Tag Archives: Education

My Path to Google – Juan Angustia, Visual Designer

Welcome to the 43rd installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like, and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Juan Angustia. Read on!



Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Constanza, a small town surrounded by beautiful mountains in the Dominican Republic. In the year 2004, before I ever dreamed of joining Google, I went to college at the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD) to study Advertising with a focus on Graphic Design. However, I did not finish my degree because the school did not offer classes that sparked my specific interests. Instead, I decided to continue teaching myself the things that I loved. 

At that time, a career in UI or UX didn’t exist. You either studied Graphic Design or Advertising, which I was never passionate about. I wanted to work on something that people could interact or play with, something more exciting. This is why I started to design websites. 




During and before I started college, Google was my main source of knowledge. I attribute 80% of the knowledge I obtained to the information I found on Google. Back in the day, I remember walking miles from home to the only computer lab in town. This was the only place where I was able to get internet access. Every day after lunch I took my central processing unit (CPU) and walked to the lab. I connected my CPU and my first thought was to open Google.com to search for tutorials on how to use Photoshop or how to create digital designs.

When I’m not working, I love to dance. It is a form of mediation for me, and also a way to express and share my Latino/Caribbean vibes with others. Sometimes at the office, I dance and work at the same time. I also love to travel and work on personal projects. I take photos and make videos like my short film El Camino. These hobbies to me are a way to find inspiration outside of my day to day work. If you want to know more, feel free to check out my Medium and Instagram: @jcagarcia.


As a Dominican I have music on my blood, it is part of our culture. Merengue and Bachata are some of our typical music. This is a tambora (drum), a popular Dominican instrument.

What’s your role at Google?

I’m a Visual Designer on the Google Duo team in our Seattle/Kirkland office. I’m blessed to be part of this team. The culture, the people, and the vibes are the things that I like the most.. A cool project of mine was recently launched, the new Duo precall interface for the web, which you can check out. You can even submit feedback if you have ideas to help improve the experience for our users.


Duo team event in Playa Vista, Los Angeles. My design for the event is on the screen.

What inspires you to come in every day?

I’ve been working at Google for almost a year, and every day is like living a dream. I feel grateful for the opportunity that I have. Working with very talented people with diverse backgrounds (professional and cultural), and with products that touch billions of people's lives around the world is one of the most exciting things that I could mention. In other words, I work with an incredibly diverse group of people who are some of the smartest, most creative, and humble people I've ever met. I learn something new every time I’m in a meeting.
The team at an offsite event.
Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process? 
The first time that I applied I was rejected for lack of qualifications. Four years later, I was contacted again. I still don’t know how to describe the feeling  when I read the subject line in that email,  “Hello from Google.” It was a mixture of excitement and fear. It was a difficult decision to make, because at that time I had a stable position at my former job in Philadelphia. I also had just bought an apartment a year prior that I absolutely loved. 

Also, I didn’t know if I was ready for the job, or to move cross country and leave my mother behind in Philadelphia whom just three years prior I had brought to the U.S. to fulfill her “American Dream.”


Checking out the Android statue garden.
How did the recruitment process go for you? 
After the first initial call, I was able to move on to the second round of calls, which would be with a designer who would evaluate my experience.The interview process was very friendly and comfortable. Another detail that I noticed from the first moment, was the high attention to detail and how important the recruiter made me feel throughout the process. 

The more nerve-racking but also exciting part was the design exercise, where I was to show my design skills and process. To make a long story short, it took me two weeks to plan, idealize, design, and prepare my project 

Much to my relief, a week after I turned in my design I received a call from the recruiter who was working with me during the interview process. They told me that I had passed the exercise and that I would proceed with an in-person interview at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. A shoutout to the excellent attention I received from the recruiter who assisted me throughout this entire process.

The whole interview process took me about three months — months filled with mixed emotions. Finally, after spending months of waiting to complete the entire interview process and contemplating whether I should accept the opportunity to join Google, I decided to accept the position of Visual Designer in Seattle with the Google Duo team.



