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Computer science education still has diversity gaps

Jobs in the computing field are expected to grow by 13 percent between 2016 and 2026, a rate that's faster than the average growth rate for all occupations. But the latest research shows that not all K-12 students have the same access to, or perceptions of, computer science (CS) education—especially girls and Black students. COVID-19 has only exacerbated existing gaps, underscoring the need for more creative solutions to ensure all students receive the education they deserve today to succeed tomorrow, according to additional research.

To better understand these gaps and where we can focus on finding solutions, we’re continuing our funding support of Gallup’s comprehensive, multi-year research on the K-12 computer science education landscape. Today, we’re releasing Gallup’s latest findings, “Current Perspectives and Continuing Challenges in Computer Science Education in US K-12 Schools.” This report represents Gallup’s analysis of over 7,000 interviews with U.S. educators, parents, administrators and students. It is accompanied by four supplemental reports highlighting equity gaps among different segments of the population, including Black, female, Hispanic and rural students.

The research uncovered four key themes:

1. There are still gaps in access to computer science education between Black, Hispanic and white students. 

Consistent with the 2016 study, in 2020, Gallup found only 46 percent of Black students and 46 percent of Hispanic students indicate that they have classes dedicated to computer science at their high school, compared to 52 percent of white students.

2.  There’s still a significant gender gap, too.  

Seventy-three percent of boys say they are confident they can learn computer science, compared with 60 percent of girls, a gender gap similar to the one observed in 2016.

3. Computer science is a top priority for superintendents, but that same prioritization hasn’t made it to the classroom yet.

In 2020’s report, nearly six in 10 superintendents (58 percent) agree that computer science is currently a top priority in their districts. However, there appears to be a disconnect between administrators and teachers and principals, because just 18 percent of public school teachers and 28 percent of principals say computer science education is treated as a top priority at their schools.

4.  Students are generally unconvinced that computer science is important for them to learn.

Female students are particularly skeptical about the importance of learning computer science education, with just 31 percent of them saying CS is important for them to learn, compared with 49 percent of male students.

Interventions from parents, educators, community leaders, policymakers, nonprofits and the technology industry are needed to encourage girls, Black students and Hispanic students to take computer science courses and ensure that when that interest exists, it’s matched with high quality learning opportunities. These students also need to be shown how CS knowledge can help them meet their goals in a variety of fields including the humanities, medicine and the arts. 

With over $80 million in funding from Google.org, and a variety of programs as part of Code with Google, we are committed to closing equity gaps in CS education. For example, Code Next is a free computer science education program that meets Black and Latino high school students in their own communities, and Grasshopper is an app-based program for coding beginners to learn Javascript skills directly from their mobile phones and browsers. As part of our Google.org funding, we also gave a $3 million grant to The Kapor Center to establish the Equitable Computer Science Curriculum initiative. This effort brings together leaders in education equity, inclusive teaching practices and CS education, along with teachers and students to improve CS curricula and resources to increase racial and gender equity in CS classrooms.

No organization can increase access or improve perceptions of computer science education alone. We’re enthusiastic about all the work from nonprofits who have developed and share culturally-relevant learning resources, educators who support all of their students with skills they need to succeed, technology companies who have dedicated resources and governments who have created new policies to address CS learning gaps over the past five years. But we at Google believe there’s more work to be done in this complex field, and we hope publishing these reports helps the entire education community continue to advocate for and support underserved students. All of this research is fully accessible and for use in presentations.

Join us for a virtual panel discussionon September 30, 12 p.m. Pacific/ 3 p.m. Eastern as we discuss the report’s key takeaways with Stephanie Marken, Gallup’s Executive Director of Education Research, and Dr. Alexis Martin, the Director of Research Partnerships at Kapor Center.


Painter and pioneer: Artemisia at The National Gallery

Artemisia Gentileschi didn’t fit the mold of the typical 17th-century Italian gentlewoman. At a time when women had limited opportunities to pursue artistic training, Artemisia forged a career for herself and established an international reputation. 

Thanks to a collaboration with The National Gallery, which is hosting the first major retrospective of Artemisia in the U.K., Google Arts & Culture is bringing Artemisia’s story to life online. The exclusive digital retrospective unites 14 of her incredible works, including The National Gallery’s new acquisition “Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria” and the recently rediscovered “Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy.”
With me your Illustrious Lordship will not lose and you will find the spirit of Caesar in the soul of a woman Artemisia Gentileschi

Artemisia’s incredible skill was not just in her paintwork—it was also in her deeply emotive storytelling. In her hands, the canon of saints and biblical figures became formidable women in charge of their own destinies. 

