Tag Archives: Education

Helping Ukrainian teachers keep teaching

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a tragedy, not just for now but for generations to come. As the international community response evolves, we’ve continued to look for ways to help, whether by supporting the humanitarian effort, providing timely, trusted information and promoting cybersecurity.

With millions of people forced to leave their homes, and thousands of schools affected by bombings and shelling, the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science predict more than 3.7 million students are learning remotely.

Providing Chromebooks to schools

For Ukraine’s teachers, creating and delivering content to their students has become increasingly difficult with the move to distance learning. To help teachers keep teaching, Google is working with the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science, UNESCO, and partners from around the world to provide hardware, software, content and training.

To help education continue for both remaining and displaced students, Google is giving 43,000 Chromebooks to Ukrainian teachers - helping them to connect with their students, wherever they are now based.

To ensure those devices make the best possible impact, Google is partnering with local organisations to train around 50,000 teachers - and providing our Chrome Enterprise upgrade so that schools can set-up and manage devices remotely. Through a series of workshops and online material, educators will learn how to get the best use out of their devices, and the suite of Google Workspace for Education tools we’re providing.

Google for Education will also continue to update resources such as Teach From Anywhere, a central hub of information, tips, training and tools, that was developed during the pandemic.

In the coming weeks, we’re expanding youtube.com/learning to include the Ukrainian language so that Ukrainian students aged 13-17 can discover content that supports their curriculum - wherever they are. This will include a range of subjects, aligned to the national curriculum, from Ukrainian Literature and Language studies, to Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and more.

Supporting universities and their students

Of course, university students have been impacted by the war in Ukraine too - with many now unable to attend their classes in person or in real-time. To help support them to continue their education, we have made several of our premium Google Workspace for Education features available to Ukrainian universities free of cost until the end of the year. That will allow universities to host larger meetings for up to 250 participants, as well as to record them directly in Drive.

Continuing to help Ukrainian refugees and students

Google will continue to search for ways it can partner with Ukraine's Ministry of Education and Science, and those of bordering countries, to help those impacted by the war in Ukraine - including supporting the millions of school-age refugees to access education in this difficult and trying time.

Helping every student learn how they learn best

Editor’s note: Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day. We’re also sharing how we’re partnering with people with disabilitiesto build products and a newAndroid accessibility feature.

I often think about what Laura Allen, a Googler who leads our accessibility and disability inclusion work and is low vision, shared with me about her experience growing up using assistive technology in school. She said: “Technology should help children learn the way they need to learn, it shouldn’t be a thing that makes them feel different in the classroom.”

As someone who has spent years building technology at Google, I’ve thought a lot about how we can create the best possible experience for everyone. A big part of getting that right is building accessibility right into our products — which is especially important when it comes to technology that helps students learn. Ninety-five percent of students who have disabilities attend traditional schools, but the majority of those classrooms lack resources to support their needs. The need for accessible learning experiences only intensifies with the recent rise of blended learning environments.

We want students to have the tools they need to express themselves and access information in a way that works best for them. Here are a few recent ways we’ve built accessibility features directly into our education tools.

  • You can now add alt-text in Gmail. This allows people to add context for an image, making it accessible for people using screen readers and helping them better understand exactly what is being shared.
  • We’ve improved our Google Docs experience with braille support. With comments and highlights in braille, students reading a Google Doc will now hear start and end indications for comments and highlights alongside the rest of the text. This change makes it easier for people using screen readers and refreshable braille displays to interact with comments in documents and identify text with background colors.

We added new features to dictation on Chrome OS. Now you canspeak into any text field on the Chromebook simply by clicking on the mic icon in the status area or pressing Search + d to dictate. The dictation feature can be helpful for students who have trouble writing — whether that's because of dysgraphia, having a motor disability or something else. You can also edit using just your voice. Simply say “new line” to move the cursor to another line, “help” to see the full list of commands, or “undo” to fix any typos or mistakes.

Accessibility in action

We see the helpfulness of these features when they’re in the hands of teachers and students. My team recently spoke with Tracey Green, a teacher of the Deaf and an Itinerant Educational Specialist from the Montreal Oral School for the Deaf (MOSD) in Quebec. Her job is to work with students with hearing loss who attend local schools.

