Tag Archives: Education

A new model for inclusive computer science education

The lack of diversity in the computing education pipeline has been a remarkably persistent problem. Something that’s stalled progress in addressing disparities is that there’s largely been a focus on individuals, such as teachers and students, rather than on how equity plays out across multiple levels of the computer science (CS) education ecosystem. This is why our work at the University of Texas since 2014 focuses on understanding the root causes of inequities in the CS education pipeline and how every level of the system influences equity.

With the support of a CS-ER (computer science education research) grant from Google, my colleague Jayce Warner and I developed a framework for thinking about equity across the CS education ecosystem. We began this work after digging into data in Texas in 2014 and finding that only about a quarter of Texas high schools offered any kind of CS course and fewer than 3% of Texas students were taking a CS course each year.  The students enrolled in CS courses were also not reflective of the student population in our diverse state. We launched what became the WeTeach_CS professional development program, with the ultimate objective of seeing equitable enrollment in CS courses in Texas. To achieve this goal, we first had to improve access to CS courses and increase the number of CS-certified teachers in the state. 

At the time, we thought equity had to wait until we had solved the capacity, access and participation challenges. But as we began thinking more deeply about this model and asking our colleagues in the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance for feedback, we realized several things:

True Equity is about more than just diversity in the classroom, and just because something is available to everyone doesn’t mean that everyone can or will benefit. Also, education is very complex and the things we can easily measure (such as AP class participation) may not be the best indicators of change or success.

We developed a new framework that reflects how things connect at different levels of CS education.  Most importantly, this model helps us better understand how equity plays out at each level. We’ve called it the CAPE framework and it consists of four interdependent components: capacity for CS education, access to CS education, participation in CS education and experience of CS education. 

Each level affects the next. For example, if we want students to have equitable experiences in CS, we first need to make sure they’re participating equitably. Equitable participation relies on equitable access and equitable access relies on equitable capacity. 

CAPE is represented as a triangle with four levels. Capacity for CS Education is the foundational level of the triangle, with access to CS education above that, participation in CS education above that, and experiences of CS education at the top. Example questions that can be asked at the Capacity level address teachers, funding and policies such as Do districts in all areas have the resources to offer CS and to train and certify teachers? Access questions deal with course offerings such as Are CS courses offered in low-income schools at similar rates to other schools? Questions at the participation level address student enrollment such as Which subgroups are underrepresented in CS courses and to what extent? Experience level questions can address student outcomes such as How does instruction and learning differ across student subgroups and do all students feel a sense of belonging in CS?

The CAPE Framework helps the entire CS education community think about the systems they work in and the types of questions they should ask to ensure equity and inclusion in computing. One example is Jackie Corricelli, a PreK-12 CS Curriculum Specialist in West Hartford Public Schools (CT), who’s used the CAPE framework to evaluate her district’s K-12 CS program. In another example, Bryan Cox, Computer Science Specialist at the Georgia Department of Education, is building a public dashboard to track access and participation in K-12 CS education in Georgia. In Texas, we’ve used CAPE to frame our state and regional CSEd Profiles and recently released a new interactive visualization to explore capacity, access and participation across the state’s 1,200 school districts and more than 2,000 high schools. 

Google supported these efforts with a CS-ER grant awarded to UT Austin, which was instrumental in the development and evolution of the CAPE framework. In 2021, Google awarded seven new CS-ER grants. This year’s grant awardees are: Amy J. Ko, University of Washington; Derek Aguiar, University of Connecticut; Jean Ryoo, University of California, Los Angeles; Jennifer Parham-Mocello, Oregon State University; Joshua Childs and Tia Madkins, The University of Texas at Austin; Melanie Williamson and Audrey Brock, Bluegrass Community & Technical College; and Mounia Ziat, Bentley University.

For more information about each of the recipient’s projects, or to submit an application to be considered for future cohorts, you can visit Google Research’s Outreach page.

