Tag Archives: Learning

Introducing over 50 helpful new product features for students and educators

Every day, more than a billion people come to Google to find answers or discover something new. Our Learning & Education team works to fuel that curiosity and help people build knowledge by connecting them to great learning experiences through our products — whether it's Search or YouTube, Google Classroom or Chromebooks.


During the pandemic, people turned to technology more than ever to help them learn and teach from anywhere, and this accelerated our desire to do even more with our technology to help. Just this past year, COVID-19 led school closures disrupted the continuity of education for over 320 million students across India. This past year, the education community has inspired us with their creativity and resilience -- this ability to learn, and teach, from anywhere is more important now than ever, and won’t end when the pandemic does. During these months, we have been honored to launch several initiatives to help educators and students to better make this transition, and are glad to recap a few key milestones.


After launching our Teach from Anywhere hub in April last year, we have since extended it to eight Indian languages (including English,) and it has helped more than 9 Lakh people to get started with remote teaching. Apart from these web-based training resources, we also believed it important to help impart hands-on training. So when CBSE, Kendriya Vidyalaya and the education ministries of Maharashtra and Delhi State Governments embarked on large-scale digital capacity building efforts, we worked with them to provide knowledge and access to Google for Education tools like Google Classroom, Google Meet and more. Till date, over 5 lakh teachers have attended these webinars that teach the use of digital tools for pedagogy and skills development.


But nothing has been more heartening than seeing teachers from rural areas reporting higher levels of satisfaction, peer recognition, and comfort with technology after these training sessions. One such example is Azmat, an English teacher from Shirdi Urdu High School in Maharashtra, among the many schools that had to shut down in-person teaching last year. Watch the inspiring story of how he and his students continued to keep the education momentum going, even in these challenging times.



The next era of our education products


Today, during our Learning with Google event, we shared our commitment to this community and provided a glimpse into some of the 50+ new, upcoming features across our education products that we hope will support even more learning. We want to enable every leader to bring innovation to their schools and universities, and give them the peace of mind that they’re investing in products that are secure and flexible to their needs.


We are glad to announce the next era of G Suite for Education — Google Workspace for Education – which offers educators and teachers even more choice and control. Google Workspace for Education includes all the products you already use, like Classroom, Meet, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and many more. Our free edition G Suite for Education will be renamed to Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals. If you’re currently using this edition, you won't see any changes besides a new name and new features. 


For institutions that require more powerful security tools or want to expand the teaching and learning tools available to their instructors, we are introducing three new paid editions: Google Workspace for Education Standard, The Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Google Workspace for Education Plus (formerly G Suite Enterprise for Education).


More than 170 million students and educators worldwide rely on our suite of tools, and we are bringing many new helpful features to Google Classroom and Google Meet. Let’s take a look at some of these:


Google Classroom

  • Offline mode: We’re making the Classroom Android app work offline, or with intermittent connections. Students will be able to start their work offline, review their assignments, open Drive attachments, and write assignments in Google Docs — all without an internet connection.

  • Improved mobile grading: We're improving how educators can grade in the Classroom Android app. We’ve seen more and more teachers around the world using mobile devices for giving feedback on the go, and these improvements will make it much easier for instructors to switch between student submissions, grade work while viewing an assignment, and share feedback.

  • Classroom add-ons: Having tools that work well together is so important. Coming later this year to teachers using Education Plus or Teaching and Learning Upgrade, Classroom add-ons let teachers integrate their favourite third-party EdTech tools and content directly into the Classroom interface, all without any extra log-ins.


Google Meet

  • Multiple moderators: Later this year, meetings will support multiple hosts, making it easier to partner with others helping facilitate the class. All hosts will have access to moderation controls, so they can share the load of managing who can join, controlling who can use the chat or present their screen, and more.

  • End meeting for all: Teachers will have the option to "End meeting for all", so they have complete control, and can prevent students from staying on a call after the teacher has left — including in breakout rooms.

  • Mute all: To make it easier to teach without interruption, educators will be able to easily mute all participants at once, and decide whether students can unmute themselves or not.


These and many other features will be rolling out in the coming months and over the course of this year. To get the full scoop on these announcements, check out Learning with Google, our global event that streamed in 15 languages, where you can hear a lot more directly from our team. For more details also see the new tools coming to Classroom and the new features coming to Meet.