As a result of new ultra-high resolution photography, the painted ceiling of Marlborough House in London is now available to view in all its minute glory. The grand artwork, “An Allegory of Peace and the Arts,” is thought to have been a joint effort between Artemisia and her father Orazio, also a renowned painter, during their time in London, and is now part of the Royal Collection. The work is not usually accessible to the public, but now you can zoom into the finest brushstrokes and get the same perspective Artemisia had from up on her scaffolding.

Musician FKA twigs lent her voice to a series of Art Zoom films that take you on a guided journey through three iconic Artemisia paintings, highlighting Artemisia’s relevance to women of today and how her legacy informed the art canon. “Mary Magdalene was a major inspiration for my last album and when I learned about the history of the female painter Artemisia Gentileschi, it impacted me,” said FKA twigs. “Artists like her have fought so hard to be recognized that it’s amazing I could help shine a light on her beautiful work.”

The collection of artworks has been brought together from eleven partner museums in six countries. There are more than 30 immersive stories that translate the hidden details of Artemisia's self-portraits, recount her life in Rome and Florence, and investigate her troubled relationship with her father.  

Visit g.co/Artemisia to immerse yourself in Artemisia’s incredible legacy and be inspired by her story.


4 reasons to set Chrome as your default browser on iOS

With iOS 14, you can now change your default browser (the browser that automatically opens links) to Chrome on your iPhone or iPad. If you already use Chrome on your computer, Chrome on iOS delivers the same familiar and easy-to-use experience, with a look and feel that’s right at home on your iPhone or iPad. Here are four reasons you should try it—including a couple of recently released features and some new ones coming soon.


1. Your Chrome on any device

When you’re signed in to your Google account you can sync Chrome across your phone, tablet or computer so your passwords, payment details, autofill information and bookmarks are automatically available on all of those devices. No need to take out your credit card or type in your address if you need to buy something while you’re on the go. 


Chrome also makes switching between devices really easy. From the search bar of Chrome for desktop or the sharing menu of Chrome for iOS, you can send a tab to another signed-in device with just a click. If you find a recipe on your computer, you can easily pull up your recent tabs and open it up on your phone to check the ingredient list while you're out shopping. 

2. Get organized and be productive

The tab grid in Chrome for iOS already gives you an easy way to view and organize your tabs, and you can save a tab to your Reading List to read later, even if you’re offline. If you want to quickly share one of those tabs with a friend, we’re adding the ability to generate QR code that will take them right to that website. We’re also adding a download manager—one of our most-requested features—so you have a download folder to store and find files you’ve saved from Chrome.


If you have an iPad, you can now drag and drop links from Chrome to another app (and vice versa) when you’re in Split View. We’re also working on a feature that will let you open multiple windows in Chrome on iPad so you can view two tabs at one time. Chrome already supports mouse usage on iPadOS, and soon we’re adding support for Scribble integrations with the Apple Pencil for those who prefer writing over typing or tapping. 


3. Feel safe browsing the web 

Chrome keeps your information secure, so you don’t have to be a security expert to feel safe on the web. Its built-in password manager generates unique passwords, securely stores them, and helps you identify and fix compromised passwords. For an added layer of protection, soon you will be able to use your fingerprint to confirm your identity when filling in passwords in Chrome. Plus, the password manager can now autofill saved Chrome login details into other apps or browsers. In addition to helping you with your passwords, Chrome on iOS now includes Google Safe Browsing, which alerts you with a warning before you open a potentially dangerous site. 

4. The browser with Google built in

Chrome is built with Google Search at the core, which means you get answers quickly with personalized search results and instant answers that appear as you type. Google Translate is also integrated into Chrome so you can automatically translate sites in over 100 languages with a single click. And the “Articles for You” section of the Chrome new tab page brings you articles, stories and blogs from around the web, tailored to your interests.

To set Chrome as your default browser, you’ll need to first make sure your iPhone or iPad is running iOS 14 and you have Chrome installed. Then complete the following steps:

  1. Visit iPhone Settings, scroll down until you see “Chrome” and tap on it

  2. Tap on “Default Browser App”

  3. Choose “Chrome”


Our GNI Fellows are defying the newsroom status quo

In March, just as I was finalizing the webpage for the Google News Initiative Fellowship program, much of the United States—and the world—went into lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Offices, including my own, closed and employees began working from home. Businesses shut their doors. Colleges sent students home to continue their studies virtually.

