Tag Archives: google.org

Introducing Searching for Syria, a project made in partnership with UNHCR

It was six years ago in March that the Syrian civil war began, and since then more than five million people have been forced to leave their homes, their possessions, their families, and their education to seek shelter throughout the Middle East, Europe, and around the world. The scale of the crisis is hard for most of us to fathom, and the experiences of the refugee population can often feel too remote for most of us to understand.

Since 2015, we’ve tried to do our part to help. Google.org has invested more than $20 million in grants supporting solutions to provide 800,000+ refugees with emergency support and access to vital information and education.

SFS_Blogpost_400x400.gif

Today we are launching a site called “Searching for Syria,” a new way for people learn about Syria and the Syrian refugee crisis by exploring five of the most common search queries that people around the world are asking. Each question allows you to explore some of the detail behind the answer, combining UNHCR data with Google Maps, satellite imagery, videos, photography, and stories from refugees.

Each June the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) releases a Global Trends report which contains the latest facts and figures on refugees, asylum-seekers, migrants and other people under the agency’s mandate. Late last year, Google and the UNHCR teamed up to combine this report with Search trends, drawing connections between the questions that people are searching for with the UNHCR’s detailed data sets. Our goal was to paint a new kind of picture of the Syrian refugee crisis, accessible to greater numbers of people—and in doing so, remind people not only of the scale of the crisis, but also of the human side of it.

We see through Google Search trends that people are certainly trying to understand the scale of the crisis. Among the top trending searches in Germany, France, and the UK last year was “What is happening in Syria?” and simply, “What is a refugee?” People in every corner of the world are turning to Google Search to  find out what’s going on and how they might help. In 2016 alone people searched for information about Syria and the Syrian people over tens of millions of times.

SFS_BlogPost_Family_Shot.png

Over the last six years we have seen Search trends from around the world shift from  immediate questions like, “Where are Syrian refugees going?” to the more contemplative, “What was Syria like before the war?” Throughout Searching for Syria, refugee families tell you about their homes six years ago and today—and what they’ve experienced in traveling to their new, temporary lives.

People search for many reasons—to learn and to research, or sometimes to connect, share, and overcome. Sharing these trends, based on UNHCR’s verified data, will ensure that people searching to better understand one of the most terrible events of the last six years will be able to do just that.

Searching for Syria

Introducing Searching for Syria, a project made in partnership with UNHCR

It was six years ago in March that the Syrian civil war began, and since then more than five million people have been forced to leave their homes, their possessions, their families, and their education to seek shelter throughout the Middle East, Europe, and around the world. The scale of the crisis is hard for most of us to fathom, and the experiences of the refugee population can often feel too remote for most of us to understand.

Since 2015, we’ve tried to do our part to help. Google.org has invested more than $20 million in grants supporting solutions to provide 800,000+ refugees with emergency support and access to vital information and education.

SFS_Blogpost_400x400.gif

Today we are launching a site called “Searching for Syria,” a new way for people learn about Syria and the Syrian refugee crisis by exploring five of the most common search queries that people around the world are asking. Each question allows you to explore some of the detail behind the answer, combining UNHCR data with Google Maps, satellite imagery, videos, photography, and stories from refugees.

Each June the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) releases a Global Trends report which contains the latest facts and figures on refugees, asylum-seekers, migrants and other people under the agency’s mandate. Late last year, Google and the UNHCR teamed up to combine this report with Search trends, drawing connections between the questions that people are searching for with the UNHCR’s detailed data sets. Our goal was to paint a new kind of picture of the Syrian refugee crisis, accessible to greater numbers of people—and in doing so, remind people not only of the scale of the crisis, but also of the human side of it.

We see through Google Search trends that people are certainly trying to understand the scale of the crisis. Among the top trending searches in Germany, France, and the UK last year was “What is happening in Syria?” and simply, “What is a refugee?” People in every corner of the world are turning to Google Search to  find out what’s going on and how they might help. In 2016 alone people searched for information about Syria and the Syrian people over tens of millions of times.

SFS_BlogPost_Family_Shot.png

Over the last six years we have seen Search trends from around the world shift from  immediate questions like, “Where are Syrian refugees going?” to the more contemplative, “What was Syria like before the war?” Throughout Searching for Syria, refugee families tell you about their homes six years ago and today—and what they’ve experienced in traveling to their new, temporary lives.

