Tag Archives: Education

exploreCSR puts students on a path to computer science research

Nimeesha Chan is looking for “a-ha” moments. She’s a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying computer science (CS), and equates it to connecting dots between different concepts, like “keeping wires and spare parts to repurpose them to fix something else.” Last year she attended a workshop hosted by exploreCSR awardee Dr. Shanon Reckinger.

exploreCSR funds faculty to host workshops for undergraduates from underrepresented groups in order to encourage them to pursue CS research. As part of Google’s commitments to racial equity in education, we’ve provided exploreCSR awards to 50 institutions around the world for the 2020 academic year. In 2018 and 2019, an average of 59 percent of students surveyed by exploreCSR identified as women of color. In 2020, 89 percent of U.S. and Canada awardees plan to engage Black and Latinx students. 

Here’s what Nimeesha had to say about what she learned from the exploreCSR workshop and what’s next for her journey in computer science research.

A group of young women collaborate on a project.

Nimeesha, second from left, and peers collaborate on a computer science research project at the University of Illinois Chicago 2019 exploreCSR workshop.

What did you take away from the workshop?

I learned how non-linear the path to research is. Some go straight to graduate school, and some go into industry first. Some know exactly what they want to explore, and some figure it out along the way. Engaging with the faculty members, graduate students and alumni who shared their journeys made applying to graduate school a lot less daunting, and a much more tangible path to pursue. The common denominator is a drive to push beyond what we already know, and make improvements and new discoveries, and I am so inspired by that. I also made new friends who I can both lean on and support as we get through college together!


What are you looking forward to in the year ahead?

Working on two research projects, learning to be more effective at tutoring our Data Structures class, and doing more work to support underrepresented groups in CS. The pandemic, as unfortunate as it is, has stimulated major growth in data-driven medical research, both in industry and academia, and I am so excited to be a part of that space when I graduate next spring. 


What advice do you have for others curious to start their journey in CS research?

Do something today! Schedule a meeting or send an email to your CS professor or TA, share your interests, and ask about their research and resources they would recommend looking into. Alternatively, pick a random tech talk/event to attend, whether in or out of school, or online, and explore current research. The earlier you start, the more holistic your view of the field will be, and you may be surprised at what you discover!


Congratulations to the faculty across 50 institutions who received our 2020 exploreCSR awards. We look forward to the opportunities this year’s awardees provide to students like Nimeesha, influencing a diversity of future CS researchers to shape our world for the better.

exploreCSR puts students on a path to computer science research

Nimeesha Chan is looking for “a-ha” moments. She’s a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying computer science (CS), and equates it to connecting dots between different concepts, like “keeping wires and spare parts to repurpose them to fix something else.” Last year she attended a workshop hosted by exploreCSR awardee Dr. Shanon Reckinger.

exploreCSR funds faculty to host workshops for undergraduates from underrepresented groups in order to encourage them to pursue CS research. As part of Google’s commitments to racial equity in education, we’ve provided exploreCSR awards to 50 institutions around the world for the 2020 academic year. In 2018 and 2019, an average of 59 percent of students surveyed by exploreCSR identified as women of color. In 2020, 89 percent of U.S. and Canada awardees plan to engage Black and Latinx students. 

Here’s what Nimeesha had to say about what she learned from the exploreCSR workshop and what’s next for her journey in computer science research.

A group of young women collaborate on a project.

Nimeesha, second from left, and peers collaborate on a computer science research project at the University of Illinois Chicago 2019 exploreCSR workshop.

What did you take away from the workshop?

I learned how non-linear the path to research is. Some go straight to graduate school, and some go into industry first. Some know exactly what they want to explore, and some figure it out along the way. Engaging with the faculty members, graduate students and alumni who shared their journeys made applying to graduate school a lot less daunting, and a much more tangible path to pursue. The common denominator is a drive to push beyond what we already know, and make improvements and new discoveries, and I am so inspired by that. I also made new friends who I can both lean on and support as we get through college together!


What are you looking forward to in the year ahead?