9 apps to help kids sharpen their coding skills

Coding is a skill that’s now part of just about every discipline — and what’s more, it’s fun for kids to learn, and easy for parents and teachers to add to lessons at home or school. As kids get ready to go back to school and Chromebooks are once again on desks at home and in the classroom, it’s a good time to boost students’ coding knowledge. At Google, we believe every student deserves the chance to explore, advance and succeed in computer science. Practical computer science skills can help students learn and create, and bring more relevance to nearly any subject, from history to literature to current events. 

Thanks to the devices and apps below, students of all ages can be engaged while learning to code. Fortunately, there are coding apps for just about every grade and skill level. Here are our suggestions for apps and devices to check out this fall, whether you’re in a classroom or at home with learners.

Coding apps to try in the classroom and at home

Whether it’s creating a video game as an assignment in science class, or building a website for a side project (lemonade stand, anyone?), there are coding apps for the whole family and the whole class. Families can find all of these apps on the Google Play Store, and schools can find out more information on the Chromebook App Hub

Beginning to code

  • Cloud Stop Motion (Play Store) is a fun stop-motion and animation movie creator. Cloud Stop Motion enables kids to work with animations on a zoomable, scrollable timeline. Sound effects, music, titles, credits and speech bubbles can be added before rendering to an MP4 movie. An extensive library of audio, backgrounds and styles included, this app is great for students and parents alike.

  • Grasshopper(Web app) is a coding app for beginning learners that uses games to build skills with JavaScript. Learners can move up through progressively challenging levels to refine their coding prowess.

  • Scratch Jr(Play Store) is tailor-made for younger learners. Scratch Jr is actually based on a programming language that teaches kids how to program by creating their own interactive stories and games. 

  • Tynker Jr (Play Store) is perfect for children just learning to read. Children ages 5-7 can learn the fundamentals of coding by connecting picture blocks to move their characters.

More advanced coders

  • Bloxels (Play Store, App Hub) lets anyone build a video game with their own characters and art. Game worlds are quick to build with built-in logic, triggers and actions.

  • Codecademy(Play Store) Codecademy creates an engaging, flexible, and accessible way to learn to code online, making it possible for anyone to gain skills for employability and build something meaningful with technology. Access hundreds of courses in subjects like web development and data science, as well as in-demand languages like Python, CSS, and JavaScript.

  • Piper Make (Play Store, App Hub) is a drag-and-drop coding platform for the Pico, the newest microcontroller board from Raspberry Pi. Using Piper’s hardware packages available online, the Piper Make portal offers new narrative-based tutorials, projects, and ways to start building and coding technology.

  • Replit(Play Store, App Hub) is a simple, yet powerful online coding platform. It's perfect for beginners, who are coding for the first time, but also scales to the needs of teachers and professional programmers with decades of experience. Replit supports all programming languages, including Python, Java, Javascript + HTML/CSS, and C/C++, and runs on every device, including Chromebooks. It combines an IDE (integrated development environment) with a debugger, built-in testing/autograding, and hosting tools to build websites and applications.

  • Tynker(Play Store, App Hub) features block-based coding challenges that help learners move on to more complex skills like Python coding and advanced computer science. It even offers AP Computer Science courses.

Devices for coding, creating and anything in between

With new devices for learning anywhere or advanced use, students and families can find devices for more robust needs such as content creation and editing, coding, and running apps in virtualized environments simultaneously with large video calls. 

There’s a device for everyone in the family or classroom. This includes devices like the Lenovo 500e Gen 3, which works in both laptop and tablet mode and has a rear-facing camera and built-in stylus. It also includes the spill-resistant HP Chromebook x360 11 G4 EE, the Acer Chromebook Spin 512, or the Lenovo 300e Gen 3 with its 3:2 ratio, ideal for reading and working on Docs more comfortably, an Always Connected LTE enabled device with dual cameras. You can find all the latest in this handy guide for schools, or on chromebook.com. 

