Google Faculty Summit 2009: Education - Young Android (App Inventor), CS4HS, YouTubeEDU

Uploaded by GoogleTechTalks on 05.10.2009

Hi, everyone. I just wanted to quickly introduce our next topic and we're going to have a few
speakers come up and talk about some of our educational efforts. So, first, we have a
project that Alfred mentioned briefly, Android App Inventor or Young Android done by visiting
faculty, Hal Abelson and Ellen Spertus. And I'll just go through everything quickly and
let everyone go one after another. And then, Mitch Resnick is here and I asked him to briefly
talk about CS4HS and the workshop that was held at MIT recently. And then finally, Obie
Greenberg will be talking about YouTube EDU and educational efforts there, so.
>> ABELSON: It's on? >> Yes, you're good.
>> ABELSON: Okay. Hi, I'm Hal Abelson. I'm here with Ellen Spertus. And as Alfred mentioned
this morning, we're both visiting faculty here and it's just great. I guess the one
thing I wanted to say about this new faculty is all of you is the very high--when you--in
the culture here, the very highest status thing you can be is an engineer. So, I think
some of you know what it's like to be doing some sort of computer science thing, say,
you know, in a large medical research center, right? And you know that you have no class.
Everyone will say, "Well, here's this great thing you've done. You know, you've proved
[INDISTINCT] but what so the doctors think?" And at Google, it's always, "What do the engineers
think?" And it's just a wonderful, wonderful culture to be in. Anyway, what we're working
on, we're part of what's called the Young Android group and we're building a programming
platform called Opensensor. And Opensensor is inspired by two observations. The first
one is that there is a real discontinuity that probably started about two years ago
and may go on for another two years about what it means--what it can mean to experience
computation. It's like in 1980 when suddenly there was a discontinuity and computing could
have something to do with graphics for the most people. Larry talked about computer science
not being sexy, so I won't get myself in trouble by trying to talk about sex. But what computer
science is right now is dissociated. And the difference between--the revolution we're going
through right now is that computing no longer has to be on abstract things that are going
on or deep concepts like what's the difference between a private class and a protected class
in Java, but it can be about your life and the way you walk around and interact with
you. That's happening right now. That's one phenomenon. The other one is that Google is
building Android which is open source. So if you see the great things that's happening
in all sorts of mobile phones, it's tremendous and there are lots of applications, but they're
being viewed as consumer products, right? Not only are they on closed architectures,
but you need to Steve Jobs' permission in order to distribute your application. And
the great opportunity is that they are now open source, global platforms that can link
to the web, that can link to your social networks. And what I'm going to show is a very quick
demo where we've said, "What would it be like if it were really easy to make mobile applications?"
So let me--let me start with one. I'll show you a Hello World in the system.
>> Here's a little application. Let's start it. There is the kitty and pet the kitty.
>> ABELSON: Okay, that--okay, that's--that actually is my cat.
>> Here's a little application. >> ABELSON: Now, go to the next--go to the
next one. Okay. So, this is an online developing app. This is an online development environment
and what you see here are a palette, a suite of applications that you can add to your phone
and these things are boxed up as what we call components. And so, here, what we're going
to do is we just grab out a label. That's going to be the label that says "Pet the kitty."
And there on the right, over here, there are the properties that you can play with at this
label. And we're changing the text to the label to say "Pet the kitty" and we're--just
for fun, we're going to change the font size of the label to be larger and I guess that's
all. Oh, no, we'll change the background color of the label to be something and the text
color to be something. Okay, so this is a little bit like the standard kinds of graphic
[INDISTINCT] as you see. Okay. Now what we're going to do is pull out another component,
which is a button. So, that's going to be the button that you press in order to make
something happen. And we're going to tell this button to look like--all right, we're
going to grab its image and say this button should look like a picture of my cat. So there
we have a very primitive--you see, this isn't making a faithful rendition of what's on the
screen. So you have to push another tab to actually see what it's going to look like
on the screen, but we're getting there. This is a work very much in progress. Okay. And
now remember when you pet the kitty, it's supposed to go meow, so you need a meow. So
there's another component which is a sound player. We're going to tell the sound player
that the sound you play is kitty meow. Okay. So there is the way our application looks.
So the model in this is you set something up for how it should look on the screen and
then you're going to put the logic in. So the logic of this program for those of you
who've seen Alice or even more Scratch, this will look very, very familiar. In fact, I--this
project owes a tremendous amount to Mr. Resnick and Scratch. And we're actually asking Mitch
to talk in a minute. So what you see here, now, we're doing the logic. So you see all
of your components and we're going to drag out from the button a thing that says what
you do when the buttons click. All right, so there's our event handler for the button.