She and Chris Webb, who is a teacher at John Rennie High School and also a Google for Education Certified Innovator and Trainer, have been using Google Classroom to support students throughout distance learning and those who have returned to the classroom. For example, they integrate YouTube videos with automatic captioning and rely on captions in Google Meet. Their efforts to improve access to information during school assemblies kicked off a school-wide, student-led accessibility initiative to raise awareness about hearing loss and related accessibility issues.

Benefiting everyone

One phenomenon that underscores how disability-first features benefit everyone is called the “Curb-cut Effect.” When curbs were flattened to allow access for people with disabilities, it also meant greater access for bikers, skateboarders, and people pushing strollers or shopping carts. Everyone benefitted. Similarly, accessibility improvements like these recent updates to our education tools mean a better experience for everyone.

We see this similar effect time and time again among our own products. Take Live Caption in the Chrome browser for example. Similar to Google Meet captions, Live Caption in Chrome captions any video and audio content on your browser, which can be especially helpful for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. It can also be helpful when people want to read content without noise so they don’t disrupt the people around them.

When we build accessible products, we build for everyone. It’s one of the things I love about working for Google — that we serve the world. There’s a lot of work ahead of us to make sure our products delight all people, with and without disabilities. I’m excited and humbled by technology’s potential to help get us closer to this future.

Stay up-to-date on the latest accessibility features from Google for Education.

Reconociendo a los educadores en esta Semana de Apreciación al Maestro

Read this post in English. // Blog en inglésaquí.

Nota del Editor: Kurt Russell, la historia de un maestro de Oberlin High School en Ohio, fue nombrado recientemente como Maestro Nacional del Año 2022. En honor a la semana de Apreciación al Maestro , él nos comparte más de su historia, la importancia de la comunidad educativa y algunas formas en las que Google reconoce a los educadores.

Los maestros tienen la habilidad de transformar vidas. La señorita Francine Toss y el Señor Larry Thomas cambiaron la mía al compartir conmigo conocimiento, confianza, autovaloración, paciencia y amor durante los años de la escuela primaria y secundaria. Y yo sé que hay una cantidad incontable de profesores, en todo el país, que hacen esto mismo con sus alumnos cada día. Me siento honrado de representarlos al ser nombrado como Maestro Nacional del Año.

Pero seamos honestos, enseñar no es sencillo. Hay momentos en los que puede ser frustrante. Nos podemos llegar a sentir invisibles y poco valorados. Suele ser un desafío poder satisfacer las múltiples necesidades de nuestros alumnos, teniendo muchas veces recursos limitados. Pero mis queridos profesores me motivaron a enfrentar estos desafíos. Esta es una comunidad que proveé un apoyo inquebrantable y muestra resiliencia, excelencia profesional e inspiración - no solo para los estudiantes, sino también entre nosotros.

Por casi 10 años, Google ha sido un patrocinador del programa de Maestro del Año del Consejo de Jefes Estatales de Oficiales de las Escuelas como parte de su apoyo constante a los educadores alrededor del mundo. Estoy muy agradecido por las maneras en las que Google se muestra en la actualidad, y cada día, para engrandecer a la comunidad educativa.

El señor Thomas - mi primer profesor que era un hombre de color - me inspiró a convertirme en educador. Me vi a mí mismo en él y en la materia que impartía. Y es por este ejemplo, que continué con la importante labor de enfatizar la relevancia cultural y la representación de la diversidad en mi propia enseñanza. Por esta razón, me complace ver que Google hizo equipo nuevamente con El Niño Consciente para donar otra cantidad de libros inclusivos, 1,000 más Títulos I de escuela primaria por todo el país - construir suguía de lectura inclusiva y la sección de aulas cultural del Centro de Profesores de Google for Education. La representación es importante en toda la experiencia educativa, y yo soy la prueba de la diferencia que puede hacer en la vida de alguien más.

Este año, el programa de Maestro Nacional del Año y Google for Education están ofreciendo un premio de $5,000 para cada Maestro Estatal del Año como reconocimiento y admiración por la increíble labor que hacen.

