Tag Archives: Education

Meet the fifth grader turning water bottles into light bulbs to brighten communities

Schools in Latin America and around the world are searching for ways to take student impact beyond the classroom. In Mexico, we wanted to explore how teachers and students are using technology to empower a rising generation of innovative changemakers—and this week, we’re sharing some of the stories we found. Tune into the hashtag #innovarparami to see how education leaders in Latin America are thinking about innovation.

Twelve-year-old Bryan Gonzalez was traveling through a neighborhood near his school when the unlit windows of several homes caught his attention. When his parents and teachers explained to him that those homes lacked electricity, he started to search for information about access to lighting in communities in Mexico and around the globe. His research led him to discover that nearly 15 percent of the world’s population lives without light.

Believing that every community deserves access to commodities as basic as lighting, Bryan decided to turn his annual school science project into a mission to defeat darkness. With the support of his peers, teachers and parents, Bryan began to brainstorm sustainable, affordable methods to illuminate the world around him.

His solution? Converting water bottles into light bulbs!
This fifth grader uses water bottles to brighten communities. #innovarparami

Bryan recently implemented his prototype in the field for the first time, and we captured the experience as he began to install his homemade light bulbs in the very houses that had initially inspired him to take on his project. In the moments after Bryan installed his lightbulbs, community members began to process the impact of Bryan’s invention. Families reflected on the difficulties inherent in relying on candlelight to assist kids with homework, the daily pressure to finish working by sunset because no work could get done in the dark, and what unlit houses and streets meant for the physical safety of children and parents alike. “Things are going to be different now. This 12-year-old boy has changed this family’s life,” said Doña Sofía, a mother and grandmother, as she embraced him.

This image was captured just moments after Doña Sofía’s house had lighting for the very first time, thanks to Bryan’s efforts.

Seeing his efforts materialize into real-world impact has been extremely gratifying for Bryan, but he knows this is just the beginning. As Bryan sets his eyes on new horizons, he hopes to start inspiring other young people around the world to implement the prototype in homes that lack electricity in their own communities.

Your age doesn’t matter. Your idea does. Bryan

Bryan’s definition of innovation is “finding creative ways to help a community solve their problems.” Follow the hashtag #innovarparami to see how other people are defining—and cultivating—innovation.

My Path to Google: Zaven Muradyan, Software Engineer

Welcome to the sixth 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 Zaven Muradyan. Read on!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Armenia and lived there for about seven years before moving to Dallas, Texas. After several subsequent moves, I eventually ended up in the Tri-Cities area of Washington, where I went to the local community college to study computer science and graduated with an associate degree.
What’s your role at Google?
I'm a software engineer on the Google Cloud Console team, working on the frontend infrastructure. In addition to working on framework code that affects the rest of the project, I also work on tooling that improves other developers' productivity, with the ultimate goal of improving the experience for all users of Google Cloud Platform.
What inspires you to come in every day?
My colleagues! It's a joy to work on challenging and large-scale technical problems with so many talented and kind people, and I am able to learn from my coworkers every day. I also get to work with several open source projects and collaborate closely with the Angular team at Google.
When did you join Google?
I officially joined Google a little more than two years ago. I had always admired Google's product quality and engineering culture, but prior to starting the recruitment process, I had never seriously considered applying because I didn't feel like I had the formal credentials.
How did the recruitment process go for you?
It started, in a sense, when one year I decided to try participating in Google Code Jam just for fun (and I didn't even get very far in the rounds!). A little while later, I was contacted by a recruiter from Google who had seen some of my personal open source projects. To my surprise, they had originally found me because I had participated in Code Jam! I was excited and decided to do my best at going through the interview process, but was prepared for it to not work out.
I studied as much as I could, and tried to hone my design and problem solving skills. I wasn't quite sure what to expect of the interviews, but when the time came, it ended up being an enjoyable, although challenging, experience. I managed to pass the interviews and joined my current team!
What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
Prior to going through the interviews, I had the idea that only highly educated or extremely experienced engineers had a chance at joining Google. Even after passing the interviews, I was still worried that my lack of a 4-year degree would cause problems. Having gone through the process, and now having conducted interviews myself, I can say that that is certainly not the case. Googlers are made up of people from all kinds of different backgrounds!
Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Don't assume that you won't be able to succeed just because you may have a "nontraditional" background! Go ahead and apply, then prepare well for the interviews. What matters most is your ability to problem solve and design solutions to complex issues, so keep practicing and don't give up.

