Google I/O, the company’s sixth annual developer conference, got officially underway in San Francisco on Wednesday, and it was an eventful day. It took the company every minute of its epic three-hour keynote to unfurl a laundry list of announcements and updates, seemingly across every product category in its arsenal — from Android, Chrome and Search to Maps, Google+ and Hangouts — each with a fresh coat of paint. We even saw the arrival of Google’s very own subscription music service, today, which is already being touted as a potential Spotify killer.
Amidst Larry Page’s triumphant return to the stage (after addressing his much-discussed vocal issues yesterday), Google’s soaring stock price and sexy smartphone demos, it was easy to miss an important announcement concerning Google’s foray into a considerably less sexy market: Education. (And K-12 education, no less.)
Android Engineering Director Chris Yerga took the stage to introduce Google Play for Education, through which Google hopes to extend Play — its application and content marketplace for Android — into the classroom. The new store, which is scheduled to launch this fall, aims to simplify the content discovery process for schools, giving teachers and students access to the same tools that are now native to the Google Play experience.
Hatched by Google Creative Lab creative technologist Jason Striegel, designer Jeff Baxter, and a small team in New York, Coder offers a stepping stone for people interested in building for the web by converting cheap Raspberry Pi mini-computers into personal web servers through a stripped-back web-based development environment.
Google’s pitching Coder at an education audience, a potential sweet spot for Raspberry Pi given its $35 price tag and one Google has focused on previously, gifting 15,000 of the devices to UK schools earlier this year. Raspberry Pi supporters in the UK have also been urging schools to use the devices to spur interest in coding, hacking and building.
It’s worth passing along a message from UC Berkeley. According to its news service, the “fastest-growing course in UC Berkeley’s history — Foundations of Data Science [aka Data 8X] — is being offered free online this spring for the first time through the campus’s online education hub, edX.” More than 1,000 students are now taking the course each semester at the university.
Designed for students who have not previously taken statistics or computer science courses, Foundations of Data Science will teach you in a three-course sequence “how to combine data with Python programming skills to ask questions and explore problems that you encounter in any field of study, in a future job, and even in everyday life.”
Roughly every ten years there’s a shift to a new computing paradigm. The computer hardware and process optimization of the 80’s gave way to the Microsoft-dominated software and productivity of the 90s. Google-dominated web-based information retrieval of the 00s yielded to the Apple–Android mobile duopoly and the warehouse of apps paradigm of the 10’s.
The maturity of the web, intelligent cloud computing, advances in AI and the mobility of our digital experiences are setting the stage for the next shift to more ambient computing via the Internet of Things. By 2020 the number of connected devices is expected to triple to 34 billion (with a global human population of 7.5 billion).
Over the past few years, the term “deep learning” has firmly worked its way into business language when the conversation is about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data and analytics. And with good reason – it is an approach to AI which is showing great promise when it comes to developing the autonomous, self-teaching systems which are revolutionizing many industries.
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The Kindle is great for reading the occasional book, but you might not know that it’s also a fantastic tool for students. When used correctly, it can essentially operate as a portable tool to keep all your books, notes, and research in one place. Here’s how to turn a Kindle into your new best friend for school.