Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government
Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government
Despite this, settings hijacking remains our number one user complaint. To make sure the reset option reaches everyone who might need it, Chrome will be prompting Windows users whose settings appear to have been changed if they’d like to restore their browser settings back to factory default. If you’ve been affected by settings hijacking and would like to restore your settings, just click “Reset” on the prompt when it appears.
Note that this will disable any extensions, apps and themes you have installed. If you’d like to reactivate any of your extensions after the reset, you can find and re-enable them by looking in the Chrome menu under “More tools > Extensions.” Apps are automatically re-enabled the next time you use them.
Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government
With the eyes of winter sports fans turning to Russia, we thought this would be a good time to add more towns, cities and picturesque sights of this sprawling country to Google Maps. From today, Street View is available in Vladivostok, Yakutsk, Irkutsk and, of course, Sochi.
Winter lovers also are treated, for the first time, to images of mountainous Slovenia. This gorgeous Central European country becomes our 55th country to launch Street View.
In Russia, our drivers reached the far away corners of the world’s largest country. Users can take a walk around Yakutsk, the city with the greatest seasonal temperature swings on Earth (the lowest recorded winter temperature was −64.4°C with the highest summer peak hitting 38.4°C).
In total, Street View cars covered 300,000 kilometers in Russia in 2013, an area housing almost 60 percent of the population. We mapped the biggest Russian island of Sakhalin and the Russkiy Bridge, the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge. While snapping the M52 highway, also known as Chuya Highway or Chuysky Trakt, Street View drivers met indigenous tribes.
The mapping team faced unusual challenges. When taking imagery of the Tobolsk monastery the drivers spent two days praying with the Monastery Abbot. In order to get to some remote spots, Street View cars were transported in containers on tracks and boats. There was even place for romance: while shooting Sakhalin, one driver met his future wife!
We also are launching our imagery in Slovenia. Virtual tourists now can explore cities like Ljubljana, Maribor, Celje, Kranj, and Koper, as well as beautiful places like Bohinj Lake or the sea town of Piran.
Enjoy some of these amazing sights on StreetView’s journey eastward through Europe.
Posted by Carlos Reolid, Program Manager for Google Street View
Posted by Dianne Hackborn, Android framework team
Android 4.4 KitKat introduced a new system service called procstats that helps you better understand how your app is using the RAM resources on a device. Procstats makes it possible to see how your app is behaving over time — including how long it runs in the background and how much memory it uses during that time. It helps you quickly find inefficiencies and misbehaviors in your app that can affect how it performs, especially when running on low-RAM devices.
You can access procstats data using an adb shell command, but for convenience there is also a new Process Stats developer tool that provides a graphical front-end to that same data. You can find Process Stats in Settings > Developer options > Process Stats.
In this post we’ll first take a look at the Process Stats graphical tool, then dig into the details of the memory data behind it, how it’s collected, and why it’s so useful to you as you analyze your app.
When you open Process Stats, you see a summary of systemwide memory conditions and details on how processes are using memory over time. The image at right gives you an example of what you might see on a typical device.
At the top of the screen we can see that:
Below the green bar, we can see an overview of the processes running in the background and the memory load they’ve put on the system:
runtime*avg_pss, which we will go into more detail on later.)
The example shows some interesting data: we have a Clock app with a higher memory weight than Google Keyboard, even though it ran for less than half the time. We can dig into the details of these processes just by tapping on them:
The details for these two processes reveal that:
Essentially, procstats provides a “memory use” gauge that’s much like the storage use or data use gauges, showing how much RAM the apps running in the background are using. Unlike with storage or data, though, memory use is much harder to quantify and measure, and procstats uses some tricks to do so. To illustrate the complexity of measuring memory use, consider a related topic: task managers.
We’ve had a long history of task managers on Android. Android has always deeply supported multitasking, which means the geeky of us will tend to want to have some kind of UI for seeing and controlling this multitasking like the traditional UI we are used to from the desktop. However, multitasking on Android is actually quite a bit more complicated and fundamentally different than on a traditional desktop operating system, as I previously covered in Multitasking the Android Way. This deeply impacts how we can show it to the user.
To get a feel for just how different process management is on Android, you can take a look at the output of an important system service, the activity manager, with
adb shell dumpsys activity. The example below shows a snapshot of current application processes on Android 4.4, listing them from most important to least:
ACTIVITY MANAGER RUNNING PROCESSES (dumpsys activity processes) Process LRU list (sorted by oom_adj, 22 total, non-act at 2, non-svc at 2): PERS #21: sys F/ /P trm: 0 23064:system/1000 (fixed) PERS #20: pers F/ /P trm: 0 23163:com.android.systemui/u0a12 (fixed) PERS #19: pers F/ /P trm: 0 23344:com.nuance.xt9.input/u0a77 (fixed) PERS #18: pers F/ /P trm: 0 23357:com.android.phone/1001 (fixed) PERS #17: pers F/ /P trm: 0 23371:com.android.nfc/1027 (fixed) Proc # 3: fore F/ /IB trm: 0 13892:com.google.android.apps.magazines/u0a59 (service) com.google.android.apps.magazines/com.google.apps.dots.android.app.service.SyncService
Example output of dumpsys activity command, showing all processes currently running.
There are a few major groups of processes here — persistent system processes, the foreground processes, background processes, and finally cached processes — and the category of a process is extremely important for understanding its impact on the system.
