Category Archives: googleblog

Chicken coops and Snoop Dogg: Martha Stewart’s smart home

Managing your home can get complicated. There’s always something to look out for, such as a water heater malfunction, the arrival of an important package or general upkeep like trimming boxwood hedges and maintaining the yard. Luckily, smart home technology such as cameras, thermostats and voice-activated speakers now make it easier to keep tabs on the things that matter to you—whether you’re taking care of children or pets, trying to save on your energy bills or planning for a busy week. 

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Make every story a performance with help from Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell knows how to tell a story. She’s taking a break from Disney’s “Frozen” to help you make every story a performance, with Google Home Mini as her co-star. If you need help with your own storytelling, you can get a Google Home Mini and three Little Golden Books—”The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” and “Frozen”—for $49 at Walmart. 

To read along with Google Home Mini, grab one of these Little Golden Books and say, “Hey Google, let’s read along with Disney.” As you read aloud, your Google Home will play sound effects and music to bring more magic to the story. It recognizes where you are in the book, so if you skip ahead or read your favorite part a few times, it can keep up with you and play the right sound effects. We know that interruptions are inevitable, so if you pause for any reason, background music will play until you’re ready to begin again. 

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A mom-and-mom card shop draws from experience

If you told me when I was 12 that one day I would be married to another woman and making a living selling greeting cards, I would have given you a “pssht” of disbelief. But I am glad to report that today in 2019, not only am I happily married to someone of the same sex, but also, making greeting cards with my wife is a perfectly respectable way to put food on the table.  

I met my future wife, best friend and collaborator Morgan Calderini while working at an arts nonprofit in Rhode Island. We shared a similar passion for creating interesting work that made a difference in the world. As a designer and a printmaker, we began collaborating on different projects shortly after we met, but in 2011, our neon-inked and letterpress-printed, poster-sized wedding invitation went viral and launched us into the spotlight. We quit our nonprofit jobs, rescued a rusty letterpress out of the back of an abandoned shipping container and threw together a website. With little more than a credit card and a recent gay wedding under our belts, we started Ladyfingers Letterpress.

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Building the Future of the Classroom with Google for Education

Editor’s Note: This week, we’re joining thousands of educators and students at ISTE in Philadelphia. Visit us at booth 2200, where you can demo the latest Chromebook devices and classroom technology from Google and our partners.  Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.

In order to build technology helps students learn, we try to imagine where the future of education is going. The recent Future of the Classroom Global Report identifies emerging trends in education, backed by research. Here’s how our products and initiatives line up with each of those trends: 

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Helping kids learn to evaluate what they see online

Editor’s Note: This week we’re launching six new media literacy activities for Be Internet Awesome, designed to help kids analyze and evaluate media as they navigate the internet. The new activities were developed in collaboration with experts Anne Collier, executive director of The Net Safety Collaborative, and Faith Rogow, PhD, co-author of The Teacher’s Guide to Media Literacy and a co-founder of the National Association for Media Literacy Education.

As a reading specialist and former high school English teacher, I’ve witnessed technology enhance our lives in and out of the classroom. But that comes with lots of challenges, like learning to communicate responsibly, being kind online and deciphering what is real and what is fake. We need the right tools and resources to help kids make the most of technology, and while good digital safety and citizenship resources exist for families, more can be done for media literacy. I’ve worked alongside dozens of educators who believe that media literacy is essential to safety and citizenship in the digital age, but agree that it’s a topic that can be tough to cover.

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