People search for many reasons—to learn and to research, or sometimes to connect, share, and overcome. Sharing these trends, based on UNHCR’s verified data, will ensure that people searching to better understand one of the most terrible events of the last six years will be able to do just that.

Searching for Syria

Google’s Community Space in the Bay Area

Editor’s note: Today we’re opening the doors of Google's Community Space, located in our 188 The Embarcadero office in San Francisco, which offers Bay Area nonprofits free access to event space and co-working areas. Since January, we’ve run a pilot program with more than 50 organizations who have hosted 100+ events to ensure that the space and resources are flexible and beneficial to the needs of local organizations. As part of today's opening, we're also sharing that in 2016 alone, Google.org supported Bay Area nonprofits with $50M in direct grant funding, and Googlers have volunteered over 89,000 hours of their time to local organizations.

This post comes from Shaun Tai, the Executive Director at Oakland Digital and Product Lead at BRIDGEGOOD.com. He talks about his experience hosting weekly programs in the Community Space and the many ways he and his team are supported by Google.org and Googler volunteers.

1
BRIDGEGOOD program students meet with Google.org volunteers at Google's Community Space

Every Wednesday this year, Oakland Digital has brought a group of community college students to Google’s 188 The Embarcadero office so they can collaborate, learn, and work on community-benefit projects. These students are part of BRIDGEGOOD—an online hiring platform that connects under-resourced creatives (e.g., graphic designers and artists) with real-world design and marketing projects generated by businesses and nonprofits throughout the community.

Oakland Digital has proudly participated in a pilot program that Google.org has been running for 50 local organizations to provide feedback for their new Community Space. Nonprofit organizations know that finding affordable space in the Bay Area is a constant and growing issue. Working in close collaboration with local organizations, Google’s 8,400+ square feet of event and meeting space is an absolute game changer. It’s flexible enough for nonprofits to host collaborative brainstorming sessions to larger capacity, full-day seminars. Since the pilot started, there have been more than 100 events in the space, and in true Google fashion, their teams have “launched and iterated” by taking feedback and implementing changes into the space so it could better suit our needs. Other perks: the space comes fully-stocked with a microkitchen, a conference room, an area to hold workshops, a maker’s space, Chromebooks, VR equipment and more.

Google's support of Oakland Digital started in 2012 when Googlers Mary and Steve Grove educated small businesses at Oakland City Hall about the power of technology. Each year, our relationship and community impact has grown—from board membership, thought leadership, and in 2015, funding. Google shares Oakland Digital’s belief that creativity can change the world— and recognized that an overlooked pipeline of creative talent comes from community colleges. 

As such, Google.org provided significant support—a multi-year, six-figure grant for us to build, design, create, and deploy our BRIDGEGOOD web application. Oakland Digital is most proud that local students are a part of design and engineering process—having access to Google’s community space has inspired and boosted the confidence of our beneficiaries. The equipment, the technology, and the space itself has allowed us to work more productively together.

The energy that exists at Google.org, combined with access to this new Community Space and its nonprofit-driven programs, is fueling positive change and will make a difference. It’s that same combination of energy and access that will help other local Bay Area social entrepreneurs further their scale and impact.

So to my fellow Bay Area nonprofits and social good innovators, I invite you to come check out Google’s Community Space and apply for membership to start the process to host your events and programs in the space today at g.co/communityspace. Membership for the space is free—just click on “Become a Member” at the top right. The website also includes details on what is included in the space and programs that Google.org will coordinate throughout the year.

Stay inspired, continue to spread inspiration, and remember that with creativity and leadership, anything is possible.

Google’s Community Space in the Bay Area

Editor’s note: Today we’re opening the doors of Google's Community Space, located in our 188 The Embarcadero office in San Francisco, which offers Bay Area nonprofits free access to event space and co-working areas. Since January, we’ve run a pilot program with more than 50 organizations who have hosted 100+ events to ensure that the space and resources are flexible and beneficial to the needs of local organizations. As part of today's opening, we're also sharing that in 2016 alone, Google.org supported Bay Area nonprofits with $50M in direct grant funding, and Googlers have volunteered over 89,000 hours of their time to local organizations.

This post comes from Shaun Tai, the Executive Director at Oakland Digital and Product Lead at BRIDGEGOOD.com. He talks about his experience hosting weekly programs in the Community Space and the many ways he and his team are supported by Google.org and Googler volunteers.