At the same time, processes on this list change all of the time. For example, in the snapshot above we can see that “com.google.android.gm” is currently an important process, but that is because it is doing a background sync, something the user would not generally be aware of or want to manage.
Snapshotting per-process RAM use
The traditional use of a task manager is closely tied to RAM use, and Android provides a tool called
meminfofor looking at a snapshot of current per-process RAM use. You can access it with the command adb shell dumpsys meminfo. Here's an example of the output.Total PSS by OOM adjustment: 31841 kB: Native 13173 kB: zygote (pid 23001) 4372 kB: surfaceflinger (pid 23000) 3721 kB: mediaserver (pid 126) 3317 kB: glgps (pid 22993) 1656 kB: drmserver (pid 125) 995 kB: wpa_supplicant (pid 23148) 786 kB: netd (pid 121) 518 kB: sdcard (pid 132) 475 kB: vold (pid 119) 458 kB: keystore (pid 128) 448 kB: /init (pid 1) 412 kB: adbd (pid 134) 254 kB: ueventd (pid 108) 238 kB: dhcpcd (pid 10617) 229 kB: tf_daemon (pid 130) 200 kB: installd (pid 127) 185 kB: dumpsys (pid 14207) 144 kB: healthd (pid 117) 139 kB: debuggerd (pid 122) 121 kB: servicemanager (pid 118) 48217 kB: System 48217 kB: system (pid 23064) 49095 kB: Persistent 34012 kB: com.android.systemui (pid 23163 / activities) 7719 kB: com.android.phone (pid 23357) 4676 kB: com.android.nfc (pid 23371) 2688 kB: com.nuance.xt9.input (pid 23344) 24945 kB: Foreground 24945 kB: com.android.settings (pid 24811 / activities) 17136 kB: Visible 14026 kB: com.google.process.location (pid 23472) 3110 kB: com.android.defcontainer (pid 13976) 6911 kB: Perceptible 6911 kB: com.google.android.inputmethod.latin (pid 23298) 14277 kB: A Services 14277 kB: com.google.process.gapps (pid 23513) 26422 kB: Home 26422 kB: com.android.launcher (pid 23395 / activities) 21798 kB: B Services 16242 kB: com.google.android.apps.currents (pid 23767) 5556 kB: android.process.media (pid 7738) 145869 kB: Cached 41588 kB: com.google.android.apps.plus (pid 24689) 21417 kB: com.google.android.deskclock (pid 23966 / activities) 14463 kB: com.google.android.apps.docs (pid 8644) 14303 kB: com.google.android.gm (pid 9115) 11014 kB: com.google.android.music:main (pid 7716) 10688 kB: com.google.android.apps.magazines (pid 13892) 10240 kB: com.google.android.gms (pid 23338) 9882 kB: com.google.android.youtube (pid 5131) 8807 kB: com.google.android.apps.walletnfcrel (pid 8937) 3467 kB: com.google.android.setupwizard (pid 8922) Total RAM: 998096 kB Free RAM: 574945 kB (145869 cached pss + 393200 cached + 35876 free) Used RAM: 392334 kB (240642 used pss + 107196 buffers + 3856 shmem + 40640 slab) Lost RAM: 30817 kB Tuning: 64 (large 384), oom 122880 kB, restore limit 40960 kB (high-end-gfx)
Example output of dumpsys meminfo command, showing memory currently used by running processes.
We are now looking at the same processes as above, again organized by importance, but now with on their impact on RAM use.
Usually when we measure RAM use in Android, we do this with Linux’s PSS (Proportional Set Size) metric. This is the amount of RAM actually mapped into the process, but weighted by the amount it is shared across processes. So if there is a 4K page of RAM mapped in to two processes, its PSS amount for each process would be 2K.
The nice thing about using PSS is that you can add up this value across all processes to determine the actual total RAM use. This characteristic is used at the end of the
meminforeport to compute how much RAM is in use (which comes in part from all non-cached processes), versus how much is "free" (which includes cached processes).
Task manager UI based on PSS snapshot
Given the information we have so far, we can imagine various ways to present this in a somewhat traditional task manager UI. In fact, the UI you see in Settings > Apps > Running is derived from this information. It shows all processes running services (“svc” adjustment in the LRU list) and on behalf of the system (the processes with a “
The problem with visualizing memory use in this way is that it gives you the instantaneous state of the apps, without context over time. On Android, users don’t directly control the creation and removal of application processes — they may be kept for future use, removed when the system decides, or run in the background without the user explicitly launching them. So looking only at the instantaneous state of memory use only, you would be missing important information about what is actually going on over time.
For example, in our first look at the process state we see the com.google.android.apps.magazines process running for a sync, but when we collected the RAM use right after that it was no longer running in the background but just being kept around as an old cached process.
To address this problem, the new procstats tool continually monitors the state of all application processes over time, aggregating that information and collecting PSS samples from those processes while doing so. You can view the raw data being collected by procstats with the command
adb shell dumpsys procstats.
Seeing memory use over time with procstats
Let’s now go back to procstats and take a look at the context it provides by showing memory use over time. We can use the command
adb shell dumpsys procstats --hours 3to output memory information collected over the last 3 hours. This is the same data as represented graphically in the first Process Stats example.
