Tag Archives: Education

Meet Milo, this year’s Doodle for Google winner!

A few weeks ago we announced our five national Doodle for Google finalists. They all beautifully showed us their answers to this year’s contest prompt, “I am strong because…”. One young artist stood out to us with his words, symbolism and art. We’re excited to announce our 2021 winner is 11th grader, Milo Golding from Lexington, Kentucky! Milo’s Doodle titled “Finding Hope” spoke to the resilience and hope that lives in all of us. Let’s get to know this year’s  Doodle for Google winner: 

Has art always been a part of your life? 

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been drawing and creating — to the point where my parents had to apologize to my relatives because I used to draw on their walls when we would visit their homes! From that point on they always carried sketchbooks and pencils for me.

Photo of a young man looking into the camera and smiling.

What message do you want people to take away from your Doodle?

Regardless of life’s hardships and uncertainties, hope is always there. It’s our job to find that hope in order to move forward.  

Tell us a little bit about your family and your community.

Both of my parents are immigrants. My father immigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica and my mother from China. I grew up in a rural community in eastern Kentucky, and after my dad passed away my purpose in life really shifted. It’s important to me to help other children in need in my community who might have gone through something similar.  

I started a charity a few years ago called Sanguine Path. We serve children 18 and under who have lost loved ones or  been affected by  challenging experiences by providing them with Christmas and birthday gifts, care packages and back-to-school kits. Family members, school staff, grief counselors or parents and guardians can refer children to the program.

What has it felt like being this year’s Doodle for Google winner been like? 

It’s been a really fun experience so far! The other day my mom was telling me how happy and proud she was. She told me I’m becoming the person my dad would have definitely wanted me to become. I often use art to advocate for things  I find important and this competition showed me that I can keep using art to spread the message of hope and love.

I’m so happy  my message of hope came through in my art, that’s what’s most important to me.

I’m also very grateful for this opportunity. It really allowed me to not only reflect upon my life but also reaffirm what I want to do – which is help people. And I truly appreciate that. 

Congratulations to Milo. We are thrilled to have you as our 2021 winner. We can’t wait to see all of the amazing things you do!

The 2021 Doodle for Google national finalists are here

I’ve worked on the Doodle team at Google for more than five years — and I believe this year’s theme, “I am strong because…” is our most powerful prompt to date. And not just because of the unprecedented pandemic and growing social movements and conversations we’ve seen sweep our nation and world over the last year. This theme also presents an opportunity to not only honor, but also celebrate a more general beautiful truth that we sometimes don’t talk about enough: kids are strong and resilient. And that strength is boundless and inspiring.

We kicked off the 13th annual Doodle for Google contest back in January and invited K-12 students across the country to submit their artistic interpretations of “I am strong because…”. We received tens of thousands of submissions from students in all 50 states, as well as Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. After carefully reviewing all the submissions, we announced our 54 state winners and opened up public voting on our website. And today, we’re happy to share that the votes are in, the judges have deliberated and drum roll please…we’re ready to announce our five national finalists for the 2021 Doodle for Google contest! 

Our finalists were chosen based on a combination of public voting and our judging criteria, including artistic merit, creativity and how well participants communicated the theme in their artwork and written statement. We’re supremely grateful to each of these artists for trusting us with their inspiring stories of inner strength. Meet our finalists:

Drawing of a Google logo with a person using binoculars as the two "Os."

K-3rd grade National Finalist: Sadra Rajaee, Arizona
Title: Imagination brightens the future
Artist statement:“I am strong because I have an imagination. With my imagination I make my parents laugh and help them through hard times.”

A Google logo made out of origami.

4th-5th grade National Finalist: Elise Then, Oregon
Title:Nature’s Strong-Fold
Artist statement:"In this Doodle, I choose to represent strength found in nature using origami. For example, hummingbirds, the smallest bird in the world, can beat their wings 40 times in the blink of an eye! Nature is a gift where I derive my strength. I must appreciate and care for it."

Google logo as wires to laptops that two people are using.

6th-7th grade National Finalist: Marketa Douglas, Rhode Island
Title:Connections and kindness
Artist statement: “My Doodle shows my grandma and I, connected by one of the only ways of communicating at this time. It’s meant to represent doing your best to be kind and stay strong for others, with the different symbols showing other places I see this strength every day.”