Working on two research projects, learning to be more effective at tutoring our Data Structures class, and doing more work to support underrepresented groups in CS. The pandemic, as unfortunate as it is, has stimulated major growth in data-driven medical research, both in industry and academia, and I am so excited to be a part of that space when I graduate next spring. 


What advice do you have for others curious to start their journey in CS research?

Do something today! Schedule a meeting or send an email to your CS professor or TA, share your interests, and ask about their research and resources they would recommend looking into. Alternatively, pick a random tech talk/event to attend, whether in or out of school, or online, and explore current research. The earlier you start, the more holistic your view of the field will be, and you may be surprised at what you discover!


Congratulations to the faculty across 50 institutions who received our 2020 exploreCSR awards. We look forward to the opportunities this year’s awardees provide to students like Nimeesha, influencing a diversity of future CS researchers to shape our world for the better.

exploreCSR puts students on a path to computer science research

Nimeesha Chan is looking for “a-ha” moments. She’s a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying computer science (CS), and equates it to connecting dots between different concepts, like “keeping wires and spare parts to repurpose them to fix something else.” Last year she attended a workshop hosted by exploreCSR awardee Dr. Shanon Reckinger.

exploreCSR funds faculty to host workshops for undergraduates from underrepresented groups in order to encourage them to pursue CS research. As part of Google’s commitments to racial equity in education, we’ve provided exploreCSR awards to 50 institutions around the world for the 2020 academic year. In 2018 and 2019, an average of 59 percent of students surveyed by exploreCSR identified as women of color. In 2020, 89 percent of U.S. and Canada awardees plan to engage Black and Latinx students. 

Here’s what Nimeesha had to say about what she learned from the exploreCSR workshop and what’s next for her journey in computer science research.

A group of young women collaborate on a project.

Nimeesha, second from left, and peers collaborate on a computer science research project at the University of Illinois Chicago 2019 exploreCSR workshop.

What did you take away from the workshop?

I learned how non-linear the path to research is. Some go straight to graduate school, and some go into industry first. Some know exactly what they want to explore, and some figure it out along the way. Engaging with the faculty members, graduate students and alumni who shared their journeys made applying to graduate school a lot less daunting, and a much more tangible path to pursue. The common denominator is a drive to push beyond what we already know, and make improvements and new discoveries, and I am so inspired by that. I also made new friends who I can both lean on and support as we get through college together!


What are you looking forward to in the year ahead?

Working on two research projects, learning to be more effective at tutoring our Data Structures class, and doing more work to support underrepresented groups in CS. The pandemic, as unfortunate as it is, has stimulated major growth in data-driven medical research, both in industry and academia, and I am so excited to be a part of that space when I graduate next spring. 


What advice do you have for others curious to start their journey in CS research?

Do something today! Schedule a meeting or send an email to your CS professor or TA, share your interests, and ask about their research and resources they would recommend looking into. Alternatively, pick a random tech talk/event to attend, whether in or out of school, or online, and explore current research. The earlier you start, the more holistic your view of the field will be, and you may be surprised at what you discover!


Congratulations to the faculty across 50 institutions who received our 2020 exploreCSR awards. We look forward to the opportunities this year’s awardees provide to students like Nimeesha, influencing a diversity of future CS researchers to shape our world for the better.

New awards support future leaders of computing research

From 2018 to 2019, the number of students from underrepresented groups who completed a Ph.D in computer science decreased by 13 percent. Computer science research has broad implications for billions of people—which is why it’s so important that researchers doing this work represent the experiences, perspectives and concerns of people all around the world. So we’re working with the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI) and the CMD-IT Diversifying Future Leadership in the Professoriate Alliance (FLIP) to increase the diversity of Ph.D graduates in computing.

In 2019, together with Google Research, CAHSI and CMD-IT FLIP established separate competitive dissertation awards programs across their network of institutions. They invited doctoral students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to apply for the awards to be used for the last year of the completion of the dissertation requirements.

Meet the 11 graduate students who received this award. By pursuing research in computer science and related fields, they’re positively influencing the direction and perspective of technology. Here’s what they’ve shared about themselves, their aspirations and dreams for the future.