The output shows all of the processes that have run in the last 3 hours, sorted with the ones running the most first. (Processes in a cached state don’t count for the total time in this sort.) Like the initial graphical representation, we now clearly see a big group of processes that run all of the time, and then some that run occasionally — this includes the Magazines process, which we can now see ran for 3.6% of the time over the last 3 hours.* com.google.android.inputmethod.latin / u0a57: TOTAL: 100% (6.4MB-6.7MB-6.8MB/5.4MB-5.4MB-5.4MB over 21) Imp Fg: 100% (6.4MB-6.7MB-6.8MB/5.4MB-5.4MB-5.4MB over 21) * com.google.process.gapps / u0a8: TOTAL: 100% (12MB-13MB-14MB/10MB-11MB-12MB over 211) Imp Fg: 0.11% Imp Bg: 0.83% (13MB-13MB-13MB/11MB-11MB-11MB over 1) Service: 99% (12MB-13MB-14MB/10MB-11MB-12MB over 210) * com.android.systemui / u0a12: TOTAL: 100% (29MB-32MB-34MB/26MB-29MB-30MB over 21) Persistent: 100% (29MB-32MB-34MB/26MB-29MB-30MB over 21) * com.android.phone / 1001: TOTAL: 100% (6.5MB-7.1MB-7.6MB/5.4MB-5.9MB-6.4MB over 21) Persistent: 100% (6.5MB-7.1MB-7.6MB/5.4MB-5.9MB-6.4MB over 21) * com.nuance.xt9.input / u0a77: TOTAL: 100% (2.3MB-2.5MB-2.7MB/1.5MB-1.5MB-1.5MB over 21) Persistent: 100% (2.3MB-2.5MB-2.7MB/1.5MB-1.5MB-1.5MB over 21) * com.android.nfc / 1027: TOTAL: 100% (4.2MB-4.5MB-4.6MB/3.2MB-3.2MB-3.3MB over 21) Persistent: 100% (4.2MB-4.5MB-4.6MB/3.2MB-3.2MB-3.3MB over 21) * com.google.process.location / u0a8: TOTAL: 100% (13MB-13MB-14MB/10MB-11MB-11MB over 21) Imp Fg: 100% (13MB-13MB-14MB/10MB-11MB-11MB over 21) * system / 1000: TOTAL: 100% (42MB-46MB-56MB/39MB-42MB-48MB over 21) Persistent: 100% (42MB-46MB-56MB/39MB-42MB-48MB over 21) * com.google.android.apps.currents / u0a35: TOTAL: 100% (16MB-16MB-16MB/14MB-14MB-14MB over 17) Service: 100% (16MB-16MB-16MB/14MB-14MB-14MB over 17) * com.android.launcher / u0a13: TOTAL: 77% (25MB-26MB-27MB/22MB-23MB-24MB over 73) Top: 77% (25MB-26MB-27MB/22MB-23MB-24MB over 73) (Home): 23% (25MB-26MB-26MB/23MB-23MB-24MB over 12) * android.process.media / u0a6: TOTAL: 48% (5.0MB-5.3MB-5.5MB/4.0MB-4.2MB-4.2MB over 11) Imp Fg: 0.00% Imp Bg: 0.00% Service: 48% (5.0MB-5.3MB-5.5MB/4.0MB-4.2MB-4.2MB over 11) Receiver: 0.00% (Cached): 22% (4.1MB-4.5MB-4.8MB/3.0MB-3.5MB-3.8MB over 8) * com.google.android.deskclock / u0a36: TOTAL: 42% (20MB-21MB-21MB/18MB-19MB-19MB over 8) Imp Fg: 42% (20MB-21MB-21MB/18MB-19MB-19MB over 8) Service: 0.00% Receiver: 0.01% (Cached): 58% (17MB-20MB-21MB/16MB-18MB-19MB over 14) * com.android.settings / 1000: TOTAL: 23% (19MB-22MB-28MB/15MB-19MB-24MB over 31) Top: 23% (19MB-22MB-28MB/15MB-19MB-24MB over 31) (Last Act): 77% (9.7MB-14MB-20MB/7.5MB-11MB-18MB over 8) (Cached): 0.02% * com.google.android.apps.magazines / u0a59: TOTAL: 3.6% (10MB-10MB-10MB/8.7MB-9.0MB-9.0MB over 6) Imp Bg: 0.03% Service: 3.6% (10MB-10MB-10MB/8.7MB-9.0MB-9.0MB over 6) (Cached): 17% (9.9MB-10MB-10MB/8.7MB-8.9MB-9.0MB over 5) * com.android.defcontainer / u0a5: TOTAL: 1.4% (2.7MB-3.0MB-3.0MB/1.9MB-1.9MB-1.9MB over 7) Top: 1.2% (3.0MB-3.0MB-3.0MB/1.9MB-1.9MB-1.9MB over 6) Imp Fg: 0.19% (2.7MB-2.7MB-2.7MB/1.9MB-1.9MB-1.9MB over 1) Service: 0.00% (Cached): 15% (2.6MB-2.6MB-2.6MB/1.8MB-1.8MB-1.8MB over 1) * com.google.android.youtube / u0a78: TOTAL: 1.3% (9.0MB-9.0MB-9.0MB/7.8MB-7.8MB-7.8MB over 1) Imp Bg: 1.0% (9.0MB-9.0MB-9.0MB/7.8MB-7.8MB-7.8MB over 1) Service: 0.27% Service Rs: 0.01% Receiver: 0.00% (Cached): 99% (9.1MB-9.4MB-9.7MB/7.7MB-7.9MB-8.1MB over 24) * com.google.android.gms / u0a8: TOTAL: 0.91% (9.2MB-9.2MB-9.2MB/7.6MB-7.6MB-7.6MB over 1) Imp Bg: 0.79% (9.2MB-9.2MB-9.2MB/7.6MB-7.6MB-7.6MB over 1) Service: 0.11% Receiver: 0.00% (Cached): 99% (8.2MB-9.4MB-10MB/6.5MB-7.6MB-8.1MB over 25) * com.google.android.gm / u0a44: TOTAL: 0.56% Imp Bg: 0.55% Service: 0.01% Receiver: 0.00% (Cached): 99% (11MB-13MB-14MB/10MB-12MB-13MB over 24) * com.google.android.apps.plus / u0a70: TOTAL: 0.22% Imp Bg: 0.22% Service: 0.00% Receiver: 0.00% (Cached): 100% (38MB-40MB-41MB/36MB-38MB-39MB over 17) * com.google.android.apps.docs / u0a39: TOTAL: 0.15% Imp Bg: 0.09% Service: 0.06% (Cached): 54% (13MB-14MB-14MB/12MB-12MB-13MB over 17) * com.google.android.music:main / u0a62: TOTAL: 0.11% Imp Bg: 0.04% Service: 0.06% Receiver: 0.01% (Cached): 70% (7.7MB-10MB-11MB/6.4MB-9.0MB-9.3MB over 20) * com.google.android.apps.walletnfcrel / u0a24: TOTAL: 0.01% Receiver: 0.01% (Cached): 69% (8.1MB-8.4MB-8.6MB/7.0MB-7.1MB-7.1MB over 13) * com.google.android.setupwizard / u0a19: TOTAL: 0.00% Receiver: 0.00% (Cached): 69% (2.7MB-3.2MB-3.4MB/1.8MB-2.0MB-2.2MB over 13) Run time Stats: SOff/Norm: +1h43m29s710ms SOn /Norm: +1h37m14s290ms TOTAL: +3h20m44s0ms Start time: 2013-11-06 07:24:27 Total elapsed time: +3h42m23s56ms (partial) libdvm.so chromeview