To learn more about Google’s commitment to closing equity gaps in computer science education and discover lessons, research, scholarship opportunities and more, visit our Code with Google page. Educators can also find CS resources on our website and on the Chromebook App Hub. And for more resources for families, with guidance on everything from classroom tools to screen time best practices, visit families.google.com, and sign up for Family Link for parents to help set digital ground rules on their school or personal device.

A crossword puzzle with a big purpose

Before the pandemic, Alicia Chang was working on a new project. “I was experimenting with non-traditional ways to help teach Googlers the AI Principles,” she says. Alicia is a technical writer on the Engineering Education team focused on designing learning experiences to help Googlers learn about our AI Principles and how to apply them in their own work.

The challenge for Alicia would be how many people she needed to educate. “There are so many people spread over different locations, time zones, countries!” But when the world started working from home, she was inspired by the various workarounds people were using to connect virtually. 

A photo of Alicia Chang sitting on a bench outside. She is looking into the camera and smiling.

Alicia Chang

“I started testing out activities like haiku-writing contests and online trivia,” Alicia says. “Then one day a friend mentioned an online escape room activity someone had arranged for a COVID-safe birthday gathering. Something really clicked with me when she mentioned that, and I started to think about designing an immersive learning experience.” Alicia decided to research how some of the most creative, dedicated people deliver information: She looked at what teachers were doing. 

Alicia soon stumbled upon a YouTube video about using Google Sheets to create a crossword puzzle, so she decided to make her own — and Googlers loved it. Since the crossword was such a success, Alicia decided to make more interactive games. She used Google Forms to create a fun “Which AI Principle are you?” quiz, and Google Docs to make a word search. Then there’s the Emoji Challenge, where players have to figure out which AI Principles a set of emoji describe. All of this became part of what is now known as the Responsible Innovation Challenge, a set of various puzzle activities built with Google products — including Forms, Sheets, Docs and Sites — that focus on teaching Google’s AI Principles.

The purpose of the Responsible Innovation Challenge is to introduce Google’s AI Principles to new technical hires in onboarding courses, and to help Googlers put the AI Principles into practice in everyday product development situations. The first few puzzles are fairly simple and help players remember and recall the Principles, which serve as a practical framework for responsible innovation. As Googlers start leveling up, the puzzles get a bit more complex.. There’s even a bonus level where Googlers are asked to think about various technical resources and tools they can use to develop AI responsibly by applying them in their existing workflow when creating a machine learning model.

Alicia added a points system and a leaderboard with digital badges — and even included prizes. “I noticed that people were motivated by some friendly competition. Googlers really got involved and referred their coworkers to play, too,” she says. “We had over 1,000 enroll in the first 30 days alone!” To date, more than 2,800 Googlers have participated from across 41 countries, and people continue to sign up. 

It’s been encouraging for Alicia to see how much Googlers are enjoying the puzzles, especially when screen time burnout is all too real. Most importantly, though, she’s thrilled that more people are learning about Google’s AI Principles. “Each of the billions of people who use Google products has a unique story and life experience,” Alicia says. “And that’s what we want to think about so we can make the best products for individual people.” 

In person, virtual or hybrid: helpful tools for back to school

As a former director at the largest school district in the United States, I’ve witnessed the challenges of preparing for the back-to-school season. It can be daunting to equip your districts, educators, students and families with the educational resources they need to go back to school with confidence. 

We recently sat down with a group of school administrators from around the world to get a sense of what they’re thinking about when using digital tools to overcome challenges for back to school in 2021. Although the term “going back to school” looks different across different schools, states and countries, here are a few of the top things administrators are thinking about to help guide you when going back to the classroom, regardless of whether you’ll be in-person, virtual or a hybrid of the two. To find more tips for how to use Google tools this upcoming school year, check out our Back to School Guide for school leaders.

Tools to enhance teaching and learning

Ruth Yeh, a teacher and technology advisor at Taipei First Girls High School, said she’s thinking a lot about how different it continues to be “to conduct classes the way we used to, and making sure all students are given the attention they need to learn and grow.” Ruth said that using Google tools, educators have been able to connect with students in real time using Google Meet, or do daily check-ins on mood with Google Forms or Google Classroom. Nothing can replace being in person – but tech tools can help bridge the gap in the meantime.

