For Parents and Guardians: How Your Child Uses Google in Class (Cloud Next ’19)

goal today is twofold. First, we want to
share a bit with you about how technology is
used in schools today, and second, we want
to make sure that you know how to make the
most of that technology while you’re working
with your kids. So we’re going to divide our
time today into three sections. First, I’ll give an overview of
Google for Education products and how you can use them
with your kids at home. I’ll then pass it off
to Adnan and Phil, who will give their perspectives
as educators in the industry. And then we’ll cap it off
with a panel and a Q&A with all of you. So speaking of Q&A, if you
haven’t checked it out yet, highly recommend you check
out the Dory Q&A feature inside of the Next app. If you open up the
app, you should be able to find our session,
tap on the Dory Q&A option, and you can add questions
there for us to answer. If we don’t get to them
by the time of the panel, we’ll make sure to follow
up online afterwards. So let’s get started. When I wake up in the morning,
this is what I think about. I worry about grade school
kids learning how to read. I worry about a
future botanist being able to pursue her
passion, no matter where she goes to school. I worry about high school
kids and college kids and making sure that they
have the tools that they need to pursue those dream careers. Now you might be wondering, why
does this person care so much? Well, I care because over 90
million students and teachers are using G Suite for
Education every single month. This means that the
decisions that I make and the decisions
that my team makes have the potential to
fundamentally transform the way that the world
learns, transform the way that your kids learn. And we don’t take that
responsibility lightly at all. In fact, if you take away
one thing from this session, I hope it’s that you know
that when we build products for education, we build
them with people in mind, whether those are educators,
students, or you folks at home. Now it’s one thing to say
that, and it’s another thing to put that into practice. I’m not a student anymore
and I don’t teach, so how on earth
would I possibly know how kids like these
experience school every day? Well, the answer is pretty easy. I go on school visits. Along with my teammates, I
try to spend as much time as possible out in the field
visiting actual schools to get their feedback on Google
technology and all technology. What you see here is
a photo from a visit that I took to Penn
Manor School District, along with a couple of
engineers on my team. We spent a full day there. We visited three
different schools. We got direct feedback
from students and teachers all the way from kindergarten
up through high school. And when we go on
these visits, it’s not just about getting their
feedback on technology. We actually try
to experience what it’s like to be a
student in that school, whether that means standing
outside during a fire drill with the school principal
like all the other kids, or sitting down
next to a student to understand what
kind of encouragement really gets him motivated. And even when we can’t be there
in person, we make it happen. A couple of weeks ago a
teacher in Pennsylvania reached out to me. She wanted to know if I would
join a Google Hangout Meet with her class so I could
talk to them about careers in science and technology. And of course, I jumped
at the opportunity because it’s a lot of fun
to talk to kids about tech, but most importantly, it gave
me a really great insight into how these kids
think about the future. And I got tons of
great questions. Everything from what
kind of technology do you use at home that
helps you with your job, to did you study computer
science before you got a job at Google? Fun fact, the answer
to that one is no. So what happens when these
school visits are over? Well, we take what we’ve
learned about real people and we apply it to the
products that we build. So let’s take a look
at a few of those. How many of you have
seen one of these before? OK, good number. If you haven’t seen one of
these, this is a Chromebook. It’s a laptop with a little
Chrome logo on the outside. This is an example of
a piece of hardware that we built by thinking
about students’ needs first. It’s extremely
lightweight and durable, which means that it
can withstand the rough and tumble of being in a kid’s
backpack all throughout the day it boots up in less
than 10 seconds and has amazing
battery life, which means the student can carry
it from class to class without having to plug in. And of course, because it’s
running on the Chrome operating system, all of those
Google apps students know and love are available
in just a couple of clicks. So again, a great
piece of technology that was built with
students’ needs in mind. Once they’re on that Chromebook,
or any device, really, students and teachers
can collaborate with each other in
real time or anytime using G Suite for Education. Now how many of you remember
working on a group project when you were back in school? OK, keep your hand up if
working on that group project was incredibly painful. There we go. It was super hard to
coordinate schedules, to get everybody collaborating
on a single document or poster or project, whatever
it might be. Collaboration lies at the
heart of Google’s technology. We wanted to make sure that
students had access to that. They could collaborate
with one another, edit each other’s docs,
comment on each other, give each other feedback. And that collaboration extends
beyond just those documents to the actual interactions
in the classroom. Which is why we built
Google Classroom. Through Google Classroom,
teachers can create classes, they can distribute
and collect work, they can grade assignments,
they can give direct feedback to students, and they can start