Example output of dumpsys procstats --hours 3 command, showing memory details for processes running in the background over the past ~3 hours.
The percentages tell you how much of the overall time each process has spent in various key states. The memory numbers tell you about memory samples in those states, as
minPss-avgPss-maxPss / minUss-avgUss-maxUss. The procstats tool also has a number of command line options to control its output — use
adb shell dumpsys procstats -hto see a list of the available options.
Comparing this raw data from procstats with the visualization of its data we previously saw, we can see that it is showing only process run data from a subset of states: Imp Fg, Imp Bg, Service, Service Rs, and Receiver. These are the situations where the process is actively running in the background, for as long as it needs to complete the work it is doing. In terms of device memory use, these are the process states that tend to cause the most trouble: apps running in the background taking RAM from other things.
Getting started with procstats
We have already found the new procstats tool to be invaluable in better understanding the overall memory behavior of Android systems, and it has been a key part of the Project Svelte effort in Android 4.4.
As you develop your own applications, be sure to use procstats and the other tools mentioned here to help understand how your own app is behaving, especially how much it runs in the background and how much RAM it uses during that time.
More information about how to analyze and debug RAM use on Android is available on the developer page Investigating Your RAM Usage.
So, you’re trying to download a free screensaver or game or something else you really want. But later you find out that game came bundled with a malicious program that’s trying to hijack your browser settings. You’re not the only one having this problem—in fact, it’s an issue that’s continuing to grow at an alarming rate. You should always be in charge of your own Chrome settings. To help keep your browser settings under your control we added a “reset browser settings” button to Chrome’s settings page in October.
Despite this, settings hijacking remains our number one user complaint. To make sure the reset option reaches everyone who might need it, Chrome will be prompting Windows users whose settings appear to have been changed if they’d like to restore their browser settings back to factory default. If you’ve been affected by settings hijacking and would like to restore your settings, just click “Reset” on the prompt below when it appears.
Note that this will disable any extensions, apps and themes you have installed. If you’d like to reactivate any of your extensions after the reset, you can find and re-enable them by looking in the Chrome menu under “More tools > Extensions.” Apps are automatically re-enabled the next time you use them.
Some hijackers are especially pernicious and have left behind processes that are meant to undermine user control of settings, so you may find that you’re hijacked again after a short period of time. If that happens you can find additional help uninstalling such programs in the Chrome help forum—and remember even if you don’t see the prompt, you can always restore Chrome to a fresh state by clicking the reset button in your Chrome settings.
Linus Upson, Vice President of Engineering
Next week the application period for mentoring organizations for Google Summer of Code 2014 begins. For our 11th veteran GSoC post, the KDE team talks about a few of their students and their overall experience in the 2013 program.
Google Summer of Code 2013 saw 50 enthusiastic students coding for the summer, guided and assisted by their KDE mentors. In a span of ninety days, the students learned, innovated, created and contributed to one of the largest free and open source communities, and developed software that may affect users all over the world. As members of the KDE community, they’ve gained insights into the way the community functions and have had enlightening interactions with enthusiastic community members.
GSoC students and mentors have shared some quick thoughts on their experiences below:
Matěj Laitl (who worked on Amarok) joked that what he loved most about GSoC was that he got to spend his summer flipping bits instead of burgers!