Future directions for technology and education in Asia

COVID-19 began upending education across Asia Pacific in January, forcing hundreds of millions of students to learn remotely. As a father, helping my sons learn from home left me grateful to their teachers—and deeply appreciative of the technology that helped keep their education going outside the classroom. 

Within Google, we’ve made it a priority to help education authorities and schools adapt— providing tools like Google Classroom and Read Along, working with governments to make hardware available, ensuring teachers have the resources they need, and supporting nonprofits like INCO through Google.org's Distance Learning Fund. Today, many students across the region are back at school. The question now is: where next from here?


Only around 22 percent of the schools the OECD surveyed in the peak of the pandemic want to go back to ‘teaching as usual’ afterwards. Almost 60 percent see hybrid learning—a combination of classroom and remote teaching—as the way forward. But there’s a lot to do to make that approach work on a national or regional scale. 


To get an insight into how education might evolve from here, I spoke to Andreas Schleicher—Director for Education and Skills at the OECD—as part of Google’s APAC Beyond series of talks looking at the economic and social outlook beyond the coronavirus.


Looking at it from a global perspective, what lessons did you take from a shift to remote learning on this scale? 


It reinforced two things for me. First, learning is not a place but an activity, and education and technology must work better together in the future. Second, education is not a transactional experience. It’s a social experience. What students will remember from this crisis is the teacher who reached out to them when they needed it. So we have seen big social as well as technological changes in education. 


There is also the potentially dramatic economic impact of learning loss, totalling hundreds of billions of dollars, if the students affected aren’t well-equipped for the workplace. 


What do you see as the role of technology in education from here?  


We can’t manage learning loss by just adding back learning time—we need to focus on managing students’ time better, finding out which students learn the best in what context and how we can best support them. A hybrid model is more than just an hour in the classroom, and hour virtually. It's about totally reconfiguring places and technology to enable learning. That’s the model most of the schools we talk to want to adopt. 


So far, the way we teach via technology has been quite traditional. But where social distancing means there will continue to be capacity constraints in schools, we need different approaches in areas like project-based learning and working as a team.

OECD education insights

A graphical summary of the discussion at APAC Beyond: The Future of Education

Where do you think we’ll face barriers in combining technology and education? 


One is access to technology. At disadvantaged schools in parts of Southeast Asia, for example, only around 20 percent of students have computers they can use for school work. Within schools, there’s often a lack of devices for instruction. 


We need to make sure, first, that schools have the online learning platforms in place for both remote learning and classroom teaching and, second, that teachers can use and contribute to the platform with confidence. In some countries — Japan for example — many teachers aren’t comfortable incorporating technology into their teaching process. We should also work to foster better collaboration between teachers, within schools and internationally. Today, only 28 percentof teachers run classes as a team—yet we know collaboration is how new ideas and approaches emerge.  


Creating a culture of technology in schools will take time, but we’re seeing progress. Over 80 percent of the countries that we surveyed are committed to ensuring secure internet connectivity for all teachers and students. There has been good collaboration between the tech industry and governments to equip schools with the software, hardware and training resources. These are steps we can build on, not just to mitigate the impact of school closures or restrictions, but to rethink how we provide education in future. 

9 Chromebook and G Suite for Education features to make learning more accessible

Around the world, students with disabilities and diverse learning needs have been learning remotely, and teachers are finding new ways to practice inclusive teaching. In South Korea, Ryu Changdong, a blind teacher at Seoyun Middle School, when switching to online learning, struggled to gauge his students’ level of interaction with the lessons. While teaching remotely, he turned to Google Forms for quick surveys, knowledge checks and feedback before every lesson to help fill the void after not being able to rely on verbal clues like he would in class- and then used that feedback to inform his planning for the next lesson. In every school that’s using Chromebooks and G Suite for Education for learning, students with disabilities are also benefiting from tools that help them read, listen, and connect with classmates and teachers.


In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we’re shining a light on improvements to Chromebook and G Suite for Education accessibility features.

1. More colors for cursors on Chromebooks

To help students see cursors better on Chromebooks, they can choose from seven colors—red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta and pink—in addition to default black. They can also make the cursor size bigger for more visibility. To change cursor sizes, go to the “Mouse and touchpad” section of Settings. 