Si hay algún maestro que esté haciendo una diferencia en tu vida, como la Señorita Toss y el Señor Thomas lo hicieron por la mía, considera nominarlos como próximo Maestro Estatal del Año. Ya sea que tu seas su estudiante, padre o compañero educador, esta es una excelente manera de hacerle saber a alguien que han hecho un impacto en ti.

Durante esta semana en la que celebramos la profesión de enseñar y a los maestros que han hecho una diferencia, espero que mis compañeros educadores se sientan valorados y apreciados. Porque para mí, y para muchos otros, en verdad lo son.

Una foto de grupo de los Maestros Estatales del Año con el Presidente Joe Biden y la Primera Dama Dr. Jill Biden posando para una foto.

Los Maestros Estatales del Año en la Casa Blanca, conociendo El Presidente Joe Biden y la Primera Dama Dr. Jill Biden. Credito de foto: Foto oficial de la Casa Blanca por Adam Schultz.

Lifting up educators this Teacher Appreciation Week

Read this post in Spanish. // Blog en español aquí.

Editor’s note: Kurt Russell, a history teacher from Oberlin High School in Ohio, was recently named the 2022 National Teacher of the Year. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, he’s sharing more about his story, the importance of the teaching community and some ways Google is showing up for educators.

Teachers have the ability to change lives. Ms. Francine Toss and Mr. Larry Thomas changed mine by pouring knowledge, confidence, self-worth, patience and love into me during my elementary and middle school years. And I know countless teachers across the country are doing the same for their own students every day. I’m honored to represent them as this year’s National Teacher of the Year.

But let’s be honest, teaching is not easy. At times, it can be frustrating. We can feel invisible and unappreciated. We constantly struggle to meet our students’ varied needs, often with limited resources. But my fellow teachers motivate me to meet these challenges. This is a community that provides unwavering support and demonstrates resilience, professional excellence and inspiration — not just for our students, but also for each other.

For nearly ten years, Google has been a sponsor of the Council of Chief State School Officers’ National Teacher of the Year program as part of their ongoing support for educators worldwide. I’m thankful for the ways Google is showing up today, and every day, to lift up the teaching community.

Mr. Thomas — the first teacher I had who was a Black man — inspired me to become an educator. I saw myself in him and in the curriculum he taught. And because of his example, I’ve continued the important work of emphasizing cultural relevance and diverse representation in my own teaching. For this reason, I’m glad to see Google team up again with The Conscious Kid to donate another round of inclusive books to 1,000 more Title I elementary schools across the country — building on their inclusive reading guide and the cultural learning section on Google for Education’s Teacher Center. Representation matters throughout an entire educational experience, and I’m proof of the difference it can make in someone’s life.

This year, the National Teacher of the Year program and Google for Education are also offering a $5,000 award to each State Teacher of the Year in appreciation and admiration of the incredible work they do.

If there’s a special teacher making a difference in your life, like Ms. Toss and Mr. Thomas did for me, consider nominating them as next year’s State Teacher of the Year. Whether you’re a student, parent or fellow educator, this is a great way to let someone know they’ve made an impact on you.

During this week when we celebrate the teaching profession and teachers who have made a difference, I hope my fellow educators feel valued and cherished. Because to me, and to so many others, you truly are.

A large group of people — the 2022 State Teachers of the Year, President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden — pose in front of a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Above them is a golden chandelier.

The 2022 State Teachers of the Year at the White House, meeting President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. Photo credit: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz.

Girlguiding and Google: technology is for everyone

Technology has always been a huge part of my life. Growing up in the nineties and early noughties, I can’t remember a time without it. From chunky flip phones and CDs, to newer, sleeker gadgets with all sorts of capabilities, technology has changed rapidly and remarkably in my lifetime alone.

But, despite growing up around tech, I — like lots of my female peers — never really felt I could be involved in creating it. This needs to change. Technology can be made by anyone, and is for everyone. We need to make sure that girls and young women have the opportunity to pursue an interest in STEM subjects.