What do you wish you’d known when you started the process? 
I would have liked to know more about Google’s internal environment and culture, something that I learned after joining  the company and by reading “How Google Works” by Eric Schmidt  & Jonathan Rosenberg. I highly recommend reading this book, this helped me immensely to understand Google’s culture, the company’s history and how people manage their projects and time.


At my Noogler orientation, showing how proud I am to have come from the small town of Constanza, Dominican Republic to Google.
Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?
I read a lot about Google Material Design, reached out to friends who work at Google, and also watched videos on YouTube about how to prepare for a Google interviews.


Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
I would recommend that they identify what it is that they are good at and focus on the things that they are passionate about. Never stop dreaming. Continue to pursue your dreams and channel your passion by doing the things you truly love. This is undoubtedly what will help you conquer any opportunity.


Me with a little guitar that I made using a vinegar bottle, piece of wood and fishing lines. (1996).


Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) applications are open!

Opportunities are live for Google's 2020 Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) — available to graduating high school seniors in the US or Canada. Learn more about this program below and apply before February 28!

Students from CSSI 2019

What

Google's Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) is a three-week introduction to computer science (CS) for graduating high school seniors with a passion for technology — especially students from historically underrepresented groups in the field.

The program includes:

  • A specially designed project-based curriculum to help prepare for your CS studies.
  • Daily development sessions to help you prepare for future job opportunities.
  • An opportunity to interact directly with Google engineers.
  • Exposure and insight into Google’s internship programs and technical career opportunities.

Where & When
We offer several options for CSSI depending on where you may be attending school. You can find more details on location here. Most of our programs run from June - August 2020.



Who

Any high school senior who plans to attend a four year institution in the US or Canada, has a passion for technology, and intends to enroll in a computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, or related department for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Why
Google is committed to increasing the enrollment and retention of students in the field of computer science. CSSI is not your average summer camp. It's an intensive, interactive, hands-on, and fun program that seeks to inspire the tech leaders and innovators of tomorrow by supporting the study of computer science, software engineering, and other closely-related subjects.


Students running through CSSI exercises on a computer.

How
You’ll need to complete a general application, which includes a transcript and two essay questions. You’ll also be asked to complete an online challenge at the beginning of March. Visit the Google CSSI page for more information and to apply.

The application deadline is Friday, February 28 at 11:59 pm PST. Final decisions will be announced in early May.

Questions?

Give us a shout at [email protected]

From pop quiz to final exam: Chromebooks pass the test

Chromebooks help teachers stay organized, jazz up their lesson plans, and collaborate with students. But did you know they can improve the way schools administer assessments? With a secure platform, Chromebooks are ideal for formative assessments, like state exams, or pop quizzes throughout the year. While testing is key in tracking students’ progress, it often only happens at the end of the year, semester, or unit. While that's often too late to fix a concept that students don’t understand, educators can help by using Chromebooks to check in along the way.

Many testing solutions, one device

Let’s check out three ways instructors and schools can use Chromebooks for better assessments - and how you can now use accessibility apps and extensions to support all learners while test taking.

1. Helping to cut distractions during test time 

Many instructors use Google Forms Quizzes for formative assessments and understanding student progress. But we've heard instructors worry it's too easy for students to get distracted, browse the web for answers, or chat with classmates on Hangouts. To keep pupils focused on the assessment—and put educators at ease—we created locked mode in Quizzes. Locked mode takes over the screen so students can't navigate away until they submit their answers. And if a student exits the quiz, or opens any other tab, the teacher receives an email letting them know. Once the student hits the submit button, they can resume normal use of their Chromebook.

“Locked mode allows me to assign a quiz to a set of students and then not worry about them going to other sites or access content that they shouldn't,” says Chris Webb, High School Math teacher in Montreal, QC and Google Certified Trainer and Innovator. “It has exceeded my expectations and has allowed me to administer math quizzes without worrying that students will try to use Google or other tools to find the answer.”