1
BRIDGEGOOD program students meet with Google.org volunteers at Google's Community Space

Every Wednesday this year, Oakland Digital has brought a group of community college students to Google’s 188 The Embarcadero office so they can collaborate, learn, and work on community-benefit projects. These students are part of BRIDGEGOOD—an online hiring platform that connects under-resourced creatives (e.g., graphic designers and artists) with real-world design and marketing projects generated by businesses and nonprofits throughout the community.

Oakland Digital has proudly participated in a pilot program that Google.org has been running for 50 local organizations to provide feedback for their new Community Space. Nonprofit organizations know that finding affordable space in the Bay Area is a constant and growing issue. Working in close collaboration with local organizations, Google’s 8,400+ square feet of event and meeting space is an absolute game changer. It’s flexible enough for nonprofits to host collaborative brainstorming sessions to larger capacity, full-day seminars. Since the pilot started, there have been more than 100 events in the space, and in true Google fashion, their teams have “launched and iterated” by taking feedback and implementing changes into the space so it could better suit our needs. Other perks: the space comes fully-stocked with a microkitchen, a conference room, an area to hold workshops, a maker’s space, Chromebooks, VR equipment and more.

Google's support of Oakland Digital started in 2012 when Googlers Mary and Steve Grove educated small businesses at Oakland City Hall about the power of technology. Each year, our relationship and community impact has grown—from board membership, thought leadership, and in 2015, funding. Google shares Oakland Digital’s belief that creativity can change the world— and recognized that an overlooked pipeline of creative talent comes from community colleges. 

As such, Google.org provided significant support—a multi-year, six-figure grant for us to build, design, create, and deploy our BRIDGEGOOD web application. Oakland Digital is most proud that local students are a part of design and engineering process—having access to Google’s community space has inspired and boosted the confidence of our beneficiaries. The equipment, the technology, and the space itself has allowed us to work more productively together.

The energy that exists at Google.org, combined with access to this new Community Space and its nonprofit-driven programs, is fueling positive change and will make a difference. It’s that same combination of energy and access that will help other local Bay Area social entrepreneurs further their scale and impact.

So to my fellow Bay Area nonprofits and social good innovators, I invite you to come check out Google’s Community Space and apply for membership to start the process to host your events and programs in the space today at g.co/communityspace. Membership for the space is free—just click on “Become a Member” at the top right. The website also includes details on what is included in the space and programs that Google.org will coordinate throughout the year.

Stay inspired, continue to spread inspiration, and remember that with creativity and leadership, anything is possible.

U.S. history takes center stage for high schoolers

Editor’s note: Last week, Google announced a grant to bring students to see “Hamilton.” We tagged along to get a firsthand glimpse at how the students reacted to this unique experience of American history.

“I see him as the underdog, and I think, ‘that’s kind of me, that’s all of us.’” That’s what one high school junior from San Jose, CA had to say last week about Alexander Hamilton. How do you get 21st century kids to relate to a U.S. Founding Father born 260 years ago? Take them on a virtual journey through his life, and then bring that history lesson to the stage.

Last week, students went on six new Google Expeditions to follow along with Alexander Hamilton as he shaped the foundation of our country. Then, using racial justice funding from Google.org, the Hamilton Education program (#EduHam), brought 5,000 Title I students to see “Hamilton” in San Francisco, Chicago and New York. And we were lucky enough to be in the “room where it happens” with 2,000 local students in SF as the curtains rose...

HamiltonExpeditions_students.jpg

Students go back in time to hang with Alexander Hamilton. Best Monday ever?

Act 1: the Expedition

To get in the right mindset before seeing “Hamilton,” juniors at Aspire Golden State Preparatory School in Oakland, CA went on an Expedition using Google Cardboard. They took a virtual tour through the events of Alexander Hamilton’s life, starting with the American Revolution, where they visited landmarks and read documents that were important to the outcome of the war. 

The Expedition continued through the ratification of the Constitution, the creation of our nation’s economic system and George Washington’s presidency. It ended with a glimpse of Alexander Hamilton’s personal life—his letters dealing with love and grief—and ended at the famous spot where he dueled Aaron Burr. With each step in the Expedition, there were collective “oohs,” “aahs,” “whoas” and the occasional snarky comment: “Sick wig, Hamilton.”