That’s why, as a Ranger and Young Leader within Girlguiding, I’m really excited about Girlguiding’s newly expanded programme with Google which will give nearly 400,000 Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers more opportunities to learn digital skills for their future.

Girls feel STEM is not for them

To encourage more girls and young women to pursue STEM subjects, we need to change attitudes from a very young age. Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey, found in 2021 that 52% of girls aged 11-21 saw STEM subjects as “for boys”. Girls of this age are at a stage where they’re making choices about their future, but sadly, preconceived perceptions are impacting their aspirations.

A third (34%) aged 7 to 21 feel there’s a lack of women role models in STEM. One in five (19%) aged 7 to 10 say girls who are interested in STEM subjects are teased. 27% of girls aged 11 to 21 believe teachers and career advisors often encourage girls to do different subjects to boys.

These numbers really highlight the need for groups like Girlguiding to work with organizations like Google to change this and enable more young people to feel empowered to pursue their interests.

Digital discovery badges

Google and Girlguiding first launched the Google Digital Adventure for Brownies and Digital design badge for Rangers in 2018. More than 15,000 girls have already taken part.

Now, we’re expanding our partnership to give more girls and young women opportunities to learn about concepts like coding and algorithms, with new activities co-created by Google’s women engineers.

The new activities include Happy appy for Rainbows to learn about app designs; Brownie bots to teach Brownies how to write code and fix bugs; Chattermatter to teach Guides about chatbots, and Build-a-phone, which aims to teach Rangers the basic principles of phone design.

The new activities will form part of Girlguiding’s national programme within the Skills for my Future theme. These span all four Girlguiding sections (age groups) and have been created to be completed offline to ensure they are accessible to all girls.

An exciting future for all girls

Our goal — to make sure the next generation of girls and young women are encouraged to pursue STEM subjects — may not happen overnight. But thanks to the Girlguiding and Google partnership, nearly 400,000 girls like me in the UK will get new opportunities to learn the essential skills they need to break through stereotypes and become tech pioneers.

In years to come, I hope to see the Rainbows or Brownies of today on the front cover of a newspaper showing off their incredible discoveries and inventions. Alongside Google, Girlguiding is working to help build a future where more girls and young women feel empowered to help change the world!

Want to find out more? Read all about the new Google and Girlguiding partnership at www.girlguiding.org.uk.

Sculpt, sketch and see the world in new cultural games

Creating new and engaging ways for you to learn about the world's art, culture, and history has always been the focus of the creative coders and artists in residence at the Google Arts & Culture Lab. Play can be an incredible vehicle for learning which is why in 2021 the team launched “Play with Arts & Culture”, a series of puzzle and trivia games that made it fun to discover and learn about cultural treasures from our partners’ collections. Today, you are invited to try four new games which will challenge you to learn through play. Simply visit g.co/artgames or press the Play tab (it looks like this 🎮) within the Google Arts & Culture app for Android and iOS .

Set your personal best score

All four of these games will let you earn and save High Scores. If you’re logged in to Google Arts & Culture, your best score for each game will be automatically saved and synced across your devices and displayed on the Play page so you never lose track of your personal best. When you beat your record, a congratulatory notification will let you share your high score with friends and challenge them to do better.

We hope you’ll have a lot of fun discovering Arts & Culture through our latest collection of games and learn something interesting along the way. Get playing and start setting your high scores today at g.co/artgames or in the Play tab (it looks like this 🎮) on the Google Arts & Culture app for Android and iOS.

Celebrating update 100 with new Chromebook features

Thanks to regular automatic updates, Chromebooks are always stepping up their game. Each Chrome OS update helps your laptop (and you) get things done faster, easier and more securely.

And you might have noticed we’ve had a lot of them. In fact, Chrome OS officially hit update 100 this week. In celebration of the big 1-0-0, we’re sharing a few announcements to improve Chromebooks for everyone — whether you’re using them to work, learn, manage a business or just kick back and relax.

Find more with the new Launcher

With a quick press of the Everything Button on your keyboard or the circle icon on the bottom left corner of your screen, Chromebook’s Launcher has made it easy to search for your apps and files — and even find answers online. And now, Launcher is getting an updated design and enhanced search functionality to help you more easily find what you’re looking for.