Can you tell us more about the resources you used to prepare your interviews?

I started by going through "Programming Interviews Exposed," which acted as a good intro to my preparation. After that, I tried learning and implementing many of the most common algorithms and data structures that I could find, while going through some example problems from sites like Topcoder and previous iterations of Code Jam. Finally, one specific resource that I found to be very helpful was HiredInTech, especially for system design.

The results are in for the 2017 Google Online Marketing Challenge!


More than 600 professors and 12,000 students from over 65 countries competed in the 2017 Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC)...and the results are in!

This year we introduced a new AdWords Certification award and algorithm evaluating performance across more campaign types, delivering some of the most impressive work seen in the history of GOMC. Check out our AdWords Business, AdWords Certification, and Social Impact Winners below, and reference our GOMC Past Challenges page for a full list of the 2017 Team Results.

Congratulations to the winners and a big round of applause for all teams that participated! Thanks to all of the support from professors and the thousands of students who have helped businesses and nonprofits in their communities, we have had much to celebrate together. Over the past 10 years, more than 120,000 students and professors across almost 100 countries have participated in the Google Online Marketing Challenge, helping more than 15,000 businesses and nonprofits grow online.

Though we are taking a step back from the Google Online Marketing Challenge as we know it and exploring new opportunities to support practical skill development for students, we are continuing to provide free digital skills trainings and encourage academics to keep fostering a learning environment that connects the classroom with industry. For resources that will help you carry on project work like GOMC, a place for sharing feedback to help us continue to provide useful student development programs and a way to stay updated on our latest offerings, visit our FAQ page on the GOMC website.

2017 Google Online Marketing Challenge Winners

AdWords Business Awards
Global Winners
  • School: James Madison University | United States
  • Professor: Theresa B. Clarke
  • Team: Michelle Mullins, George Shtern, Caroline Galiwango and Raquel Sheriff
Regional Winners
  • Region: Americas
  • School: James Madison University | United States
  • Professor: Theresa B. Clarke
  • Team: Jonathan Nicely, Ken Prevete, Jessica Drennon and Jesse Springer
  • Region: Asia & Pacific
  • School: University of Delhi | India
  • Professor: Ginmunlal Khongsai
  • Team: Prakriti Sharma, Raghav Shadija and Ankita Grewal
  • Region: Europe
  • School: Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań | Poland
  • Professor:  Wojciech Czart
  • Team: Michał Paszyn, Marek Buliński, Kamil Poturalski, Aneta Disterheft, Damian Koniuszy and Kamila Malanowicz
  • Region: Middle East & Africa
  • School: Kenyatta University | Kenya
  • Professor: Paul Mwangi Gachanja
  • Team: Peter Wangugi, Jackson Ndung'u, Selpha Kung'u and Antony Gathathu
AdWords Certification Awards
Global Winners
  • School: University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt | Germany
  • Professor: Mario Fischer
  • Team: Tobias Fröhlich, Lorenz Himmel, Sabine Zinkl, Thomas Lerch, Philipp Horsch and Maksym Vovk
Regional Winners
  • Region: Americas
  • School: James Madison University | United States
  • Professor: Theresa B. Clarke
  • Team: Nicole Carothers, Emily Vaeth, Annalise Capalbo and Brendan Reece
  • Region: Asia & Pacific
  • School: Indian Institute of Management Indore | India
  • Professor: Rajendra V. Nargundkar
  • Team: Kalaivani G, Swathika S, Chandran M, Akshaya S, Sadhana P and Mathan Kumar V
  • Region: Europe
  • School: University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt | Germany
  • Professor: Mario Fischer
  • Team: Matthias Schloßareck, Michelle Skodowski, Lena Thauer, Yen Nguyet Dang, David Mohr and Sebastian Kaufmann
  • Region: Middle East & Africa
  • School: The Federal University of Technology, Akure | Nigeria
  • Professor: Ajayi Olumuyiwa Olubode
  • Team: John Afolabi, Adebayo Olaoluwa Egbetade, Olubusayo Amowe, Israel Temilola Olaleye, Raphael Oluwaseyi Lawrence and Taiwo Joel Akinlosotu
  • Client: Stutern
AdWords Social Impact Awards
  • 1st Place
  • School: The University of Texas at Austin | United States
  • Professor: Lisa Dobias
  • Team: Kaitlin Reid, Ben Torres, Zachary Kornblau, Kendall Troup, Kristin Kish and Angela Fayad
  • Client: Thinkery
  • 2nd Place
  • School: James Madison University | United States
  • Professor: Theresa B. Clarke
  • Team: Michelle Mullins, George Shtern, Caroline Galiwango and Raquel Sheriff
  • 3rd Place
  • School: James Madison University | United States
  • Professor: Theresa B. Clarke
  • Team: Jonathan Nicely, Ken Prevete, Jessica Drennon and Jesse Springer