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2. Select-to-speak and ChromeVox improvements

To make it easier to focus on the spoken text, students can shade background text that is not being spoken aloud using Select-to-speak. This can be helpful for people with low vision and learning disabilities like dyslexia. To enable this select-to-speak feature, search for “Select-to-speak settings” within Settings

Voice Switching automatically changes the screen reader’s voice based on the language of the text being read, providing more clarity for pages containing multiple languages. We’ve also added Speech Customization, Smart Sticky Mode, and improved navigation in ChromeVox menus. Search for ChromeVox in Settings to try these new features. 

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Use Select-to-speak on Chromebooks.

3. Accessible test-taking for students on Chromebooks

Administrators can set Chromebooks into kiosk mode, so an exam app can run in full-screen mode on a device. When using kiosk mode for testing, Chromebook accessibility features are now more readily available and customizable- like screen readers, magnification, and more. And some testing providers like Pearson make it possible to access third-party accessibility tools from partners like Don Johnston and Texthelp. Later this year, we'll add the ability to set device accessibility policies so students with disabilities can use personalized accessibility settings. We also enabled the use of accessibility features built into Chromebooks when using locked mode in Quizzes in Google Forms, along with tools from partners mentioned above.

4. More support for braille in Google Docs

Students can use a braille display to read and edit documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings. Now, with several improvements to braille support in Google Docs, like new keyboard shortcuts, faster typing echo and screen reader navigation, improved handling of punctuation and spaces, and more.

5. Live captioning in Google Meet

Live captions help make meetings more accessible by reducing barriers among students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, regardless of whether they’re participating remotely or in person. And now, captions are rolling out in Spanish, French, German and Portuguese.

6. Smart to do's in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

In Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, when you use comments to assign tasks or action items, suggested action items will appear based on the content in your file. This is helpful for working quickly and making sure follow ups are noted.

7. Work hands-free in G Suite for Education

Students can use voice commands to carry out actions in G Suite such as navigating, selecting, and editing in Google Docs, sending emails in Gmail, and joining or leaving Google Meets. 

8. Closed captions in Google Slides

With this Google Slides feature, everything students and teachers say during a presentation in Slides can be shown as a caption at the bottom of viewers’ screens. It’s a helpful feature for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, and can likely help all users better absorb a presentation’s content.

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Use closed captions in Google Slides.

9. Live edits in Google Docs

Live edits are accessible through screen readers. This includes announcing changes, reading edited text, and also naming who’s doing the editing.

Where to get support

Read our Guardian's Guide for advice on using Chromebooks and G Suite for Education for learning from home. For additional support, check out Teach from Anywhere and the Chromebook accessibility hub.

Bringing new digital skills trainings to HBCUs

Status quo doesn’t survive, especially in education. I’ve seen this firsthand in my role as the President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF). At TMCF, the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black college community, we aim to ensure student success by promoting educational excellence and preparing the next generation of workforce talent through leadership development. As a Black, first-generation college student, I experienced the power education has to not only catapult a career, but also change a life. But standard education alone isn’t sufficient to prepare college students: In a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, it was found that only 44 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds believe their education gives them the skills they need to enter the workforce.

There’s no question technology is changing the future of work. Nearly two-thirds of all jobs in the U.S. require medium or advanced digital skills, but 50 percent of Black jobseekers lack digital skills. To help meet this need, today TMCF is announcing a partnership with Google to launch the Grow with Google Career Readiness Program, bringing Grow with Google training into the career centers of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The program will help train 20,000 HBCU students in digital skills over the next school year. 

While the student bodies of HCBUs are incredibly diverse, HBCUs disproportionately serve low-income and first-generation students who may be less academically ready than their peers. The Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program aims to help these students by providing funding, digital skills workshops and custom jobseeker content to HBCU career centers to help students and alumni gain the tools and training needed to secure a job and excel in the workplace.

We’re starting in four HBCUs—Bowie State University, Virginia State University, Winston-Salem State University and Southern University A&M College—and will enter 20 HBCUs total by January. The program will be available to all HBCUs by fall 2021.