We're going to say when the button is clicked, you tell the sound to play. And then just
for fun, we're going to make the cat purr. So we're also going to say when the button
is clicked, you tell the sound to vibrate the phone. All right, so this is--this comes
from Scratch and like Alice's sort of puzzle piece code blocks version of putting things
together. And we're going to tell it to vibrate for 500 milliseconds, half a second. Okay.
So that's the complete application. And then what you do when you build this application
is you say compile it. It builds a complete ordinary application and then put ups a barcode
and then you can download this thing to the phone over the barcode. All right, so that's
Hello World. But, of course--how do I stop this thing? Let's go--what's coming up here?
How do I get out here? Okay. But, of course, the interesting thing is not that you can
put pictures of cats but this actually a phone. So here's another application that's done
the same way, except this time when you press the button, it's going to make a phone call.
And it's also linked to your data on the phone, so when you say, "Add somebody," it goes to
the contact picker on your phone and picks out the contacts which is where it's getting
the pictures and the phone numbers from. And, of course, the phone is also location-sensitive.
Here's a tiny, tiny little application where you push the button that says "Where am I?"
and it tells you your latitude and longitude, which should not be surprising because the
phone does that, but this is the program. All right, and here's a more complicated more
program that actually is kind of a like game of telephone because the phones can, of course,
talk to each other over the web and talk to web servers and this talks to a little web
service that maintains a group and you play a little game. So that should have been an
image of where we're going. We are--this project is in development. And I think what's interesting
about this project is that it's kind of done collaboratively with a bunch of universities.
So we're experimenting with about a dozen universities in the fall and this will evolve.
We may take on more in the spring. All of us on the Young Android team will be around
at the cocktail party in the dinner if you want to talk about what you might do. But
let me introduce Ellen now who is not only of this and, in fact, a new member at Google,
but also going to use this in about three weeks at Mills.
>> SPERTUS: Thanks, Hal. Hal mentioned a great thing about Google is that the engineers are
the most important and that's true. Another great thing is the egalitarianism. It doesn't
matter where you come, what degree you have. Everybody's code gets reviewed. And one of
my biggest thrills was getting to review Hal's code and finding an abstraction violation.
So, Mills College is a women's Liberal Arts College nearby in Oakland, California. It's
not an engineering school. What our students care most about is justice, social change.
They're usually protesting something. I know all of you are familiar with this graph. Those
of you who don't teach at women's colleges may not have focused as much on this number.
The latest statistics are that only three out of a thousand college freshmen women want
to major in computer science. So imagine you're at a school that is fewer than a thousand
undergrads. So it's important to attract other students. And, you know, that would be true
even if a lot of people were interested in computer science because my goal for this
goes beyond students. In some parts of the world, people's only internet access is through
their phones. And if we can make it so non computer scientists could create phone apps,
that can have a huge effect. So, I'm teaching a class this fall called "Technology for a
Better World." And the idea is the students usually see their cellphones and technology
used for entertainment or commerce, but it can also be used to change the world. So with
Keva that supports microfinance between the developed and developing world, one laptop
per child could have a huge effect. WikiLeaks that lets people anonymously upload documents
to fight corruption by government and local officials and corporations. And as I've said,
cellphones are having a huge effect on the developing world. I'm as pleased to see there
is an ICT group. And I think that--I'm hoping that this will appeal to students. So, I'm
going to start with Hal's Kitty application and the next assignment can just ask students
to make small changes to that and make a better application. Because whenever you see something,
you think "How would I have done it? What don't I like about it? How could I make it
better?" So, take American Idol. You could create one button for each of the contestants
and you press a button and it calls and votes for that person. Hal mentioned the location
sensor. You can make it so you go somewhere and it shows a picture relevant to it. There's
so many things. You could make it play a video when you go to a location, press a button.
Imagine that when you're going around in museum or walking along a historical trail. So, there
are really few limits of what you can do. So that we'd be introducing the students to
the technology, but the term project would be to deign an application that can help people
who aren't being well served by technology and either implemented or create a prototype
over the semester. So, I hope that students will understand better what computer science
is about which is valuable even if they don't go on to take more computer science courses,
see the computer sciences about helping people. And think about technology, some--you know,
the computer professionals for social responsibility, old slogan, "Technology is driving the future.
It's up to us to do the steering." So, with that, I'll turn things over to Mitch.