Meet a teacher helping indigenous women in Mexico get online

Schools in Latin America and around the world are searching for ways to take student impact beyond the classroom. In Mexico, we wanted to explore how teachers and students are using technology to empower a rising generation of innovative changemakers—and this week, we’re sharing some of the stories we found. Tune into the hashtag #innovarparami to see how education leaders in Latin America are thinking about innovation.

Miroslava Silva is a teacher, social scientist and activist who has dedicated much of her career to studying the digital literacy gap and its ramifications. Across cultures, women often lack access to technology and digital education—and in Miroslava’s native Mexico, communities of indigenous women are the most affected by the digital literacy gap. Determined to change this, she founded a technology class specifically for Otomí women at the University of Querétaro.

The teacher helping indigenous women in Mexico get online #innovarparami

Since the class’s inception two years ago, Miroslava’s students have engaged in activities that range from learning to search for information, to building slide decks and documents, to designing personal websites. Miroslava’s only rule? All content must be relevant and useful in her students’ unique contexts and lives. To this end, she enlists her students to help craft their own curricula, and the class looks different for every student as a result. Some of her students are working on launching sites for their businesses. Others are conducting individual research projects on topics that interest them. And some even co-founded a movement to digitize and preserve the indigenous language Otomí.

Angélica Ruiz, who has taken Miroslava’s digital literacy class for two years, had never used a computer before enrolling. Now, she has launched and manages her own website to promote her handmade doll business, connect other women to education technology resources, and foment interest in the Otomí language. Recently, she built an online campaign to raise awareness about violence against women.

Pursuing a digital education has been no small feat for Angélica. A mother of five, she travels two hours from her home to the University of Querétaro each week, but says that the sheer empowerment she feels makes her efforts worth it. Indeed, the ability to design websites and to use the internet for social activism is the tip of the iceberg when Angélica thinks about what she gets out of the class. What she values most is being able to serve as a role model for other women striving to overcome institutional barriers and access education. Dozens of Otomí women have begun to pursue the digital literacy classes, following her lead.

I want every other woman to know that if I can do it, so can you. If somebody’s cut your wings off, put them back on so they can keep growing. Angélica Miroslava’s student

For Miroslava and her student Angélica, innovation means breaking down barriers and forging the path for others to do the same. We’d love to hear what innovation means to you—tell us with the hashtag #innovarparami.