discussions and conversations all within a single platform. And as of today, over 40
million students and teachers use Google Classroom
every single month, which means I have 40
million people telling me all the time how I can make
Google better in the classroom. Now we know that it’s not
just about the technology that we bring to students. It’s about where that
technology can take them. What you see here is a photo of
Google Expeditions in action. Expeditions is a
product that allows teachers to bring their
students on virtual field trips. Using our lightweight,
affordable virtual reality headset Google Cardboard,
they can visit anywhere, whether it’s going back in
time the American Revolution or across the globe
to Machu Picchu. And last but not
least, it’s not just about what students
use in school. It’s about how they use it. We want to make sure
that all students grow up to be amazing digital
citizens, which is why we created the program
called Be Internet Awesome. It has a ton of resources
for educators, for students, for parents, to make sure
that you’re practicing the best in internet safety. We want students to be
smart, strong, confident, and of course, kind in
their interactions online. What you see here is
a photo from a G Suite school in New Jersey
where kindness is a part of everything they do. They literally have kindness
posters all over the school. And you might be wondering,
this all sounds great, but how do I as a
parent or guardian get involved in my student’s
learning journey? There’s a few ways. First, if you know that your
kid is using Google Classroom, make sure you talk to their
teachers and their school administrators about
the Guardian feature. Through this feature,
you can opt in to receive a daily or weekly
email digest of your kid’s activity in Classroom. So everything from upcoming work
to late or missing assignments. And if your school’s
a G Suite school, encourage the school to
consider using Hangouts Meet for parent-teacher conferences. We know that you all have
extremely busy lives. And believe it or not, teachers
are extremely busy too. This is a great way to make
it convenient for both sides. Plus teachers can actually share
examples of real student work directly on the screen. And finally, the road
to internet safety is one that we
all take together. At, as a
parent or guardian you can find lots of resources to download
and use with your family, including a pledge that you
can have the entire family sign to be Internet Awesome. And as I mentioned, again,
if you take one thing away from this presentation, is that
when we build these products we build them with
real people in mind. And with that, I’m
going to pass it off to Adnan to talk about his
perspective working directly in the school. ADNAN IFTEKHAR:
–walked into my office and he had a question for me. And so I’m going to pretend
to be the parent right now. Adnan, I have this issue. This, my son, he is totally
addicted to technology. He wakes up in the morning,
looks at his phone. He’s on Instagram, Snapchat. I really don’t know what to do. In classes, teachers are telling
me that he’s really distant and he doesn’t
participate in class. At the dinner table
he’s on his phone. He’s looking at his
phone all the time. He doesn’t make eye contact. Excuse me one sec. [LAUGHTER] So that actually happened. In the middle of
our conversation, this parent stopped
to check his phone. A colleague of
mine says that kids will do 20% of what they
hear, what they’re told to do, and 80% of what they see. Excuse me. There we go. There we go. So my question really is,
why use technology at all? Especially when you
can build a trebuchet for your final
project in math class. Here’s the bottom line. In the classroom,
we’re simply moving from being consumers
of technology to creators who use technology
when it’s appropriate. But we need you, as
parents and as guardians, to help make that shift. To ask how, to ask when, and
to ask why we use technology. I’d like to talk about
three types of conversations that you can have
to make that happen. I have three very
different conversations with these three
children of mine, because they’re in
very different places. And just like they’re in
very different places, your schools are also
in different places. But all of you can have at least
one of these conversations. Here’s the first one. I went on a school
tour, and this teacher who was giving me
the school tour said, oh, we have this
incredible new technology. We’re bringing it in into
every single classroom. Our district’s got it
all over the place. Interactive whiteboards. We’re using them in
every single classroom. And through
conversations, finding out more and more about interactive
whiteboards, I was asking her what do they use for? What are you using them for? How do you use them? What’s the purpose? And essentially they were being
used simply just as projectors. The moral of the
story is that it’s not really enough to have just
a piece of technology. As parents and guardians,
it’s not enough for you to be told that
this piece of technology is available. It’s much more important
to hear this is what we’re doing with the technology. So at a school that I was
at, one of the students came up to me. He saw– so there was a place
that I had a lot of desktops, old desktops that were stored in
this one classroom on the side. They were just sitting
there, collecting dust. And one of the students
came up to me and said, you know, I’m really interested
in taking one of these apart. Can I take this apart? And I was talking to him and
in conversations with him and another
colleague of mine, we decided that we’d create a
class where we could actually take apart computers. So we called it a
deconstruction class. And in that class, we took
all of that older technology, we deconstructed