>> RESNICK: As Alfred mentioned this morning, Google has been supporting this initiative
CS4HS to support computer science at the high school level. So, I talked with Leslie earlier
in the year about MIT getting involved in this and we ended up this past, just a few
weeks ago, running our first CS4HS. When I first start--talked to Leslie about it, I
said, "I really was excited about participating in CS4HS, but just for with a couple small
caveats." The first caveat was I really didn't think it should just be about high school
but, to me, it seemed important to get started earlier on. So I went to stretch it. So it's
not just high school but also middle school even elementary school teachers because these
ideas are important enough. It was important to get young people starting early. And the
other small problem was I didn't think it's exactly right to focus on computer science.
So CS4HS was fine except for the CS and the HS. And I meant by, you know, the CS was at
least the way people traditionally think about CS in pre-college when they think about the
AP course to prepare people who are going to major in CS and then they become computer
science professionals. I have nothing--no problem with that. But in my mind, it's important
to reach everybody as somebody--as Ellen and Hal were also mentioning that these ideas
are important for everybody regardless of what they major in or what they're doing.
Luckily, Google is supportive enough to say, "Yes, go for it" and to try stretching them
both in those directions to reach a broader audience about teachers on all different levels
and to think about how computational ideas can reach, you know, people of all different
areas of interest and see how they could apply it all different areas. So, in fact, it gets
captured somewhat in the subtitle of what we called our workshop. We said it was cultivating
computational thinking and computational creativity in the classroom. So it's drawing on Janette
Wing's ideas about computational thinking, about there are certain core ideas that are
important for thinking all different disciplines and also computational creativity about enabling
people to create things computationally. And our main approach to this workshop was not
about having a bunch of teachers come in and listen to lectures about computational ideas
for several days. It was much more focused on learning through a design, get everybody
involved in designing and creating, you know, with computers. Because we found the best
way for learning is actually by creating things on your own. And it was really towards this
end of trying to help people develop a fluency with computational media that when we see
it, clearly, there's [INDISTINCT] so many people, especially the next generation growing
up, are very comfortable with going and interacting with computers in all sorts of ways but very,
very few have what I would call a fluency. And, again, with the analogy to reading and
writing, we don't say someone is fluent with language if they can just read a street sign.
But, you know, it's only if they can write. We want people to be able to, you know, write.
Even if they're not going to become, you know, professional journalists or authors, but to
be able to either write a report, to be able to write a shopping list, to write to a note
to a friend. Computation, we don't expect the same things and we should to let everybody
really become fluent, so they're creating. That was our real goal is to help support
these teachers to then support students to become truly fluent where they can create
their own dynamic interactive media. So not just interacting, but designing, creating
with computational medial. So for doing that, we're really--we're basing it on our Scratch
software, which Hal mentioned. So this is a software which we've developed over the
last few years with support from the National Science Foundation and more recently from
others, where our goal was we think one of the reasons that programming hasn't, you know,
that most people aren't programming is partly, you know, we need to make programming more
accessible, more meaningful and more social. By more accessible, we want to make it so
that get rid of some of this syntax which gets in the way, make it easier so it's this
building block metaphor as Hal mentioned. So you can just start building up programs
as easily as putting different blocks or jigsaw puzzle pieces together so you can get to core
ideas more quickly. More meaningful, letting people do things that they care about. Again,
as Hal was saying, too much of computing is dissociated. Make it where people can build
things they really care about. Again, here, we were doing a lot of things with giving
access to media, to manipulate media, manipulate images, photographs, music, sound and put
together in different ways and also more social, to be able to share your--what you've created.
So right when the application, Scratch application came available two years ago, we also launched
a website where you can very easily, just by clicking on the share button of the top
of the interface, your project immediately goes to the website. So right now on the Scratch
website, there's a new project coming up more than one a minute. There's not more than 500,000
project shared by kids on this website. So it's a type of YouTube for interactive media.
So instead of sharing videos, you share your own dynamic interactive creations, which is
all different types of things on the website; art, music, stories, robotics, simulations,
games. So people do things in all different ways and then share a--and then do all types
of collaboration and sharing. More than 20% of the uploads are remixes of one another,
repelled download, take the code of someone else's project and add it. So, again, at the
CS4HS workshop we did, it was helping the teachers learn to support these types of activities
using the Scratch software. Let me just show you briefly some of the types of projects
that the teachers were working on. So, these are from the workshop. So, again, this is
the Scratch programming language, the application where you just stack blocks together to make
different things happen. Let me show you. This was a project. I'll put it in. I'll start
playing it. So this was like an introductory project. We asked them to just do something,
use images to introduce people to the workshop. So here, again, someone here was mixing. They
took a picture of their daughter, put it on the dancing body, took a photograph from the
Media lab and made this little welcome. So it's, again, mixing lots of different media
together in order to do--to welcome animation. But in the process, learn to think creatively,
you know, reason systematically by putting these blocks together in different ways. So
you could actually see--it could--also, it's very tinkerable. You just take this away.