Source: Education

Code Jam 2017 wraps up with the World Finals in Dublin

The results from this year's Code Jam, Google's largest and toughest programming competition, are in! The contest wrapped up with a two-day World Finals event from August 10-11. After a record-breaking season with more than 60,000 registrants, finalists representing 16 countries traveled to Dublin, Ireland to compete for cash prizes and the title of 2017 World Champion.

The event kicked off with Distributed Code Jam, in which contestants are required to program in a distributed environment (much like the day-to-day of a Google software engineer). While our returning 2015 and 2016 champion, bmerry (Bruce Merry), endeavored to hold onto his spot for another year, the other top 20 Distributed finalists, including Code Jam's reigning three-year champion Gennady.Korotkevich (Gennady Korotkevich), battled for a chance at the $10,000 grand prize. The contest was so tough that no contestant submitted more than six out of the eight possible datasets. In a scintillating finale with numerous close scores, ecnerwala (Andrew He) of the United States swooped in to steal first place, becoming our second-ever Distributed Code Jam Champion.

The action continued the next day with Gennady.Korotkevich and 25 other Code Jammers competing for a $15,000 grand prize and the coveted title of Code Jam Champion. Finalists approached the problem set using techniques such as max flow, dynamic programming, and randomized algorithms; the problems required challenging original insights in addition to algorithmic knowledge, and two of them were so difficult that no contestant solved them completely. After four hours of ferocious coding, during which the leader on the scoreboard changed several times, Gennady.Korotkevich stole the show and took the World Championship for an unprecedented fourth consecutive year in a row! Once the official results were announced, fans of Gennady (or "tourist" as he is known in other programming contests) enthusiastically took to social media to celebrate this record-breaking moment in Code Jam history. You can learn more about this year's problems and analyses, and see other past contests, on our website.

In addition to exclusive competition coverage and features with Code Jam Googlers, the live stream showcased the diversity of teams and people at Google working to make great products across the globe. Whether you've been following since the Qualification Round in April, or are a newcomer to the arena, we hope you'll check out the full recording of the World Finals live stream. We also hope to see you in the 2018 Code Jam and Distributed Code Jam competitions; it's never too early to start practicing for next year!

Source: Education

Helping 4-H equip students with skills they’ll need for the future

The world is changing rapidly, creating new opportunities and careers we can’t yet predict. But even with a lot of unknowns, skills like collaboration, problem solving and technical know-how can be the tools students need to adapt and thrive, no matter what the future holds.

Today, at the Illinois State Fair, where hundreds of 4-H youth are exhibiting projects, we announced our support of 4-H with a $1.5 million Google.org grant to provide students around the country the opportunity to grow future skills through computer science programming like CS First and virtual field trips via Expeditions. 4-H is the United States’ largest youth development organization, with more than 6 million students participating. By supporting this work, we’re excited to see how more kids across the country use technology to achieve their goals and improve their communities.

While there are thousands of 4-H’ers at any state fair this summer, you can find hundreds of 4-H alums within Google—and I had the opportunity to chat with one. Julie Eddleman grew up in Indianapolis, spent 10 years in 4-H, and is now a Senior Director at Google working with some of our largest corporate partners. I talked with Julie about her experience in 4-H and how the skills she learned there continue to help her at Google.  

Jacquelline Fuller: How were you personally involved in 4-H and what did that look like?

Julie at the Illinois State Fair Demonstration competition in 1981 showing judges how to build a terrarium

Julie Eddleman: I started going to 4-H meetings as early as two years old, tagging along with my older sisters. Through 10 years of hands-on projects, we learned anything you can imagine, from rocketry to water conservation. I was a very curious child and couldn’t choose just one subject! When I think back to why I stayed in 4-H so long, I think it was because of the variety of the education styles—there was reading, workshops, hands-on projects, team events and, of course, the competitions filled with ribbons and trophies.