Several students noted that, as visual learners, it was easier to understand this historical era through the Expedition, instead of reading about it in a book. Something clicked when they could visualize where these historical moments took place. Joanne Lin, assistant principal of Aspire Golden State, says that her students relate to Hamilton: “He had to make it on his own in America—that’s the connection for many of our kids.”

h3
2,000 high school students eagerly await the show to start in San Francisco.

Act 2: students take the stage

Students participating in #EduHam took a six-week American history and civics program, and had to create a performing arts piece based on a document from the Founding Era. On the day of the show, one student (or in some cases, a duo or trio) performed their acts on the “Hamilton” stage. In San Francisco, the performances—spoken word, raps, poems and musical numbers—touched on themes of courage, independence, racial tension and women’s rights. With each one, the raucous applause in the audience got louder and louder. The term “bringing down the house” may have been coined by high school “Hamilton” fans!

The finale: Q&A with the cast before teleporting to 1776

Before the show, the students heard from the cast, who shared their experiences working on “Hamilton.” Cast member Desmond Nunn encouraged the students to chase their dreams: “Dreaming is great,” he said, “but wake up and make it happen.” When asked about the cultural relevance of “Hamilton,” cast member Hope Endrenyi said, “People don't like to talk about hard subjects. With ‘Hamilton,’ you get lost in it and have a good time, but also talk about something that is important and makes a difference.”

When the lights in the theater flickered, the excitement in the air was palpable. For many students, it was their first time ever attending a musical; most would never have the opportunity to see “Hamilton” otherwise. Cheers erupted as a man in Colonial garb took the stage—his name was Alexander Hamilton.

Curtain call

As Aspire Golden State’s assistant principal Joanne Lin said, “These moments in history don’t just live in the past.” Google Expeditions and #EduHam help bring students from all backgrounds closer to history. With a stronger connection to the events of our country’s past, students can better visualize the role they’ll play in our future—asking themselves, “What comes next?”

Source: Education


U.S. history takes center stage for high schoolers

Editor’s note: Last week, Google announced a grant to bring students to see “Hamilton.” We tagged along to get a firsthand glimpse at how the students reacted to this unique experience of American history.

“I see him as the underdog, and I think, ‘that’s kind of me, that’s all of us.’” That’s what one high school junior from San Jose, CA had to say last week about Alexander Hamilton. How do you get 21st century kids to relate to a U.S. Founding Father born 260 years ago? Take them on a virtual journey through his life, and then bring that history lesson to the stage.

Last week, students went on six new Google Expeditions to follow along with Alexander Hamilton as he shaped the foundation of our country. Then, using racial justice funding from Google.org, the Hamilton Education program (#EduHam), brought 5,000 Title I students to see “Hamilton” in San Francisco, Chicago and New York. And we were lucky enough to be in the “room where it happens” with 2,000 local students in SF as the curtains rose...

HamiltonExpeditions_students.jpg

Students go back in time to hang with Alexander Hamilton. Best Monday ever?

Act 1: the Expedition

To get in the right mindset before seeing “Hamilton,” juniors at Aspire Golden State Preparatory School in Oakland, CA went on an Expedition using Google Cardboard. They took a virtual tour through the events of Alexander Hamilton’s life, starting with the American Revolution, where they visited landmarks and read documents that were important to the outcome of the war. 

The Expedition continued through the ratification of the Constitution, the creation of our nation’s economic system and George Washington’s presidency. It ended with a glimpse of Alexander Hamilton’s personal life—his letters dealing with love and grief—and ended at the famous spot where he dueled Aaron Burr. With each step in the Expedition, there were collective “oohs,” “aahs,” “whoas” and the occasional snarky comment: “Sick wig, Hamilton.”

Several students noted that, as visual learners, it was easier to understand this historical era through the Expedition, instead of reading about it in a book. Something clicked when they could visualize where these historical moments took place. Joanne Lin, assistant principal of Aspire Golden State, says that her students relate to Hamilton: “He had to make it on his own in America—that’s the connection for many of our kids.”

h3
2,000 high school students eagerly await the show to start in San Francisco.