Google logo with an illustration of a person with a scar on their back woven in.

8th-9th grade National Finalist:  Kiara Susana Ponce Virella, Puerto Rico
Title:Splash of hope
Artist statement:“I am strong because I got through scoliosis surgery. That's the scar decorating my back. All the canvases that I painted show I grew stronger. Now I'm coming to terms with who I am, and look past my flaws. I may not seem strong, but I am. In my own special way, just like everyone else.”

Google logo with a person and a child near it.

10th-12th grade National Finalist: Milo Golding, Kentucky
Title:Finding hope
Artist statement:“I am strong because I have hope. I once asked my father how he overcame obstacles and became who he wanted to be. He replied, ‘Hope, hope keeps me strong.’ After I unexpectedly lost him at 13 due to a heart attack, it helped me overcome grief and support other children who lost loved ones.”

Congratulations again to Sadra, Elise, Marketa, Kiara Susana and Milo! As national finalists, our student winners will receive a $5,000 college scholarship, Google hardware for the school year and some fun Googley swag. Check out their artwork, along with all 54 of the state winners on our website gallery

In the next and final stage of the contest, our judging panel will determine which of our five national finalists will be chosen as the national contest winner. In addition to their artwork being featured on Google’s homepage for 24 hours, they’ll receive a $30,000 scholarship and a $50,000 technology package for their school. 

Good luck to our national finalists, and stay tuned to find out who our 2021 contest winner will be!

Innovating and advocating for accessible classrooms

We’re continually working to improve access to inclusive tools, from building two free screen readers into Chromebooks to providing voice typing and live captions with Google Workspace for Education. But as far as we’ve all come in bringing accessible teaching and learning tools into our classrooms, there is always more to do about digital inclusion. 

Today, on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we at Google want to celebrate the great work that teachers have done to bring acceptance and inclusion into their schools — while we commit ourselves to more innovation with and for people with disabilities in the future.For example, we’re celebrating people like Chang-Dong Ryu, who teaches history at Seohyun Middle School in South Korea. Ryu is blind, and uses Google Classroom’s accessibility features to teach his students deeper lessons about acceptance and ability. “What I can do best is teach my students that value that comes with being ‘different,’” Ryu told us in a video we shared in February. “That way, when my students meet new friends and colleagues with visual impairments, they will accept them into their community as equals.” 

We’re continuing to tell more stories of educators and students with disabilities, and show more representation across our community, as we build with and for people with disabilities.

Building a more inclusive Chrome OS

In keeping with our goal to learn from users of our accessibility tools, and to give people with disabilities an even playing field, we continue to build new tools for accessibility in Google for Education solutions, with and for people with disabilities. Here are a selection of the latest features, all available on your Chromebook today:

Live captioning:Chrome Browser now has a Live Caption feature that automatically provides real-time captions for media with audio. The live captioning works with social media and video sites, podcasts and radio content, personal video libraries (such as Google Photos) and embedded video players. For students with hearing disabilities, the captions help improve accessibility of online content. In a noisy classroom environment, or one where students need to keep volume low on their school devices, the captions are helpful for any students. To turn on Live Caption, go to Chromebook settings, then “Accessibility.”

Mouse panning: Chrome OS now offers centered mouse panning. This means that when students and teachers with vision disabilities are using the full-screen magnifier, they can now move the viewport while keeping the mouse or trackpad close to, or directly on, the center of the screen. This makes it much easier to navigate around the screen, as users don’t need to move the mouse to the edge of the screen to move the zoomed-in area – much better for accessing all learning content.

Activating ChromeVox:For users of ChromeVox, the screen reader that’s built into Chromebooks, the first time they open up a Chromebook, after 20 seconds of inactivity, they’ll hear audio and visual instructions for activating ChromeVox. For students and teachers who need screen readers but haven't yet used ChromeVox, there is a new tutorial available after turning on the screen reader for the first time, and is available in ChromeVox settings.  The instructions are very helpful for getting started without hesitation. 

Image descriptions on Android:For people who use screen readers on Chromebooks, the “get image descriptions” feature provides descriptions of unlabeled images, such as those that don’t have alt text.  This feature will soon be brought to Android devices. When students with vision disabilities are using Chromebooks or Android phones or tablets to access online content, they’ll be able to have a better understanding of the images they come across, similar to their sighted classmates.

