Tag Archives: Education

Empowering a new generation of localization professionals

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

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

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

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

Source: Education


Inspiring the creative problem-solvers of the future

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Education


Inspiring the creative problem-solvers of the future

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

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

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

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

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

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

Black History Month Pay It Forward Contest Winners

This spring we announced Google’s annual Black History Month “Pay It Forward” Challenge as a way to recognize individuals who are making a positive impact in the Black community, while also remembering those who have paved the way in the past. We received many inspiring applications filled with personal stories and determination — a reminder that there’s always time to make a difference (even as a busy college student!). We’re excited to share the work of our three winners, and hope that you feel inspired too. On to the winners!



Meet Calvary Rogers
Calvary Rogers

Calvary believes that “we let injustice win the day when we conclude that there is nothing we can do about it.” When confronted with an incident of on-campus threats targeting Black freshmen students, he knew that his only choice was to take action. As Co-Chair of UMOJA, an umbrella group that serves to unite all students that identify with the African Diaspora at the University of Pennsylvania, Calvary planned a university-wide town hall where Black students voiced their concerns with administration, each other, and the nation as a whole. While documenting the administrative actions students wanted to see (and starting the conversation about what change would look like), Calvary and his peers realized that what they needed most was to learn from the past.

Through UMOJA and the Africana Department, Calvary is developing a database that will function to individually archive student activism initiatives and institutional/administrative feedback across universities in America in order to maximize social progress and institutional breakthroughs. By archiving Black history at universities and their surrounding communities across America, he believes that we can better learn how to ameliorate both the experiences of Black students and citizens across the world (and how they respond to them).

“When we step aside and hear the voices and stories of underrepresented groups to understand their circumstances on a human level, we dramatically shift the dynamics of our community… in doing so, we unify, gain courage, and learn new ways to advance our fundamental humanity in ways that work for everyone.”


Meet Kielah Harbert and Wilglory Tanjong
L-R: Wilglory Tanjong; Kielah Harbert

Co-winners Kielah and Wilglory are also familiar with the importance of sharing and disseminating information as a way to empower marginalized students. After submitting their college applications, they realized that without the help of the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA), they may not have been able to successfully apply to universities around the country. This led them to wonder: do students who do not have the help of LEDA (but were just as qualified and worthy) have the resources that they needed to prepare and apply to college?  

#Admitted, Kielah and Wilglory’s new book, provides those resources. It offers information that is largely unavailable to socio-economically disadvantaged Black youth by serving as a guide that empowers, gives positive representation, and inspires readers to reach higher by providing them with the guidance they need to succeed. Additionally, the guide teaches students how to self-advocate, think critically, and navigate the many obstacles they will face as low-income students who care about education.

“In a world where Black youth are depicted as gangsters and thugs in mass media, and forgotten communities have little or no positive role models in positions of influence, #Admitted shifts the narrative. We show them, through positive representation, that they can be successful through education — we tell them, they can.” -- Kielah Harbert

How can you help?
Calvary encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your stories and experiences with activism and how they have tapped into untouched areas of social justice by utilizing people and/or organizations who have walked their paths before them. If you’d like more information on helping UMOJA, head to the request form.  Wilglory and Kielah urge you to buy copies of #Admitted for youth in your community, spread the word to others, have the duo speak to students, and lastly, support their summer "I Can Too" project.


Together with Calvary, Kielah and Wilglory, we can give voices and resources to all students both now and in the future.

#GraciasALosProfes: Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Day in Mexico

Today is Teacher Appreciation Day, or Día del Maestro, in Mexico, where 30 GEG (Google Educator Groups) leaders are at the helm of the movement to transform education through technology in Latin America. Our Mexican GEG leaders empower their fellow teachers to harness tech to meet students’ needs. We are amazed at the innovative and inspiring ways these teachers and leaders are building their movement across Mexico—from Guadalajara to Mexico City to Monterrey.

In Quéretaro, Nay Belaunzaran thought up an idea to scale the impact of tech across generations by mobilizing children to teach their parents about the internet. Under Nay’s leadership, primary school students prepare classes for their parents about G Suite for Education where the parents learn to jot their thoughts down in Docs, build presentations in Slides, and communicate with teachers through Google Classroom. Galvanizing students to bridge the generational tech literacy gap has made it easier for parents to stay engaged with kids’ schools.