JF: Can you tell us what skills you developed during your time in 4-H and how they’re still helping you in this chapter of your life?

JE: Where do I even start? I think I’d have to point to the skills I didn’t even realize I was learning like leadership, public speaking and problem-solving. When I’m talking to students visiting Google’s campus, my team at work, or even just my kids at home, I always talk about about developing these skills, and remember 4-H as being the first place I practiced them. 4-H even taught me how to write a check, pay our 4-H Club’s bills and balance a checkbook at the age of 11!

JF: Let’s talk more about the technical skills you learned; you mentioned rocketry and computer classes. Why do you think these are important skills for students?

JE: Coding and basic technology skills are a must for the next generation. I have five children, ages 11-31, and they all use technology every day—from video games to social media to coding puzzles. The combination of understanding tech, and working with diverse people has helped me find different ways to approach or solve a problem. These skills are critically important in any career, from agriculture to computer programming to fashion design.

Looking ahead

It’s hard to imagine that there are 6 million students around the U.S. with stories similar to Julie. And regardless of where they come from, 97 percent (across urban, suburban, rural, small city communities) think computer science can be used in many kinds of jobs—from agricultural science to fashion to engineers. We’re excited to support 4-H to help make sure that students across the country have more opportunities to build their technical skills, confidence and leadership.

Source: Education

“A whole new world” of ideas at the Technovation Challenge

“Programming opens new horizons. It gives me full space to [create things] I couldn’t even imagine.” These are the words of Diana Zhanakbayeva, a young woman from Kazakhstan who, along with three classmates, just took home the top prize at an international coding challenge.

Great ideas can come from anywhere and from anyone. That’s what’s behind the 2017 Technovation Challenge,  run by nonprofit Iridescent, announced last fall in partnership with Google’s Made with Code and UN Women to offer young women from around the world the chance to code an app that solves a real-world challenge. More than 11,000 girls from 103 countries formed teams to address issues in those categories: peace, poverty, environment, equality, education, and health. This week, the finalists traveled to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View to pitch their ideas to a panel of tech leaders and other experts. And tonight, in front of 900+ supporters, educators, mentors and past participants, the four girls behind a safety app called QamCare were crowned the winner of the Senior Division.

The 2017 Technovation Challenge Senior Division Finalists

To girls around the world who participated in the Challenge, or who are considering a career in computer science, or any field: we believe you should be encouraged and empowered to become the coders, entrepreneurs and inventors that shape the world around you. We will never stop working to create an industry and environment in which women feel welcome and can thrive.

Meet the girls behind QamCare, and the other finalist teams:

QamCare (Peace)

Aruzhan Koshkarova, Azhar Sultansikh, Dianna Zhanakbayeva, Diyara Beisenbekova

“QamCare” comes from the Kazakh word-Qamqor, which stands for care and support. The team behind this winning app describes it as a “potential life-saving tool,” which can be used in case of emergency to provide your location information to your contacts. With the press of a button, you can alert trusted friends and family via SMS. Azhar Sultansikh says the app is designed to give people “peace of mind.”

Sundar selfie
Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes a selfie with members of the winning team behind QamCare

QamCare’s creators describe a number of other hobbies and interests beyond CS: Diana Zhanakbayeva has dabbled in fashion and creating YouTube videos; Aruzhan Koshkarova says she used the cognitive skills learned from playing chess to work in programming; Azhar’s first loyalty is to art; and Diyara Beisenbekova is interested in medicine and chemistry. But all share a motivation to keep learning—and making a difference. Aruzhan says that the team was inspired to participate in the Challenge to “make change in [her] community” and for “women’s empowerment”—hoping to blaze the trail for more young Kazakh women to participate in science and tech.