Forced colors:For students using the Chrome Browser on Windows who need high contrast in order to read text and see image details, Chrome now supports Windows' OS level high contrast settings. The extension lets people choose filters to adjust color contrast, flip black and white or remove colors altogether. 

Enhanced Select-to-speak:As mentioned in Chromebook's 10th birthday post, new features let students and teachers speed up, slow down and pause the reading voice in real-time, and easily jump to different sections of text. Students with disabilities —or anyone who needs help comprehending a challenging reading assignment — can use these new Select-to-speak features to listen at their own pace. 

To learn more about the accessibility tools built into Chromebooks and Google Workspace for Education, check out edu.google.com/accessibility, share this one pager, watch video tutorials on accessibility features, or learn more on our Help Center.

Our 54 Doodle for Google winners show their strength

In January, we kicked off the 13th annual Doodle for Google contest by inviting K-12 students across the country to submit their artistic interpretations of this year’s contest theme “I am strong because…”. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has truly shown me, and many of our contest applicants, how important it is to stay strong when you’re facing the unknown. The tens of thousands of pieces of beautiful artwork we saw from students were encouraging, uplifting and inspiring. Some pieces focused on honoring our medical heroes and essential workers, and others on finding hope amidst loss or on using this time to connect with family and loved ones. 

The strength, honesty and creativity these students shared has been humbling. Today, we’re  announcing our 54 state and territory winners. To celebrate our talented winners, we sent each of the 54 students  Google hardware and swag — as well as a very special congratulatory video message honoring their artistry from the Doodle for Google team.

Head to doodle4google.com to see the full gallery of all 54 state and territory winners and vote for your favorite Doodles. Your vote helps determine who will go on to become one of our five national finalists — one of which will become our national winner. 

Congratulations again to the 2021 Doodle for Google state and territory winners!

Why creating inclusive classrooms matters

Editor’s note: In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Google.org is working with DonorsChoose to continue their support for more inclusive classrooms through the #ISeeMe campaign. Mr. Andy Yung, a classroom teacher from New York City, shares the power of affirming identities in his classroom.

I grew up in Flushing, New York — the same community in Queens where I now teach. I’m honored and grateful to teach students who remind me of my younger self and to interact with their parents who remind me of my own. Because of our shared lived experiences, I identify with my students and their families in a way that is not easily learned. 

As a student, I often felt most connected to the teachers who looked like me and understood my background. But many students never have that experience: less than 10% of New York City’s teachers are men of color, and Asian men represent just 1.5% of New York City’s teachers. Trends are similar nationwide, with less than 2% of US teachers identifying as Asian

When my students see characters who look like us in the books we read, their faces light up because the experiences portrayed reflect their own. But creating these opportunities isn’t easy: in 2015, just 3.3% of children's books published included Asians, and there is no standard curriculum that teaches Asian American history.

That’s why I’m excited to see Google.org team up with DonorsChoose to match donations for inclusive classroom projects through the #ISeeMe campaign — and there’s even an additional donation match for projects from male educators of color like me. #ISeeMe has already helped more than 25,000 educators — including me — fund inclusive classroom projects. 

The funding helped me fill my classroom library with books that serve as both windows and mirrors: windows to observe other people and cultures, and mirrors that reflect and validate our own experiences. When my students see themselves in our reading materials, they know that they belong, what they can aspire to be, and they see that they can use their voices to share their own powerful stories.

Thanks to the campaign, I also fulfilled an idea to help students connect to other cultures and express themselves through food — an important aspect of their identities. I received funding for a cooking cart, and now I regularly invite families into our classroom to make and share their favorite foods from home. 

Classrooms need to be places where every student feels supported and encouraged to share their personal experiences, especially as students return to school this year. The #ISeeMe campaign has made it that place for my students, and I am excited to see more educators and students receive this same opportunity. Starting today, Google.org is matching donations up to $500,000 — dollar for dollar — for projects created by teachers of color as well as projects from all teachers requesting culturally responsive and antiracist resources (such as books, posters and more) for their classrooms. Additionally, every dollar donated to projects created by male educators of color — a group historically underrepresented in the field — will receive a two-dollar match from Google.org. Learn more about #ISeeMe, setting up a campaign or supporting a classroom on the DonorsChoose website.