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Locked mode in Quizzes in Google Forms, only on managed Chromebooks

2. Turning devices into secure high stakes testing tools

Kiosk mode lets administrators use Chromebooks for high stakes testing by enabling the exam app to run in full-screen mode on the device. And kiosk mode is simple to set up - once enabled, it stops students from accessing the web or external storage, taking screenshots, or printing. Learn more about using Chromebooks for assessments. 

3. Supporting better testing for all types of learners

All students learn, and show what they know, in different ways. Last year, we shared that you can use apps and extensions like Texthelp and Don Johnston, as well as Chromebook accessibility features like Speech To Text and Word Prediction, when using locked mode in Quizzes in Google Forms. And today, we’re partnering with Pearson to provide integrated extensions for its online test delivery platform, TestNav. 

Texthelp® works in Google Forms Quizzes as well as Pearson’s TestNav so students can use Read&Write for Google Chrome and EquatIO® for Google. These tools help with reading, writing, and creating mathematical equations. They give students a little extra support if they need it, so they’re empowered to demonstrate their knowledge. 

Don Johnston's apps Co:Writer and Snap&Read integrate with Chrome, even in locked mode, and with Pearson’s TestNav. Co:Writer provides word prediction, translation, and speech recognition, while Snap&Read offers read aloud, highlighting, and note-taking. These integrations allow students to get real-time writing and reading help while taking tests. 

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So whether you’re giving an exit ticket, formative assessment, or final exam, Chromebooks can help. Get started with Quizzes in Google Classroom, locked mode, accessibility tools, and Chrome kiosk appstoday.  

Solve a Google engineering challenge in Hash Code 2020

Want to solve a Google-inspired engineering problem? Want to meet other developers? Want a chance to visit a Google office? Well good news! Hash Code, Google’s team programming competition, is back for 2020!

This is the 7th edition of Hash Code, and while the competition has grown over the years, one thing has stayed the same: its focus on real-world problems that can be solved with technology. In the past, developers have put their heads together to tackle challenges focused on YouTube, self-driving cars, compiling code at Google scale, and more! We asked one of the founding Hash Code engineers, Przemek Pietrzkiewicz, to share his favorite past challenges :

Przemek on stage at a Hash Code world finals.

1. Routing Street View cars, Hash Code 2014
"One of my favorites has to be the first ever Hash Code problem. In this challenge, teams were given a description of a city (the actual data set was an approximate representation of Paris) and asked to schedule itineraries for a fleet of Street View’s image-capturing cars.The objective was to photograph every street in the city as quickly as possible. Since this was the first Hash Code problem, it set the example for those to follow: it was open-ended, challenging, and inspired by Google software engineering — some of my colleagues at Google France worked on this very problem around the same time!"

2. Directing Loon balloons, Final Round, Hash Code 2015
"In this problem, teams had to route Google’s connectivity-providing balloons in order to provide internet coverage to users around the world. This is tricky because these balloons can’t move on their own. While they can control their altitude, they are actually moved by winds in different layers of the atmosphere. I loved this problem because it was fun to generate the data sets — we had to learn about wind and weather, as well as find software libraries that would let us generate pseudo-random, realistic-looking wind maps."

3. Creating a photo slideshow, Online Qualification Round, Hash Code 2019
"This problem tasked teams with arranging a set of photos into an engaging photo slideshow. The Google Home Hub is a “smart display” — among its many features, it serves as a photo frame, displaying photos from your personal collection in a never-ending slideshow. In addition to showing landscape (horizontal) photos, the device can also find interesting pairs of portrait (vertical) photos and combine them together on a single slide. I’m an avid user of this product and thought it was a neat idea for a Hash Code challenge. I’m really happy we used it!"
Hash Code participants during the finals.