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The first four HBCUs in the program. (Left to right: Southern University A&M College, Virginia State University, Bowie State University and Winston-Salem State University.)

Since 2017, the Grow with Google initiative has trained more than five million Americans on digital skills. Google has long been committed to HBCUs. Since 2013, the Google In Residence program has placed Google software engineers at HBCUs and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) to teach introductory computer science classes, and the company’s virtual Tech Exchange program works in partnership with select HBCUs and HSIs to teach applied computer science skills and social capital among Black and Latinx students. Grow with Google’s $1 million investment is part of a $15 million commitment the company announced in June to help Black jobseekers grow their digital skills.  

The digital skills gap for Black workers can’t be bridged alone. For over 30 years, TMCF has helped  thousands of students to journey to college, through college and into a career. We rely on partnerships and initiatives like the Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness program to help us continue our work and expand our impact. All sectors and organizations have a part to play to ensure everyone has access to education and economic mobility. We’re proud of the lives that will be touched and the careers that will be shaped through the start of this program. We invite you to visit TMCF’s website to learn how your institution can be involved.

How I found a global community of educators

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is guest authored by Bonnie Chelette, an instructional coach from South Louisiana and co-founder of Global GEG.

When I became my school’s first instructional technology coach—working hand-in-hand with other educators to help them achieve their teaching goals with technology—I was excited but intimidated. As a teacher, I had often helped my peers with one-off classroom technology questions, but with no formal training, I wondered if I was the right person for the job.


Thankfully, my district provided bootcamp training that helped me develop my confidence. The practical skills I gained through training addressed classroom challenges I’d faced for years and prepared me to earn my Educator Level 1 and 2 Certifications. This opened the doors for me to become a Certified Trainer, Certified Innovator, and hopefully soon—Certified Coach. Now I work with teachers across 29 schools in my district.


While every classroom is unique, many teachers share the same goals and challenges. That’s why I’m so passionate about Google’s professional development programs and communities, and it’s why I co-founded Global GEG, a global Google Educator Group that provides programming like free bootcamp trainings to tens of thousands of educators who don’t have access to them through their own districts and schools.


If you’re not yet part of one of these communities, read on below to figure out which program is right for you. We would love for you to join us!


Professional Development & Certification Programs

Certified Educator 

If you’re new to using Google tools, becoming a Google Certified Educator is a fantastic place to start. These days, teachers are especially hungry for technology support and training; this year alone, educators have earned over 100,000 Educator Level 1 and 2 certifications. While you prepare for the exams, you’ll develop everyday skills—like better engaging with students in Google Meet and bringing student work online in Google Classroom—so you can confidently use technology to engage your students and manage your classes. You’ll also earn certifications to celebrate your hard work. Level 1 and 2 certifications are required for the Certified Trainer, Coach, and Innovator programs.

Certified Trainer

The Certified Trainer program is for educators who want to lead and train fellow teachers on using Google tools in the classroom. Though some folks are full-time Trainers, most Trainers I’ve met are classroom teachers who are just passionate about empowering other teachers with classroom technology, and they lead group trainings a few times a year in their schools or districts.

Certified Coach

The Certified Coach program is designed for instructional coaches who want structured and research-based strategies that they can put into practice when working with teachers. While Trainers lead one-off group sessions on Google’s tools, Coaches meet regularly 1:1 with teachers to provide personalized support as they tackle classroom challenges with technology. With 1:1 coaching, I’m able to meet each teacher at their own level, whether they are new to using technology or an old pro that is looking to level up. I’ve been an instructional coach for five years, and I’m still learning new things from the curriculum.

Certified Innovator

The Certified Innovator program is for educators who want to solve a problem in education in their school, community, or beyond. Any educator can apply. Just describe the challenge you want to solve, your history of innovation, and your passion for growing your impact. The program helps you launch an innovation project, providing structured mentorship, programming, and a cohort of inspiring educators who support you all along the way. 