Despite unforeseen obstacles, teaching and learning continued over the past year, all thanks to the heroic dedication of teachers like Azmat, of education leaders, as well as students and their families. We look forward to working together to reimagine learning and push the boundaries of what is possible, so that everyone has access to the quality learning experiences they deserve.


Posted by Bani Dhawan, Head of Education - South Asia


Stay "connected to culture" on International Museum Day

Culture is the glue that connects us, even when we can’t be together. Right now people around the world are learning, exploring and finding joy in unexpected places and things, and cultural organizations everywhere are responding with new ways of staying connected to audiences digitally.
Supporting cultural organizations online
To mark this year's rather unusual International Museum Day, together with the International Council of Museums, we’re supporting cultural organizations to continue their cultural programs online with our multi-language resource “Connected to Culture.” It has been inspiring and humbling to see creative cultural organizations from around the globe reimagining the way people interact with art and culture, and adapting to the virtual world. Together, they’re helping to keep our communities connected through shared, digitized cultural moments.
Launching new things to explore for everyone 
Also today, more than 80 museums from over 25 countries are sharing new collections and stories on Google Arts & Culture, joining over 2000 partners already onboard. Discover the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation (China), Parsons School of Design (USA), Meiji Jingu Forest - Festival of Art (Japan), Patronato Ruta de la Amistad A.C (Mexico) or the Casa Buonarroti (Italy). Together, they contribute 250 new stories and over 10,000 artworks as well as virtual Street View tours to exciting places such as the sacred grounds of the Meiji Shrine in Japan.
Meet the photographers who are revolutionizing the world of fashion through joyful images.
Zoom into the world of Kandinsky in his painting, “Hard in Soft”
Today we’re Mad Hatters! Explore the natural materials used to make your favorite hats.
Zoom into the genius of Michelangelo, to discover his unique military sketches.
Why the long faces? Find out the history of these 1,000 year old figurines


Specifically from India, learn about the crafts from Uttarakhand like Aipan and Ringaal, and young grassroot innovators who created 'word counting pen' to 'portable climbers' from Kashmir with Project FUEL. Scroll back to the story of 200 year old printing presses from Kolkata, or how trade influenced textile designs with Museum of Art & Photography. Or sit back and discover artworks on stone and driftwood with Siddhesh Memorial Foundation for Art -- can you make your own?

Offering tools to teachers and parents
To support teachers, parents, and curious minds throughout this period of quarantine, we’ve launched new educational content—from the Family Fun on Google Arts & Culture hub, to lesson plans, and virtual field trips with digital skills lessons.
11 “Learn Anywhere” lesson plans, written by education experts at Lexicon Learning, help to dive into a wide range of themes on Google Arts & Culture. If you’re interested in how the Bauhaus school is still influencing design today, or whether dinosaurs are still alive, check out the free to download lesson plans on TES.
29 new educational virtual field trips on Google Arts & Culture lead you to famous places like Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, the CERN tunnel, where scientists research the beginning of our universe, or Kenya to learn about the cradle of humankind.
Looking to explore the world from home and boost your digital skills? With new lessons from Applied Digital Skills - Grow with Google’s free, online digital skill curriculum - students can learn practical digital skills while virtually exploring art, historic events, and iconic figures on Google Arts & Culture. These five video-based lessons help students use GSuite tools to make pixel art inspired by Frida Kahlo, create a quiz on the Palace of Versailles for family and friends, and more!
Google Arts & Culture is now also featured in Teach from Home, an online website that many teachers and parents have sought ideas and inspiration from during the past weeks.