One Step Ahead (Education)

Aghavni Hakobyan, Sona Avetisyan, Svetlana Davtyan, Violeta Mkrtchyan, Vardanush Nazaretyan

When a deaf classmate visited their school, this team of five girls from Karbi, Armenia, came up with the idea for an app to help people learn Armenian Sign Language using videos of sign gestures. The One Step Ahead team demonstrates how experiences like Technovation can inspire young people to pursue a wide variety of career paths. While Aghavni Hakobyan, 17, says that the program inspired her to want to become a programmer, her teammate Sona Avetisyan, 16,  wants to become a doctor to “help with hearing loss problems and help people communicate.”

PregCare (Health)

Aamanat Kang, Anoushka Bhalla, Mehak Joshi, Priyaja Bakshi, Vanshika Baijal

The PregCare team, in India, created an app that provides pregnant women, especially those in rural areas, with healthcare information, even offering alerts for appointments; it also connects women with donors and other organizations. Aamanat Kang says of the challenge, “The interesting part of technology is its ability to change and evolve in the blink of an eye. What keeps me hooked on to computers is that we do not know what to expect in the world of technology tomorrow or 10 years from now.“

Go WaCo (Environment)

Aida Khamiyeva Ardakkyzy, Arlana Yessenbayeva, Askar Zhibek Askarkyzy, Diana Zhanakbayeva

In Almaty, Kazakhstan, a city of more than 1.5 million people, only 2 percent of waste is recycled, with the remaining 98 percent going to landfills. The four girls behind Go WaCo (short for “Go, Waste Conscious”) wanted to come up with a way to encourage people to recycle, so they created an app that challenges students from different schools to participate in recycling competitions and compete for rewards. Arlana Yessenbayeva, 16, says of the project: “Go WaCo is my first big step in changing this world for the better. In the future I want to connect people, inspire them to invent, share, and solve the world's problems.”

iCut (Equality)

Ivy Akinyi, Macrine Akinyi, Purity Achieng, Stacy Dina Owino, Cynthia Awuor

Female genital mutilation (FGM) has been banned in Kenya since 2011, but in many areas of the country it continues to be practiced. The iCut app is designed to provide a platform for people to report cases of FGM, as well as for victims to seek help. Several of the girls behind iCut described how coding helped them discover new kinds of potential: Stacy Dina, 17, says “When my mentor ... introduced programming to us, I was elated. [I] felt empowered.“ Synthia Awuor, 17, adds: “Joining [Technovation] opened my eyes to a whole new world.”  

Wishcraft (Poverty)

Jigisha Kamal, Krithika Sunil, Rida Shafeek

Our second team from India designed an Android app that lets donors fulfill “wishes” for underserved children. Nonprofits or charitable trusts who work on children’s issues can upload three wishes for each child, which donors can select from to provide the amount quoted for each gift. The idea is to “bring a little joy into [children’s] everyday lives through donations in the form of gifts,” as Jigisha Kamal puts it. Rida Shafeek, 17, says of their app, “It was a chance to make a change… to provide opportunities to underprivileged kids to embrace every bit of their childhood and to provide a door to a better future.”

The projects we saw this week demonstrate that code is a potent tool to create change—and show that there is a generation of young people eager to wield it. We’re inspired by the energy and enthusiasm we saw at the Technovation Challenge—and excited to continue to help more future leaders make a difference through technology.

Source: Education

Code Jam Finals: Watch live on Friday, August 11

Watch this year’s Code Jam Finals livestream Friday, August 11

From April through June, tens of thousands of Code Jammers battled through programming challenges involving pancakes, French cuisine, unicorns, medical nanobots, and the scheduling difficulties faced by new parents, to name just a few. Our contestants came from all over the globe, from Saudi Arabia to Svalbard, using programming languages ranging from C++ to Go to LOLCODE.

For the first time, we included some Distributed Code Jam problems in which our system could not be trusted! For example, in one problem, contestants knew that asking a machine in our system for a certain piece of data would make that machine start behaving as if it were broken, but they did not know which piece of data would cause this to happen, and they had to figure it out via experimentation and then work around the issue. But this didn't faze our contestants, who are becoming more comfortable with distributed programming each year.

