Unleash student creativity with Chromebooks

Editor’s note: This week, we’re at BETT in London, where you can visit us at booth SE30. If you’re #NotAtBett, follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

My favorite part about being on the education team here at Google is talking to teachers about how their classrooms are evolving and how Chromebooks give their students a voice in the world. For generations, “learning” meant memorizing and repeating other peoples’ ideas. Today, with the help of classroom computers and creativity apps, schools are reinventing themselves as studios for students to create and share their own ideas. Where students used to be limited to reading and writing, they can now design, record, compose, code, prototype, and share their ideas using a range of digital media tools. 

Today, we’re updating our collection of creativity apps for Chromebooks—tools for the next generation of authors, filmmakers, journalists, artists and boardroom visionaries to capture and broadcast their ideas to teachers, parents, and students around the world. 

Like every good toolbox, our collection offers a range of apps for students across all grades and subjects and is designed to help all types of learners express themselves in their own way:

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In the collection are WeVideo, Book Creator, Infinite Painter, Squid, Soundtrap and Explain Everything.

This collection of six creativity tools comes with the ability to instantly deploy to thousands of students with our new app licensing system in Google Admin Console.

Video of Andy and Morgan talking about creativity apps for Chromebooks

Watch the video to learn more about the collection of creativity apps.

For students and teachers, this means no more usernames and passwords; every app in the collection uses Google Sign-In to quickly and securely confirm the user’s app license and unlock all features and content.

For school administrators, this means you don’t have to manually roster apps through spreadsheet uploads or server syncs. You simply turn app licenses on or off for organizations in your domain and monitor usage over time— all from Google Admin Console. When students change classes or move grades at the end of the year, app licenses return to the pool to be used by the next student. Finally, since schools can purchase app licenses from their Chromebook provider, you no longer have to approve new vendors or create new purchase orders for every app. 

Altogether, we hope our new app licensing system will save admins, teachers, and students both time and headaches—and put a whole lot of megaphones… er “creativity tools” into the hands of imaginative kids around the world. We can’t wait to see what you create.

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All apps are licensed and managed with Google Admin Console.

Coming soon, you’ll be able to purchase these creativity apps for Chromebooks through your Chromebook provider. Stay tuned at g.co/edu/creativityapps for more information in the coming months.

To learn more about these apps and hear from teachers using them in the classroom, check out our playlist on YouTube. And for more on these apps and ideas on how to use them, check out the Chromebook App Hub.

If you’re an educational software developer and interested in participating in Google’s app licensing system, please fill out this form.

What’s new on the Chromebook App Hub

Editor’s note: This week, we’re at BETT in London, where you can visit us at booth SE30. If you’re #NotAtBett, follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

In classrooms around the world, educators rely on Chromebooks to keep their students' data secure. Students like them because they are fast, easy to use and built for collaboration. And because documents are all stored in the cloud, students can share devices and access their work from anywhere. Most importantly, Chromebook apps and features help teachers customize their lessons for students.

New features in the Chromebook App Hub

When teachers customize learning experiences, students can learn in a way that works best for them. That’s why we created the Chromebook App Hub. 

The Chromebook App Hub lets educators and developers showcase and discover Chromebook apps and ideas for classroom activities. Since we launched the Chromebook App Hub, educators and developers have contributed over 270 apps and classroom ideas, and counting. 

Here are some new features that make it easier for educators to find what they need on the Chromebook App Hub: 

  • Search for your favorite apps and idea, and share them with other educators 

  • New filter options that allow teachers to search by class subject, device feature, and Google integrations to find the best app to enhance their lessons

  • 20+ apps optimized for Chromebook tablets, and the ability to filter apps by privacy laws like GDPR and COPPA

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Better access to touch-based learning

Whether it’s tablets like the new Lenovo 10e, Chromebooks with touchscreens, or devices that work with styluses, educators are increasingly turning to touchscreen capabilities to support varied learning styles and encourage student creativity. 

And with the new filter functionality in the Chromebook App Hub, it’s now easier to find touch-optimized apps like: 

  • Canva for Education: With drag-and-drop design tools, classroom-friendly content and templates, teachers and students can use Canva create to posters, worksheets, infographics, reports and animated presentations.