Educator Communities

Google Educator Groups (GEGs)

Whether or not you participate in Google’s professional development programs, we’d love to have you in a Google Educator Group (GEG). GEGs are educator-led groups that bring local educators together to share, collaborate, and support each other. In addition to leading Global GEG, I lead our South Louisiana GEG, which has enabled me to connect with dozens of local educators outside of my own district. There are chapters all over the world, and all GEG events are free. 

Community is everything to me, and it’s important for every teacher to have the knowledge, confidence, and support they need to use technology effectively in the classroom. If you’re ready to join our communities, please join us for an info session this week on all of these programs and learn more about them on Google’s Teacher Center.


New safety and collaboration features in Google Meet

With the new school year underway, teachers are learning how to best manage their classes and continue to stay connected with their students. Here are new Meet features to help.

Digital whiteboard with Jamboard

Now you can use Jamboard to make your Meet lessons more interactive—start by preparing your digital whiteboard in advance of your lesson. When it’s time to start a class session, whiteboards are view-only to the class by default but can be made collaborative so all students can edit and build on one another’s ideas. Both teachers and students can present a whiteboard, but the teacher can restrict this using the “who is allowed to present” setting. If presentations are restricted, then students will still be able to view and collaborate on the teacher’s whiteboard.

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Jamboard integration helps students collaborate and build on one another’s ideas. 

Breakout rooms

Breakout rooms allow educators to split students into simultaneous small group discussions. They are now available to G Suite Enterprise for Education customers, as many schools have started distance or hybrid learning, and will be launching to additional Google Workspace editions later this year. Over the next few months, we'll add new features like a timer and an "ask for help" option for participants to get the teacher's attention. With breakout rooms, teachers will be able to mirror their in-classroom teaching methods in Meet.

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Allow increased engagement with breakout rooms and split students up for simultaneous group work. 

Attendance reports

Taking attendance can be time consuming, especially with remote classes. Teachers can save time with attendance reports, now rolling out over the next few weeks to G Suite Enterprise for Education customers.The report includes each participant’s name, email and the length of time the participant was on call, including initial join and exit time. Meeting organizers can securely receive these reports after meetings with more than five participants. Later this year we’re adding admin controls to enable or disable attendance reports for the domain and host controls to give teachers the choice to turn this feature on/off for each meeting.

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Attendance tracking reports will automatically be sent to meeting organizers, sharing participant names, emails and length of time in meeting.

Q&A

The new Q&A feature, which G Suite Enterprise for Education customers will see in the coming days, allows students to ask questions without disrupting the flow of the lesson or discussion. Students can post their questions to a queue and other students can upvote questions so the teacher knows which to answer first. For better control, teachers can hide any questions and can enable or disable question submission at any time.

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Q&A helps students share and prioritize questions without interrupting lessons. 


Polling

And lastly, polling, now rolling out for G Suite Enterprise for Education customers. Polling allows teachers to periodically check in to make sure students understand the classwork and aren't falling behind. Instant feedback also allows teachers to adjust curriculum when students require extra development on certain subjects. Polls can also make classes fun with icebreakers to revive class engagement, start discussions or debate a topic. Checkout some tips on how to use Q&A and Polls here

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Polling allows teachers to get instant feedback from students

ICYMI: Recent launches to Meet for educators 

We recently made it easier for moderators to manage who can join their meetings with a simple toggle called Quick access. Educators also have new meeting controls to manage who can share their screen and who can send chat messages within the meeting to make the distance learning environment as safe as possible.

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Education moderators can now easily control who can join, chat, or present during a meeting.

You can now blur your background in meetings (coming soon to Chrome OS), which offers class participants more privacy and limits potential distractions like an unmade bed or a friendly pet. And since many classes can’t be all together in person right now, we’ve made it easier to feel like you’re together with a larger tile view of up to 49 participants at once. 

If you have additional requests, please share your feedback within Meet as this helps us prioritize and accelerate the feature roadmap to best support educational needs. We’re here to empower teachers and schools to accomplish what they do best. Stay tuned to the G Suite Updates blog for all the latest updates coming to Meet.