For many art lovers, culture vultures, creators and curators, the idea of spending International Museum Day at home may not be a familiar one but we hope these new additions to Google Arts & Culture will inspire you to explore and learn more about arts and culture, with the whole family while at home.
Posted by Liudmila Kobyakova, Program Manager, Google Arts & Culture

Google Developers Launchpad Studio welcomes more machine learning healthcare startups

Posted by Malika Cantor, Developer Relations Program Manager

We're excited to announce the three new startups joining Launchpad Studio, our 6-month mentorship program tailored to help applied-machine learning startups build great products using the most advanced tools and technologies available. We intend to support these startups by leveraging some of our platforms like Google Cloud Platform, TensorFlow, and Android, while also providing one-on-one support from product and research experts from several Google teams including Google Cloud, Verily, X, Brain, and ML Research. Launchpad Studio has also enlisted the expertise of a number of top industry practitioners and thought leaders to ensure Studio startups are successful over the long-term. These three startups were selected based on the novel ways they've applied ML to important challenges in the Healthcare industry:

Nanowear: Managing congestive heart failure

The annual cost of treating heart failures in the US is currently estimated to be ~$40bn annually. With the continued aging of the US population, the impact of Congestive Heart Failure is expected to increase substantially.

Through light-weight, low-cost cloth-based form factors, Nanowear can capture and transmit medical-grade data directly from the skin enabling deep analytics and prescriptive recommendations. As a first product application, Nanowear's SimpleSense aims to transform Congestive Heart Failure management.

Nanowear intends to develop predictive models that provide both physicians and patients with leading indicators and data to anticipate potential hospitalizing events. Combining these datasets with deep machine learning capabilities will position Nanowear at the epicenter of the next generation of telemedicine and connected-self healthcare.

Owkin: Decentralizing healthcare data

With the big data revolution, the medical and scientific communities have more information to work with than in all of history combined. However, with such a wealth of information, it is increasingly difficult to differentiate productive leads from dead ends.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning powered by systems biology can organize, validate, predict and compare the overabundance of information. Owkin builds mathematical models and algorithms that can interpret omics, visual data, biostatistics and patient profiles.

Owkin is focused on federated learning in healthcare to overcome the data sharing problem, building collective intelligence from distributed data.

Portal Telemedicina: Bringing healthcare to rural areas

A low percentage of healthcare specialists per patient and no interoperability between medical devices causes exam results in Brazil to take an average of 60 days to be ready, cost hundreds of dollars, and leaves millions of people with no access to quality healthcare.

The standard solution for such a problem is Telemedicine, but the lack of direct automatic communication with medical devices and pre processing AI behind it hurts its scalability, resulting in very low adoption worldwide.

Portal Telemedicina is a digital healthcare platform that provides reliable, fast, low-cost online diagnostics to hundreds of cities in Brazil. Thanks to revolutionary communication protocols and AI automation, the solution enables interoperability across systems and patients. Exams are handled seamlessly from medical devices to diagnostics. The company counts on a huge proprietary dataset and uses Google's TensorFlow to train machine learning algorithms in millions of images and correlated health records to predict pathologies at human level accuracy.

Leveraging artificial intelligence to empower doctors, the startup helps millions of lives in Brazil and wants to expand and provide universal access to healthcare.

More about the Launchpad Studio program

Each startup will get tailored, equity-free support, with the goal of successfully completing a ML-focused project during the term of the program. To support this process, we provide resources, including deep engagement with engineers in Google Cloud, Google X, and other product teams, as well as Google Cloud credits. We also include both Google Cloud Platform and GSuite training in our engagement with all Studio startups.

Join Us

Based in San Francisco, Launchpad Studio is a fully tailored product development acceleration program that matches top ML startups and experts from Silicon Valley with the best of Google - its people, network, and advanced technologies - to help accelerate applied ML and AI innovation. The program's mandate is to support the growth of the ML ecosystem, and to develop product methodologies for ML.

Launchpad Studio is looking to work with the best and most game-changing ML startups from around the world. While we're currently focused on working with startups in the Healthcare and Biotech space, we'll soon be announcing other industry verticals, and any startup applying AI / ML technology to a specific industry vertical can apply on a rolling-basis.

IoT Developer Story: Deeplocal

Posted by Dave Smith, Developer Advocate for IoT

Deeplocal is a Pittsburgh-based innovation studio that makes inventions as marketing to help the world's most loved brands tell their stories. The team at Deeplocal built several fun and engaging robotics projects using Android Things. Leveraging the developer ecosystem surrounding the Android platform and the compute power of Android Things hardware, they were able to quickly and easily create robots powered by computer vision and machine learning.

DrawBot

DrawBot is a DIY drawing robot that transforms your selfies into physical works of art.