“The satisfaction of working on a real life project and writing code for software which would perhaps be used by millions of people is indescribable.” — Akshay Ratan (Plasma Media Center)
“The entire journey was truly remarkable and cannot be forgotten.” — Lukas Appelhans (Muon)
Albert Vaca (KDE Connect) felt that he learned a lot throughout GSoC and was happy to work with such awesome mentors and believed that without their help and advice the project wouldn’t have been possible.
“I first saw the GSoC poster in 2012, but at that time I didn’t believe myself to be qualified enough to participate in it. But this year, my final year in college, I had made up my mind and this entire journey was a great learning experience for me!” — Yiou Wang (DigiKam)
“It has been an amazing summer during which I’ve learned so much. I have evolved from a web newbie to a web enthusiast and had the chance to meet great people.” — Andrei Duma (Marble)
Claudio Desideri working on Gluon as a part of GSoC said, “the possibility to learn new things, work on so many parts of a project, with so many technologies” kept him motivated!
Utku Aydin discovered something interesting during GSoC, “…that one can have a love–hate relationship with C++.”
Lydia Pintscher, the main org admin and a driving force of GSoC in KDE, said, “I’m thrilled to see our community take such a large number of young bright people by the hand. Google Summer of Code and KDE have made such a profound difference in the lives of the students of previous years. I am looking forward to seeing where this year’s students are going and how the projects they worked on are going to turn out.”
Students worked on a vast array of KDE projects and developed new features this summer including:
New KDE applications were added by GSoC students, such as:
To learn more about KDE participation in Google Summer of Code, please read this comprehensive report.
A big thank you to the people in the KDE community who have been so supportive and have encouraged students to contribute to open source as part of the community. And thank you to the mentors for the time and effort put into guiding these students and for your assistance from the beginning—proposing meaningful GSoC projects—to the completion of those projects. And many thanks to the GSoC students who worked so diligently on their projects, helping to bring new ideas and energy to free and open source software.
Google Summer of Code is many months of hard work for everyone involved. It produces surprising results and fresh enthusiasm. It helps shape minds and attitudes, provides valuable experiences and delightful, life-long memories. It fosters a new sense of freedom and opens possibilities for the participants and the people who are touched by their work. The program and its participants are the epitome of the power of free and open source software.
By Devaja Shah, KDE team
Earlier this week we announced the release of the Google for Education Learning Center, an online portal that helps educators learn about Google tools for teaching and learning. The Center is a one-stop-shop for hundreds of best practice how-to videos, cases studies and guides. It also includes links to online communities and our newly revised exams. By passing 5 exams teachers can become qualified as Google Educators.
We wanted the bulk of the content in the Center to be made for teachers, by teachers. So we worked with some of our Google Certified Teachers to create it. Today we’ll hear from three of those educators to get more information about their tips and tricks for teaching and training.
Bram: What are your top tips for running successful professional development with educators?
Jennie: My tip for training is to leverage the same best practices you’d use with students. Focus on differentiating for your (teacher) learner, engage them in active learning and allow them to collaborate with one another to make the experience social.
Jay: I have two pieces of advice: start small and give it a go. Pick just one part of your course to enhance with technology or just one tool to use more effectively. Learn something new and give it a go. Get support from your peers, school or PLN. Failing is okay, that’s how we learn.
Kevin: Whether you are teaching or training, clear communication is essential. The best slides have the least amount of text. Make images on the slides focused, keeping words to a minimum, to emphasize the point made in the actual presentation. No one wants to “read” a presentation.
Jennie: It is important to practice what you preach. If you’re training people on Google Apps, use Google Apps. If you’re leading a session, create a Google Site to share information. Share a collaborative Google Doc so participants can take notes together and exchange ideas.
Bram: What are your most effective training activities?
Jennie: I have a professional development opener I like to call the “Gripe Jam.” While I play the song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” teachers write down their gripes and I compile these into a Google Doc. The teachers then vote on the most important ones. This is how we decide where we begin our exploration of digital learning. Crowd-sourced PD is a huge buy-in generator. Many teachers respond better to new ideas when we first listen to their current issues.
Jay: I advise people to keep a YouTube playlist for “Stuff I’ve Learned.” I learn a lot from YouTube videos. As I’m looking up videos and learning new things I add the videos to a playlist with other things that YouTube has taught me. This not only serves as a great repository I can come back to for review, it also helps me to model how and what I am learning. This could be embedded on your professional portfolio site to help demonstrate how you are a contemporary learner.
Bram: What is a top piece of advice about Google tools for teaching?
Kevin: The number one recommendation I have for teachers who assign projects using Docs and Drive is to turn the hand-in process upside-down. Rather than having students turn-in their work at the end of the assignment cycle, have them turn it in at the beginning. The first step in any class project is to have students create their document, presentation, or spreadsheet, and have them share it with you as the teacher immediately. This allows teachers to monitor and support students through the entire process.
Bram: Have any recent professional development experiences really stayed with you?
Jay: Recently I was working with a teacher named Rick, a master teacher with decades of experience who wanted to use technology to improve student writing. We started small with the prewriting process and brainstorming with Google Drawings and Docs. I pushed him a little more. He was amazed when we looked at the Comments feature, which allowed him to provide better feedback to his students and they blossomed. He was so energized and excited about teaching writing again. Even with his vast experience and being so close to retirement, Rick demonstrated my two recommendations: start small and give it a go. He was able to rekindle his own passion and effectively integrate technology. We can all do this.
Applications are currently open for the Google Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities 2014. This scholarship supports talented computer scientists with a disability across Europe by offering 7,000 Euros towards their studies for 2014-15. As part of this commitment, Google has teamed up with EmployAbility, an organization dedicated to assisting disabled and dyslexic students in the transition from education to employment.
