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When you’re focused on bringing students the best education possible, you count every penny and every second. Schools are often asked to work wonders with a limited budget and a small staff, and that’s especially true when it comes to technology. With Chromebooks and Android tablets, we want to help schools do more with less.

We’ve worked to make Chromebooks the perfect laptop for schools – sharable, secure, fast and easy to manage – and as a result they were the #1 selling device in US K-12 education last year. Today we're introducing a new line of devices that give students and teachers more choices at even more affordable prices. These new Chromebooks are fast and lightweight, with prices that start at $149. That means schools can get Chromebooks into the hands of 33 percent more students than ever before on the same budget.

The Haier Chromebook 11 (available at Amazon) and the Hisense Chromebook (available at Walmart) are available for pre-order starting today. Coming later this spring, the Haier 11E is a ruggedized model built just for education and tested with teachers and students in real classrooms. Schools can contact their technology partners for more details on pricing and availability.
Chromebooks get the latest updates every six weeks, and we continue to add the features that educators want most, like a lost/stolen device mode, faster updates that use less bandwidth and easier ways to manage apps and extensions.

The new Chromebooks come in a variety of forms, from laptop to desktop to all-in-one to a convertible. For more on what’s new, take a look at the Chrome blog. When a tablet is the right choice, schools are also embracing Android. Android tablets are intuitive for younger grades, and flexible enough to be used for creative projects, science experiments and project-based learning.

So today we’re also adding to the set of Android tablets available through Google for Education, with four new devices from ASUS, Dell and HP available to schools in the US and UK. Running Android 5.0 – Lollipop, and supporting up to five student accounts per device, these four new tablets make it easy for teachers to personalize each student’s experience.
The latest Android tablets for education


Just like Chromebooks, we’re focused on making Android affordable and easy for schools to manage at scale.

  • The new 7” ASUS MeMO Pad is available for just $149 
  • Three of the new tablets are 10” and meet PARCC requirements for state testing, supporting plug-in keyboards for easier typing 
  • Schools have told us that they love the Nexus 7, so we’re keeping it available for educational purchase at $199 

Whether you go with Chrome or Android, it’s easy for your IT department to manage devices through the online Google Admin Console, and easy for teachers to discover and distribute educational content to students with Google Play for Education. You get access to both through a one-time $30 management license for each device.

Now schools have even more choice for devices students can use to learn, at even more affordable prices.

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As more and more schools have started using Drive and Classroom, you’ve given us a ton of ideas about ways these tools can help you get more done, especially when it comes to who can share what within your school. So we’ve been working on some new settings for our Google Apps for Education and Drive for Work customers that we hope will take you to your collaborative happy place.

Coming Soon: Trusted Domains 

In the next few months, we’ll be adding a “trusted domains” feature that will allow schools to extend Drive sharing and Classroom participation to domains they choose. Schools that have already set up separate domains   for example, one domain for faculty and another for students  will be able to use Classroom. It will be possible for students to join classes in other domains, like high school students taking college classes for advanced credit. You’ll also be able to configure your trusted domains for Drive, so you can better control sharing outside of your organization.
More changes are rolling out over the next several weeks:

Reset passwords quickly and securely 

When students and teachers get locked out of their account, we’ve heard that waiting for an IT admin  who often wears many hats within the school  to reset their account can take hours or days away from a busy study schedule. Admins will now be able to allow students and teachers to securely reset their passwords so they don’t lose any valuable time waiting.

Disable download and printing for Google Docs and everything else in Drive 

When what you’re sharing is only meant for a few select people, you can keep it for their eyes only by disabling downloading, printing and copying. This option to disable exporting from Drive will be available in the advanced sharing settings for each file, and it works for Docs, Sheets, Slides and any other files in Drive.

Set sharing settings by organizational units 

If your organization’s users are all in the same domain and you want teachers to be able to share outside the school with parents but only want students to share within the school, you can customize Drive sharing controls based on organizational units. 

Share outside your organization more easily 

When it comes to sharing  whether it’s group projects between students or information about Back to School night shared with parents  you want to make sure that recipients can see it whether they use Drive or not. Now, whoever is receiving that PDF, Google Doc, or video can see it without having to sign-in to their Google account. Admins can turn this on or choose to require recipients to sign-in before they see shared information.