First, you’ll notice that Launcher will open on the side of your screen instead of from the bottom — leaving more space for any windows you have open. You’ll also be able to organize your apps by name or color, or manually arrange them in any order you like. And when you download a new app, it will follow the same organizational style.

Searching with Launcher is also getting easier. Looking for that celebrity name on the tip of your tongue? Before, Launcher would show you a short preview of your search result. Now, it will show even more information — so you can check the weather or find that celebrity name, all without leaving Launcher. You can also quickly search for Chromebook shortcuts, like how to take a screenshot or turn on caps lock.

GIF of new Launcher UI zooms in to show the Launcher activated on the left side of the screen, then scrolls through a grid of apps. User types “Steph Curry” and more information about the basketball star appears right in the interface.

Launcher now provides even more information when you search

If you work with a lot of Chrome browser tabs and windows open (no judgment), it can be difficult to find the exact one you’re looking for. Instead of sifting through your tabs for that crossword puzzle you started this morning, a quick search in the new Launcher will direct you to the right open tab.

Keep an eye out for the new Launcher, rolling out to all Chromebooks soon.

Discover your next Chromebook

Our partners HP, Lenovo, Acer and ASUS recently announced several powerful Chromebooks to help you make the most of Chrome OS now and in future updates. Check out a few of our favorites, available for purchase in the next few months:

  • HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook: Designed for a premium productivity experience, with features like a haptic trackpad, an integrated privacy screen, 5G and support for a wirelessly chargeable magnetic Stylus pen
  • Acer Chromebook Spin 513: The first Chromebook to feature the MediaTek Kompanio 1380 processor, bringing together power and efficiency with up to 10 hours of battery life
  • ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5: Made for productivity and entertainment with 12th Gen Intel Core processors, a 16-inch nano-edge display and Harmon-Kardon certified speakers
  • Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook: Built with productivity in mind and comes with powerful processors, a 1080p webcam and a stunning 14-inch 16:10 FHD display

Four Chromebooks are shown in a row on a white background. They are labeled, from left to right: Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook, HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, Acer Chromebook Spin 513, ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5

Recently announced Chromebooks from Lenovo, HP, Acer and ASUS

Make edits with your voice

You might already use the Dictation feature, where you can dictate text anywhere you would normally type on your Chromebook — like in an email or on your browser. Now, you can also edit using your voice. Simply say “delete” to delete the last letter, or “move to next character” to adjust where your cursor is on the screen. Or, if you’re not sure what command to use, say “help” and your Chromebook will give you ideas. Once you’ve enabled “Dictation” in Settings, try it out by pressing the Everything Button + D.

A zoomed-in Chromebook screen shows the text “Hello! How are your.” The letter “R” is highlighted and an on-screen command indicates this letter is about to be deleted using voice dictation.

Use your voice to edit dictated text on Chromebooks

Create and share your own GIF

Instead of digging through the internet to find that perfect GIF, you can now make your own right in the Chromebook Camera app. Simply open the Camera app, select “Video” and flip the toggle to “GIF.” Record a five-second video and when you’re done, it will automatically convert to an animated GIF. Share it through email and other apps on your Chromebook, or send it to your Android phone using Nearby Share.

Grab a friend, or a pet, and make your own GIF on the Chromebook Camera app

Continue learning at home

Thanks to new Chromebook updates, students can easily review what they learned at school that day. With school accounts for Family Link, parents and guardians can add a Google for Education account for kids to access Google Classroom and other school resources on supervised Chromebooks at home. And with so many teachers sharing educational YouTube videos during class, parent supervision to YouTube is now available for Family Link users on Chromebooks. Plus, a new YouTube app for Chrome OS allows offline playback, so students can keep up with their lessons even without access to Wi-Fi at home or on long car rides and flights.

See more device insights

We’re also making it easier for IT administrators to keep their organization’s devices running smoothly.

Within Google Admin console, we’ve added a new report for a quick look at which devices need attention. Meanwhile, the new Chrome Management Telemetry API provides more detailed information about device performance so you can create your own personalized report. This complements the existing Chrome Policy API, which allows IT admins to quickly apply policies across a fleet of devices.