When the dust settled after our last online rounds, we had 26 Code Jam finalists and 21 Distributed Code Jam finalists. On August 10 and 11, these expert coders will compete for five-figure cash prizes in our onsite World Finals at Google's Dublin, Ireland office.

In the Finals, competitors face five or six very tough problems that often require markedly different approaches and insights. Gennady.Korotkevich of Belarus has won the last three years' Code Jams, but he will have to work hard to overcome rivals like the Philippines' kevinsogo, who beat Gennady in this year's semifinal Code Jam Round 3. And that's to say nothing of the 24 other strong contestants, who are eager to unseat the two favorites!

Google's Distributed format is relatively new and rare on the competitive programming circuit, and it tests a somewhat different skillset. South Africa's bmerry, who has won every Distributed Code Jam contest so far, will be looking to ‘three-peat’ as champion. This year, for the first time, Bruce has the unenviable extra challenge of contending with Gennady in the Distributed final round. Four other contestants qualified for both tournaments, so for the first time it is possible that someone could take both titles in the same year.

You can experience the magic of the World Finals by watching the livestream of the Code Jam contest on Friday, August 11. Our veteran Code Jam author (and Google infrastructure engineer) John Dethridge will return as a commentator, and he will be joined by Dublin-based ads site reliability engineer Rita Lu. John and Rita will talk the audience through our competitors' backgrounds and general Code Jam strategy, and they will provide a live analysis of the results as they roll in. The standings can change in the blink of an eye, and it is not uncommon to see critical submissions in the last few moments of a round!

The livestream will also feature interviews with Googlers from Code Jam — be on the lookout for an interview with this year's three Code Jam interns; they’ll share accounts of what the #GoogleInterns experience is like. We hope many of you will join the Finals excitement by tuning into the livestream, watching the scoreboard unfold at g.co/codejam, and asking live questions on social @CodeJam (we promise to answer as many as we can). We'll see you there!

Welcome to your first day of Classroom

We launched Google Classroom in 2014 to help teachers save time, organize classes, and improve communication with students. Since then, educators around the globe have helped teach their peers how to use Classroom. There’s been such an outpouring of instructional videos, blogs and resources, we’ve curated some of our favorites into a new collection called #FirstDayofClassroom.

google classroom.png

#FirstDayofClassroom is designed around a simple premise: When teachers need help, they don’t need to look any further than their fellow teachers.

On the hub, you’ll find short tutorials explaining how to get started with Classroom, teacher-created videos on best practices, as well as teacher-tested tips. Want a hard copy? Printable resources, including a Getting Started guide and Group Study guide, are available on the hub for teachers to use right at their desks. It’s like being in your school’s teachers’ lounge or at a collaborative professional development event—except it’s all online.

Teachers have questions. Teachers have answers.

For every teacher ready to use Classroom, there’s a teacher ready to help. Here are just a few examples of the tips from teachers on the resource hub:

  • Lindy Hockenbary, Digital Learning Coach, stays organized by adding class resources to the materials section of the “About” tab.
  • Katie Nieves, Special Education ELA Teacher, personalizes learning by providing different projects and resources when posting an assignment.
  • Jessica Levine, Instructional Technologist, builds relationships between home and school by connecting parents and guardians to their student’s class through guardian email summaries.

We’re also organizing five interactive YouTube live sessions hosted by educators who will help you get started with Classroom. Add a session to your calendar today to join in on the training.

Join the #FirstDayofClassroom community

#FirstDayofClassroom is about expanding the community of teachers dedicated to improving the day-to-day efficiency of teaching. Whether you’re a Classroom pro or have a tried-and-true trick, help your fellow teachers by sharing your favorite tips, resources and tutorials on social media using the hashtag #FirstDayofClassroom. Then, stay tuned on Twitter where we’ll share our favorites throughout the back to school season.