Set up custom admin alerts to know when things change 

All Google Apps admins can now set up custom alerts for the things they care about, like a suspicious login from an account, and get an alert in the Admin console and through the Admin app on Android and iOS. Admins can set up alerts for all activity in Drive, and see when files are created, edited, printed, downloaded and previewed in Drive.

Here's a short video outlining all of the new sharing features coming to Drive for Work and Apps for Education:





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Editor's note: Today’s guest authors are Susan Herder, Instructional Technology Coordinator, and Gretchen Zahn, Curriculum Coordinator at Mounds View Public Schools. Susan is a Google Certified Teacher and Google Education Trainer. Gretchen Zahn coordinates the district’s hybrid program and helped develop the district’s teacher appraisal process.

Students aren’t the only ones learning at Mounds View Public Schools — teachers and administrators are also learning from one another with the help of Google Apps and Google Classroom. In 2013, we introduced the Teacher Development and Appraisal Program to support teachers’ professional development. Every teacher is part of a collaborative team, a group for feedback and knowledge-sharing. Because each team manages information in different documents, it’s a priority to keep them organized and easily accessible.

Google Apps and Google Classroom help our teams keep track of all documents related to goal setting, learning targets and other inputs. Teachers write agendas, take meeting notes and complete TDAP self-assessments in Google Docs, and use Google Sheets to analyze student data from the assessments we give every month. Teachers input assessment information in the same sheet, so they can see a student’s progress across multiple subjects. Collaborative teams also use Hangouts to have conversations about professional development and student progress without scheduling meetings. During these Hangouts, teachers can reference resources and student information stored in their team’s Google Site. Teacher development is now a team effort since everyone is learning from each other and discussing their progress.
Principals use Google Classroom to organize, send and receive teacher feedback, much like teachers do with students. Our teachers’ favorite feature is the ability to post questions based on the principal’s feedback. It’s a channel for two-way communication that previously would have happened much slower via email or in-person meetings. Classroom has also encouraged principals to provide feedback more frequently, since it’s so easy and widely used. Approximately 90% of our certified staff use Google Classroom as part of the Teacher Development and Appraisal Program.
Image courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Ridlehoover, Principal, Mounds View High School


Google Apps for Education has streamlined what initially appeared to be a difficult process of sharing information, data and resources. Teachers and administrators are leaning on each other to improve their teaching skills and ultimately become better educators districtwide.

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(Cross-posted on the Google for Work Blog.)

Editor's note: Leading up to Education on Air, we asked you what topics you’d like to discuss at the conference. The clear winner was “innovation in schools,” so we asked Kevin Brookhouser, a Google Certified Teacher and director of technology at York School, to share his innovative practice of giving students freedom in what and how they learn. Kevin is the author of the new book The 20Time Project and will share his methods during an Education on Air session on May 9. Register here for the free online conference today.

The 20Time Project stemmed from the collision of several fortunate events: I met a number of inspirational teachers through the Google Teacher Academy, spent time at the Google campus, and read a book by Daniel Pink called Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us about how to encourage innovative thinking. Inspired by Pink and Google’s “20 percent time”— a practice that allows employees to take time out of their “day job” to work on a side passion project— I created my own version and applied it to the classroom.
Guest blogger Kevin Brookhouser speaks around the world about empowering students with time and choice. He'll lead a conference session at Education on Air on May 9th

20Time is a simple concept that anyone can execute, as long as you give students the choice to design their own learning experience and support them throughout. Give students one day a week to work on a project of their choosing — one that serves a real audience and solves a real-world problem. Help students discover great ideas, write a thoughtful proposal, blog about their progress, craft an elevator pitch, and demonstrate their work through a final presentation.

20Time affords students the opportunity to follow the three critical ingredients essential to innovation as described in Drive:
  1. Autonomy: freedom in what they learn and how they learn it 
  2. Mastery: the ability to track their learning growth 
  3. Purpose: meeting the needs of an audience outside the walls of the classroom
When given the freedom to control their own learning, it turns out that students can come up with incredible ideas. The experiences they created are bigger than any I could’ve imagined — like Maria’s YouTube channel, which inspires young people to love books, or Maddie’s Recycling Closets project, which spreads awareness about sustainable consumerism. I’m fortunate to work at a future-oriented school that supported the experimental project from day one. But wherever they teach, I recommend that teachers who want to try 20Time give it a go — dive in and present the reasoning behind it. Transparent communication to parents, students and administrators can go a long way toward getting buy-in. For example, I send this letter to students and parents at the beginning of the year, and welcome other teachers to modify it to fit their needs.