Go cloud-first and reduce e-waste

Chrome OS Flex is a new, free-to-download operating system that brings the speed, simplicity, manageability and proactive security of Chrome OS to PCs and Macs. Built for businesses and schools, it allows you to modernize PCs and Macs with a cloud-first operating system and reduces e-waste by extending the lifespan of older devices. Since early access availability in February, we’ve verified more than 100 devices to work with Chrome OS Flex and brought it into beta. Try it out and share your feedback.

We’ll be back to share more Chromebooks and features to help you personalize your laptop and work even better across multiple devices. And of course, we look forward to bringing you the next 100 Chrome OS updates.

Sign up today for Code Jam’s 2022 competitions

Google's longest-running coding competition, Code Jam, is back for its 19th season. Code Jam to I/O for Women is also returning for a ninth year, bringing together women programmers from around the world. In both competitions, developers tackle algorithmic challenges designed by Google engineers — all while building their network, sharpening their coding skills and even winning some prizes.

Want to participate? Read on to learn more about each event and how to sign up.

Code Jam to I/O for Women kicks off March 26

We launched Code Jam to I/O for Women to help build a more inclusive competitive coding community. And it’s grown rapidly over the years, with more than 23,000 registrants last season. This year, the top 150 competitors will receive a stipend and access to virtual Google I/O experiences. Whether you're a seasoned contestant or a brand new competitor, we invite you to register today for Code Jam to I/O for Women. Check out the archive to get a taste of the competition and start practicing with previous problems.

Code Jam returns April 1

At Code Jam, developers of all skill levels compete head to head in multiple online rounds. This season takes place from April to August, ending with a live streamed World Finals event. Competitors must earn enough points to advance to the next round. Out of thousands of participants, only the top 25 will head to the World Finals to compete for the title of World Champion and cash prizes of up to $15,000. And there will be plenty of other prizes to go around — the top 1,000 competitors will win an exclusive Code Jam 2022 t-shirt.

Code Jam registration is now open until the end of the Qualification Round on April 3 at 2:00 UTC — visit our schedule page to find your exact time zone. We recommend warming up with previous problems from the archive to improve your chances of advancing to Round 1.

We hope to see you on the scoreboard this season!

Practice sets: a more personal path to learning

Everyone learns in their own way — but we do share a few patterns in common. We all learn more effectively when we practice, and even more so when we get specific feedback.

But with large classes of students at different skill levels, teachers can have trouble supporting individual journeys and learning styles. So we spoke with educators around the world to see how we could help them become more effective in the classroom. Time and again, they said they wanted to spend less time on tedious tasks like grading, and more time focused on their students’ unique needs.

So today, we’re announcing an upcoming feature in Google Classroom to help them do just that. Practice sets will give teachers the time and tools to better support their students — from more interactive lessons to faster and more personal feedback.

Supercharge teaching content and get class insights

With practice sets, educators can easily transform their own teaching content into interactive assignments and use the autograding tool to cut down on manual grading time. Practice sets also help teachers figure out which concepts need more instruction time and who could use extra support, giving them quick performance insights to shape future lesson plans.

Boost student confidence and celebrate their progress

Students get real-time feedback as they complete practice sets, so they know whether they’re on the right track. When they’re struggling to solve a problem, they can get hints through visual explainers and videos. And when they get an answer correct, practice sets will celebrate their success with fun animations and confetti.

One fifth-grade teacher, who used practice sets in a recent trial, saw the benefits in action: “The kids were calling it ‘Google magic’ because of the hints, pop-ups and instant feedback they received. That’s what makes practice sets a real game changer for their learning experience.” They also liked the focused support: “Practice sets also helped meet students’ needs when I couldn’t meet with them at that moment.”

Get ready for practice sets

We’re actively testing practice sets with some schools in anticipation of our beta launch in the coming months. Practice sets will be available within Google Classroom for any educator using the Teaching and Learning Upgrade, or any institution using Google Workspace for Education Plus. If you’re interested in participating in the beta, get in touch with us.

