News and notes from Google Down Under
A career in tech starts with a plugged-in teacher
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Computer science education provides students with lifelong skills that enable them to solve problems and develop critical analysis skills.
Computer science (CS) is more available in classrooms across Australia than ever, thanks to the Digital Technologies curriculum, and so equipping teachers with the everything they need to teach CS and computational thinking has never been more important.
“A lot of students come out of school able to push the right buttons, but don’t know how to approach real-world problem solving. We need to teach students how to tackle problems that seem unsolvable,” says Leanne Cameron, lecturer of educational studies at
Australian Catholic University
It also helps them prepare for the careers of the future that will certainly involve digital skills and combining computer science with other disciplines like health, science, agriculture, art and more to solve complex challenges and design innovation solutions for the world.
grant in 2015, Australian Catholic University responded to Australia’s newly introduced Digital Technologies curriculum by creating a compulsory course that will help all pre-service teachers in their Bachelor of Education programs learn how to teach CS and CT.
More than 2,000 pre-service teachers have completed the course to date. This course has also been open-sourced so that other universities can use the content to prepare future teachers in this important skill.
Other CS4HS recipients have delivered hands on practical workshops to teachers all around Australia to equip them with both the knowledge and the skills to engage and excite students in the opportunities that computer science can lead to. And with our
free online courses
through Adelaide University we’ve seen thousands of teachers inspired and equipped to implement this new curriculum.
Applications are now open
for our 2016 CS4HS program in Australia and New Zealand, and will remain open until 19 March 2016.
If you want to know where computer science can take today’s students, check out
Careers with Code
. In the future, young Australians will use computer science to do great things, and it will all start with a great teacher with a passion for the topic.
Posted by Sally-Ann Williams, Engineering Community & Outreach manager
A tiny difference can make all the difference
Friday, December 16, 2016
At Google we often talk about trying to solve the really big problems - connectivity, communication, organising the world’s information. Sometimes we take on ideas so large it could almost seem preposterous - like organising all the information on the internet, or using artificial intelligence to translate languages. Google has engineers in Australia working on all kinds of global problems. We have the largest
team in the world - no surprise given that Google Maps was born in Sydney; we are working to transform the way businesses operate in a digital world; we’re helping people in emerging economies make the most out of the internet in spite of poor bandwidth. We are also in a unique position to help others solve big problems using technology, and through our philanthropic arm
we donate more than US$100 million and a further US$1 billion in products and resources every year to non-profit partners tackling some of the biggest social issues we face.
Google Australia & New Zealand managing director Jason Pellegrino, Infoxchange chief executive David Spriggs and Google.org director Jacquelline Fuller.
One of those partners is
, which is transforming the way society tackles homelessness. It’s hard to believe, but one in 200 people in Australia is homeless. You may also be surprised to know that roughly eight out of ten of those homeless people has a smartphone. For many homeless people their smartphone can play a decisive role in determining their outcome. Infoxchange saw the opportunity to provide people in need with location-based information via their mobile, helping connect them with essential things such as food, counselling, employment services, legal support and a safe place to sleep. Earlier this year it launched
, the world’s first, nationwide mobile website connecting people who are at risk with essential services. Ask Izzy was developed with support from Google, News Corp and REA Group.
It is exactly the kind of problem-solving that motivates people at Google; not only did we fund the development, but a number of Google staff helped develop the technology and assist with user testing. The mobile site was co-designed by those who have experienced homelessness. It’s also free, anonymous, and the data usage costs nothing if you access it via Telstra’s network. The people at Infoxchange have been amazing partners because of their passion for the issue of homelessness, for the partners they’ve been able to bring together to make this project happen, and for their belief in the power of technology to make a real difference in people’s lives. Ask Izzy was launched in January by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and has now been used more 250,000 times - many more times than Infoxchange expected.
Launching Ask Izzy in January, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Lucy Turnbull spoke with people who consulted on the design of Ask Izzy.
The next step for Infoxchange and Ask Izzy is to create a national database that understands how people are using essential services so that policymakers can ensure they are available where they are needed most. This Christmas if you wish to donate to Infoxchange go to
so they can put pocket-sized mobile phone chargers into the hands of homeless people - for just $15 you can ensure that when they need that little bit of extra charge for their phone, it’s there for them. A single power card will charge their phone for four hours. An extra phone charge in the pockets of people in need can help them find a bed, a shower, a meal, a friend. Even when we’re seeking to make big changes to society, it’s the small things that often matter the most.
Posted by Alan Noble, Director of Engineering, Google Australia
A Year in Search: The Moments that Defined 2016
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Aussies searched for Brexit, Bowie and banana bread
It’s that time of year again, when we look back at the last 12 months, 366 days, 527,040 minutes and reflect on the search trends and moments when we celebrated, mourned and wondered in 2016. It was the year we ‘caught ‘em all,’ grasped extraordinary political change, said goodbye to some greats – and made Harambe a hero.
