With the ascent of Chromebooks and G-suite, Google became a leader in American classrooms in the last few years. With a little fanfare, Google announced this month that it was launching a learning microsite, Grow with Google.

Google spokesperson Peter Schottenfels said, “It is our initiative to help create economic opportunities for Americans. Our goal is to connect with small businesses, job seekers, entrepreneurs and anyone else interested to provide them with the skills necessary to succeed in the digital economy.”

There are several programs under the Grow umbrella:

  • Get Your Business Online: A free tool and training program to help small businesses connect to customers on Google
  • Applied Digital Skills: An online suite of lessons to teach students and adults digital basics such as email and spreadsheets
  • IT Support Professional Certificate: A certificate program on Coursera that trains learners to be IT support professionals in roughly 8 months.
  • Primer: A mobile app with videos and lessons to teach small business owners and entrepreneurs digital skills basics.

For teachers, the Grow site has resources to build digital skills, start computer science club, and take VR field trips.

For students and job seekers there are resources on resume writing, digital basics, and building IT skills.   

Google is also partnering with Goodwill to teach digital skills to their constituents across the country through a series of grants to individual Goodwill organizations.

Digital Promise is also a partner. Karen Cator said, “We are currently crafting coaching microcredentials in part to support the Dynamic Learning Project focused on supporting school-based digital learning coaches and conducting research to learn more about the most impactful practices.”

Partners in Grow with Google

Google Publishes AI Principles

“At its heart, AI is computer programming that learns and adapts,” said Sundar Pichai, Google CEO. “It can’t solve every problem, but its potential to improve our lives is profound,” he added.

Following an internal outcry in response to the company’s participation in a drone surveillance project for the US military, Pichai published seven principles for its use of artificial intelligence:

  1. Be socially beneficial
  2. Avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias
  3. Be built and tested for safety
  4. Be accountable to people
  5. Incorporate privacy design principles
  6. Uphold high standards of scientific excellence
  7. Be made available for uses that accord with these principles

The company also said they won’t pursue weapons or tech that are likely to cause harm, and that they’ll avoid surveillance that violates internationally accepted norms and human rights.

“As AI technologies progress, we’ll work with a range of stakeholders to promote thoughtful leadership in this area, drawing on scientifically rigorous and multidisciplinary approaches,” concluded Pichai. That’s pretty good advice for cities, states, and countries as well.


This post was originally published on Forbes.

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