For students and recent graduates, a summer that was supposed to be spent taking classes, studying abroad or starting their first post-grad job turned into one of uncertainty. Many summer internships were deferred or altogether canceled due to the virus. Every industry has been impacted by the coronavirus, including the news media, which is vital in spreading important information about not only the pandemic, but also the upcoming election. 

For me, delaying the program was not an option, especially because a lack of newsroom diversity can negatively impact coverage of the pandemic and racial unrest. Though nothing can necessarily replace an in-person experience, we decided to add a remote option for the program, giving fellows the flexibility to work from home or the host newsroom if it is safe to do so. 

We received 476 applications for nine fellowship slots, which speaks to the unprecedented demand for these opportunities for aspiring journalists of color. 

“There can be no excellence without diversity — in local news especially, there's a responsibility to speak to the issues and experiences of the (diverse) community you serve,” Ana Ta, who will be working at the Houston Press, told me. “My time working in local journalism has taught me to value my perspective as an Vietnamese Houstonian, and I'm excited and grateful for this opportunity with the GNI to tell the stories of my city.”

For Luis Méndez, who will be joining La Noticia, the fellowship is not just an opportunity for himself. “I want to be an example for boys and girls and show them that it doesn't matter if you are from a small island called Puerto Rico, opportunities like these are possible with perseverance, passion and commitment,” he says.

Our selected Fellows all have different backgrounds and experiences, but two things they all have in common is the desire to help make American newsrooms look more like the audiences they cover and to tell the stories of communities that have been ignored for far too long.

“Ever since I was young, I've been passionate about pursuing journalism because I knew that it might grant me an opportunity to serve as a representative voice for communities and people who feel as if they don't have one,” said Isthmusfellow Tamia Fowlkes. “I  feel so honored and excited to participate in this program and I hope it will work to amplify and encourage diversity both in the news and writing it."

To learn more about all of our 2020 Google News Initiative Fellows and follow their work, visit our Fellowship website.



What to do now to be ready for this holiday season

As a result of the pandemic, ninety-three percent of small businesses report being disrupted by COVID-19. While the holiday season is always important to many small businesses, we know that this year may be the most important yet. 


For consumers, the holidays are starting early and the way to reach those shoppers is online. Seventy-one percent of U.S. adults said they planned to do more than half of their holiday shopping digitally this year, and those shoppers are open to buying from new retailers, especially local small businesses. 


To help you get ready for the holidays, we created the Google for Small Business holiday hub. On the hub you’ll get personalized recommendations to reach shoppers across Google Search, Shopping and Maps. Here’s a preview of some of the tools and resources that you’ll find on the hub. 

Create a strong digital presence 

Sixty-six percent of people in the U.S. who plan to shop this holiday season said they will shop more at local small businesses. To ensure customers are finding the most up-to-date information about your business on Google, claim your Business Profile. Once you’ve verified your business, you can share information with shoppers, like your store hours and contact information, your current inventory, whether you offer curbside pickup and if you have any welcome offers. Our updated Local Opportunity Finder tool will give you personalized suggestions for making improvements to your Business Profile on Google. And you can now save time by making updates to your Business Profile directly from Google Search and Maps


For retailers, it’s vital that customers have a seamless experience on your website. The Grow My Store tool will analyze your site’s customer experience, show how your site performs relative to others in the same retail category and offer tailored recommendations for improvements. 

The Local Opportunity Finder tool provides personalized recommendations for improvements to your Business Profile. 

Show up when people are searching for what you offer 

We recently announced that retailers offering ecommerce can list their products for free on Google. This makes what you offer more accessible to the hundreds of millions of people who shop on Google each day, connecting you to more customers. You can get started by either submitting your product feed through Google Merchant Center or by automating your feed setup through platforms that you may already be using to manage your products and inventory: Shopify, WooCommerce or BigCommerce


If you’re a local business looking to attract customers to your store, you can also get your inventory online instantly by connecting to Pointy from Google via a compatible point-of-sale system or by purchasing a Pointy device. Once connected, simply scan your products as normal and the product information will automatically upload to an online catalog called a Pointy Page and to your Business Profile through the See What’s In Store module.


When you’re ready to take the next step to advertise your business online, you can use Google Ads Smart campaigns—our ads product built specifically for small businesses. We've now made it easier for local small businesses who don't have a website to create ads. Smart campaigns will automatically build a landing page with your business phone number, hours, photos and reviews with the information you submitted on your Business Profile.

You can find more tools and tips on our Google for Small Business holiday hub and by tuning in to our October 14th Grow with Google training focused on selling online with ecommerce tools. 


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