Interested in tackling a challenge like these? Then head over to g.co/hashcode now to register for the Online Qualification Round on February 20. For this round, your team can participate from wherever you’d like, including from a Hash Code hub near you (remember our hub post from last month?). Top teams from the Online Qualification Round will be invited to the World Finals at Google Ireland in April. And if you don’t have a team yet, don’t worry! You can register today and find a team later using our Facebook group. We hope this year’s challenge will be one of your favorites! 

Solve a Google engineering challenge in Hash Code 2020

Want to solve a Google-inspired engineering problem? Want to meet other developers? Want a chance to visit a Google office? Well good news! Hash Code, Google’s team programming competition, is back for 2020!

This is the 7th edition of Hash Code, and while the competition has grown over the years, one thing has stayed the same: its focus on real-world problems that can be solved with technology. In the past, developers have put their heads together to tackle challenges focused on YouTube, self-driving cars, compiling code at Google scale, and more! We asked one of the founding Hash Code engineers, Przemek Pietrzkiewicz, to share his favorite past challenges :

Przemek on stage at a Hash Code world finals.

1. Routing Street View cars, Hash Code 2014
"One of my favorites has to be the first ever Hash Code problem. In this challenge, teams were given a description of a city (the actual data set was an approximate representation of Paris) and asked to schedule itineraries for a fleet of Street View’s image-capturing cars.The objective was to photograph every street in the city as quickly as possible. Since this was the first Hash Code problem, it set the example for those to follow: it was open-ended, challenging, and inspired by Google software engineering — some of my colleagues at Google France worked on this very problem around the same time!"

2. Directing Loon balloons, Final Round, Hash Code 2015
"In this problem, teams had to route Google’s connectivity-providing balloons in order to provide internet coverage to users around the world. This is tricky because these balloons can’t move on their own. While they can control their altitude, they are actually moved by winds in different layers of the atmosphere. I loved this problem because it was fun to generate the data sets — we had to learn about wind and weather, as well as find software libraries that would let us generate pseudo-random, realistic-looking wind maps."

3. Creating a photo slideshow, Online Qualification Round, Hash Code 2019
"This problem tasked teams with arranging a set of photos into an engaging photo slideshow. The Google Home Hub is a “smart display” — among its many features, it serves as a photo frame, displaying photos from your personal collection in a never-ending slideshow. In addition to showing landscape (horizontal) photos, the device can also find interesting pairs of portrait (vertical) photos and combine them together on a single slide. I’m an avid user of this product and thought it was a neat idea for a Hash Code challenge. I’m really happy we used it!"
Hash Code participants during the finals.

Interested in tackling a challenge like these? Then head over to g.co/hashcode now to register for the Online Qualification Round on February 20. For this round, your team can participate from wherever you’d like, including from a Hash Code hub near you (remember our hub post from last month?). Top teams from the Online Qualification Round will be invited to the World Finals at Google Ireland in April. And if you don’t have a team yet, don’t worry! You can register today and find a team later using our Facebook group. We hope this year’s challenge will be one of your favorites! 

What’s new on the Chromebook App Hub

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

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

New features in the Chromebook App Hub

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Better access to touch-based learning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Supporting diverse learners

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

Here are a few available: 

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

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

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

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

Unleash student creativity with Chromebooks

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video of Andy and Morgan talking about creativity apps for Chromebooks

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

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

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

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

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All apps are licensed and managed with Google Admin Console.

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

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

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

Improving 40 million Chromebooks for education

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

On the Google for Education team, we think a lot about how to make sure the technology we’re delivering and schools are using is sustainable. Devices shouldn’t have to be constantly refreshed or replaced after just a couple of years in the classroom. They should be used year after year and consistent updates should continue to expand functionality.

We launched Chromebooks 10 years ago to reimagine what personal computers could do, so we set out to create devices that champion speed, simplicity, and security. Thanks to feedback from administrators, we created the Chrome Education Upgrade, which allows IT admins working in schools to have more control over the hundreds of thousands of devices they manage. To make sure Chromebooks are packed with the latest and greatest and to build long-term value into each device, we automatically send security updates and features to devices every 6 weeks, and we work with Chromebook manufacturers to make sure schools get the most out of them.