From breaking news, to breaking Olympic records, and the UK’s break from Europe – the events of this year affected all of us in different ways. We turned to Search in the happy and hard moments to get the details, see the bigger picture and find our way forward. To rediscover the events, people and topics that defined 2016 around the world, watch our
Here's a wrap-up of the five
top topics that caught Aussies' attention and brought us together in Search in 2016:
We love a good game
2016 was a super sporty year, with many historic and unforgettable moments that kept us searching, cheering – and dancing with Michelle Jenneke. We supported our Olympians in Rio de Janeiro, placed our bets for Melbourne Cup and followed the scores for the Australian Open, AFL and Super Rugby. We missed buses and trains, ran into walls (and each other) as we tried to catch ‘em all when the Pokémon Go! craze took Australia and the world by storm.
Politics and personalities
Donald Trump beat Hillary for the second time this year – piping her at the post to take home the title of our most trending person, along with the presidency. Back on home soil, Pauline Hanson took out the title of Australia’s top trending politician, ahead of current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. At times we were lost for words, but we were never short of questions – with many of us still trying to figure out exactly what a plebiscite is.
The oh-no and uh-oh moments
The shock and tragedies of the Dreamworld accident and Brussels attack had Aussies trying to comprehend what, how and why. We looked into the Mitchell Pearce incident, and watched cricketer Chris Gayle try and fail while interviewing with Mel McLaughlin on live TV. We also followed Tara Brown’s imprisonment in Lebanon closely, and fired up our opinions (and our Google searches) about controversial comments from Sonia Kruger. Together, we kept clicking for the Census site and
wondered what was next when the UK voted out.
Saying goodbye to the greats
This year the world mourned three of music’s greatest with the passing of musicians David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen. They weren’t the only legends headed for the stars, with Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali and Gene Wilder also passing away this year. Closer to home, we bid farewell to journalist, commentator and broadcaster Rebecca Wilson, who lost her battle with cancer in October.
Calling mother nature
Aussies looked to understand natural events and disasters in 2016, with the total solar eclipse, Hurricane Matthew and the Zika virus landing in the lead Searches. We also discovered an unsung hero, with an outpouring of grief, Searches and a lifetime of memes following the death of Harambe. More broadly, we wondered why the sky is blue, the ocean is salty – and why biodiversity matters.
And that’s just a preview. To dive into the top trending terms of the year, check out Australia's full trending and most searched lists*:
Overall Searches (Trending)
Australian Open 2016
US election results
Total solar eclipse
Global People (Trending)
Sporting events (Trending)
Australian Open 2016
Melbourne Cup 2016
Tour de France 2016
AFL Grand Final 2016
How to…? (Most Searched)
How to tie a tie
How to screenshot on mac
How to make pancakes
How to play Pokemon Go
How to draw
How to write a cover letter
How to get rid of pimples
How to download from YouTube
How to lose weight fast
How to write a resume
What is..? (Most Searched)
What is my IP address
What is a plebiscite
What is Pokemon Go
What is the weather today
What is the time
What is all purpose flour
What is love
What is Brexit
What is gluten
What is the meaning of life
Why is…? (Most Searched)
Why is there a leap day
Why is the sky blue
Why is my internet so slow
Why is my poop green
Why is my computer so slow
Why is Australia in Eurovision
Why is the ocean salty
Why is biodiversity important
Why is my period late
Why is my eye twitching
Recipes (Most Searched)
to explore the rest of the 2016 Year in Search stories and top trending charts from around the world.
* Trending Searches:
What was hot in 2016?
The "trending" queries are the searches that had the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2016 as compared to 2015.
* Most Searched:
What topped Google’s charts?
The "most searched" queries are the most popular terms for 2016—ranked in order by volume of searches.
Posted by Camilla Ibrahim, Communications Manager, Google Australia & Zealand
Bringing amazing teachers together, in Australia and beyond
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
More than 30,000 education professionals around the world joined forces online last week for Google’s
Education on Air
conference: a free, around-the-clock global conference for teachers to share and learn.
Education on Air
brought together leaders in learning, including Google chairman Eric Schmidt; Second Lady of the US, Dr Jill Biden; and the 27th Prime Minister of Australia and Chair of the
Global Partnership for Education
, Julia Gillard to discuss curriculum and best practices.
Delivering the opening keynote, Ms Gillard said that teachers unlock the world of learning for our children and good teachers never stop learning themselves. She said
Education on Air
is working to equip teachers with the tools they need to navigate our changing world and that teachers are transforming education with technology in many ways to better engage and enrich their students.
After participating in a panel discussion and leading a breakout session, Anthony Speranza, ICT Learning and Teaching Leader at St Mark’s Primary school in Melbourne said
Education On Air
used technology to deliver innovative Professional Development for the educational community and highlighted best practices for today's students and schools.
