many different ways. It feels like you are doing magic. Once you’ve made the decision to pursue this field it is important to find your community. Having support or people who can drive you can inspire and motivate. Having a mentor is also a great resource that will help guide you as you progress through your career.”

Zoe explains that her highlight of being a scholar includes attending the Scholar’s Retreat in London this summer, as well as receiving a travel grant to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration where she had a chance to connect with other scholars and many other women in tech.


Kati Elizabeth, Australia

Kati is currently an undergraduate student studying human computer interaction, UX, and product management in Australia. She was reading about the Grace Hopper Celebration when she spotted the scholarship and decided to apply.

Her advice to potential applicants is, “Do not second guess yourself. Apply! You are so much cooler than you give yourself credit for, and you absolutely should just go for it. Secondly, I would say to spend time on answering the questions thoughtfully. Write out dot points answers first and then expand on them.” Outside of the application, she also recommends joining a club or society related to your field of study, and attending local hackathons and talks to meet and learn from people with similar interests.

“For me, the highlight was the retreat and meeting all the other amazing scholars & Googlers. Every scholar genuinely cared about making the world a better place. In the STEM industries there are fewer women than men, and this means we often find ourselves working in isolation. Now we have an incredible network of smart and inspiring women in tech. I made some life-long friends and allies.”


Lena Ngungu, North America


Lena is currently an undergraduate student in North America and will be graduating next year to pursue a career as a software engineer. She heard about the scholarship through the Women Techmakers newsletter and decided to apply. Her advice to potential applicants while writing essays is to be authentic and demonstrate a passion for what you have accomplished and hope to accomplish – especially in the tech industry.

“Being a scholar, I feel more competitive on the market which is very empowering. However, the people, my fellow scholars, would be the highlight of my journey. They have been a true inspiration. Having stayed in touch with them has motivated me to continue to give my best, as they are continuing to do so too and achieving so much. I love having a network of outstanding people who are caring and supportive.”

Melissa Rossi, Europe

Melissa is currently a research student in France specializing in Cryptology.  A former scholar got her thinking about what she has done for women in tech and what more she can do which motivated her to apply for the scholarship.

She says the retreat was an opportunity to meet many original and independent minds that left her inspired. Her motivation to challenge gender inequality in scientific research has been boosted after this experience. She sums up advice to potential applicants, “Be positive! Go for it – you will never stop being amazed by what can be achieved.” She encourages women to speak out and continue a dialogue about the underrepresentation of women in technology.

Grow with Google is coming to a library near you

Since welaunchedGrow with Google a little over a year ago, we’ve traveled to cities and towns, partnering with local organizations fromKansas toMichigan toSouth Carolina to bring job skills to job seekers and online savvy to small businesses.  No matter where we went, big cities or small towns, libraries were at the heart of these communities.

To support the amazing work of libraries throughout the country, Google and the American Library Association are launching the Libraries Ready to Code website, an online resource for libraries to teach coding and computational thinking to youth. Since we kicked off this collaboration last June, thirty libraries across the U.S. have piloted programs and contributed best practices for a “by libraries, for libraries” hub. Now, the 120,000 libraries across the country can choose the most relevant programs for their communities.

Libraries have long been America’s go-to gathering place for learning.  Now more than ever, people are using libraries as resources for professional growth.  And libraries are stepping up: 73% of public libraries are making free job and interview support available in their communities.

That’s why starting in January, we’ll also work hand-in-hand with libraries around the country, using technology to help ensure that economic opportunity exists for everyone, everywhere.  We’ll bring Grow with Google in-person workshops for job seekers and small businesses, library staff trainings, and ongoing support to libraries in all 50 states.

We’re also announcing a $1M sponsorship to the American Library Association, creating a pool of micro-funds that local libraries can access to bring digital skills training to their community.  An initial group of 250 libraries will receive funding to support coding activities during Computer Science Education Week. Keep an eye out for a call for applications from the ALA as Grow with Google comes to your state.

Google is proud to partner with libraries all over the country to ensure economic opportunities for more Americans.

Calling all teens: join the latest round of Google Code-in

Yesterday marked the start of the 7th year of Google Code-in (GCI), our pre-university contest introducing students to open source development. GCI takes place entirely online and is open to students between the ages of 13 and 17 around the globe.

Open source software makes up the backbone of the internet, from servers and routers to the phone in your pocket, but it’s a community-driven effort. Google Code-in serves a dual purpose of encouraging young developers and ensuring that open source communities continue to grow.

The concept is simple: students complete bite-sized tasks created by 17 participating open source organizations on topic areas of their choice, including:

  • Coding

  • Documentation/Training

  • Outreach/Research

  • Quality Assurance

  • User Interface

Tasks take an average of 3-5 hours to complete and include the guidance of a mentor to help along the way. Complete one task? Get a digital certificate. Three tasks? Get a Google t-shirt. Mentor organizations pick finalists and grand prize winners from among the 10 students who contributed most to that organization. Finalists get a hoodie and Grand Prize winners get a trip to Google headquarters in California where they meet Googlers, mentors and fellow winners.  

Google Code-in began with 361 students from 45 countries and has grown to include, in 2015, 980 students from 65 countries. You can read about the experiences of past participants on the Google Open Source blog. Over the last 6 years, more than 3,000 students from 99 countries have successfully completed tasks in GCI.

Student Ahmed Sabie had this to say, “Overall, Google Code-in was the experience of a lifetime. It set me up for the future by teaching me relevant and critical skills necessary in software development.”

Know of a student who might be interested? Learn more about GCI by checking out our rules and FAQs. And please visit our contest site and read the Getting Started Guide. Teachers, you can find additional resources here to help get your students started.

Calling all teens: join the latest round of Google Code-in

Yesterday marked the start of the 7th year of Google Code-in (GCI), our pre-university contest introducing students to open source development. GCI takes place entirely online and is open to students between the ages of 13 and 17 around the globe.

Open source software makes up the backbone of the internet, from servers and routers to the phone in your pocket, but it’s a community-driven effort. Google Code-in serves a dual purpose of encouraging young developers and ensuring that open source communities continue to grow.

The concept is simple: students complete bite-sized tasks created by 17 participating open source organizations on topic areas of their choice, including:

  • Coding

  • Documentation/Training

  • Outreach/Research

  • Quality Assurance

  • User Interface

Tasks take an average of 3-5 hours to complete and include the guidance of a mentor to help along the way. Complete one task? Get a digital certificate. Three tasks? Get a Google t-shirt. Mentor organizations pick finalists and grand prize winners from among the 10 students who contributed most to that organization. Finalists get a hoodie and Grand Prize winners get a trip to Google headquarters in California where they meet Googlers, mentors and fellow winners.  

Google Code-in began with 361 students from 45 countries and has grown to include, in 2015, 980 students from 65 countries. You can read about the experiences of past participants on the Google Open Source blog. Over the last 6 years, more than 3,000 students from 99 countries have successfully completed tasks in GCI.

Student Ahmed Sabie had this to say, “Overall, Google Code-in was the experience of a lifetime. It set me up for the future by teaching me relevant and critical skills necessary in software development.”

Know of a student who might be interested? Learn more about GCI by checking out our rules and FAQs. And please visit our contest site and read the Getting Started Guide. Teachers, you can find additional resources here to help get your students started.

Source: Education