We recently caught up with Valentin, a student from Romania and 2013 recipient of the Google Scholarship for Students with Disabilities, to hear first-hand about his experience as a Google Scholar:
So Valentin, tell us a little about yourself…
I’m from Romania and I’m currently in my 2nd year of a computer graphics masters at the University Politehnica of Bucharest. I’ve loved computers and video games since I first came into contact with them. I’m currently working on my dissertation project to combine the power of Kinect and Oculus Rift to create a fully immersive experience. A fun fact about myself, I worked at Gameloft and you can find my name in the credits of the game ‘My Little Pony’ (yes, this is a game created by fully grown men!).
What did you think of the application process?
It was straight forward and simple. I asked my parents to help me translate official documents from my native language into English while I focussed on my resume and essays. EmployAbility were also on hand to advise and support me throughout the process.
In what way(s) has the Scholarship had an impact on your studies?
It allowed me to focus on my studies instead of dividing my time between university and a job. I also used the scholarship money to buy new equipment for my dissertation project. Generally, I feel more confident in my coding abilities and my decision to pursue this career path.
What top tips would you give to someone completing the application form?
Spend time on your essay to show who you are and your true potential. If you are re-applying, take the time to write a new essay because another year has passed and this is a new you, with new and improved skills and experiences. Also, if you have any difficulty or questions, ask the people from EmployAbility.
Aside from the financial benefit, what else did you gain from the scholarship?
After reflecting on my scholarship experience, I realized my disability doesn’t make me any less capable, it just makes me different and difference is a good thing. People who think differently find the most innovative and creative solutions. Difference is what drives us forward. I met a wonderful, diverse group of people at last year’s Scholarships Retreat where, for a few amazing days, difference was the norm. It really boosted my confidence.
Did the scholarship influence your thoughts about a career at Google or within the Tech sector?
The experience truly transformed the way I see my life after graduating. Going to a Google development center and talking to the engineers who work there about their day-to day-lives and experiences was priceless. We also had the opportunity to network with Google recruiters, find out more about the hiring process and available positions, not to mention gaining some top interview tips. EmployAbility also offered lots of information about the support available for disabled candidates searching for a job.
To top it all off, a little after receiving the scholarship I was invited to interview for a position at Google!
What advice would you give someone who isn’t sure they should apply?
Think about it this way: Google is investing a lot to search for talented and passionate people like you. But they can’t do it all. It’s your job to say “here I am” and your duty to yourself to make sure you take every opportunity that comes your way, no matter how unlikely it might seem at first.
We are currently accepting applications for the 2014 Google Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. Apply today! Applications close on February 17th, 2014.
For questions about the scholarship or your application, please reach out to EmployAbility at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Efrat Aghassy, EMEA Scholarships Project Manager
We’ve just signed an agreement to sell Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. As this is an important move for Android users everywhere, I wanted to explain why in detail.
We acquired Motorola in 2012 to help supercharge the Android ecosystem by creating a stronger patent portfolio for Google and great smartphones for users. Over the past 19 months, Dennis Woodside and the Motorola team have done a tremendous job reinventing the company. They’ve focused on building a smaller number of great (and great value) smartphones that consumers love. Both the Moto G and the Moto X are doing really well, and I’m very excited about the smartphone lineup for 2014. And on the intellectual property side, Motorola’s patents have helped create a level playing field, which is good news for all Android’s users and partners.
But the smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all-in when it comes to making mobile devices. It’s why we believe that Motorola will be better served by Lenovo—which has a rapidly growing smartphone business and is the largest (and fastest-growing) PC manufacturer in the world. This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere. As a side note, this does not signal a larger shift for our other hardware efforts. The dynamics and maturity of the wearable and home markets, for example, are very different from that of the mobile industry. We’re excited by the opportunities to build amazing new products for users within these emerging ecosystems.
Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola into a major player within the Android ecosystem. They have a lot of experience in hardware, and they have global reach. In addition, Lenovo intends to keep Motorola’s distinct brand identity—just as they did when they acquired ThinkPad from IBM in 2005. Google will retain the vast majority of Motorola’s patents, which we will continue to use to defend the entire Android ecosystem.
The deal has yet to be approved in the U.S. or China, and this usually takes time. So until then, it’s business as usual. I’m phenomenally impressed with everything the Motorola team has achieved and confident that with Lenovo as a partner, Motorola will build more and more great products for people everywhere.
Posted by Larry Page, CEO
Every summer for the past six years, Google hosts rising college freshmen in our offices for our 3-week Computer Science Summer Institute. As one of our largest and longest-running residential technical education programs for university students, CSSI continues to develop the next generation of computer scientists and young professionals among underrepresented groups in the tech industry.
But such lofty goals require willing hearts. CSSI’s success comes from the hard work and efforts of a small army of Googlers who are passionate about technical education initiatives. And for the first time ever in CSSI history, in 2013 we invited summer interns to participate as resident advisors in the dorms where students reside during the three weeks of the program – essentially turning regular interns by day into mentors by night.
For today’s post, meet our Software Engineering Interns turned residential advisors from CSSI 2013:
Jacob Brouwer – UT Austin, TX
Helen Li – MIT, MA
Liam Morris – Rochester Institute of Technology, NY
Christina Lidwin – Virginia Tech, VA
Why were you interested in becoming a Resident Advisor for CSSI?