  • Adobe Spark: With features like drag-and-drop and pinch-to-zoom, students can use Spark to easily create narrated videos, writing assignments, presentations, flyers, newsletters, portfolios, and web pages.

  • Nearpod: A student engagement platform with ready-to-run interactive lessons that are touch-optimized for Chromebooks and tablets. Within Google Slides, educators can incorporate Nearpod features, while the Google Chrome extension enables teachers to easily access the Nearpod library within Google Classroom. 

  • Kahoot: Create, host and play multiple choice quizzes. Teachers can take advantage of Google’s single sign-on for log-in and account creation as well as share homework challenges with students easily through Google Classroom

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Supporting diverse learners

The Chromebook App Hub includes apps that support learners with impaired vision or hearing, physical disabilities, and diverse learning styles.

Here are a few available: 

  • WriQ from Texthelp: With their own personalized mini dashboard, students can  track how long they can write for before stopping, and positive nudge notifications spur them to do better each day.

  • Clicker Apps, from Crick Software provide customizable support to emergent, developing, and struggling readers and writers. During Bett this year, Crick is also launching a brand new Clicker Writer app.

  • Scanning Pens: The ReaderPen reads scanned text aloud or via earphones, aiding learners who need extra reading support. Students can scan the text directly into a Google Doc with the scan-to-file feature and upload recorded audio onto a Chromebook or Android device to allow for easy access when reviewing.

  • Wizkids AppWriter: An all-in-one accessibility tool for Chrome that offers support with English as a Foreign Language (EFL), writing and pronouncing words in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), and assists with everyday literacy needs. Now, AppWriter also  includes a new and intuitive speech to text synthesizer. Find out more during Bett and register for a free trial. 

Improve student writing with originality reports and rubrics in Classroom

Editor’s note: This week, we’re at BETT in London, where you can visit us at booth SE30. If you’re #NotAtBett, follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

As students grow, their learning needs change. At Google, we're committed to supporting learners throughout their development with tools for student-directed learning and personalized feedback.

That’s why today, we’re making our latest Classroom tools, originality reports and rubrics, available to everyone who uses G Suite for Education. 

Empowered learning and accelerated grading

Today’s students have more information at their fingertips than ever before. As part of Google’s mission, we are invested in making the world’s information universally accessible and useful, especially for curious students. We want to make sure students have the tools to not only find information, but also learn from it and make it their own. 

Educators also face a big challenge in helping students keep their work authentic, and they don’t always have the tools to easily evaluate which passages are students’ own. Often the best tool available to instructors is to manually copy and paste passages into Google Search to check if work is original. We’re simplifying the process by integrating Search into our assignment and grading tools.

Originality reports are a new assignment feature that can help students improve their writing, while also providing instructors with a fast and easy way to verify academic integrity without leaving the grading interface. When instructors turn on originality reports for an assignment, students can check for missed citations or poor paraphrasing before they turn something in, and instructors automatically get an originality report to view while grading. 

Over the next month, originality reports will roll out to all Classroom instructors whose language is set to English. With this launch, instructors can enable originality reports on three assignments per class for free. Instructors whose admins have purchased G Suite Enterprise for Education get unlimited access to originality reports, as well as other premium tools. 

Upcoming features

We’re also announcing two new betas to originality reports for the top requested features from our instructors. With student-to-student matches, available toG Suite Enterprise for Educationinstitutions, we’re expanding originality reports to include checks against previous student submissions. With this, instructors can receive originality reports with student-to-student matches within the same school along with the usual web matches. This allows schools to have their own database of student submissions— owned by your school, not Google. Once this feature is enabled for your school, student submissions on assignments that use originality reports will automatically be added to the school’s repository and administrators will be able to add or delete files manually. There’s also a beta for international languages to enable originality reports for those whose language is set to Spanish, Portuguese and French.

If you use another learning management system, originality reports are also available through our Assignments LTI tool which is currently in beta--stay tuned for availability updates later this year.