So this is the part that says "Forever change costume." If I do that, that's making this
character dance around. Let me just show one more example from later in the workshop when
they are sort of experimenting with games. This is a project. We'll put it in full screen
mode here. So, this is a game that one of the teachers created. It's--I'm now hitting
the arrow keys to move the character back and forth. And they can launch the fork trying
to get healthy foods. >> Yummy.
>> RESNICK: So if I hit good food, it--I sort of gain points. If I hit less healthy food...
>> Yucky. >> RESNICK: So, again, not so much that this
is, you know, the greatest game of all times, but the ideas is, again, to be able to just
very quickly put together but to learn core computational ideas as you put together these
different means of personal expression. So, through these different types of projects,
you know, I think what we were seeing was it's partly to get people learning some core
computational concepts, everything from conditionals, variables, synchronization, threads, event
handling, all come about, you know, but in a very, very clear way. We found that it's
much better for entries in these core concepts the fact that even if we designed this for
8 to 15 year-olds, a number of universities are starting to use in the first few weeks
of computer science classes because it's a good way to get these concepts very clearly,
of course, across or even for a whole semester. You know, oftentimes we're not computer science
major. So part of our idea was to get these core concepts across but also to develop problem
solving capacities and putting this program together, design capacities, defending--also,
it shows the emotional capacities by collaborating, sharing, persevering with joint frustration.
So it wasn't just about learning core computer science concepts, the ideas of how to serve--address
difficult challenges in problem solving and design and learning how to go about doing
that. So, again, we're really excited about, you know, the results from it. We had a group
of teachers who--we got very positive feedback at the end of about how they can make use
of this in their classes in a variety of different ways in K through 12 and we're excited about
continuing to work with Google in the years ahead to see how we can support this in a--in
a broader way. Thanks a lot. >> GREENBERG: Hi, everybody, my name is Obadiah
Greenberg. I'm work--I work on the strategic partnerships team at YouTube. I'm here to
talk to you today about YouTube EDU. I know we're a little pressed for time, so I'm going
to breeze through some of these first slides. But I really just wanted to set the stage
with YouTube about YouTube's mission in that I think what differentiated it when it launched
a number of years ago is that, really, the community decides. Meaning that it's a community--it's
a complete meritocracy of the community who decides what videos are the most popular,
which ones they want to engage in and therefore make it to the homepage. And you'll see that
the same ethic is, like, carried over to what we're doing with our higher partners. Just
a general sense of scope, hundreds of millions views daily, hundreds of thousands of uploads
daily, and I bet you if I asked "How many of you folks have seen YouTube video played,"
pretty much everyone, upload, probably a few less. And, again, just a sense of scope is
there are now 20 hours of video being uploaded every minute, which is something. And so,
you know, in this kind of ocean of video, I want to talk about what we're doing to really
help surface the incredible higher education video that's coming on to YouTube. So, you
know, a lot of folks, they think of YouTube, even today still think of lonely girl, you
know, 15 or, you know, cats playing piano, things like that. We're hoping that myth is
being dispelled over the last couple of years with some of the important partnerships we've
struck with folks like the BBC, the YouTube's Campaign and so on. But it was a couple of
years ago that we formed our first official partnership with Higher Education University.