"The Android Things platform helped us move quickly from an idea, to prototype, to final product. Switching from phone apps to embedded code was easy in Android Studio, and we were able to pull in OpenCV modules, motor drivers, and other libraries as needed. The final version of our prototype was created two weeks after unboxing our first Android Things developer kit."

- Brian Bourgeois, Producer, Deeplocal

Want to build your own DrawBot? See the Hackster.io project for all the source code, schematics, and 3D models.

HandBot

A robotic hand that learns and reacts to hand gestures, HandBot visually recognizes gestures and applies machine learning.

"The Android Things platform made integration work for Handbot a breeze. Using TensorFlow, we were able to train a neural network to recognize hand gestures. Once this was created, we were able to use Android Things drivers to implement games in easy-to-read Android code. In a matter of weeks, we went from a fresh developer kit to competing against a robot hand in Rock, Paper, Scissors."

- Mike Derrick, Software Engineer, Deeplocal

Want to build your own HandBot? See the Hackster.io project for all the source code, schematics, and 3D models.

Visit the Google Hackster community to explore more inspiring ideas just like these, and join Google's IoT Developers Community on Google+ to get the latest platform updates, ask questions, and discuss ideas.

Announcing TensorFlow 1.5

Posted by Laurence Moroney, Developer Advocate

We're delighted to announce that TensorFlow 1.5 is now public! Install it now to get a bunch of new features that we hope you'll enjoy!

Eager Execution for TensorFlow

First off, Eager Execution for TensorFlow is now available as a preview. We've heard lots of feedback about the programming style of TensorFlow, and how developers really want an imperative, define-by-run programming style. With Eager Execution for TensorFlow enabled, you can execute TensorFlow operations immediately as they are called from Python. This makes it easier to get started with TensorFlow, and can make research and development more intuitive.

For example, think of a simple computation like a matrix multiplication. Today, in TensorFlow it would look something like this:

x = tf.placeholder(tf.float32, shape=[1, 1])
m = tf.matmul(x, x)

with tf.Session() as sess:
print(sess.run(m, feed_dict={x: [[2.]]}))

If you enable Eager Execution for TensorFlow, it will look more like this:

x = [[2.]]
m = tf.matmul(x, x)

print(m)

You can learn more about Eager Execution for TensorFlow here (check out the user guide linked at the bottom of the page, and also this presentation) and the API docs here.

TensorFlow Lite

The Developer preview of TensorFlow Lite is built into version 1.5. TensorFlow Lite, TensorFlow's lightweight solution for mobile and embedded devices, lets you take a trained TensorFlow model and convert it into a .tflite file which can then be executed on a mobile device with low-latency. Thus the training doesn't have to be done on the device, nor does the device need to upload data to the cloud to have it worked upon. So, for example, if you want to classify an image, a trained model could be deployed to the device and classification of the image is done on-device directly.

TensorFlow Lite includes a sample app to get you started. This app uses the MobileNet model of 1001 unique image categories. It recognizes an image and matches it to a number of categories, listing the top 3 that it recognizes. The app is available on both Android and iOS.

You can learn more about TensorFlow Lite, and how to convert your models to be available on mobile here.

GPU Acceleration Updates

If you are using GPU Acceleration on Windows or Linux, TensorFlow 1.5 now has CUDA 9 and cuDNN 7 support built-in.

To learn more about NVidia's Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) 9, check out NVidia's site here.

This is enhanced by the CUDA Deep Neural Network Library (cuDNN), the latest release of which is version 7. Support for this is now included in TensorFlow 1.5.

Here are some Medium articles on GPU support on Windows and Linux, and how to install them on your workstation (if it supports the requisite hardware)

Documentation Site Updates

In line with this release we've also overhauled the documentation site, including an improved Getting Started flow that will get you from no knowledge to building a neural network to classify different types of iris in a very short time. Check it out!

Other Enhancements

Beyond these features, there's lots of other enhancements to Accelerated Linear Algebra (XLA), updates to RunConfig and much more. Check the release notes here.

Installing TensorFlow 1.5

To get TensorFlow 1.5, you can use the standard pip installation (or pip3 if you use python3)

$  pip install --ignore-installed --upgrade tensorflow