Hear educators’ stories this Teacher Appreciation Week

Editor’s note: In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week,  2020 National Teacher of the Year Tabatha Rosproy is sharing her story, as well as some of the ways Google is supporting teachers this year.  

Every year, Teacher Appreciation Week falls near the end of the school year, which is an emotional time for many teachers. Saying goodbye to our students is always tough, and after a year of educating during a pandemic, those emotions are more prominent than ever.

As National Teacher of the Year, I’ve had the honor of hearing hundreds of teachers’ stories over the past 12 months. I can say with confidence that this year, educators have truly given everything they have. There are the things people see, like teaching lessons, holding meetings and keeping kids on track academically. But there is also work most people don’t see, like the 14-hour days, or the extra mile we go to comfort children who are not our own. Those invisible moments are a critical piece of every teacher’s story. 

So this week, I hope that you’ll join us in listening to teachers’ stories to uncover some of these invisible moments — and celebrating the teachers who have shaped your own story.

Sharing teachers’ stories with StoryCorps

In addition to today’s Doodle, which includes five teacher stories from the StoryCorps archives, Google and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) are teaming up to support StoryCorps’ new Thank an Educator campaign. Anyone can use StoryCorps’ self-directed recording tools to record their stories, so you can grab a friend or family member and start reflecting upon the ways in which your favorite teacher changed your life. In the midst of one of the most challenging school years to date, the campaign hopes to spark a moment of gratitude for teachers everywhere. Be sure to check out their website to hear my recording and those from other 2021 State Teachers of the Year.

Homepage image of the US Teacher Appreciation Week Google Doodle, which is an interactive experience featuring 5 animated stories of gratitude for educators. This illustrated image depicts a student handing an apple to a teacher. Within the apple is a rotating carousel of images pertaining to the 5 stories in the Doodle experience.

Expanding access to inclusive stories with The Conscious Kid

Books and reading materials are crucial, practical tools that enable teachers to bring more of the world to their kids and help them develop kindness and empathy for the people around them. Google and The Conscious Kid are building upon their work together to provide educators with recommended titles and evaluation criteria for bringing new materials into their classrooms. 

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, their free inclusive reading guide — with book recommendations spanning Pre-K through 12th grade — has been updated to include more than 50 new titles. And as part of their broader efforts to honor Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), Google and The Conscious Kid are sending a free set of curated books by Asian authors featuring AAPI protagonists to classrooms across the country, starting with eligible teachers at Title I schools. Teachers can request these titles for their classrooms, and anyone can contribute to the fund, here

In addition, The Conscious Kid has collaborated with Wong Fu Productions to bring four of the books to life in a series of read-alongs on Asian American heritage and culture. Rolling out with Harry Shum Jr. reading Grandpa Grumps by Katrina Moore, the videos will be released weekly onThe Conscious Kid’s YouTube channel and in theYouTube Kids app’s learning category throughout the month of May.

Graphic reading "Asian American Storytime" featuring logos from YouTube Kids and the Conscious Kid

Supporting more inclusive classrooms with DonorsChoose 

Since 2005, Google.org has committed more than $88 million directly to teacher-focused organizations and initiatives. Starting Wednesday, Google.org will match donations up to $500,000 — dollar for dollar — for projects created by teachers of color as well as projects from all teachers requesting culturally responsive and antiracist resources (such as books, posters, and more) for their classrooms as part of their continued support of the DonorsChoose #ISeeMe campaign. And every dollar donated to projects created by male educators of color — a group historically underrepresented in the field — will receive a two-dollar match from Google.org. Learn more about #ISeeMe, setting up a campaign or supporting a classroom on the DonorsChoose website.

Introducing the new 2021 National Teacher of the Year

The new 2021 National Teacher of the Year will be announced soon, and I’ll be joining them for a conversation through Google’s Education OnAir series on Friday, May 7.  Be sure to tune in to hear their incredible stories — I can’t wait for you to meet them!

As an early childhood educator, it’s especially important to me that every one of my students knows from a young age that they belong and sees themselves reflected in the stories we tell in our classrooms. Thank you to every educator putting in the work to ensure every student feels included and valued.

Finally, as you’re thinking about ways you can appreciate the educators in your life beyond Teacher Appreciation Week, remember that one of the best ways to support teachers is to listen to their stories, elevate their voices and advocate for their jobs and their livelihood. Together we can continue to do the work of supporting our children who will author our future.