We believe in making devices that are more sustainable and packed with features that empower teachers and students to get the most out of their teaching and learning while delivering value for schools around the world. So today, we’re sharing new updates to our Automatic Update Expiration date policy, new devices for 2020 with longer life and more capabilities including touch screens and improved UI, and a new price for the Chrome Education Upgrade.

Forty million students and educators now use Chromebooks, and we’re still listening to them every step of the way. 

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Simplifying IT for schools

Chrome Education Upgrade unlocks the full capabilities of Chrome OS and frees up IT resources. When IT admins are given tools to streamline school management, they can work with teachers to simplify workloads. This means that students get more time and attention from educators. 

Managed access puts admins in control of what users can access and how the devices can be used. It simplifies device deployment with the help of a cloud-based command center where admins can manage settings and oversee all devices in their fleet.  It also provides advanced security controls, which allow IT admins to disable devices remotely, set up persistent enrollment to prevent unrestricted access or set data to remove at the end of each session.

Automatic updates are getting a refresh 

Today, we’re announcing changes to the Chrome OS Automatic Update (AUE) policy. Based on feedback from customers, Chromebook manufacturers and partners, we are now providing security and feature updates for a longer period.

Automatic updates provide important fixes for security, stability, and new features. With two copies of the operating system on each device, one can be silently updated without disrupting your work—or class! However, at a certain point, we can no longer push updates or guarantee a device’s hardware and security.

When we first launched Chromebooks, devices only received three years of automatic updates. Over the years, we’ve been able to increase that to over six. Last fall, we extended AUE on many devices currently for sale, in many cases adding an extra year or more before they expire. This will help schools better select which devices to invest in and provide more time to transition from older devices. 

And now, devices launching in 2020 and beyond will receive automatic updates for even longer. The new Lenovo 10e Chromebook Tablet and Acer Chromebook 712 will both receive automatic updates until June 2028. So if you’re considering refreshing your fleet or investing in new devices, now is a great time. For a full list of AUE dates, see the Automatic Update Expiration policy on our Help Center.

With 20+ new devices for education, extended years of automatic updates on more devices and more than 200 controls for admins and counting in Google Admin Console, Chromebooks can provide a stronger return on investment than ever before. To support this greater lifespan, we’ve increased the list price of the Chrome Education Upgrade from $30 to $38. You can purchase Chrome Education Upgrade through your reseller to manage your devices today.

The new and improved Google Admin Console

We recently rolled out improvements to the admin console, including 10 times faster page loads and search functionality. In Google Admin Console, you’ll see a new Devices page where you can search and filter by device, and see the Automatic Update Expiration dates for the devices in your school. All app management for users, browsers, managed guest sessions, and kiosks is now part of a single page where you can manage apps and extensions from the Google Play Store, Chrome Web Store, and self-hosting side by side. You can also pin websites to the taskbar on Chrome OS and provision progressive web apps (PWAs) for your users⁠—all you need to enter is the URL. And in the Settings page, you can manage native printing options more closely with new controls for setting defaults and restrictions on duplex, color and more.

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New devices for 2020

Chromebooks are designed for enhanced learning, and the newest devices coming in 2020 are no exception.  

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 and Lenovo 500e Chromebook come with a rugged design, durable touchscreens, built-in styluses and a 360-degree hinge so students can create and explore in new ways. And with both a user-facing and a world-facing camera, students can collaborate in Hangouts Meet, then flip their screens around to shoot videos for class projects. 