Image: students from St Mark's Primary School in Melbourne preparing for a joint Education on Air presentation with teacher Anthony Speranza
If you missed the event, or you want to share it with an educator who might be interested, you can find it
Posted by Fiona Coles, Google for Education, Google Australia
A billion reasons to celebrate music on YouTube
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Last year was a bright one for music—after several tough years of declining revenues, the industry
started growing again
, spurred in large part by the growth of music streaming subscriptions. This year, the industry has even more reasons to be optimistic. Even as music subscriptions have been growing faster than any other subscription type, advertising is another
of revenue. In fact, in the last 12 months, YouTube has paid out over $1 billion to the music industry from advertising alone, demonstrating that multiple experiences and models are succeeding alongside each other.
And this is just the beginning. As more advertising dollars
from TV, radio and print to online services, the music industry will generate even more revenue from ads. In the future, the music business has an opportunity to look a lot like television, where subscriptions and advertising contribute roughly equal amounts of revenue, bolstered by digital and physical sales. To achieve this, there is a lot of work that must be done by YouTube and the industry as a whole, but we are excited to see the momentum.
At a time when there’s never been more competition for attention, fans can’t get enough good music. It is clear that this creative industry has two strong engines of growth -- subscriptions and advertising -- and we are honored to be a part of it.
Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer, recently watched
"The Hamilton Mixtape Performance Live Stream."
#YouTubeRewind: Celebrating what you watched, shared and created in 2016
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Aussies went crazy for Sia, stormtroopers and Superwog in 2016.
2016 was a year of challenge and triumph. You
you caught ‘em all
– and you celebrated “
The Aussiest Interview Ever.
” Now 2016 is coming to an end, you know what that means…. It’s time for #YouTubeRewind!
This year, more than 200 YouTube stars from 18 countries accepted our Ultimate 2016 Rewind Challenge to pay homage to the biggest videos, memes, channels, songs, and pop culture moments of the year. Keep an eye out for some pretty epic surprise guests.
Feel like a YouTube expert? Take our
to see how many trends and creators you can spot.
Australia's Top Trending Videos
As we look back at 2016, we replay and rejoice in the trending videos and music videos from 2016, according to time spent watching, sharing, commenting, liking and more. From celebrity moments to breakdancing stormtroopers to Superwog’s skits
, this year’s top trending videos are a quirky mix of song, dance and laughs – representing the amazing variety of creativity shared on YouTube every day.
James Corden's Carpool Karaoke series was the number one hit for Aussies in 2016,
winning four spots in the top ten trending videos. Women took the front seat, from JLo to Adele, Sia and First Lady Michelle.
We also played with Play-Doh, shared
Superwog and tuned in to Triple J.
The channels who made these videos have more than
subscribers who tune in regularly to watch the funny, insightful, entertaining things they create.
Adele Carpool Karaoke
HUGE EGGS SURPRISE TOYS CHALLENGE Inflatable water slide Disney Cars Toys Paw Patrol Spiderman
Jennifer Lopez Carpool Karaoke
Sia Carpool Karaoke
Ice Cube, Kevin Hart And Conan Help A Student Driver - CONAN on TBS
Parent Teacher Interviews
Boogie Storm make Simon’s dream come true! | Auditions Week 5 | Britain’s Got Talent 2016
Halsey covers Justin Bieber's 'Love Yourself' for triple j's Like A Version
First Lady Michelle Obama Carpool Karaoke
Does Elsa Eat Too Much? Play-Doh Disney Frozen Movie Clips Best Stop-Motion videos
Australia's Top Music Videos
Aussies were hooked on The Chainsmokers in 2016, with the anthem “Closer” landing the year’s top music video, and "
Don't Let Me Down" (Ft. Daya) in ninth place. It’s fair to say that 2016 was a year of
"work work work work work," with Fifth Harmony and Rihanna taking charge in the charts.
The Chainsmokers - Closer (Lyric) ft. Halsey
Fifth Harmony - Work from Home ft. Ty Dolla $ign
Calvin Harris - This Is What You Came For (Official Video) ft. Rihanna
ZAYN - PILLOWTALK
Twenty one pilots: Heathens (from Suicide Squad: The Album) [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
Major Lazer - Cold Water (feat. Justin Bieber & MØ) (Official Lyric Video)
Mike Posner - I Took A Pill In Ibiza (Seeb Remix) (Explicit)
Ariana Grande - Side To Side ft. Nicki Minaj
The Chainsmokers - Don't Let Me Down ft. Daya
Rihanna - Work (Explicit) ft. Drake
With Aussie-born artists Sia and Superwog landing the leaderboards, 2016 was a time to shine for Aussie homegrown creative talent.
Soon we’ll be releasing YouTube’s global list and YouTube’s Rewind video celebrating the top memes and moments of the year from around the world – so stay tuned!
For more Rewind fun, check out the
Head of Culture & Trends, and the YouTube Rewind team
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