This is UC Berkeley's channel came out. You might have heard it but it made quite a splash
primarily because they were putting up so much video. I think it was about 150 videos
at start, but a number of those videos were, of course, lectures; all the lectures that
make up a semester--a semester. So, essentially, we're doing course casting and not just making
it available for their community but for a worldwide audience. Since then, we've struck--we
have relationships with a number of colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada and actually
around world. We--there are actually hundreds of schools now who have an official presence
on YouTube. So then, we realized that okay, we have all of these great college and university
partners, but folks are still having a hard time finding them. And the schools are saying,
you know, "We really want to be among our peers." So, we had some stated goals for a
project called YouTube EDU to help showcase these partnerships. So one is just to promote
the discovery of this incredible video on YouTube and to showcase it in a way that we
felt is new and exciting. So the ability to see kind of what channels are the most popular,
what videos are the most popular and start to detect some trends as to why. To build
a community of peers, again, the schools are kind of depending on if they're rivals or
not or colleagues, whatever. They sort of see how they--or how they're popularity is
relative to the others and it's not even a sincerely a factor of the quality of the video
itself as much as what are the--what are the savvy ways they're using to promote those
videos on their site and elsewhere. And then finally provide a platform for reach and tool
for research. So we already talked about reach in terms of just kind of the size of the audience
in the--in the world who are watching YouTube, but also tools for research being a lot of
the analytics we provide about the videos, which I'll touch on in a later slide. So,
this is YouTube EDU. This is just a screenshot. You can find it at And, essentially,
what we have here are, by default, the most viewed videos and the most viewed channels
and then you can click in to kind of drill down in subsequent pages. It's fascinating
to watch this on a daily basis and see some videos start to kind of jump up into the most
viewed slots. And there are also some other interesting things that are fairly unique
to YouTube EDU that the rest of YouTube doesn't have. So, one is, well, right here, we have
this pure directory of all of the schools. So if you're interested in posting your lectures
or tutorials or whatever you might be interested in, posting--and you wanted to be part of
your university's program, go to the directory first and see if your school is already part
of YouTube EDU. If they're not, then, you know, talk to the appropriate people on your
campus, the kind of AV folks or the Public Relations folks. And it's also possible that
they have a channel that is in development but just has not been added to the directory
yet. This is just a shot of our most viewed videos. This is I think maybe a month-old,
the screenshot. And this is also an interesting feature of YouTube EDU where you can actually
search within the YouTube EDU corpus. This is a search on physics and you're getting
just physics, anything with physics on the metadata from the schools that are providing
video to YouTube. We have a lot of MIT, and Berkeley and Stanford here. These are the
most subscribed channel. A subscription means that a viewer is watching the video and they
say, "I want to subscribe to anything new that one of these school's posts comes into
my inbox because I want to stay up on what this provider is posting. What's interesting
about this slide is you'll see the most subscribed. And, again, this is about a month old, it
might have changed, but MIT, Berkeley, Stanford and this is actually IIT. These schools are
all posting not just news clips, not just kind of public affairs clips, but full courses.
So this tells us, "Hey, the YouTube community and people in the world are really appreciating
and valuing this open content and these open educational resources that these schools are
making available. So, these are just some screenshots of some of the courses that are
being made available. From Berkeley, it has about, I think, a dozen. Of course, they have
many more on their own local site. MIT is up to, I think, about 50, you know, range
of topics. Here we have Stanford, another range of topics, and IIT, which a lot of people
don't realize that they have about over 100 full courses, engineering courses, on their
YouTube channel right now. It's quite amazing. And what's also interesting about most of
the schools that are posting open course ware is it does tend to be primarily engineering
computer science. We can't forget Kyoto University either. And what's interesting is now, you
know, you're really seeing that we have open course wares. It's a global movement and globally
these schools are forming YouTube channels. And what's nice is that with YouTube, it's
not all about people having to go to YouTube to see this stuff or go to the YouTube channels,
but also that with the embedding function and all the little snippet of code, people
can add these videos to their local websites. So here's the famous last lecture at Carnegie
Mellon. I think when this thing first went viral Oprah talked about it or something like
that. I think there were some issues with supporting all the viewership. Locally, they
posted it to YouTube, embedded the video on their page and they've been happy ever since.
And this is, of course, MIT's open course ware site which they've started now to replace
their old real player where people had to kind often down a plug in and so on and so
on to see this video. Now, right in line, their lectures are playing. What's also interesting,
I mentioned some of the analytics tools. I know this is small, but these are two of the
more popular videos in YouTube EDU today; one IIT and MIT. And, you know, as an instructor,
you can actually see some of the trends of viewership, how people are arriving at these
videos, where they're being linked from, where they're being embedded from and so on. So
there's an amazing analytics surrounded to these videos. You can get a sense of, you
know, in a particular time frame, who is watching from where. And what's also interesting is
you can also find out what parts of a video, so we're talking maybe an hour of lecture,
you can find out what parts of a video the YouTube community are interested in relative
to other videos of this duration. And you drag this slide and you see a dip where it
goes kind of more above average and then you can analyze that and say, "Okay, what is it
about this part of the lecture that people are finding interesting?" right? So it's like
a great feedback. It's like the world's biggest focus group or something. Another interesting
feature, actually, Yale has come up big with starting to post full courses, which is awesome.
This is a literature course. This is the lecture--it's like it's on the road. And when captions are
made available, we do support captions. We have a feature called auto-translate. And
here, translated from English to Chinese and now you have subtitles. So, this also really
exciting just more in terms of, again, you know, open education and that worldwide reach.
And, you know, part of that, I mean, is really this idea that, you know, with all of these
schools coming online and posting open educational resources that, you know, anyone with an internet
connection can basically be learning from the best teachers, from the best schools around
the world. And with that, thank you very much and here's my email if you guys have any follow
up questions.