it, they built what they called a supercomputer
that you can see right here. So it was technology
that was just sitting there collecting
dust, and we put that older technology to use. We took apart those
multiple computers and then with the best parts,
created the supercomputer– at least that’s
what they termed it. And it actually worked, which
was pretty amazing, too, without anything in there. So in this class, they built
a computer they created. And at your school you can
move that same conversation from having to doing. So here’s the second
conversation you might have. Now this was a
school visit that I did where my daughter was
going to attend the school, so I was very invested
in finding out more about the school. I walked around and I
observed this classroom. And there were 25 to 30
students all sitting down, extremely engaged. They had their headphones on and
they were looking at screens. I asked one of them
what they were doing and he said, oh, we’re
playing learning games. I said what are you learning? Math and stuff. So not to put down
learning through devices. I’m all for that. But there really
wasn’t much difference between those kids
sitting there disconnected from each other and that kid
and his dad at the dinner table. A lot of consumption, not
much creation, and certainly no collaboration. We use technology can lead into
this is why we use technology. At your school, at your
children’s schools, you can make a difference
simply by asking why and keep asking why until you
get an answer that makes sense. And the truth is, really,
that learning doesn’t always require technology I mean,
we can build a trebuchet. OK, the last conversation. Access is important. And Phil is going to
talk a little bit more about how affordable
access is critical. But that’s like saying
that everybody in this room has access to the internet. So what? The conversation really needs
to be we access technology with purpose. I was charged with teaching
middle school students computer science. And the first few
weeks of class I really wanted to set the
tone for the class, and I decided that I
wanted specifically to lay down the purpose of
what I wanted to do and execute on that purpose. And the purpose was to show
them that, one, learning can happen anywhere. Two, you can learn
almost anything that you want if you’re
interested enough. And three, age should not
be an obstacle to learning. And with that third one, what
we ended up doing is we took– this is fifth, sixth,
and seventh graders and eighth graders. We took CS 101 Stanford Online. It’s a 24 hour total course. We did it in about six weeks. Again, CS 101, Stanford,
middle schoolers. One of my kids came up to me
and said– he’s in sixth grade. He said, Adnan, I know
a lot of this stuff. Can I skip through
some of the videos? I said sure. He finished the course in three
hours, took the final exam, and got a 93%. Sixth grader, Stanford
CS 101, full course, 93%. Access, affordable
access for everyone should be the
baseline condition. And it can open the door to
much wider and more critical conversations about
educating with purpose. When you go back
to your schools, to your children’s schools,
I really want you to listen. I want you to listen for
these three conversations that we’ve talked about. We have technology,
we use technology, we have access to technology,
and look for a way to shift that
conversation to what are we doing with
this technology, why do we use this
technology in this case, and what is the purpose of this
technology that we’re using. I guarantee that that will start
to shift people’s perspective, and all our kids will
be better for it. Thank you. And I’m going to
Good afternoon. My name is Phillip DiBartolo. I’m here from Chicago
Public Schools. Going to walk you through
our journey with Google and how it’s changed
not only our classroom dynamic but the way that we
do our work in a central IT department. I’m here to tell
you that the nature of the growth of
technology in our district has had an unintended
downstream effect. It is a slight shock
to the CIO ego. And that is 10 years ago,
where the central visionary activities for outlining a chart
for the future in our district happened from the
central IT apparatus. What’s happened in
the last several years is we’ve realized that the true
visionaries in our district are in the classroom. And our job is to serve as
facilitators to make sure that that innovation
can continue to grow and we get excitement in
the class and students who really look
forward to coming in. This means that
we absolutely have to listen to the voices
in the classroom, figure out conduits that we
can take that in, strategically plan to make sure that we’re
supporting our teachers. But once we do that– and with this preamble,
I wanted to introduce you to the real CIOs of Chicago
Public Schools, our teachers and our students. When I speak with my team,
I like to talk about– I draw the analogy that
our true innovators are artists in the classroom,
our students and teachers both. So to carry forward
that analogy, the job of central IT is to
provide them with the canvas and paint by way of equitably
distributed, highly accessible technology bandwidth. We provide the picture
frame through acceptable use policies, staff and student
digital citizenship curriculum, classroom management
tools, and, of course, perimeter cybersecurity. But at that point, our job is to
stand back and let them paint. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] – Hello. I’m Elaina Rosa and
I’m honored to have been nominated as one to watch. Technology has become an
integral part of the classroom, but not all screen
time is equal. In my third grade
classroom, I’ve made it my mission to convert my
students from passive consumers to creative producers. [MUSIC PLAYING] Through their use of
various forms of technology my students have become