4

Nay connected with fellow teachers from all over Latin America at last year’s Google for Education Certified Innovators Summit in Mexico City.

In Tijuana, Gabriela Torres Beltrán has paved the way for dozens of her students to become Google Certified Educators themselves. By building a community of future teachers who keep innovation and technology top of mind, Gabriela is making her mark on the future of education in her community.  “Seeing the smile of satisfaction on their faces as they explore ways to implement technology in class is extremely inspiring,” she shared with an inspired smile of her own.

RVP_8345baja_halfimage.jpg

Verónica stays after class on most days, providing extra support for students whose curiosity extends beyond school hours.

In Verónica Nuñez Loyo’s classroom in Mexico City, students find themselves at the intersection of traditions of the past and technology of the future. She challenges her middle schoolers not only to research the history of Mexico, but to leverage the internet to share their learnings. Recently, Verónica’s  seventh grade class collaborated to create a multimedia presentation about the Axolotl, an endangered amphibian species endemic to Baja California. Technology was at the heart of the project, whether students were exploring the Náhuatl origin of the word “Axolotl” or investigating how portrayals of this “walking fish” have changed over time.

These are three of many educators who work tirelessly to ignite curiosity and give life to the ideas of Mexico’s rising generation. Which teachers inspire you? Today—and everyday—join us in celebrating the educators who dedicate their lives to working with students to create a more connected Latin America. #GraciasALosProfes.

Source: Google Chrome


#GraciasALosProfes: Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Day in Mexico

Today is Teacher Appreciation Day, or Día del Maestro, in Mexico, where 30 GEG (Google Educator Groups) leaders are at the helm of the movement to transform education through technology in Latin America. Our Mexican GEG leaders empower their fellow teachers to harness tech to meet students’ needs. We are amazed at the innovative and inspiring ways these teachers and leaders are building their movement across Mexico—from Guadalajara to Mexico City to Monterrey.

In Quéretaro, Nay Belaunzaran thought up an idea to scale the impact of tech across generations by mobilizing children to teach their parents about the internet. Under Nay’s leadership, primary school students prepare classes for their parents about G Suite for Education where the parents learn to jot their thoughts down in Docs, build presentations in Slides, and communicate with teachers through Google Classroom. Galvanizing students to bridge the generational tech literacy gap has made it easier for parents to stay engaged with kids’ schools.

4

Nay connected with fellow teachers from all over Latin America at last year’s Google for Education Certified Innovators Summit in Mexico City.

In Tijuana, Gabriela Torres Beltrán has paved the way for dozens of her students to become Google Certified Educators themselves. By building a community of future teachers who keep innovation and technology top of mind, Gabriela is making her mark on the future of education in her community.  “Seeing the smile of satisfaction on their faces as they explore ways to implement technology in class is extremely inspiring,” she shared with an inspired smile of her own.

RVP_8345baja_halfimage.jpg

Verónica stays after class on most days, providing extra support for students whose curiosity extends beyond school hours.

In Verónica Nuñez Loyo’s classroom in Mexico City, students find themselves at the intersection of traditions of the past and technology of the future. She challenges her middle schoolers not only to research the history of Mexico, but to leverage the internet to share their learnings. Recently, Verónica’s  seventh grade class collaborated to create a multimedia presentation about the Axolotl, an endangered amphibian species endemic to Baja California. Technology was at the heart of the project, whether students were exploring the Náhuatl origin of the word “Axolotl” or investigating how portrayals of this “walking fish” have changed over time.

These are three of many educators who work tirelessly to ignite curiosity and give life to the ideas of Mexico’s rising generation. Which teachers inspire you? Today—and everyday—join us in celebrating the educators who dedicate their lives to working with students to create a more connected Latin America. #GraciasALosProfes.

Source: Google Cloud


My Path to Google: Adriana Jara, Software Engineer

Welcome to the second installment of our blog series “My Path to Google”. These are real stories from Googlers 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 Adriana Jara. Read on!