We’ve seen educators using Jamboard to have class brainstorms and discussions (all within a Google Meet!), where students can share ideas by writing and adding images in real time on a digital whiteboard. And for checking for understanding, Google Forms make conducting and grading quizzes easier – and can also be used for student check-ins. Educators are using Forms now to reach out to students with an emotional-health questionnaire and ask simple questions about how they are feeling… and then can set up time to talk to them afterwards.

Supporting students and families beyond the classroom 

“Parents and guardians are trying to help their kids with their schoolwork, but sometimes don’t understand the tools and devices,” says Femi Aina, Executive Director of IT at Atlanta Public Schools. The biggest issue: They had trouble finding Meet links for their children’s virtual classes. Atlanta Public School teachers and principals resolved this problem by providing the support and resources guardians needed to understand how to use Google Classroom and other Google for Education tools, including the Tech Toolkit for Families and Guardians video series.

Providing students and families with supplemental resources beyond the classroom curriculum can help them understand how they can use Google for Education tools to support their education. Guardians can learn how to support their children’s education through Google resources like Google Families, Guardian’s Guides to Google for Education Tools and this information on setting up Classroom email summaries for guardians. For more support resources, check out our Help Center.

Google’s commitment to data privacy and security

Chin Song, Director of Technology at Milpitas Unified, told us that he’s planning on updating policies in Google Admin Console to ensure a safe learning environment, like the new age-based access setting, and making sure all of the district’s Chromebooks are updated to the latest operating system. And Ron Caroll, Manager of Instructional Technology at Chicago Public Schools, said in addition to customizing policies to protect students’ online learning experiences, it’s equally important to bring parents and guardians along during the process. 

To inform guardians about their children’s use of Google Workspace for Education tools and how these tools protect their security online, Chicago Public Schools is planning on sharing information to help them learn more about Google’s privacy and security policies, like these frequently asked questions.

By customizing settings and updating policies, schools can support safer learning experiences for students through Google Admin console. Leverage resources to help inform families about security and privacy like the Safer Learning with Google for Education Guide, Google’s security commitments, our Be Internet Awesome Family Guide and our Guardian’s Guide to Privacy and Security

Stay up-to-date with your Google for Education products 

Mark Garrison, Chief Academic & Innovation Officer at Breck School, said his previous team typically spent summers focused on Chromebook deployment, helping schools set up and manage their devices. And Chin Song said his district has a secretary that logs every single Chromebook in a consolidated spreadsheet when deploying devices, to keep inventory management efficient. This year, they’re focusing on not only getting devices ready for in school learning, but also preparing them to go home, too.

Setting up and deploying Chromebooks ahead of the back-to-school season can help the return to the classroom be more seamless. For tips on how to set up new user accounts or pre-installing apps and extensions, check out the Chrome Device deployment guide for step-by-step instructions and this guide for sending Chromebooks home

Regardless of how your school setup will look this year, our team is working to make digital tools easier and more helpful for everyone. For more best practices on heading back to school with Google for Education tools, check out Teaching Resources and our Google for Education Back-to-School Guide.

How I grew as a computer science educator

Editor's note: Shaina Glass is a computer science educator based in Houston. She shares how Google.org funding helped support an organization that has shaped her career. 

In 2018, I was one of only a handful of educators teaching computer science (CS) to students and teachers alike in my school district. I created after-school clubs, provided professional development workshops, and looked for ways to celebrate Computer Science Education Week. I was always looking for other like-minded educators who I could learn and grow with. Everyone I spoke with pointed me to the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), an organization focused on supporting computer science educators who are often the only ones in their schools and districts. 

Joining the local CSTA Chapter in Greater Houston has allowed me to share ideas and create a community with other CS educators. Local chapters like mine have always been a big part of CSTA's mission, especially in urban areas like Houston where only 49% of schools have a certified CS teacher. Local CSTA chapters have grown by more than 25% since 2019, thanks in part to Google’s support.  In 2019 Google.org committed a $1 million grant to CSTA, and today they’re investing $500,000 more to help grow membership and provide opportunities for equity-focused professional development. 