This year, teachers have gone the distance

This year, students have learned from everywhere. And even without the comforts and structure of their classrooms, educators have—like always—risen to the occasion to ensure that students keep learning, no matter where they are.


As teachers adjusted to distance learning, so did our products. 50 new updates across Meet, Classroom and G Suite make it easy and safe for teachers to engage with students, and Teach from Anywhere is one place teachers can go to find all of our resources for distance learning. 


While these tools are built to support teaching and learning, the teachers who use them make the real magic happen. On this World Teachers' Day, we’re sharing stories of how they do it, using Google products along the way. 


Minchul Shin, South Korea, Elementary School Teacher


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Minchul and the Hakgyogaja team collaborate through Google Meet

When school reopenings were postponed in Korea, Minchul, an elementary school teacher, united 100 teachers from across the country and used Google Sites to create an e-learning content hub called Hakgyogaja (“Let’s go to school”). Within two months, their site achieved over 20 million views and was serving 100,000 daily users. The Hakgyogaja team is still running live broadcasts at 11:00 AM every morning, with hundreds of students tuning in each day. 

It was challenging to work with such a large team, but with a shared Google Drive and regular meetings over Google Meet , Minchul and his team were able to stay organized. As the Hakgyogaja team continues to deliver new materials and lessons to students and teachers, Minchul says, “teachers' passion and sincere heart for students were a great driving force to make a better site for students. We will find a way. We always have.”

Jennifer Scott, California, Junior High School Teacher

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Prior to COVID-19, Jennifer and her student yearbook team regularly traveled to train teachers to create their own Slides Yearbooks

Yearbooks are treasured mementos for students and teachers, but many aren’t affordable. Jennifer Scott wanted to fix that, so in 2014, she and her students created and printed their own. Since then, Jennifer and her student yearbook team have  created Compton Junior High School’s annual yearbooks in Google Slides, printing them on their own for just $10, a fraction of traditional costs. This year they offered digital yearbooks for free to every student, complete with students’ photos from home collected through Google Forms.


In addition to creating more affordable yearbooks, Jennifer is proud of how her initiative has helped her students gain confidence. In developing their own yearbooks, students have learned valuable skills in graphic design and collaboration that will prepare them for future jobs, and they have even helped Jennifer train thousands of teachers around the world to create their own Slides Yearbooks


Cynthia Evers & Roberto Barles, Argentina, Middle School Teacher and Techno-pedagogical School Coordinator

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Cynthia and Roberto helped students livestream on air with Google Meet

When Argentinian schools closed in March, the Armonía School temporarily paused their beloved community radio show, “On Air Values.” But when the school closure period was extended, Cynthia Evers and Roberto Barles, teacher sponsors for the program, decided they needed to find a way for the show to go on. 


Cynthia and Roberto helped students set up broadcasts from home with Google Meet’s livestream feature, and they were able to quickly bring their radio show back on air—without the physical production room and special equipment they used before. With Google Meet, “On Air Values” is now reaching more families than ever before—not only in Campana City but across Argentina. The team is also running special programming on topics that feel especially relevant during the pandemic, like resilience and well-being. 


Jan Nyberg, Vantaa, Finland, High School Music Teacher

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In addition to his work in the classroom, Jan is a passionate musician himself; one of his songs, Nuoriso (‘Youth’), has even climbed the ranks to top 50 viral songs for Spotify Finland.

When Finland schools went virtual for COVID-19, Jan Nyberg, a music teacher at Ylästö school, had to figure out how to keep teaching music to students without musical instruments at home. Jan created a Google Site to post creative, remote-friendly assignments to keep his students engaged and learning. 


For one assignment, students called their grandparents to learn about intergenerational experiences with music, and shared their findings with the rest of the class. This was a welcome call for many of the elderly who were isolated during lockdown. What was once a site for his own class has since evolved into a resource for schools across the country; other Finnish music teachers are also using Jan’s site to find inspiration.

Hearing stories like these every day is easily the best part of my job. While each story is unique, all of them embody an important truth: while technology can be a powerful tool in education, no technology can ever replace a great teacher. Thank you to every educator who brings their creativity and passion to their students every day. Today—and every day—we are thankful for what you do.