Escucha las historias de los educadores en esta Semana de Apreciación del Profesor

Nota: En honor a la Semana de Apreciación al Profesor,  la Profesora Nacional del Año 2020 Tabatha Rosproy nos comparte su historia, así como algunas de las formas en que las que estamos apoyando a los maestros este año.  

Cada año, la Semana de Apreciación al Profesor llega en un momento emotivo para muchos maestros, alrededor del final del ciclo escolar. Decir adiós a nuestros estudiantes siempre es difícil, y después de un año de educar durante una pandemia, esas emociones se vuelven más intensas que nunca.

Como Profesor Nacional del Año, he tenido el honor de escuchar cientos de historias de maestros durante los últimos 12 meses. Puedo decir con confianza que este año, los educadores realmente han dado todo lo que tienen. Hay cosas que la gente ve: cómo se dan las clases, se hacen reuniones y cómo mantienen a los niños en su recorrido académico. Pero también hay un trabajo que la mayoría de la gente no ve: las jornadas de trabajo de 14 horas o los esfuerzos extras que realizamos para consolar a los niños que no son nuestros. Esos momentos invisibles son una pieza fundamental de la historia de todo maestro. 

Así que esta semana, espero que se unan a nosotros para escuchar las historias de los maestros, descubran algunos de estos momentos invisibles y celebren a los maestros que han dado forma a su propia historia.

Compartiendo historias de profesores con StoryCorps

Además del Doodle de hoy, que incluye cinco historias de maestros de los archivos de StoryCorps, Google y el Consejo de Jefes Estatales de Educación (CCSSO) se están uniendo para apoyar la nueva campaña de StoryCorps:Agradece a un Educador. Cualquiera puede usar las herramientas de grabación autodirigidas de StoryCorps para grabar sus historias. Así que llama a un amigo o familiar y comienza a reflexionar sobre las formas en las que tu profesor favorito cambió tu vida. En uno de los años escolares más desafiantes hasta la fecha, la campaña espera generar un momento de agradecimiento para los maestros de todo el mundo. Asegúrate de visitar el sitio web para escuchar mi grabación y las de otros ganadores del título de Profesor del Año.

Imagen de la página de inicio del Doodle de Google de la Semana de Apreciación de los profesores en EE. UU., que contiene una experiencia interactiva con 5 historias animadas de agradecimiento para los educadores. Esta imagen ilustrada muestra a un estudiante entregando una manzana a un maestro. Dentro de la manzana hay un carrusel giratorio con imágenes de las 5 historias de la experiencia Doodle.

Ampliar el acceso a historias inclusivas con The Conscious Kid

Los libros y materiales de lectura son herramientas prácticas y cruciales que permiten a los maestros llevar más del mundo a sus alumnos ayudándoles a desarrollar amabilidad y empatía por las personas que los rodean. Google y The Conscious Kid están trabajando conjuntamente para proporcionar a los educadores obras recomendadas y criterios de evaluación para llevar nuevos materiales a sus aulas. 

En honor a la Semana de Apreciación del Profesor, su guía de lectura inclusiva y gratuita con recomendaciones de libros que abarcan desde el jardín de niños hasta el grado 12, se ha actualizado para incluir más de 50 obras nuevas. También como parte de sus esfuerzos más amplios para honrar el Mes de la Herencia Estadounidense de Asia Pacífico (APAHM), Google y The Conscious Kid están enviando un conjunto gratuito de libros curados por autores asiáticos con protagonistas de AAPI a las aulas de todo el país, comenzando con los profesores elegibles en el Título I escuelas. Puedes solicitar estas obras para tu salón de clases, o contribuir al fondo, aquí

Además, The Conscious Kid ha colaborado con Wong Fu Productions para dar vida a cuatro de los libros con lecturas en voz alta sobre la herencia y la cultura asiático-americana. Se estrenará con Harry Shum Jr. leyendo Grandpa Grumps de Katrina Moore, los videos se publicarán semanalmente elEl canal de YouTube de Conscious Kid y en la app de YouTube Kids bajo la categoría de aprendizaje durante el mes de mayo.