To learn more about adaptive learning technology and its potential impact on the future of education, read our latest blog post.

Let’s get personal: Adaptive learning tech and education

Twelve years ago, Shantanu Sinha left his job to join his long-time friend Sal Khan’s new venture. At the time, Sal was spending his days making educational YouTube videos. It was an unusual career choice for both of them. But they saw what was possible when students had more agency over their learning and how technology could play a role. Together they started the online education platform Khan Academy, and Shantanu worked there for five years.

Today, Shantanu is the head of Google for Education. His team works to improve teaching and learning with technology, and one promising area is their work with adaptive learning technology. This emerging, AI-driven technology supports tailored learning experiences for students and helps amplify teacher instruction.

To get a crash course on adaptive learning technology and what it means for students and teachers, we talked to Shantanu.

What exactly is adaptive learning technology?

The concept of adaptive learning has been around for decades. It refers to a type of learning where students are given customized resources and activities to address their unique learning needs. For example, if a student struggles with adding fractions, a teacher might offer 1:1 tutoring or additional practice problems. You can see the concept of adaptive learning play out in gaming. When I was a kid I remember playing Carmen Sandiego and noticing how the system was tailored to me and changed whenever I got something wrong.

What’s new is applying recent AI advances to this concept, which opens up a whole new set of possibilities to transform the future of school into a personal learning experience.

Can you share an example of what this might look like?

Imagine you’re a student stuck on a math problem. With 25 other students in your class, you can't always get immediate help, leaving you frustrated and diminishing your confidence to complete future problems. Now imagine a different scenario. You’re stuck on a problem, but instead of growing frustrated, you receive a helpful hint or video that gives you exactly what you need to unblock you. You realize what you need to do differently, complete the math problem correctly and feel more confident in your ability to learn.

Early attempts at adaptive learning worked only for very specific content and curricula. With recent AI advances in language models and video understanding, we can now apply adaptive learning technology to almost any type of class assignment or lesson at an unprecedented scale. When students receive individualized, in-the-moment support, the results can be magical.

Algebra video tutorial helps students stuck on a homework problem

Tell us about the magic.

We recently talked to an educator who is testing out a new adaptive learning feature that we’re developing called practice sets in Google Classroom. The feature allows teachers to create interactive assignments and provides students with real-time feedback. He said the instant feedback that kids received was like having a teaching assistant in the classroom at all times. The technology helped give students 1:1 attention and validation — so they knew right away whether they got a problem correct or incorrect — and drove students’ intrinsic motivation and engagement through the roof.

I saw a similar phenomenon back when I was part of Khan Academy. Over time, students not only became more proficient with subject matter content, but also in their ability to learn new material. They learned how to learn.

How does adaptive learning technology help teachers?

Adaptive learning technology saves teachers time and provides data to help them understand students’ learning processes and patterns. For example, with practice sets, teachers can quickly see a student’s attempts at a given problem, so they know where a student got stuck and can identify areas for improvement. Since assignments are auto-graded, teachers can devote more time to making sure that each student gets the instruction and practice they need to succeed.

So is the future of education more personal?

Learning is inherently personal. Education should feel personal too, but there are time and resource constraints. As we build toward a more personal future for education, adaptive learning technology can help us get there faster. Our goal is to power the pursuit of personal potential — for both teachers and students — in and out of the classroom.

Over these past two years, technology has influenced where people can learn, but has it changed the way people learn?

When I look back to the start of my career and where the world is now, it’s clear that having immediate access to information has fundamentally transformed how, when and where we learn. Today, learning is a muscle we flex easily and often. At Google, we see this play out each day: 85% of U.S. YouTube viewers surveyed say they learn or improve their skills on the platform1 and more than a billion people turn to Search each day to discover something new.

As we think about the evolution of learning, what role can Google play?

We aim to be a learning company — for school, for work and for life. Last year, we launched a site all about our ongoing commitment to help everyone in the world learn anything in the world. Learning is personal. I’m excited to continue working with our partners to build toward a more personal future of education. When we apply the right technology to the process of teaching and learning, exciting things start to happen.