Act 2: students take the stage

Students participating in #EduHam took a six-week American history and civics program, and had to create a performing arts piece based on a document from the Founding Era. On the day of the show, one student (or in some cases, a duo or trio) performed their acts on the “Hamilton” stage. In San Francisco, the performances—spoken word, raps, poems and musical numbers—touched on themes of courage, independence, racial tension and women’s rights. With each one, the raucous applause in the audience got louder and louder. The term “bringing down the house” may have been coined by high school “Hamilton” fans!

The finale: Q&A with the cast before teleporting to 1776

Before the show, the students heard from the cast, who shared their experiences working on “Hamilton.” Cast member Desmond Nunn encouraged the students to chase their dreams: “Dreaming is great,” he said, “but wake up and make it happen.” When asked about the cultural relevance of “Hamilton,” cast member Hope Endrenyi said, “People don't like to talk about hard subjects. With ‘Hamilton,’ you get lost in it and have a good time, but also talk about something that is important and makes a difference.”

When the lights in the theater flickered, the excitement in the air was palpable. For many students, it was their first time ever attending a musical; most would never have the opportunity to see “Hamilton” otherwise. Cheers erupted as a man in Colonial garb took the stage—his name was Alexander Hamilton.

Curtain call

As Aspire Golden State’s assistant principal Joanne Lin said, “These moments in history don’t just live in the past.” Google Expeditions and #EduHam help bring students from all backgrounds closer to history. With a stronger connection to the events of our country’s past, students can better visualize the role they’ll play in our future—asking themselves, “What comes next?”

U.S. history takes center stage for high schoolers

Editor’s note: Last week, Google announced a grant to bring students to see “Hamilton.” We tagged along to get a firsthand glimpse at how the students reacted to this unique experience of American history.

“I see him as the underdog, and I think, ‘that’s kind of me, that’s all of us.’” That’s what one high school junior from San Jose, CA had to say last week about Alexander Hamilton. How do you get 21st century kids to relate to a U.S. Founding Father born 260 years ago? Take them on a virtual journey through his life, and then bring that history lesson to the stage.

Last week, students went on six new Google Expeditions to follow along with Alexander Hamilton as he shaped the foundation of our country. Then, using racial justice funding from Google.org, the Hamilton Education program (#EduHam), brought 5,000 Title I students to see “Hamilton” in San Francisco, Chicago and New York. And we were lucky enough to be in the “room where it happens” with 2,000 local students in SF as the curtains rose...

HamiltonExpeditions_students.jpg

Students go back in time to hang with Alexander Hamilton. Best Monday ever?

Act 1: the Expedition

To get in the right mindset before seeing “Hamilton,” juniors at Aspire Golden State Preparatory School in Oakland, CA went on an Expedition using Google Cardboard. They took a virtual tour through the events of Alexander Hamilton’s life, starting with the American Revolution, where they visited landmarks and read documents that were important to the outcome of the war. 

The Expedition continued through the ratification of the Constitution, the creation of our nation’s economic system and George Washington’s presidency. It ended with a glimpse of Alexander Hamilton’s personal life—his letters dealing with love and grief—and ended at the famous spot where he dueled Aaron Burr. With each step in the Expedition, there were collective “oohs,” “aahs,” “whoas” and the occasional snarky comment: “Sick wig, Hamilton.”

Several students noted that, as visual learners, it was easier to understand this historical era through the Expedition, instead of reading about it in a book. Something clicked when they could visualize where these historical moments took place. Joanne Lin, assistant principal of Aspire Golden State, says that her students relate to Hamilton: “He had to make it on his own in America—that’s the connection for many of our kids.”

h3
2,000 high school students eagerly await the show to start in San Francisco.

Act 2: students take the stage

Students participating in #EduHam took a six-week American history and civics program, and had to create a performing arts piece based on a document from the Founding Era. On the day of the show, one student (or in some cases, a duo or trio) performed their acts on the “Hamilton” stage. In San Francisco, the performances—spoken word, raps, poems and musical numbers—touched on themes of courage, independence, racial tension and women’s rights. With each one, the raucous applause in the audience got louder and louder. The term “bringing down the house” may have been coined by high school “Hamilton” fans!

The finale: Q&A with the cast before teleporting to 1776

Before the show, the students heard from the cast, who shared their experiences working on “Hamilton.” Cast member Desmond Nunn encouraged the students to chase their dreams: “Dreaming is great,” he said, “but wake up and make it happen.” When asked about the cultural relevance of “Hamilton,” cast member Hope Endrenyi said, “People don't like to talk about hard subjects. With ‘Hamilton,’ you get lost in it and have a good time, but also talk about something that is important and makes a difference.”