I’ll be sharing more about what I’ve learned about innovating in schools during my session at Education on Air on May 9. Register here to get updates about the conference. You can find 20Time resources, including five steps to get started, at 20Time.org. The 20Time Project is now available on Amazon, and if you’re looking to purchase multiple copies for your school or would like me to speak about 20Time or Google for Education, I welcome you to contact me directly. See you on May 9!

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Editor's note: This post is written by Chris Meaney, Director of ICT for Academies Enterprise Trust, the largest sponsor of academies in the United Kingdom.

With 42,000 students at 76 schools spread across the United Kingdom, we at Academies Enterprise Trust work hard to broaden access to information. However, some of our legacy technology made it cumbersome for students to share classwork and for teachers to share ideas for improving learning. Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks helps us come together as one large team— and they’re projected to save us £7.7 million in hardware and maintenance costs.

We began using Google Apps for Education in 2012, and soon after, brought 1,200 Chromebooks to many of our academy classrooms. We saw immediately that Google Apps and Chromebooks made learning more interactive and showed students the potential of learning with technology.

At the beginning of the school term in Maltings Academy in Essex, every student writes a 500-word story on subjects they’ll study for the rest of the year. They now write their stories in Google Docs, and use Google Drawings, Forms and Sites to add material like illustrations and surveys. Since they can share their stories with other students, they can edit each other’s work and offer suggestions.


We see similar collaboration across our academies and even between different schools. We’re using Google Sites and Google+ to create a storehouse of lesson plans and learning materials — a virtual support community that’s available anytime. One Google Site shows pictures of corridor displays to inspire teachers to use common spaces more creatively. The academies’ eLearning specialists regularly post ideas to a Google Group about digital learning and encourage other teachers and administrators to share their knowledge.

The easy setup of Google Apps and Chromebooks spared time and headaches for our ICT professionals. We moved nearly all of our academy websites over to Google Sites without hiring web developers or paying hosting fees — an easy move that’s already saved us £33,000.

In fact, we’re spotting significant cost savings in many areas, including maintenance, data storage and hardware. For example, by replacing traditional laptops with Chromebooks, we saved about £100,000. We expect to save millions over the next five years, which we’ll put into improving how students learn and how we teach them.

To learn more, read their case study here.

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If you’re a university student looking to earn real-world experience this summer, consider writing code for a cool open source project with the Google Summer of Code program.
Students who are accepted into the program will put the skills they have learned in university to good use by working on an actual software project over the summer. Students receive a stipend and are paired with mentors to help address technical questions and concerns throughout the course of the project. With the knowledge and hands-on experience students gain during the summer, they strengthen their future employment opportunities. Best of all, more source code is created and released for the use and benefit of all.

Interested students can submit proposals on the website starting now through Friday, March 27 at 19:00 UTC. Get started by reviewing the ideas pages of the 137 open source projects in this year’s program and decide which projects you’re interested in. Because Google Summer of Code has a limited number of spots for students, writing a great project proposal is essential to being selected to the program — be sure to check out the Student Manual for advice.

For ongoing information throughout the application period and beyond, see the Google Open Source Blog, join our Summer of Code mailing lists or join us on Internet relay chat at #gsoc on Freenode.

Good luck to all the open source coders out there, and remember to submit your proposals early — you only have until March 27 to apply!

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Editor's note:Today's guest author is Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief and Senior Vice President of Scientific American. She’s the first female to assume this post since Scientific American was founded in 1845. Scientific American is a partner of the Google Science Fair, where Mariette serves as chief judge. She’s passionate about developing science-education activities and supporting initiatives to effectively advance how we teach and learn, for all ages, everywhere.

To really change the future of education for the better, we need a combination of creative vision powered by the social entrepreneurship of education leaders and teachers. This is why the annual South by Southwest EDU (SXSWedu) conference is so unique and valuable -- a time when thousands of entrepreneurs, educators, policy makers and thought leaders from all over the world convene to learn, discuss and tackle some of the largest issues facing education today, together.