Teachers were buzzing [about originality reports], excited by the simplicity and ease of use, and even more so about the accessibility of the tool for students so that they could work alongside them and have meaningful learning conversations. Jonathan Wyeth
Assistant Principal at Green Bay High School, NZ
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Enhanced student feedback

Educators often spend a lot of time grading assignments and providing constructive comments to help students grow. They often use rubrics as scoring frameworks to make it easier to evaluate student assignments, set clear expectations and provide actionable feedback. 

That’s why we launched a beta for rubrics in Google Classroom last June. This streamlined how rubrics are created in Classroom to help educators provide additional transparency around students’ grades. Tom Mullaney is a high school Digital Learning Coach in North Carolina who’s enrolled in the beta program, and he knows how helpful rubrics can be. “[Rubrics enable] teachers to give much more detailed feedback than just a text comment. Students can now see both what is expected of them and how they did in meeting expectations,” Mullaney says. “Rubrics save teachers times in two ways: You can reuse rubrics and  you can also duplicate criterion.”

Thanks to all of the feedback and feature requests from our beta, today we’re making rubrics available to everyone who’s using Classroom and Assignments.

With the new rubrics feature, educators can now create a rubric while they create an assignment, reuse rubrics from a previous assignment rather than having to create one from scratch. They can also export and import Classroom rubrics to share them with other instructors, as well as grade student work with a rubric from both the student listing page and Classroom’s grading view, where instructors can select rating levels as they review the assignment. 

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Sync grades across systems

Since Google Classroom launched, administrators and instructors have frequently requested a way to keep student data in sync with their SIS. We listened, and now G Suite administrators can sign up for the beta to sync grades from Google Classroom and select SIS. We’re expanding the beta to include schools that use Capita SIMS, Infinite Campus and Skyward SMS 2.0, with more SIS integrations to come.

Iterate your way to success with A/B testing

Many app publishers attempt to maintain stability in their app by not making any changes, despite the constantly evolving mobile ads business.  This approach can be detrimental in the long run by causing you to miss out on growth opportunities. Continuously testing new approaches in your app is an essential part of an effective monetization strategy, so we’d like to go over a few examples of tests you can implement now to get you started.

What are some things I can test?

With AdMob, you can test any feature of your app that can be defined with a variable. Here are some experiments you can start with:

Ads alongside in-app purchases

If you currently monetize your app exclusively through in-app purchases (IAPs), testing ads alongside IAPs is a low risk approach that allows you to understand the impact of including another monetization model.  For example, game publisher Four Thirty Threeused to rely exclusively on in-app purchases (IAP) for their revenue.  They used smart segmentation to divide their users into likely purchasers and likely non-purchasers.  This allowed them to remove any risk of harming their IAP revenue by ensuring that ads were only shown to users who did not spend within their app anyway.  After serving rewarded ads to non-paying users, their retention, session duration, and revenue increased.

New features

A/B testing can be a great way to gauge your user’s reaction to new features before rolling them out to your entire app.  For example, Onefootball, a leading soccer app, wanted to test a Top News section in their app’s News stream. However, they first wanted to determine whether this potential change would lower revenues. They set up a test with a control group and two exposed groups, which showed them that this proposed change would not hurt revenue.  As a result, the feature increased daily engagement by 5 percent, and articles read on the app rose by 6 percent.

Pricing

A/B testing can be an invaluable tool to help determine the best price point for a subscription or in-app purchase. Le Figaro, France’s oldest and largest daily newspaper, was looking to increase paying customers and retain paid subscribers. They used Firebase to test different subscription price points, and even found that the largest increase in paid subscriptions was driven after embedding real time interactive infographics into their mobile and web articles.

How can I test it?

If you haven’t yet linked AdMob to Firebase and wish to A/B test, we recommend you do so. Integrating Firebase into your AdMob account is simple, and lets you test small changes to your apps without having to push updates. After setting up your account, endless experiments become available to you with just a few clicks. If you’d like a quick summary of what Firebase can do for your AdMob account, check out this YouTube video.