Ready to get started? Visit the hub today and get all the information you need to set up your first class in no time.

10 ways we’re making Classroom and Forms easier for teachers this school year

We’ve seen educators do incredible things with G Suite for Education tools: creatively teach classroom material, collaborate with students, and design innovative assignments to achieve meaningful outcomes. Classroom is a useful tool for teachers, and since it launched three years ago, students have submitted more than 1 billion assignments.

This year, we’re sending teachers back to school with updates designed to help them do what they do best—teach. Today, we’re announcing 10 updates to Google Classroom and Google Forms to help teachers save time and stay organized.


  1. Single view of student work: To help teachers track individual student progress, we’ve created a dedicated page for each student in Classroom that shows all of their work in a class. With this new view, teachers and students can see the status of every assignment, and can use filters to see assigned work, missing work, or returned and graded work. Teachers and students can use this information to make personalized learning decisions that help students set goals and build skills that will serve them in the future.

  2. Reorder classes: Teachers can now order their classes to organize them based on daily schedule, workload priorities or however will help them keep organized throughout the school year. And students can use this feature too. "For teachers and students, organization is important, and being able to reorder class cards allows us to keep our classes organized in a simple and personalized way," notes Ross Berman, a 7th and 8th grade math teacher. "Students can move classes around so that the first thing they see is the class they know they have work for coming up."

  3. Decimal grading: As teachers know, grading is often more complicated than a simple point value. To be as accurate with feedback as possible, educators can now use decimal points when grading assignments in Google Classroom.

  4. Transfer class ownership: Things can change a lot over the summer, including who’s teaching which class. Now, admins and teachers can transfer ownership of Google Classroom classes to other teachers, without the need to recreate the class. The new class owner can get up to speed quickly with a complete view of past student work and resources in Drive.

  5. Add profile picture on mobile: Today’s users log a lot of hours on their phones. Soon, teachers and students will be able to make changes to their Classroom mobile profiles directly from their mobile devices too, including changing their profile picture from the Google Classroom mobile app. Ready the selfies!

  6. Provision classes with School Directory Sync: Google School Directory Sync now supports syncing Google Classroom classes from your student or management information system using IMS OneRoster CSV files. Admins can save teachers and students time by handling class setup before the opening bell.

  7. New Classroom integrations: Apps that integrate with Classroom offer educators a seamless experience, and allow them to easily share information between Classroom and other tools they love. Please welcome the newest A+ apps to the #withClassroom family: Quizizz, Edcite, Kami and coming soon, Code.org.

  8. Display class code: Joining Google Classroom classes is easier than ever thanks to this new update. Teachers can now display their class code in full screen so students can quickly join new classes.

  9. Sneak Peek! Import Google Forms Quiz scores into Classroom: Using Quizzes in Google Forms allows educators to take real-time assessments of students’ understanding of a topic. Soon, teachers will be able to import grades from Quizzes directly into Google Classroom.

  10. Add feedback in question-by-question grading in Quizzes: More than test grades, meaningful feedback can improve learning. At ISTE this year, we launched question-by-question grading in Quizzes in Google Forms to help teachers save time by batch grading assessments. We’re taking it one step further and now, teachers will have the option to add feedback as well.

As educators head back to school, we want our newest Classroom teachers to get the most out of their experience. In the coming weeks, we’ll be launching a new resource hub to help teachers get set up on their first day of Classroom. If you’re already a Classroom pro, help your fellow teachers by sharing your favorite Classroom tips, tricks, resources and tutorials on social media using the hashtag #FirstDayofClassroom. Stay tuned on Twitter this Back to School season for more.

From all of us here at Google, we wish you a successful start to the school year! We hope these Google Classroom and Forms updates help you save time, stay organized and most importantly, teach effectively during back to school and beyond.

Source: Education