When the lights in the theater flickered, the excitement in the air was palpable. For many students, it was their first time ever attending a musical; most would never have the opportunity to see “Hamilton” otherwise. Cheers erupted as a man in Colonial garb took the stage—his name was Alexander Hamilton.

Curtain call

As Aspire Golden State’s assistant principal Joanne Lin said, “These moments in history don’t just live in the past.” Google Expeditions and #EduHam help bring students from all backgrounds closer to history. With a stronger connection to the events of our country’s past, students can better visualize the role they’ll play in our future—asking themselves, “What comes next?”

Bringing Alexander Hamilton’s history to life

In November 2009, the White House uploaded a video to YouTube of playwright and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda performing a piece called “The Hamilton Mixtape.” In the video, Miranda proclaims to then President Obama that he would use hip-hop and spoken word to tell the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton. The room erupts in curious laughter. Hip-hop and 18th century history? How could these seemingly different worlds come together?

Nearly eight years later, Lin-Manuel’s Hamilton: An American Musical has blown us all away. The show is a cultural phenomenon, uniting history buffs, musical theater fans, political wonks and beyond. Through its innovative storytelling and deliberately diverse cast, the show remixes American history into a powerful lesson that resonates with society’s current challenges.

Google.org supported the Hamilton Education Program with a $800,000 grant that today will bring 5,000 students from Title I schools in New York, Chicago and the Bay Area to see the musical, as the capstone of a six-week curriculum about the Founding Era. Through a combination of learning from primary source documents like original letters and newspapers, and musical performances, students from every background will be able to make American founding era history their own. Students will also perform their original, history-based works on the Hamilton stage across these three cities. Perhaps one of them might be a future Lin-Manuel!

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is also launching new digital content on Google platforms that enables students around the world to engage more deeply with Alexander Hamilton’s story. Six new virtual reality tours will transport students, teachers, and fans to important places in Hamilton’s life, no matter where they live. Using Google Expeditions, students can explore places like Alexander Hamilton’s home in Uptown Manhattan, Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, and the infamous site of Aaron Burr–Alexander Hamilton duel in Weehawken, New Jersey.

In addition, using Google Arts and Culture, the Gilder Lehrman Institute is bringing online dozens of rare archives and artifacts related to Hamilton’s era including early printings of the U.S. Constitution and a letter to his wife expressing his love. There are ten digital exhibits that will allow students and others around the world to learn about Hamilton’s life and legacy—from his private and political life to a virtual walking tour of Hamilton’s New York, to the creation of Modern America.

Whether in virtual reality or on the theater stage, Alexander Hamilton has a lot to teach us about the history of our country, the American dream—and most importantly–rising up to opportunity.

Bringing Alexander Hamilton’s history to life

In November 2009, the White House uploaded a video to YouTube of playwright and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda performing a piece called “The Hamilton Mixtape.” In the video, Miranda proclaims to then President Obama that he would use hip-hop and spoken word to tell the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton. The room erupts in curious laughter. Hip-hop and 18th century history? How could these seemingly different worlds come together?

Nearly eight years later, Lin-Manuel’s Hamilton: An American Musical has blown us all away. The show is a cultural phenomenon, uniting history buffs, musical theater fans, political wonks and beyond. Through its innovative storytelling and deliberately diverse cast, the show remixes American history into a powerful lesson that resonates with society’s current challenges.

Google.org supported the Hamilton Education Program with a $800,000 grant that today will bring 5,000 students from Title I schools in New York, Chicago and the Bay Area to see the musical, as the capstone of a six-week curriculum about the Founding Era. Through a combination of learning from primary source documents like original letters and newspapers, and musical performances, students from every background will be able to make American founding era history their own. Students will also perform their original, history-based works on the Hamilton stage across these three cities. Perhaps one of them might be a future Lin-Manuel!

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is also launching new digital content on Google platforms that enables students around the world to engage more deeply with Alexander Hamilton’s story. Six new virtual reality tours will transport students, teachers, and fans to important places in Hamilton’s life, no matter where they live. Using Google Expeditions, students can explore places like Alexander Hamilton’s home in Uptown Manhattan, Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, and the infamous site of Aaron Burr–Alexander Hamilton duel in Weehawken, New Jersey.