cinematographers and animators, authors and illustrators,
graphic artists and website designers. There’s almost never
a day that goes by when someone in
my classroom isn’t producing something creative. And because of this, teaching
and learning in our room has drastically
changed for the better. The most exciting thing that
I’ve done with technology at my school was to find
practical and fun ways to integrate virtual reality
and augmented reality into everyday lessons. I recently hosted a Google
Pioneers event at my school, and I’ve been working
to try and bring augmented reality and virtual
reality into every classroom. [END PLAYBACK] PHILLIP DIBARTOLO:
That was Elaina Rosa, who is our 2019 innovator of the
year from Edwards Elementary. There are two things
that I want you to note about that brief clip. One, the palpable
enthusiasm of Elaina and the students in the class. It’s my assertion that that’s
when true learning really occurs. Second, and this is
a recurring theme that I think you’re seeing
with all the speakers up here, a true successful technology
implementation or application in the classroom
absolutely takes students from being a passive
consumer to creators. And I would tell the
parents in the audience that if you have any sense
that that’s not occurring in your classroom,
that is a failure and that merits a
discussion with your school. It is absolutely
critical that we are thoughtful about the
implementation of technology. I’ve heard in a
couple of sessions that technology is ubiquitous. I would also argue
in the classroom it should be invisible. The technology is not the story. It’s what the technology
empowers for our students. So let’s talk a little
bit about the journey that our classroom-driven
visionaries have taken us on. Inception was 2011
with Google, and this was central office driven. We replaced our former
messaging client with Gmail. It’s an important
point, because it’s allowed us to save about
$1.6 million per annum, and that’s money that
we’re able to funnel back into the classroom. So that’s something
we’re very proud of and is really nothing short
of a moral imperative. There’s a lot to
unpack on this slide, and quite frankly, the thing
that keeps me up at night are the 70 million
documents on G Drive. So we’ll talk a little
about that in a minute. But 2015, Google Classroom. A very interesting thing
happened in our district after we rolled out the G Suite. At that– time, we did not
have a de facto standard for a learning
management system. In fact, today we
have not yet defined what our go forward strategy
will be longer term. But very shortly after we
rolled these tools out, our help desk started
to get lots of calls from teachers who wanted to
know how to set up Classroom to improve collaboration
with students. So it was at that point that
we realized our job in this was really to help
classrooms execute. I believe there’s a quote
credited to Thomas Edison, vision without execution
is hallucination. So our job is to help
schools, teachers execute. So I’m very proud to say
that once we approached this in a more earnest way,
and through partnership with Google, we
now have at least– let me get the
number here, guys– we have 137,000 30-day student
actives in Google Classroom at last check. That’s something
we’re very proud of. So if the vision is
coming from the classroom, what is the role
of centralized IT? Security. Security is an absolutely
critical component of what we do. I suspect that it is a
budget item on every single K through 12 CIO’s list. But I’m here to
tell you that this isn’t a destination for us. This requires constant
vigilance, constant attention. There is no finish line
to ensuring that there’s proper cybersecurity. I will also go on to tell
you that it’s not really the perimeter security
and the hardcore tech that is the key or
the secret sauce here. It’s making sure that we
have trained staff, trained students, and they
understand the table stakes in ensuring that we’re adhering
to the regulatory standards that require us to keep student
information confidential. Second and this is
a very big piece of what we do,
ensure the equitable distribution of technology. This is as important
as anything you can do in a large urban district. As you saw in the
previous slide, we passed 200,000
Chromebooks last year. We’re at about
220,000 right now. The Chromebook has been
a game changer for us in a couple of respects. First of all, it allows
us to maximize our dollar. The price point
is tough to beat. And it’s allowed
us to get devices into the hands of more students
as we drive relentlessly to get to a one to one ratio
in every one of our scores. More importantly,
however, particularly in economically
depressed neighborhoods, what we’ve seen happen
is the intuitive nature of these devices have
really lowered the barrier to entry for students
who might not have the benefit of computing
or internet resources at home. So in that sense, it kind
of levels the playing field and really takes a fair
amount of the intimidation away from students
who might not have a leg up as some other
students who might have greater access to technology. Finally, recognize
centers of excellence in classroom practice
and provide opportunities for cross pollination. As I’ve stated previously,
our true innovators are our teachers. So what we’ve had to
figure out a way to do is find out how to create
collaboration opportunities for our teachers so they can
share practice and effectively raise the bar for
all of our students. We have done a few things there. We, obviously, have a
couple of big events. We have a tech
talk event where we invite people from every school
to come in and share practice. But the thing that is
kind of our banner event is our GooglePalooza
extravaganza. What you can see on
screen is that there are a wide variety of different