La hora del cuento con asiáticos americanos

Apoyando aulas más inclusivas con DonorsChoose 

Desde 2005, Google.org ha otorgado más de $88 millones de dólares a organizaciones e iniciativas centradas en los maestros. A partir del miércoles, la organización igualará las donaciones de hasta $ 500,000 - dólar por dólar - para proyectos creados por maestros de color, así como proyectos de todos los maestros que soliciten recursos de consideración y diversidad cultural y antidiscriminatorios (ej: libros, posters y más) para sus aulas como parte de su continuo apoyo a la campaña DonorsChoose #ISeeMe. Cada dólar donado a proyectos creados por educadores hombres de color (un grupo históricamente subrepresentado en el campo), recibirá una contribución de dos dólares de Google.org. Obtén más información sobre #ISeeMe, cómo configurar una campaña o apoyar un aula en el sitio web de DonorsChoose.

Presentamos al nuevo Profesor Nacional del Año

 El nuevo Profesor Nacional del año 2021 se anunciará pronto, y me uniré a ellos para una conversación a través de la transmisión de la serie de Google for Education On Air el viernes 7 de mayo. Asegúrate de sintonizarnos para escuchar sus increíbles historias - ¡No puedo esperar a que los conozcas!

Como educadora de primera infancia, es especialmente importante para mí que cada uno de mis estudiantes sepa desde una edad temprana que pertenece y se vea reflejado en las historias que contamos en nuestras aulas. Gracias a todos los educadores que se esfuerzan por garantizar que todos los estudiantes se sientan incluidos y valorados.

Finalmente, mientras piensas en las formas en las que podemos apreciar a nuestros educadores más allá de la Semana de Apreciación al Maestro, recuerda que una de las mejores formas de apoyar a los maestros es escuchar sus historias, ampliar sus voces y defender su trabajo y su bienestar. Juntos podemos continuar haciendo el trabajo de apoyar a nuestros niños que serán los autores de nuestro futuro.

New resources on the gender gap in computer science

When it comes to computer science, we still have a lot of work to do to address gaps in education. That’s evident in our latest report with Gallup, Current Perspectives and Continuing Challenges in Computer Science Education in US K-12 Schools. This report is our most recent in a multiple-year series of Diversity in K12 CS education reports with Gallup in an effort to share new research with advocates, administrators, nonprofit partners and the tech industry to continue addressing gaps in computer science education. 

While the 2020 Gallup reports shed light on many gaps related to race, gender and community size, we wanted to increase awareness of the gender gap, specifically, since the gender gap for girls and young women is still as stark as it was when we first released the report back in 2015.

Seventy-three percent of boys told researchers they were confident about learning computer science, compared with 60% of girls. (You can see more details in the full report.) Behind these statistics are real students who are missing opportunities for acquiring critical skills, knowledge, and opportunities. When girls miss out on opportunities to learn computer science, the tech industry misses out on their perspectives and potential innovations.

To help bring attention to the challenges, beliefs and stereotypes with which girls grapple, we partnered with London-based designer Sahara Jones to highlight the young girls’ voices behind these statistics:

Three poster images next to each other that have stats from a Google commissioned research study with K-12 young women's quotes next to the stats.  First poster: 9% of girls think learning computer science is important. 91% do not. Quotes on this poster next to the 9% stat, in small font: It's exciting. Building stuff is fun.I'm good at it. It's rewarding. It could be a career, I love it.  Quotes under the 91% stat, in much larger font: I've never considered it. It's too hard. I'm the only girl in the class. It's geeky. It's what the boys do. I don't belong. My school doesn't teach it.  Second poster: 12% girls are likely to pursue a career in computer science. 88% are not.  Quotes on this poster next to the 12% stat, in small font: I met some amazing computer scientists. I feel inspired. I'm good at it. Quotes on the poster next to the 88% stat in much larger font: I feel judged. I don't know what a computer scientist does. It's a boys career. None of my friends want to either. I don't know any female engineers.  Third poster: 29% of parents of girls are eager for them to pursue a computer science career. 71% are not. Quotes in small font next to the 29% stat: It's a good opportunity. She really enjoys it. Tech is the future. She is so talented. Quotes, in much larger font next to the 71% stat: It's a man's job. I won't be able to help her.Can she do it? It might be too hard.I want her to do a more traditional job.

We’re making these graphics available for advocates, nonprofits and policymakers to use in presentations, publications or on social media. Our goal is to help increase awareness about this important topic and ultimately engage advocates in their own work to close the gender gap in computer science education. 