For me, CSTA has shaped my career in so many ways. Before the pandemic, I received a scholarship to attend my first CSTA conference in Phoenix, Arizona. There I learned how to build an equitable CS program in my school district and connected with a community that has sustained me while teaching throughout the pandemic. As a chapter leader, I’ve helped bring more CS educators together in Houston and created a plan to work with regional and state CS leaders to provide opportunities for more teachers to become certified CS teachers. 

CSTA teachers meet regularly, even virtually, to maintain community

CSTA teachers meet regularly, even virtually, to maintain community.

Most recently, I became a  CSTA Equity Fellow for the 2020-21 school year, joining 14 other educators to bring equity-based CS education practices into their schools and communities. One of our initiatives includes creating a podcast focused on equity in CS. As a part of my fellowship, I also serve on advisory boards for CS curricula and the development of a CSTA Coaching Toolkit that will help administrators and CS leaders evaluate and support teachers.  

If you’re a new or experienced CS or STEM educator looking for a network of education leaders that can provide support, resources, and professional growth, then consider becoming a member of CSTA. If you aren’t near a local CSTA Chapter, join to learn how to start one! Hope to see you at the upcoming virtual conference. We’re stronger together.  

Mentorship inspires Deyrel Diaz and future researchers

During his undergrad, Deyrel Diaz attended a VR hackathon where he tried out an aircraft training demo. While Deyrel, a computer science (CS) student, had experience with 3D modeling and coding, seeing the results in action was all new. “This was the first time I’d seen the two mediums interact on such an immersive level,” he says. “Seeing how this simulation was used for real world training and research...I wanted to be a part of that.” Today, Deyrel is a PhD student studying Human-Centered Computing at Clemson University with a focus on mixed reality (AR/VR) research. He’s also a graduate of the most recent class of the CS Research Mentorship Program (CSRMP), one initiative by Google Research to support students from historically marginalized groups (HMGs) in computing research pathways. 

Recognizing that the work CS Researchers are doing has broad implications for billions of people across the globe, CSRMP aims to ensure that the community of researchers represents the experiences, perspectives, concerns and creative enthusiasm of all the people of the world, by supporting the pursuit of computing research for undergraduate and graduate students from HMGs through mentorship, peer networking and career exploration.

In June, CSRMP graduated a class of 281 students from 110 universities across the United States and Canada. We spoke with Deyrel to learn more about his experience and plans for his journey in computing research. Here’s what he had to say:

What motivated you to participate in CSRMP?

Through programs and conferences, I learned just how important it is to have representation in the development and design of technology. When I read about CSRMP, I saw the opportunity to not only help expand that community by connecting with other professionals in the field, but to also learn alongside some of the best and brightest students from around the world.

How has CSRMP influenced your research journey?

The pod meetings influenced my journey the most. I was able to build relationships with other phenomenal student researchers and my CSRMP mentor. We discussed the challenges we face while conducting computing research, and we shared lots of helpful tools and resources. These meetings were also a place to find inspiration and motivation, and helped me learn about other career fields, which I might incorporate into my future research.

What are you proudest of?

I’m proudest of winning two national fellowships that will fully fund my PhD studies. The support system my mentors created for me really helped guide me in the right direction, so it’s thanks to this strong mentorship I was able to accomplish this. Plus, having these fellowships gave me the time to take part in programs where I can mentor other up-and-coming underrepresented students and expose them to not only computing research, but graduate school in general.

What advice do you have for students like you who are curious about starting their journeys as researchers in computing?

The field of computer science touches anything and everything, and if there’s something it hasn’t, you could be the person who makes it happen. That said, there’s no reason for you to pursue something you don’t love, so seek out professors, hack-a-thons, demos or certificate programs to learn more about different fields and how you can use them in personal projects. Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do, just start tinkering and create something you’d have fun using.