courses that are taught. We’re very proud
of this program, because the majority
of classes are taught by teachers for teachers. We have about 1,500 to
2,000 educators, IT staff, and Googlers that join us. Classes range from
beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. But in all cases,
technology is a support. It’s the people that
make this happen. And if I could leave you with
anything today, it’s that. Just throwing devices in a
room isn’t going to do it. You have to ensure that
every single person that deals with your
children at a school is converged around a
unifying vision for what education needs to look like. Or else it’s just
tech for tech’s sake, and they’re certainly not
going to be able to paint. BRITTANY MENNUTI: Thanks
so much, Adnan and Phil. You offered really
great perspectives. One thing I wanted
to ask you, given that we have a roomful
of parents and guardians is we’ve given them
lots of charters to go back to their
schools and affect change if they think they need to. What advice would you actually
give parents and guardians if they wanted to
influence or advocate for a certain technology
in their children’s school? ADNAN IFTEKHAR:
So I think, again, part of what we
were talking about is what is the
purpose of technology. Why is the technology there? And if the technology is
not serving a purpose, frankly, I think that maybe
it’s not even required. So again, getting
to that question of, what is the purpose? What is the learning
that is happening? Why are we doing this? Why are we here? Those are the questions
I would start with. PHILLIP DIBARTOLO: For
me it’s never really a product conversation
in my role. It’s important to be
kind of partner-agnostic. But if I were to offer
recommendations to parents, I would say
familiarize yourselves with the regulatory requirements
that your school has to uphold, whether it’s the
Family Education Rights Privacy Act, or any number
of other local items that might be subject to review. I would also ensure,
again, when you’re looking at how technology
is used in the classroom, make sure that– again, I go back to being a
passive consumer to a producer. It is so vitally important. But again,
familiarize yourselves with your rights,
your students’ rights, and make sure that the
appropriate protections are put into place. From where I sit,
it’s a tightrope. We want to provide
a secure environment but we don’t want to stifle
creativity or innovation. And this is a really– it’s a tough line to walk. So I would encourage you to
communicate with your schools and find out how they’re
going about that journey and what you can do to
possibly support it. BRITTANY MENNUTI: Great. Thank you so much. Another question, we threw
out some pretty big words, things like digital
citizenship, security. Can we unpack those
a little bit more and explain to the audience
what those actually mean in practice? ADNAN IFTEKHAR: Sure. I’ll tackle the citizenship
portion of this. And for me, citizenship, I’m
the director of technology at Lick-Wilmerding High School,
and our mission statement starts off, we’re a private
school with a public purpose. And citizenship, I think,
for me, really comes down to what is it that you’re
doing in the classroom and how does that
impact your community and what is the work that
you’re doing that you’re going to take out there? So not necessarily
just the things that you’re doing on
a device, but also how you interact with people. And that extends to the
virtual world as well as the physical world. PHILLIP DIBARTOLO: So I’ll
take the security part of that. Security is a multi-tiered,
multi-level initiative for us. I can tell you that for me, the
greatest exposure and concern is continued education
for all of our staff. We can put all of
the protections in place that we want by way of
technical perimeter security, but it’s really about practice. It’s really making sure that
people understand the table stakes for the data that
they’re dealing with, and quite honestly, it’s really
very rarely about intent. I can speak to some
disclosures that we’ve had in my district that
were well publicized. It was never about a bad actor. It was about someone who
simply didn’t understand how to use the tool or how
to properly share potentially sensitive documents. So I very rarely look
at staff, in that case. You really need to
hold up a mirror and see what we’re
doing wrong and what we need to do to empower folks
to do things the right way. But again, it’s more– I would say that if
you talk to other CIOs, they may share a similar
viewpoint that it’s really more about
the practice in terms of the primary exposure
than it is about the tech. BRITTANY MENNUTI:
So that brings up a good point, which is once
parents and guardians become educated on these
best practices, what are best practices for
them to sort of bring up those conversations
with their kids? How can they start those
conversations at home? PHILLIP DIBARTOLO:
That’s a great question. Again, I think
the first piece is to educate yourselves
on the tools that your students are using. Certainly that will give
you the appropriate context to ask the right questions. Certainly I wouldn’t
advocate leaving a presentation like this walking
straight into a classroom and having that talk. It takes a little bit
of R and D on your part so you can have a
thoughtful conversation with your educators,
many of whom are just as deeply
concerned about ensuring that their students have
a safe place to work. [MUSIC PLAYING]

1 thought on “For Parents and Guardians: How Your Child Uses Google in Class (Cloud Next ’19)”

  1. Do you have a google produced video for a preview/demo to google classroom? My virtual school is transitioning to google classroom and want to give the families something to refer to.

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