G Suite Add-ons now generally available in Calendar, Gmail, and Google Drive

What’s changing 

Last year we announced the beta of G Suite Add-ons, a new cross-suite platform that connects G Suite to your favorite workplace apps. Beginning today, G Suite Add-ons will begin rolling out to all users.

With G Suite Add-ons, workflows that require third-party applications can be executed inside G Suite, allowing users and teams to use the applications they want without leaving G Suite. For example, you can install the Workfront add-on for quick access across Calendar, Gmail, and Google Drive.

Installing the Workfront add-on directly from Calendar


Access G Suite Add-ons from the side panel of Calendar, Google Drive, and Gmail

Take action without leaving G Suite


Who’s impacted

Admins and end users

Why it’s important

G Suite Add-ons connect G Suite with third-party applications so you can work directly from the G Suite app you’re using, rather than toggling from one app to another. They also surface relevant information and suggest actions based on what you’re working on. 

Add-ons from SignEasy, WebEx, Workfront, Lucidchart and more will be available once this feature has fully rolled out and can be installed from the G Suite Marketplace

Organizations can also build their own add-ons using Apps Script. Note that the developer feature will be fully available in early February — we’ll provide an update here once it’s fully rolled out.


Additional Details

G Suite Add-ons will work across G Suite products, allowing developers to create a single add-on that works across G Suite, rather than building a separate add-on for each application within G Suite. 

G Suite Add-ons are currently accessible in Calendar, Gmail, and Google Drive, with support for other G Suite products coming later this year.

Getting started

  • Admins: This feature will be available by default. If you allow users to install only whitelisted applications from the G Suite Marketplace, you can specify those apps within the Admin console. Or, you can install chosen G Suite Add-ons for your entire domain via the listing in the G Suite Marketplace.
  • End users: This feature will be available by default. You’ll be able to install G Suite Add-ons using the “+” button in the G Suite quick access side panel. The add-ons you install will appear in the side panel across G Suite apps.

Rollout pace

Resources

Roadmap

Sunsetting support for data-vocabulary

Structured data schemas such as schema.org and data-vocabulary.org are used to define shared meaningful structures for markup-based applications on the Web. With the increasing usage and popularity of schema.org we decided to focus our development on a single SD scheme. As of April 6, 2020, data-vocabulary.org markup will no longer be eligible for Google rich result features.

As a preparation for the change and starting today, Search Console will issue warnings for pages using the data-vocabulary.org schema so that you can prepare for the sunset in time. This will allow you to easily identify pages using that markup and replace the data-vocabulary.org markup with schema.org.

A bit more about structured data

Google uses structured data standardized formats and shared schemas to provide information about a page and the things described by the page. This information is used for two main purposes
  1. Understand the content of the page 
  2. Enable special search result features and enhancements

What are structured data formats?

Structured data formats like JSON-LD, RDFa and Microdata define a small number of fixed structures that can be used to encode descriptive data. They typically build upon lower-level standards like JSON and HTML. To learn more about the supported and recommended formats, please check out our developers guide.

What are structured data schemas?

Alongside the structured data formats, structured data schemas work like a kind of dictionary, defining terms for types of thing (e.g. "Person", "Event", "Organization"), and for properties and relationships (e.g. "name", "worksFor"). By maintaining this separation between format and schema, it is possible for users of different formats to take advantage of the same, widely shared, schemas.

Data-vocabulary schema

Google's "Data Vocabulary" project was an important milestone in the development of structured data on the Web, because it led to our collaboration with other search engines to create schema.org. However it is now very outdated and it is generally preferable to use more widely shared vocabulary from Schema.org. Therefore data-vocabulary.org markup will stop being eligible for Google search result features and enhancements.

Please note that this is the only consequence of this change. Pages using data-vocabulary schema will remain valid for all other purposes.

In order to be eligible for Google rich result features we recommend converting your data-vocabulary.org structured data to schema.org.

For example, here is how you would change the data vocabulary to schema.org

Data-vocabulary.org


Schema.org


You can test any code snippet live on Rich Results Test by pasting it into the search box. Try it out! And if you have any questions or comments, check out the Google Webmasters community.