Congratulations to all of the students who graduated from the CS Research Mentorship Program in the first half of 2021! We look forward to supporting future students who are taking computing research by storm like Deyrel Diaz. Applications are now open for the September 2021 mentorship cycle – apply by July 28, 2021.

Safer learning with Google for Education

When the Google for Education team designs products, we put the safety, security and privacy needs of our users first. This means keeping schools’ data safer with built-in security features that provide automated protection, compliance visibility and control, to ensure a private, safe and secure learning environment. We aim to support and protect the entire education community, and particularly teachers and students, so they can focus on what matters most: teaching and learning.

Everything we build is guided by three important principles:

  1. Secure by default: Protecting your privacy starts with the world’s most advanced security. Even before you set up security controls for your school’s digital environment specific to your needs, our built-in security is automatically protecting you from threats, like ransomware. 

  2. Private by design: We uphold responsible data practices designed to respect your privacy. Our products can be used in compliance with the most rigorous data privacy standards, including FERPA, COPPA and GDPR.  Google does not use data from Google Workspace for Education Core Services for advertising purposes, and users’ personal information is never sold.

  3. You’re in control: You own your data in Core Workspace Services, which means that you retain full intellectual property rights over your customer data, and you control who can download it, and when. You can get real-time alerts so you can act immediately if an incident occurs, and customize the security dashboard to get reports on your security status at any time. 

Introducing new features to provide more visibility and control

To help admins and teachers as they build safe digital learning environments, we’re adding additional features to provide more visibility and control. We are also updating ourprivacy notice to to make it easier for teachers, parents and students to understand what information we collect and why we collect it. Nothing is changing about how your information is processed. Rather, we’ve improved the way we describe our practices and privacy controls with a simpler structure and clearer language.

Tailor access based on age

We’re launching a new age-based access setting to make it easier for admins to tailor experiences for their users based on age when using Google services like YouTube, Photos and Maps. Starting today, all admins from primary and secondary institutions must indicate which of their users, such as their teachers and staff, are 18 and older using organizational units or groups in Admin Console. After September 1, 2021, students who are under 18 will see changes in their experience across Google products. 

For example, after September 1, students designated as under 18 in K-12 domains can view YouTube content assigned by teachers, but they won’t be able to post videos, comment or live stream using their school Google account. Administrators should ensure that Google Takeout is turned on so that end users can download their data, like previously uploaded videos, using Google Takeout.

If admins don’t make a selection by September 1, primary and secondary institutions users will all default to the under-18 experience, while higher-education institutions users will default to the 18-and-older experience. These age-based settings are not locked and admins can always adjust them according to the age of their users.

New default experiences for Chrome users in K-12 institutions

Many schools already have policies in place for SafeSearch, SafeSites, Guest Mode and Incognito Mode, and we are updating their defaults to ensure a safer web browsing experience for K-12 institutions. Now, SafeSearch and SafeSites will be on by default, and Guest Mode and Incognito Mode will be off by default. Admins can still change each of these policies on Chrome OS for individual organization units, for example allowing the use of Guest Mode for users in their domain. 

The Google for Education team is committed to creating tools and services that are secure by default and private by design, all the while giving you complete control over your environment. 

Meet the young women pursuing their dreams with Google’s Code Next

Illustration by  Rose Jaffe

When Cassie Areff was a kid, she enjoyed spending time coding with her dad. "I liked making mini games in Scratch, and then I transitioned into programming my computer to play card games against me." Fast forward to today, Cassie is part of a cohort of students that just completed Google's Code Next, a free computer science education program for Black and Latinx high schoolers. 

We recently took some time to talk to Cassie, as well as two other student engineers — Jelyse Williams and BrookeLynn Acevedo — to learn more about their experiences as coders and their plans for the future.

What is it like being a young woman in coding?

BrookeLynn: It's both isolating and empowering. It can be discouraging to look around and see you’re one of the only women — or the only woman — in the room. As you become more experienced, the number of women around you goes down. But it’s also something I’m proud of. I’m helping to close the gender gap in coding and showing others I’m not afraid to learn, and I hope other women will be inspired to do the same.