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in a small rural town in Costa Rica called Candelaria de Naranjo. I grew up surrounded by coffee plantations and nature. I used to help my family during the harvests and always joke that in spite of knowing the coffee making process from bean to cup, I must be one of the very few software engineers who doesn’t drink coffee! After high school, I moved out of my small town to go to the Universidad de Costa Rica for college, where I graduated with a Bachelor in Computer Science.

Besides being a software engineer at Google, I'm a dancer. I've been doing contemporary dance for 12 years, and I also practice salsa and West African dance. Dance has helped me see the world from a different perspective. It helps me clear my head and make better decisions as an engineer.



What’s your role at Google?
I'm a software engineer. I recently transferred to the Shopping Syndication team, where I hope to make shopping ads outside of google.com more useful and less annoying!

What inspires you to come in every day?
The people I work with. I also thoroughly enjoy solving problems, especially problems that have impact on our users. It’s rewarding to work with so many inspiring people to help make our users’ lives easier. I'm excited about connecting people with opportunities, and sharing the advantages that our products bring to more users.

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
It started with Gmail when I was in college. I very clearly remember opening my Gmail account and being so inspired by the people that changed how we do email (something that I thought was fine as it was). They made it so much more intuitive and effective that I remember thinking to myself “I want to work with people like that, people who don't take the status quo for granted, people who wonder how can we do better."

About 8 years later, I got the first email from an @google address (my recruiter’s) and got so excited about the chance to work with the people I had always admired. I never thought I could make it from my small town to the Googleplex. I never thought I would end up working in a place where you can impact millions of users around the world.


How did the recruitment process go for you?
I was super excited to even be in a Google office for the interviews, but at the same time, I was scared to death of the possibility of having to move by myself to a whole new country and start a different life. I remember my first phone interview didn’t go so well. At that point, I was losing hope, but got a surge of strength thinking “I’m a good engineer and I want to work at Google, but I’ll be fine even if it doesn’t work out.” The burst of confidence seems to have helped — I did well on my second interview, came onsite for interviews, and now I work here!


What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
I had the perception that Google was only looking for geniuses who knew everything and could come up with the best solutions in minutes. I wish I could go back in time to tell myself how wrong that perception is—it would’ve definitely removed at least a bit of the pressure of the interviews.

Now as an interviewer myself, I’ve realized that Google engineering interviews are basically just conversations about solving problems. Essentially, they go like this: If we were to work on [x] problem together and given [y] set of tools, how would you approach it? Had I known that this is the actual approach, I think I would've been more relaxed going into the process.


Can you tell us more about the resources you used to prepare?
Various coding exercises, an algorithm class (there are a lot of those on Coursera and other education sites), and a whole lot of practice. I knew several people who were also interviewing and we shared resources we found, did 'code reviews' on challenges, and did mock interviews together.

I also absolutely loved the ’How To’ videos from the Life at Google channel on Youtube.


To finish, do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Don't be afraid to try! There is nothing to lose by trying. If you want to work at Google, go ahead and apply. Prepare yourself for the interviews by sharpening your knowledge of data structures, algorithms, and coding. If you try and fail, don’t give up! There are many factors that might lead to a failed round of interviews—everyone has bad days—so prepare yourself and try again.

We’ve reached over 1 million UK students with Google Expeditions

For the past eight months, we’ve been on a mission to bring virtual reality experiences into classrooms all across the UK. Launched in September 2016, the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program set out to bring virtual reality field trips to over 1,000,000 UK pupils and open their eyes to places and environments they are unable to see otherwise. To date, the team has visited 3,000+ schools in more than 430 cities and towns, from Leicester to Edinburgh to Port Talbot.

Twickenham Prep School_students.jpg
Students enjoying one of over 600 expeditions now available in the app.

We also teamed up with Google Arts & Culture and partners like The British Museum, English Heritage and Westminster Abbey to add more than 150 expeditions tailored to the UK curriculum, taking the total number of tours now offer in the app to over 600.

LochNess2.jpg
An underwater world brought to life, where you can explore the depths looking for the famous “Nessie.”

Ongoing feedback from teachers continues to help us improve the product, from building lessons tailored to the curriculum, to running teacher training events on how to incorporate Expeditions into effective lesson planning.