Also, for the first time, we’re making the detailed Gallup data in the report available to all [download here]. Our aim is to provide as much useful information as possible for educators, researchers, journalists and policymakers who care about equity and computer science education. We look forward to seeing how this data is used by the community to advocate for important policies and dedicate resources towards this work. We know there’s a long way to go but we hope that making data from our latest Gallup report freely available will aid in efforts to address equity gaps and make computer science truly open and welcoming to all.

At Google, we are committed to trying to close equity gaps in computer science, whether it’s due to race or ethnicity, gender or other limiting barriers. One of our initiatives is CS First, Google's introductory computer science curriculum targeted at underrepresented primary school students all around the world, including girls. Another is Code Next, which trains the next generation of Black and Latino tech leaders — many of whom are young women  — with a free high-school computer science curriculum, mentorship and community events. 

We’re grateful to educators for motivating girls to believe in themselves and encouraging them to explore how computer science can support them, no matter what career paths they take. We’re also proud to be part of a group of technology companies, governments and nonprofits in this fight for change. 

New ways we’re making Meet calls easier (and more fun)

Almost exactly one year ago, in an effort to help everyone stay connected safely as the pandemic was taking hold, we announced that we were making Google Meet free for everyone. Since then, Meet has helped millions of people connect around the world. While it’s been hard for all of us to remain apart this past year, I’ve been proud to work on a product that’s let so many of us come together.

Helping everyone safely connect and collaborate is what drives us to continue improving Meet — from introducing features that make video calls more inclusive, such as automated live captions in five languages, to controls that create a safer and more dynamic learning environment for educators and students, to new mobile capabilities that promote a more inclusive meeting experience. Today, we’re announcing even more ways that Meet will continue providing you with secure, reliable and engaging meetings, starting with a refreshed look on the web and helpful features built with the latest in artificial intelligence.

A new design that makes it easier to present and engage with others

A presentation being unpinned to view all participants in a 12-person video meeting.

Unpin to make the presentation tile smaller and view all participants.

Starting next month, when viewing and sharing content with any group of people, you’ll have more space to see the content and others’ video feeds through our refreshed new look and improved ability to pin and unpin content. In the coming months, you will be able to pin multiple tiles to customize what you focus on. For example, you can highlight a presentation and the speaker, or multiple speakers at the same time. Participants’ names will always be visible, so you can quickly see who’s who, and better engage with everyone on the call. 

Two speakers pinned during a 16-tile video meeting.

Highlight different speakers and tiles for a better experience.

People have told us they concentrate better and often feel less tired when they don’t see themselves while talking. So we’re making it possible to resize, reposition or hide your own video feed. When doing so, you can use the freed-up space to see even more people on the call.

A participant minimizing their video feed in a 13-person group call.

Minimize your own video feed from view.

High-quality and reliable meetings on any device

We’re continuously investing in new ways to improve your audio and video experience in Meet. To support video calls when you’re on the go, we’re launching Data Saver this month. This feature limits data usage on mobile networks to allow you and the person you’re calling to save on data costs, which is especially important in countries where data costs can be high, like India, Indonesia and Brazil. 

Last year, we introduced low-light mode for Meet on mobile, using artificial intelligence to automatically adjust your video to make you more visible if you’re in a dark environment. Having too much light behind you — such as a window on a sunny day — can also be challenging for many cameras. Now, Google Meet on the web automatically detects when a user appears underexposed and enhances the brightness to improve their visibility. Light adjustment will be rolling out to Meet users everywhere in the coming weeks.
A person in the Green room of Google Meet where their video is brightened by the new Light adjustment feature.

Automatically enhance brightness and improve visibility. 

In addition, we’re introducing another feature powered by AI called Autozoom, which helps others see you more clearly by zooming in and positioning you squarely in front of your camera. Autozoom will be available to Google Workspace (paid) subscribers in the coming months. 

Fun new backgrounds on mobile and web 

Last month, we started rolling out background replace, Q&A and Polls for Meet to Android and iOS devices. In the coming weeks, we’re adding the ability to replace your background with a video. Video background replacement can help you maintain privacy for what’s behind you while also making your video calls more fun. There will initially be three options to choose from: a classroom, a party and a forest, with more on the way soon.

A person video calling using Google Meet with an animated background featuring cartoon characters dancing under a disco ball.

Use a video background to make calls more fun.