Helen: Summer can get boring sometimes after getting off from work. When I received the email about the CSSI RA opportunity, I realized that this was exactly what I was looking for to occupy my time and do something meaningful at the same time. I am passionate about computer science, responsible, reliable and friendly — somewhat fits the description of an RA, so I went ahead and gave it a try.
Liam: It seemed like the perfect blend of what I enjoy about school, being a TA, and Google! When I’m at school I really enjoy my TA job and like seeing when new students understand things. It was especially exciting having the same responsibilities at CSSI because for some of the students it was their first time doing anything related to computer science! It was also a lot of fun to live in the dorms with the students. When I lived in dorms at school I frequently set up activities and made it a really social environment, and that was a really easy (and fun!) thing to do here.
Christina: In my freshmen year, I was lucky enough to live in Honors housing at Virginia Tech, and I got to experience living with students from all years of study. As part of the housing, I got to take a seminar for freshmen, and it was such a valuable experience for me that I began leading the class as an student teaching assistant every year since. I have found that each year, the first year students have something new to teach me, and likewise I get to share my experiences as a college student with them. Living with those same students augments the amount of knowledge that is shared and learning that occurs.
While I was an Engineering Practicum intern, I served as a teaching assistant for a couple of the CSSI classes, and thought that this program was Google’s version of the transformative program I had at my school. When I received the email about the RA program for CSSI, and I was eager to apply since I really enjoyed working for Google and learning in collaborative environments.
|CSSI students chat about sorting|
What were some of your responsibilities as an RA?
Christina: Being an RA for CSSI is about more than just being around to help students figure out what to do when they get locked out of their rooms or need help finding out where the laundry room is. I would say the biggest responsibility was getting to know the 30 Mountain View CSSIers and helping them get started with their college careers by hosting conversations on both technical and soft skills, participating in social events and trips, and making sure they were getting the most out of this CSSI experience.
Liam: My main responsibility was just to make sure that all of the students were safe over the course of the three weeks. I was also responsible for holding office hours in the evenings to help students with their what they were learning and with their projects. Some of these office hours were more structured, such as the resume workshop that we hosted. Another responsibility of mine was to try my best to make sure that everyone was enjoying their time at Google, so whenever I wasn’t hosting office hours I was hanging out with them and playing games with them.
What was one of your favorite activities and/or projects as an RA?
Jacob: My favorite part of being an RA was the office hours/ just hanging out with the students.
Helen: My favorite activities with them were playing board games and weekend outings (esp. Canobi Lake park and freedom trail). I like to hang out with the students – they are amazing, extremely talented and of extraordinary character. I love spending time with them and I miss them!
Liam: Playing Avalon with all of the students was really great. Almost all of the students immediately became addicted to the game, so whenever we weren’t working on things we were playing it. This was extremely important in building a strong community among the CSSI students and helped create some great friendships (even though during the game everyone is everyone else’s enemy!). Not only that, but the game implicitly strengthens critical thinking skills and I felt that it started to show in the students when they started working on their projects.
What are 2 things you’ve learned from being a CSSI RA?
Helen: Slang – and a lot of it! Dancing, and some technical concepts
Liam: Probably the biggest thing I learned is that new computer science students can learn a ton of information in three weeks. At the beginning of the program some of the students had never programmed before in their entire lives, but by the end of the three weeks they had created some really slick and impressive web apps. I thought this was really cool.
Another thing that I learned is that even though the students came from all different backgrounds and are going to completely different schools, they were able to find common ground and work together to produce great projects. Even outside of the projects it was pretty awesome to see the diverse community that was built among the students in just three weeks.
Christina: 1) It is possible to create lasting, meaningful, and impactful relationships in the short time span of 3 weeks. 2) All of the world’s problems can be solved with deep fried PB&Js.
Jacob: I’ve learned that the best way to help address most issues is just to sit back and listen, they tend to resolve themselves.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Helen: CSSI has benefited me in a lot of ways. I feel extremely fortunate that I was selected as an RA. Even though I am not a rising freshman, but CSSI has made a big impact on my life in terms of mentorship and support for newer students in my field.
Liam: The members of the CSSI team are literally wizards (especially Sarah Henderson since she’s actually Merlin). No but really, being an RA for CSSI was a great experience and I’m really glad I did it. It added something entirely new to my internship experience this summer and I seriously encourage any returning interns with any interest to apply for it.
Things that I learned that aren’t directly relevant:
Want to get involved? The CSSI RA application is open to returning Google interns in the summer of 2014. Email email@example.com for more information!
Posted by Kieu-Thu Bui, Recruiting Coordinator
As we start the 10th year of Google Summer of Code in 2014, GSoC supporters from around the world have been hosting meetups to encourage even more students to apply for the program this March. Below, we have a student from last year’s program discussing a recent meetup he and other interested students organized in Zurich, Switzerland.
Being part of Google Summer of Code 2013 was an amazing experience. As a new masters student at ETH Zürich, I decided that it would be a good idea to spread the word about the upcoming Google Summer of Code, and motivate more students to take part in 2014.
I began by looking for past GSoC students and mentors who are located in Switzerland. It was a lengthy process, but we were able to gather up a few people into a Google group. It was exciting to find that many people were also eager to share their experiences, as well as meet fellow GSoC alumni. Veronica even offered to come over for the event from Neuchâtel, almost on the other side of Switzerland!