It’s a tool that makes lesson planning easier and engages pupils right from the start. Jon Duffy Computer Science teacher

New content is continually being launched on the app. Starting today, teachers and students can explore 20 new destinations from Loch Ness—taking the time to scour the renowned site for its infamous monster— to Exploring Roman Baths, where students can tour one of the UK’s most interesting landmarks.

The Expeditions Pioneer Program will visit UK schools until the end of May 2017. However, if we're not visiting your school, you can still make the most of these tours by downloading Google Expeditions on iOS or Android and following these simple instructions.

Source: Education


We’ve reached over 1 million UK students with Google Expeditions

For the past eight months, we’ve been on a mission to bring virtual reality experiences into classrooms all across the UK. Launched in September 2016, the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program set out to bring virtual reality field trips to over 1,000,000 UK pupils and open their eyes to places and environments they are unable to see otherwise. To date, the team has visited 3,000+ schools in more than 430 cities and towns, from Leicester to Edinburgh to Port Talbot.

Twickenham Prep School_students.jpg
Students enjoying one of over 600 expeditions now available in the app.

We also teamed up with Google Arts & Culture and partners like The British Museum, English Heritage and Westminster Abbey to add more than 150 expeditions tailored to the UK curriculum, taking the total number of tours now offer in the app to over 600.

LochNess2.jpg
An underwater world brought to life, where you can explore the depths looking for the famous “Nessie.”

Ongoing feedback from teachers continues to help us improve the product, from building lessons tailored to the curriculum, to running teacher training events on how to incorporate Expeditions into effective lesson planning.

It’s a tool that makes lesson planning easier and engages pupils right from the start. Jon Duffy Computer Science teacher

New content is continually being launched on the app. Starting today, teachers and students can explore 20 new destinations from Loch Ness—taking the time to scour the renowned site for its infamous monster— to Exploring Roman Baths, where students can tour one of the UK’s most interesting landmarks.

The Expeditions Pioneer Program will visit UK schools until the end of May 2017. However, if we're not visiting your school, you can still make the most of these tours by downloading Google Expeditions on iOS or Android and following these simple instructions.

Source: Education


Celebrating our teachers

Two weeks ago, a few people on our team were lucky enough to attend the 2017 National Teacher of the Year Recognition Gala in Washington, DC, which we were proud to help sponsor. The Council of Chief State School Officers has organized this program for the last 65 years, and we were so inspired after meeting and celebrating the 55 educators who were recognized as the best in their states and territories.

Teachers_group photo
The 2017 National Teachers of the Year in front of the Washington Monument

But today—on National Teacher Appreciation Day—we acknowledge that the important contribution of our nation’s teachers deserves to be celebrated not just on one day, or one week, but every single day of the year. They are the ones who inspire us to work harder, who motivate us to stay curious, who believe in us when we don’t always believe in ourselves, and who ultimately help shape the people we’ll become and the world we’ll live in tomorrow.

Everyone has his or her own story about that one special teacher. For me, it’s Mr. Aalbers, my 5th grade teacher. His imagination and love for exploration —through books and classroom projects— sparked a curiosity that still drives me today. I can only hope my own children will be as lucky as I was to have a teacher like him. We have gathered more stories like mine, and we hope you might also share your own.

Aalbers-class photo-Bram
Mr. Aalbers with his 5th grade class. I’m in the back row, 5th from the right.

Thanks to close collaboration and ongoing feedback from many great teachers, we’ve been able to build and continue improving many of our own products designed for education like Classroom, Chromebooks and Expeditions. Our goal is to create tools like these that expand the classroom walls while also minimizing administrative burdens to help teachers spend more of their time doing what they do best: teaching.

We also want to make sure that teachers have the support they need to use technology effectively in their classrooms, which is why we’ve created the Training Center. And since we know how important it is for educators to connect with and learn from their peers, we’ve established community programs like Google Educator Groups and the Google Certified Innovator Program. We look forward to our continued work with educators to make sure that technology can play a role in helping make education both effective and engaging.

As a gesture of our continued appreciation and gratitude for our teachers, we’re offering 50% off the Google Certified Educator exam through this week, ending May 14, 2017. Just enter the code TeacherDay2017. We hope this will be a small way for teachers to continue their own professional development, on us.

And in the meantime, we encourage everyone to #ThankATeacher this week for making the world —and all of us—better.

Source: Education