When we introduced a free version of Google Meet to the world a year ago, none of us knew just how much we’d come to rely on virtual meetings and gatherings to keep us connected to friends, family, colleagues and classmates. We’re grateful for all the stories and feedback our users and customers have shared along the way, helping us make Google Meet more engaging for everyone. Looking ahead, we’re excited to continue improving the Meet experience to further help in all the ways people connect, collaborate and celebrate.

Women who code: “I just want to see us win”

Naia Johnson knows what it’s like to feel outnumbered. 

“I have a computer science program at my school but I’m one of five girls in my class and of all the Black girls, I’m maybe one of two.” Naia explains. “It’s never deterred me, though — if anything, it has made me want to do better.” 

Naia is a high school senior at Oakland Technical High School as well as a student at Google’s Code Next Lab in Oakland, a free computer science education program aimed at preparing and uplifting the next generation of Black and Latinx tech leaders. Naia is the first Code Next student to facilitate a workshop — she’s currently leading a virtual “Creative Coding” club for other Code Next students. 

“I’ve always had an idea of running my own business,” Naia explains “Before Code Next, it wasn’t so tech-focused, but there was always this idea that I was going to do something, [that] I was going to be somebody and that I was going to make that happen.”

At Code Next, Naia works with Amber Morse, the lab’s Community Manager. “I try to stay as relevant and creative as possible to continue to keep [students] engaged,” Amber says. “There is so much light, vibrancy and possibility already being met in Oakland, so fostering community doesn’t take much.”

Both Amber and Naia are working within Code Next and the Oakland community to reshape what the tech industry looks like — and more precisely, who it works for. For Women’s History Month, we asked Naia and Amber to interview one another so we could get to know them, and their work, a little better. 

Amber and Naia standing next to each other, smiling and looking at the camera.

Naia and Amber

Amber: What got you interested in Computer Science, Naia? In other words, when did that spark... spark?

Naia: I think it’s always been sparked. Since a young age, I was a “maker” kid. One time I made a functioning radio out of snap circuits. It barely picked up anything unless I held it in a very specific place in the middle of my brother’s rooms and we had the windows wide open. It would pick up sports channels..in Spanish...but it worked. It's cool to think, ‘Wow I made this.’

Amber:I know you also had some involvement with Black Girls Code. That’s why we have this synergy, I think. Before Google, I worked for Black Girls Code and I’m sure at some point I was at one of your workshops. 

Naia: Yes! I loved it. By far my favorite class with Black Girls Code was when we worked with Raspberry Pi’s [small circuit board computers]. We connected them to little go-karts and made cars move around. That was also my favorite group of girls. I’m still in contact with a lot of them today. 

Amber:Aw, that’s so cool, I love to hear that! Yes to sisterhood!

Naia: I actually met [one of the girls] at Google one day. It’s really cool to think I met her through technology and to see she’s still interested in it—and that I’m still interested in it! I think Black Girls Code was that first introduction to a community of people that were not only interested in tech but looked like me and were interested in tech. 

Amber: What one’s lesson you carry with you from Code Next? 

Naia:As cliche as it sounds, there’s no such thing as a silly question or a silly answer; it's something that needs to be said and something to be heard. It sticks better when you’re wrong because your brain is like, “Well I don’t want to be wrong again first of all.” Sometimes, not knowing the answer is better than knowing what to do. It’s not just about knowing why answer B is right; it’s also understanding why A, C and D are wrong. You learn more when you’re not just trying to be right. I really focus on these ideas in the Creative Coding Club that I facilitate.

Amber: What are your dreams and aspirations in life? 

Naia: It goes back to the younger me living here somewhere. I want to be my own boss. That's my biggest dream. I also want to be a role model, because not only is it a tribute to my own success, but it will end up being a tribute to other black and brown girls interested in the tech field. I want to nurture and support more programs that cultivate an interest in CS from a young age.

Amber:You know, it’s already happening Naia. You’re a student ambassador for Code Next, and you are an example for so many students looking up to you. You may not know you’re in it, but you’re in it. 

Naia: What about you?

Amber: I just want to see us win. When I think about all of our leaders and all of our supporters along the way, and when I see you and what the future might look like, I’m always inspired. That’s my inspiration, my aspiration... to continue to support women like you in ways to [get into] leadership positions, so that we can then support one another.