Posted by Dan Brickley, Standards Developer Advocate, and Moshe Samet, Search Console Product Manager

Supporting AI skills training in Molenbeek, Belgium

MolenGeek started in 2015 in Molenbeek, Belgium, as a coding school for anyone to learn digital skills. But unlike many other schools, MolenGeek is driven by a social mission of fostering inclusion, integration and community development in this culturally diverse suburb of Brussels. 

In five years, it’s become a co-working space for young people from all backgrounds, enabling them to network and share their experiences. Out of Molengeek's community of 800 active members, 195 people from predominantly underprivileged backgrounds have gone through entrepreneurship skills training, and 35 new startups have been built and grown out of their incubator program. We’ve been proud to help support their mission since 2015.

Today, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, visited MolenGeek to announce an additional Google.org grant of $250,000—over EUR 200,000—to expand its coding school and increase the community’s access to new kinds of digital skills training. MolenGeek will use the funds to develop a new six-month content module focused on artificial intelligence and data analytics. This is part of MolenGeek’s longer-term plan to open a second hub in Brussels later this year, which will include an incubator dedicated to the needs of AI-focused startups, as well as a six-month AI training program. In addition to funding, Google AI experts will also provide MolenGeek with ongoing mentorship and opportunities for Googlers to volunteer.

“MolenGeek’s mission to make sure technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation is accessible to everyone is personal to me, and to the work we do at Google,” said Sundar. “Increasingly that means helping people get the skills they need to succeed in a digital world. We’re proud to support MolenGeek as it expands its digital trainings, including a new module focused on artificial intelligence, to give more people the tools for success.”

Sundar visits MolenGeek

“It’s important that we offer the younger generations a way to invest in themselves,” says Ibrahim Ouassari, co-founder of MolenGeek. “As the momentum is picking up, we are grateful that we can once again count on Google to lend their support and knowledge to the many potential entrepreneurs who look to MolenGeek as a gateway to the tech sector and a springboard for their future careers.”

And this grant support is especially important when it comes to AI, one of the most exciting technologies humanity is working on today. We’re already seeing its potential to change lives, from helping doctors better detect breast cancer, forecast floods in India, to supporting nonprofits applying AI tools to address issues like illegal logging and plastic waste reduction. To help more Belgian businesses make the most of this technology, we’ll be expanding our Machine Learning Checkup tool to small and medium businesses here in Belgium, as well as 10 other markets in Europe. 

With such a huge scope for positive change, countries must invest now in reskilling and education. It all starts in communities like Molenbeek, in organizations like this one, who believe not just in technology, but in the people creating it.

Tools for small businesses impacted by bushfires

The devastating bushfires have impacted communities across Australia. Countless small businesses have been affected - both directly through damage to premises and as customers can’t reach their business in the way they usually would.

Online tools can help to get information out and reach these audiences. We’re working to assist small businesses to help address immediate issues with their online presence.

Businesses impacted by the bushfires may want to consider taking the following steps on their Google My Business profile to provide the most timely and accurate information on Google Search and Maps:

  • Editing your hours of operation so customers can know if they are open, closed, or have modified hours on Google Search and Maps. 
  • If you’re unable to be at your physical business location, update your business phone number to your mobile phone, so you can answer business calls remotely. 
  • Create free posts to communicate timely information like service changes or inventory updates directly on the Google My Business profile. 
  • Download the free Google My Business app, and activate messaging on your Business Profile to allow customers text you directly from Google Search and Maps. 

Businesses impacted by bushfires can seek assistance related to their Google Ads campaigns by contacting the bushfire support hotline on 1800 287 850. We can help you pause campaigns, get help with payments, or start new campaigns as your business picks up.

We are also hosting free digital skills training sessions for small businesses in impacted communities to help them get back on their feet. Our first training will be in Shellharbour on 10 March 2020 and you can find more details about upcoming events at Grow with Google.