Jelyse: Knowing there are so few young women in code inspires me to try to get more young women interested. From every shortcut to every <br> (coded line break), knowing how to code is a fundamental skill. If more young women start to code, more diverse ideas and tools will be introduced that serve us. 

What advice would you give to young women of color who are interested in careers in coding?

BrookeLynn:Don’t hesitate to apply for things you’re interested in — even if you have no experience or if you feel you have “no chance.” There are so many wonderful opportunities with STEM I missed out on because I was afraid to apply.  

I wasn’t going to apply to Code Next because I thought I wasn’t qualified. Look at me now! Applying is scary, especially when you’re in the minority, but you just need to get out there and try. 

Cassie: If you’re thinking about Code Next, join! It’s such an amazing opportunity to meet other students interested in computer science in a supportive environment, and learn things you aren’t usually taught in high school classes. The coaches and mentors are also amazing resources.

Also, never let imposter syndrome prevent you from pursuing something. Don’t underestimate your abilities! Take risks that help you to learn and grow. Find a supportive community in your classes and organizations. Finally, embrace your mistakes and failures because they allow you to improve, and push you to better understand the concepts you’re exploring.

Jelyse:Never give up. In this predominantly white, male field, we are needed. Representation matters, but what you do in this field matters even more. Go change the world in your own way, for the better! 

What are you most proud of?

Jelyse:That I never gave up. When I started Code Next, I was seriously bad at code. It seemed like everyone around me was excelling, and I was not. At first, I didn't know how to voice my dilemmas, but my coaches helped me figure out how to ask for help and understand that we all learn at different paces. 

BrookeLynn: I had never taken a “real” coding class before and had virtually no experience in coding or tech careers beforehand. There were a number of times where I struggled with Code Next and the material provided, but I fought through it and not only did the work, but I did it and understood it. That persistence fills me with pride.

What motivates you? What gets you excited?

Cassie: I’m always excited to learn and problem solve. I love discussing ideas with others, and synthesizing ideas to create solutions. I enjoy doing puzzles, and see code as an outlet to use logic to creatively solve problems.

BrookeLynn: My future is what gets me excited and motivated. There’s nothing more valuable than the present, so I am trying to preserve it while also thinking towards the future. I’m working really hard now so I can build a bright future and am able to pay back all those who have shown me kindness. 

Jelyse: I want to inspire people to do things for the better. Working towards this goal, and hopefully inspiring others to do the same, gets me excited. 

Code Next lit a fire within these young women and helped them advance their coding skills while providing a supportive community. Applications to be part of the next Code Next cohort are open now for any student entering 9-12 grade in the United States.  For more information and to apply, visit Code Next.

Helping schools prepare for what’s next in education

Today at The Anywhere School, we shared great new ways to use Google Classroom, Google Workspace for Education, Google Meet, and Chrome OS - all focused on helping teachers and school leaders continue to do the amazing work they do.

Classroom is adapting for the future of learning and teaching

Classroom strives to be the simplest, easiest to use learning platform, but we’re continuously making improvements to make it even better. Roster Import will enable admins to set up classes at scale (and save a significant amount of time!) while Classroom add-ons will give educators a simple way to integrate their favorite content and activities. And the new student activity dashboard, the ability to schedule assignments across multiple classes and improvements to the Meet and Classroom integration will make it far easier to engage with students. Learn more in the Classroom blog.

Google Workspace for Education improves collaboration and security

Smart canvas makes Docs, Sheets and Slides more interactive and intelligent. With features like smart chips, checklists, table templates and assisted analysis, smart canvas enables stronger collaboration with anyone, from anywhere. We’re also strengthening the security of all Google Workspace for Education editions with Drive security improvements and additional advanced security for Education Plus and Education Standard customers. Learn more in the Workspace blog.