Devices like the Pixelbook Go and the new Lenovo Chromebook 10e tablet give teachers and students access to tons of creative tools. Google Slides and Docs make it easy to work together with podcasting, video or coding apps, all of which can be found on the Chromebook App Hub

Improve student writing with originality reports and rubrics in Classroom

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

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

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

Empowered learning and accelerated grading

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

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

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

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

Upcoming features

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sync grades across systems

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

My Path to Google – Nada Elawad, Software Engineer

Welcome to the 42nd installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like, and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Nada Elawad. Read on!

What’s your role at Google?
I am a Software Engineer at YouTube Knowledge, which is the part of YouTube that focuses on building a platform for classifiers and features that increase satisfaction and support our responsibility to viewers, creators and society.


What I like most about it is how I can see the impact we are making on the world in actual measurable numbers. Also, at YouTube, we get to be in touch with creators (who have thousands and millions of subscribers). These creators have some of the loudest voices in our society today.
Nada at Google Zürich shortly after joining Google.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. I received a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Ain Shams University. During college and before joining Google, I developed a passion for competitive programming that really made my years in college much more interesting. That passion I owe to the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) community at my university, which was very challenging, yet fun, and pushed me forward.

On the leisure side, I love 3D Puzzles, video games, boats, and electric micromobility vehicles. I am also a huge fan of F.R.I.E.N.D.S and Tarantino movies.

What inspires you to come in every day?
What I like most about Google is how much they care about diversity and inclusion, and how much they care about their employees in general, from providing resources for them to learn and grow to making sure they are having fun and are happy at work.

From a user perspective, what I like most is how they keep all kinds of users from all places and backgrounds in mind when designing or launching a new product, and the way they always act on a global scale, so that everyone can use their products.
Nada conducts a fireside chat with Google Senior Fellow Jeff Dean at the opening of our new Engineering office in Paris.
Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
During college, Google was always that magical place that everyone talked about. It was very famous for being the coolest place to work and also the hardest to get into, which made it seem like the recruiting process would be very difficult. 

I had applied for every intern position during my first two years at college, and I was not at all confident I'd get a chance—I didn't at first. My first successful step towards Google was when I applied to attend Inside Look in Zürich, an event that gives university students an inside view at working as a Software Engineer at Google. My application was accepted, but unfortunately my visa was rejected a week before the event. 


Nada at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA.



How did the recruitment process go for you?
As I was about to start my senior year of college, I was contacted by a Google recruiter following my previous visa rejection, to ask if I would be interested in applying for a full-time position this time — I definitely would! 

Due to travel issues, my recruiter worked with me to conduct the interviews online, for which I was very grateful, and yet worried it might not go as well as if it was onsite. However, my recruiter was amazingly reassuring. I decided to go ahead with my interviews online during final exams of my last semester. A week later I received the most incredible news—and two things got marked off my to-do list: (1) Travel and (2) Get a job at Google.

Nada relocated from Cairo to Google Paris!
What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
I wish I had known that Google is not just looking for code-geniuses. Interviewers don’t expect you to go in and solve everything optimally in the first few minutes because that’s not how real problems are solved, but they do care about your thought process, how you approach a problem with a simple solution and move to a better, more optimal solution. This would have made me worry much less about getting everything right during the interviews and increased my confidence during the process.


Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?
I mainly used online judges, like CodeForces and TopCoder, on a daily basis to keep a problem-solving mindset. I refreshed my knowledge of data structures and algorithms using various blogs and online resources about getting hired at Google. These helped me get an overview of what I should focus on and not get overwhelmed by all the things I didn’t know. 

Since I had to do my interviews online I mainly used Pramp to practice more effective communication. Also, I remember reading almost every question about working at Google and their recruitment process on Quora, which gave me a sufficiently comprehensive idea of every step along the way.


Nada at the FIFA World Cup semi finals, which she attended after working on a project related to the World Cup.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Take your time honing your problem-solving skills. Keep an open mind, as Google is a fast-growing, changing, and flexible place, where you can definitely find something to work on that interests you. Don't get discouraged if you don’t make it at first; many great Googlers didn’t get the job on their first few tries.