In addition, using Google Arts and Culture, the Gilder Lehrman Institute is bringing online dozens of rare archives and artifacts related to Hamilton’s era including early printings of the U.S. Constitution and a letter to his wife expressing his love. There are 10 digital exhibits that will allow students and others around the world to learn about Hamilton’s life and legacy—from his private and political life to a virtual walking tour of Hamilton’s New York, to the creation of Modern America.

Whether in virtual reality or on the theater stage, Alexander Hamilton has a lot to teach us about the history of our country, the American dream—and most importantly–rising up to opportunity.

Source: Education


Helping to close the education gap

Even after four years of primary education, 130 million students around the world haven’t mastered basic subjects like reading and math. Limited access to quality materials, under-resourced teachers, and barriers to learning outside the classroom present challenges for many children.

Through Google.org, we’ve given more than $110 million over the past five years to help close gaps in education—whether globally through early and ongoing support for innovators like Khan Academy or focused specifically on how we can support future technologists through our support for CS education organizations. Today, we’re expanding on those commitments with our largest dedicated portfolio of $50 million over the next two years to support nonprofits who are building tech-based learning solutions that tackle these challenges. To start, we’re funding nine organizations around the world that we will also support with Googler volunteers in areas like user experience design, translation, offline functionality and data analytics. By the end of 2017, our goal is to give grants to education nonprofits in 20 countries. And later this year, we’ll be looking for the next round of innovators to join them.

GEI EDU Grant-graphic0.png

Our education grants will focus on three areas where technology can help: giving more students access to quality learning materials, supporting teacher development, and reaching students in conflict zones. Get to know some of our grantees below, and learn about the ways they’re using technology to help close the education gap.

Giving kids the right materials

Around the world, students in low-income communities have to learn with fewer books, out-of-date texts, and materials that are culturally irrelevant or even in the wrong language. Technology can bypass the geographic and financial boundaries that block educational resources from reaching students, while also making those resources more engaging, interactive and effective.

GEI EDU Grant-graphic1.png

One of our first grantees in this area is the Foundation for Learning Equality, which builds free open-source software to bring online materials—including books, video tutorials and quizzes—to the 4.3 billion people who lack consistent access to the internet. Their new platform, Kolibri, runs on numerous devices and helps educators access, organize and customize digital content, even in the most remote locations. So far they’ve brought 7,000 videos and 26,000 interactive exercises offline for students in about 160 countries.

Our funding, along with Google volunteers providing technical support, will help Learning Equality build a bigger content library and scale their reach to hundreds of thousands of new students. This summer, Google engineers and product experts are volunteering to spend four weeks working side-by-side with Learning Equality’s product team in areas such as UX/UI, content integration, and video compression technology.

Keeping teachers trained and engaged

Having a great teacher is one of the best predictors of a student’s academic success, but in many countries there simply aren’t enough of them. By 2030, India alone will need 3 million new primary school teachers just to keep up with its growing population of students.

Google.org is helping local leaders invest in digital tools that offer teachers quality training and confidence-building tools that encourage creativity in the classroom. The first of these grants goes to Million Sparks Foundation's ChalkLit, an app-based platform that combines bite-sized, curriculum-aligned content with an online community to support first-rate teaching. Google engineers volunteering their time and skills will advise the Million Sparks team on how to optimize the ChalkLit app for teachers in low-bandwidth and offline environments.

Helping students learn in crisis

Thirty-two million primary school-aged students can’t reach traditional classrooms because of violent conflict and displacement. Quality primary education is especially important to kids who, living in camps or other hard-to-reach settings, are highly vulnerable to poverty and exploitative labor.

One interesting approach to this problem comes from Google.org grantee War Child Holland, whose game-based method, Can’t Wait To Learn, children affected by conflict from falling behind by providing a year of lessons and exercises that align with a host country’s curriculum.

Data collected from Can’t Wait To Learn’s first deployments in Sudan showed that students learned significantly from the approach, with boys and girls progressing at equal rates. Supported by Google product experts who are volunteering to help build their product road map and expand their tech team, War Child Holland aims to reach significant numbers of children in the Middle East and Africa the next five years.

We’re continuing to work with these grantees, and are aiming to expand our efforts throughout the next year. If you’d like updates on our program, please let us know. We look forward to continuing this work to make education more equitable for children around the world.

Source: Education