Google Meet is getting more secure, easy to use and engaging

Google Meet is adding features to continue supporting the evolving needs of school communities. Moderators and admins will have new controls, like the ability to force breakout room participants back into the main meeting and end any meeting from the investigation tool. Meet will also be easier to use now that it supports multiple moderators and the ability to pin multiple presenters at the same time. Video calls will be more engaging and inclusive with public live streaming to YouTube, hand-raising improvements and live translated captions. Learn more in the Meet blog.

Chromebooks get more personalized

As schools transition from shared Chromebook carts to assigned devices, they are also getting much easier to use and manage. Signing in securely is now a breeze with PIN logins. Admins can now easily see when Automatic Update Expiration dates are reached across their fleet with Chrome Insights Reports. And with new built-in accessibility features like Point Scanning mode with Switch Access, and the new panning method for the full-screen magnifier, teachers and students alike can present and access information in a way that works for them. Learn more in the Chromebook blog.

We are constantly humbled by the amazing ways educators use our tools to better collaborate, manage classes, and create safe learning environments. Whether you’re about to wrap up your school year or still have a few months left, we hope that by sharing these updates now, we can help you be better prepared to use these tools in your institution. To get regular product updates, please sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Twitter.

Classroom adapts for the future of learning and teaching

Over the last year, the use of education technology skyrocketed as schools hustled to keep students learning. As some students return to their classrooms and others continue learning from home, we’re optimistic about the role education technology can play to help teachers and school leaders as they make up for lost time. 

We saw Classroom become a center for teaching and learning for millions of teachers and students this year, with many schools now using Classroom as their learning management system (LMS). This was only possible thanks to the support and feedback of teachers around the world. We were amazed by how quickly they learned the tools and put them into practice. 

Change in education is inevitable. As the needs of institutions evolve, Classroom will keep pace. Today, we’re sharing some important updates to features we previously shared on our roadmap as well as some new ones we developed with input from teachers and education leaders: 

Roster import:Starting this summer, U.S. districts with Google Workspace for Education Plus will be able to automatically set up classes and keep rosters in sync with their Student Information System, powered by Clever. IT admins will be able to create and populate classes via Clever, saving teachers valuable prep time. 

Classroom add-ons:Coming to beta later this year for districts with the Teaching and Learning Upgrade or Education Plus, Classroom add-ons allow you to bring your favorite content and activities from top edtech tools right inside Classroom. Admins will be able to pre-install add-ons for multiple teachers or groups at once.

We’re starting with nine partners including Adobe Spark for Education, BookWidgets, CK-12 Foundation, Edpuzzle, IXL, Kahoot!, Nearpod, Newsela and SAFARI Montage, with plans to expand to many more. Here's an example of how Bookwidgets is using add-ons to make it  easier for teachers to assign an activity and students to complete it, without ever leaving Classroom.

Animated gif showing the Bookwidget add-on right inside Classroom.

Scheduling assignments across multiple classes:Coming later this year, this top-requested feature will help teachers and co-teachers easily schedule assignments to multiple classes. 

Animated gif showing scheduling assignments to multiple classes

Offline capabilities: Coming to the Classroom Android app in a few months, offline mode will allow students to start their work offline, review their assignments and attachments as well as  write assignments in Google Docs — all without an internet connection. 

Student engagement activity: Later this year, teachers will easily be able to see when a student was last active, including when they last submitted work or participated in the class through comments with a student engagement activity dashboard.

Animated gif showing the student engagement activity in a class dashboard.

Google Meet in Classroom: In the coming months you’ll see updates to how teachers can use Google Meet in Classroom, making it easier, safer and more secure. First, all co-teachers in a class will also automatically be co-hosts in the meeting, and only students listed in the Classroom roster will be able to join the Meet. Next, students will have to sit in a “waiting room” until a teacher has joined the meeting link. And finally, guests outside the class roster will have to “ask to join” so no unwanted participants get into meetings. 

Educators' feedback makes Classroom better every year. With your feedback and insights, we’ll keep working together to make sure teaching and learning are possible for every teacher and student from every device anywhere in the world.