At this year’s SXSWedu, Scientific American and Macmillan Education co-hosted a “Science of Learning" panel with Harvard professor Robert Lue and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor Tim Stelzer to discuss how we can use emerging technology and data analysis to improve efficacy and apply more rigor to instructional methods in school. We then partnered with Google for Education to continue the conversation at the Austin Fiber Space after-hours with more teachers, ed tech visionaries, media and developers. Hands-on demos from Google Translate, CS First, Classroom, and the Edu teams working on Chromebooks, Android and Google Play for Education made the evening both insightful and fun.
The Google Translate app helps SXSWedu-ers learn local eats
During the evening, Professor Lue demonstrated his Visual Synthesis animations in Macmillan’s LaunchPad, an online learning space for the textbook How Life Works. Each animation allows biology students to interact, zoom and explore biological processes. And Professor Tim Stelzer demonstrated FlipIt Physics, which enables college instructors to flip their classroom by redefining the interaction between students, instructors and course content. Stelzer also gave us a sneak peek at IOLab, a new technology he developed to let students watch their physics experiment and data graphed in real time.
Here I am! Between Professor Lue (left) and Professor Stelzer (right)
As an experimental twist to create a living collaborative resource for the community, we took a digitized version of the visual notes taken during our Science of Learning panel and opened this up to public commenting and editing. I hope you’ll find these notes useful and that you’ll add your own insights, videos, and citations so that we can all continue the learning. And if you aren’t with us at SXSWedu this week, you can still listen and add your voice to the conversations. Inside these Google Drive folders, you can view, comment, and collaborate in the fun and lively SXSWedu discussions (here’s a great one on Diversity Needs in Technology).

Another example of how we can use online tools to power student-centered initiatives for kids anywhere in the world is the Google Science Fair, going on now for the fifth year. I’m particularly fond of this program, for which Scientific American is a partner, along with LEGO Education, National Geographic, and Virgin Galactic, and I’m also honored to be the chief judge. This year, we’re challenging students around the world to try something. Something imaginative, or maybe even unimaginable. Something that might just change the world. From now through May 18, students ages 13-18 can submit projects online across all scientific fields, from biology to computer science to psychology and everything in between. As always, I’m really looking forward to seeing this year’s submissions, which continue to impress me year after year.

Another big online learning moment coming up in May that we can all create together is Education on Air. This free online conference from Google will take place May 8-9 and will feature more than 100 educator speakers and focus on leading for the future and shaping the classroom today. Hope you can tune in, so make sure to register today to get the best seat in the house (your own!).

There’s no end to what we can achieve if we all start sharing, working, and learning together, to help prepare our students for a future that is ever changing. I, for one, can’t wait to see what we’ll come up with next—together!

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(Cross-posted on the Google for Work Blog.)

When I was a teacher 15 years ago, I loved my students, teammates and the work, but I wished I could work more closely with other teachers and observe their classrooms. Luckily, technology helps us connect more easily, and educators don’t have to feel isolated. We have tools, many of them free, that allow us to share with each other.

We’ll put these tools to work on May 8-9, when we host Education On Air, a free online conference about leading for the future and shaping the classroom today. All you need is a web browser and an Internet connection to join from the best seat in the house — your own. Whether you’re a school leader, teacher, administrator, parent, student or just someone who cares about education, we hope you can join us.

Here’s what we have planned:

Day 1: Leading the future
On Friday, May 8 from 10am-3pm EST, hear from educators, students and business leaders on the topic of leadership in education. Short keynotes and panels will help answer the question “how do we prepare our students for a future that is ever-changing?” Topics will include creating student ownership, leading change and fostering innovation in schools.

Day 2: Shaping the classroom today
On Saturday, May 9, join any of the 90+ sessions, run by educators for educators and held throughout the day across time zones. These sessions are designed to help you immediately in your school. We’ll have tracks for four groups: teachers, leaders, IT and general interest. Topics will include supporting literacy in early learners, successful device deployment and empowering digital citizens.

Even if you can’t attend on the scheduled dates, do register to stay informed. We’ll share the conference schedule and list of speakers in April. We’ll also be recording the sessions, so you can check out anything you missed.

In the meantime, tell us what sessions you want to see by responding to this Tweet or this Google+ post using #GoogleEduOnAir.