Dev Channel Update for Desktop

The Dev channel has been updated to 81.0.4029.3 for Windows, Mac and 81.0.4029.4 for Linux.
A partial list of changes is available in the log. Interested in switching release channels? Find out how. If you find a new issue, please let us know by filing a bug. The community help forum is also a great place to reach out for help or learn about common issues.
Prudhvikumar Bommana Google Chrome

Campus London calling: apply for Women Founders residency

Only nine percent of C-level positions—and six percent of CEOs—at European startups are women. Of all the funds raised by European venture capital-backed companies in 2018, a staggering 93 percent went to all-male founding teams. In order to combat this, last year Google for Startups introduced the first Women Founders Residency at our Campus in London—one of seven Campuses around the world—to back women-led startups using technology to tackle key social issues. Founders receive access to Google products, resources, and mentoring to level the playing field for startup success. The program proved so successful that we are now currently accepting applications for the second Women Founders cohort

To learn more about the Google for Startups Residency, we chatted with Elina Naydenova: biomedical engineer, data scientist and founder ofFeebris, a healthcare startup that graduated from Campus Residency in 2019. Not based in the UK? Explore other Google for Startups places and programs for founders of all backgrounds at startup.google.com. 

What inspired you to start found Feebris? What problem are you trying to solve? 

Healthcare should be a human right; yet, millions of people can’t get the care they need, when they need it. It’s unacceptable that in 2019, we can do our communications, our banking, our navigation, our shopping at a touch of a button, but still nearly one million children die of pneumonia because it gets diagnosed too late. 

When I realized these deaths can be avoided through early diagnosis, I became obsessed with solving the problem. We set up Feebris so that the most vulnerable patients—children and the elderly—can diagnose pneumonia early. The Feebris AI platform lets anyone capture and interpret important health information in order to identify disease early and monitor conditions in the community. Feebris algorithms paired with sensors, such as digital stethoscopes, can be used by anyone, such as a teacher or a parent, in any remote area to detect issues early, avoid complications and prevent hospitalization. 

How did Google for Startups Residency help you achieve your goals? 

The most valuable training we received from Residency was how to implement an Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) framework for our startup. When we started Residency, we were going through due diligence with investors, so we worked with a senior Googler to set clear goals. This gave our investors confidence in our ability to map out our journey and identify appropriate milestones, and we went on to close our seed round of £1.1 million. Striking a balance between structure and agility is tremendously important in tech, and even more so for a startup. Residency gave us the right tools to forge a framework that we continue to follow and adapt as we evolve.  

Second, the pool of expertise and deep knowledge that Google offers to the Residency startups is second to none. We’ve been connected with the leading experts in technology, like TensorFlowor ChromeOS, to help us develop core product functionality and our technical infrastructure.

Third, as a health technology startup, credibility is hugely important as we grow our footprint with healthcare providers. Residency provided us with a public platform to share our story and build awareness for the work we are doing, from public speaking opportunities to media articles. 

What does Residency offer that is different than a traditional accelerator or other program you've attended? 

Support at Campus is personalized to your needs and led by people who have successfully launched and scaled startups. Unlike the one-size-fits-all classroom programs, Residency is focused on unlocking opportunities and removing barriers for each business individually. 

Over time, build relationships with people you like and admire because they might become your future dream team.

What does Google 1:1 mentorship offer you specifically? What were the most helpful takeaways?

Our Google mentor, Vitor Rodriguez, was generous with his time and advice. He has  built a career at Google and also worked in a startup, so he understood the challenges we faced. Vitor spent hours with us, thinking through software architecture options and nurturing our ability to make scalable decisions. Vitor was our conduit into the immense pool of Google knowledge. He helped us analyze the problems that we faced and connected us with domain experts who hold essential insights to reach a solution. Vitor also taught us how to conduct highly technical interviews and cut through the wall of jargon that candidates build to reach a true evaluation of their abilities. 

Mentorship also helped us recruit some of our key hires. We went in as a team of two, and by the end had grown to six. The Googlers we worked with during Residency helped us structure evaluation criteria and even conducted technical interviews with us, proving fundamental to the recruitment process.

What advice would you want to share with other founders?

Prioritize hiring, even when you are not hiring. As a founder, finding the right people is one of the most important jobs you have. But it can take a long time and you don’t want to feel rushed and get it wrong. Over time, build relationships with people you like and admire because they might become your future dream team.