Thanks to Sabina and some random but fortunate chain of connections, we were able to get the interest of Wolf and Iurii of Google Zurich, who offered to speak about their experiences (and also bring over GSoC stickers and pens). It really is great to have the Engineering HQ of Google EMEA next door!
Soon, a room was booked, a flyer was designed (with over 700 given out), emails were sent out, our event was registered into the official ETH calendar, and the Google Slides were starting to take shape from the collaboration of everyone from gsoc-ch.
The day of the talk quickly came and we were anxious to see the result of our work. The projector was working fine, the second slide faded in gracefully, and all the speakers were present. Things couldn’t be better.
The session kicked off with a brief introduction to Google Summer of Code. Many students did not know much about GSoC and were interested to find out that projects ranged across many areas of study.
After the brief talk, we moved on to presenting personal projects and experiences. It was interesting to hear the varied takes on GSoC, and about what a mentor’s life is like. From stories of how the first $500 kept a student fed as well as unfortunate disappearances, the talk quickly became a very amusing and vibrant exchange between the speakers and students.
By the end of the hour and half long event, it seemed like many students had been sold on the benefits of GSoC. We gathered around to take a group photo, and dispersed knowing that we had done something good and worthwhile.
The next day brought feedback from my peers who had attended the talk. They had been won over, and were seriously considering an application to Google Summer of Code 2014. It is great to know that our efforts were not wasted!
The Google Group for GSoC alumni and prospective students in Switzerland lives on. Do stop by if you have questions, or would just like to say hello!
By Seon-Wook Park, GSoC 2013 M-Lab student
In 2013 there was a tremendous amount of innovation in education — from new tools to increased access to more content. Throughout the year we had the opportunity to get to know more and more schools that decided to Go Google. To look back on the year, we compiled a few stories that people shared with us. You can find more stories in our refreshed website for schools.
One thing we’ve heard loud and clear from educators and students across the globe was that they want more choices. They want a wider selection of devices, content and resources so they can choose the right tools for their particular needs. So to kick off this new year, we’ve worked with our partners to give schools more options for devices, classroom content and training resources.
K-12 Books in Google Play for Education
Google Play for Education makes it easy for educators to find and distribute apps and videos that unlock student potential, and schools have told us that access to a wide selection of books is just as important. That’s why soon we’ll add thousands of K-12 books to Google Play for Education, from digital textbooks like “GO Math!” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and “Journeys Common Core” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) to classic literature like “Bridge to Terabithia” (Harper Collins), “Lord of the Flies” (Penguin), and “Things Fall Apart” (Random House). Once a book is assigned, students can read it from their Android tablets, Chromebooks, or any other device through the Play Books reader. Affordable access periods of 60 days, 180 days, and 360 days help schools ensure that materials stay fresh (and classes stay interested) — it’s easy to change curriculums from year to year, or even customize reading materials for individual students. We’re rolling out to a few schools today, and will make K-12 books fully available to all schools in the coming weeks.
Greater choice of devices
Technology is one tool to help teachers create innovative learning models. With devices that are affordable and manageable, the technology can get out of the way so that teachers can do what they do best — help students accomplish their goals. We’re hearing great success stories from schools using both tablets with Google Play for Education and Chromebooks. And analysts such as Futuresource report Chromebooks continue to grow, accounting for 1 in 4 devices shipped to U.S. K-12 schools according to preliminary data for the final quarter of 2013.
Today at FETC, our partners announced they’re making even more options available to schools:
Helping educators share with one another
Teachers around the world are using Google tools in the classroom, and we aim to help educators learn from and share ideas with their peers. This week we launched the new Google for Education Learning Center, created in close partnership with educators who successfully use Google Apps and devices in schools. On this new site educators can learn about Google tools and how to use them for teaching and learning. It’s a one-stop-shop for new online courses, best practice videos, guides, and updated exams and certifications. Educators can demonstrate proficiency with Google tools by taking a Basics Exam or they can show advanced knowledge by taking exams to earn the Google Educator official qualification.
If you’re attending FETC this week, visit us at booth 701. Educators will share ideas in our teaching theater throughout the conference. If you can’t make it to Orlando, you can learn more about how to Go Google by visiting our site: google.com/edu/gogoogle.
Think back: you’ve just dumped a bin of LEGOR bricks onto the floor with a satisfying crash, and you have the whole day ahead of you to build whatever you want. There’s something pretty amazing about being able to piece together your ideas with just a collection of colorful bricks.
Well, we think the creative freedom of LEGO bricks shouldn’t be limited to plastic bins—which is the idea behind Build with Chrome, a collaboration between Chrome and the LEGO Group that brought these colorful bricks to the web using WebGL, a 3D graphics technology. It was originally built by a team in Australia as an experiment, and now we’re opening it up to everybody. So now you can publish your wacky creations to any plot of land in the world.
We’ve added a few new features to make it easier to build and explore this digital world of LEGO creations. To start, you can now sign in with a Google+ account to help find stuff that people in your circles have created. A new categorization system for completed Builds will help you sort and filter for specific types of structures.
To hone your engineering skills and prepare for the upcoming “THE LEGOR MOVIETM,” you can explore the Build Academy, a series of short tutorials and challenges featuring characters and structures from the film.
If it feels more natural to use your hands—rather than a mouse—you can build your creations using a touchscreen on your phone or tablet with Chrome for Android support for WebGL on devices with high-end graphics capabilities.
Posted by Adrian Soghoian, Product Marketing Manager and Beginning Builder