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In tropical and equatorial regions country, there are blessed with alround year sun shine, our face and skin are also enjoying this full year exposure of sunlight. Therefore, sometimes brown or gray…Continue
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has stated that his government was not involved in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto but many Bhutto supporters have angrily blamed Musharraf for her death by…Continue
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As global communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasing emphasis on public health strategies, like social distancing measures, to slow the rate of transmission. In Google Maps, we use aggregated, anonymized data showing how busy certain types of places are—helping identify when a local business tends to be the most crowded. We have heard from public health officials that this same type of aggregated, anonymized data could be helpful as they make critical decisions to combat COVID-19.
Starting today we’re publishing an early release of our COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports to provide insights into what has changed in response to work from home, shelter in place, and other policies aimed at flattening the curve of this pandemic. These reports have been developed to be helpful while adhering to our stringent privacy protocols and policies.
The reports use aggregated, anonymized data to chart movement trends over time by geography, across different high-level categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential. We’ll show trends over several weeks, with the most recent information representing 48-to-72 hours prior. While we display a percentage point increase or decrease in visits, we do not share the absolute number of visits. To protect people’s privacy, no personally identifiable information, like an individual’s location, contacts or movement, is made available at any point.
We will release these reports globally, initially covering 131 countries and regions. Given the urgent need for this information, where possible we will also provide insights at the regional level. In the coming weeks, we will work to add additional countries and regions to ensure these reports remain helpful to public health officials across the globe looking to protect people from the spread of COVID-19.
Navigate and download a report for your region of interest
In addition to other resources public health officials might have, we hope these reports will help support decisions about how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, this information could help officials understand changes in essential trips that can shape recommendations on business hours or inform delivery service offerings. Similarly, persistent visits to transportation hubs might indicate the need to add additional buses or trains in order to allow people who need to travel room to spread out for social distancing. Ultimately, understanding not only whether people are traveling, but also trends in destinations, can help officials design guidance to protect public health and essential needs of communities.
A Community Mobility Report example for State of Louisiana, United States
In addition to the Community Mobility Reports, we are collaborating with select epidemiologists working on COVID-19 with updates to an existing aggregate, anonymized dataset that can be used to better understand and forecast the pandemic. Data of this type has helped researchers look into predicting epidemics, plan urban and transit infrastructure, and understand people’s mobility and responses to conflict and natural disasters.
The Community Mobility Reports are powered by the same world-class anonymization technology that we use in our products every day. For these reports, we use differential privacy, which adds artificial noise to our datasets enabling high quality results without identifying any individual person.
The insights are created with aggregated, anonymized sets of data from users who have turned on the Location History setting, which is off by default. Users who have Location History turned on can choose to turn the setting off at any time from their Google Account, and can always delete Location History data directly from their Timeline.
These are unprecedented times and we will continue to evaluate these reports as we get feedback from public health officials, civil society groups, local governments and the community at large. We hope these insights will add to other public health information that will help people and communities stay healthy and safe.
Around the world, 1.5 billion students are now adjusting to learning from home. For students with disabilities, this adjustment is even more difficult without hands-on classroom instruction and support from teachers and learning specialists.
For educators and families using Chromebooks, there are a variety of built-in accessibility features to customize students’ learning experience and make them even more helpful. We’ve put together a list of some of these tools to explore as you navigate at-home learning for students with disabilities.
To help students see screens more easily, you can find instructions for locating and turning on several Chromebook accessibility features in this Chromebook Help article. Here are a few examples of things you can try, based on students’ needs:
Increase the size of the cursor, or increase text size for better visibility.
Add ahighlighted circle around the cursor when moving the mouse, text caret when typing, or keyboard-focused item when tabbing. These colorful rings appear when the items are in motion to draw greater visual focus, and then fade away.
Increase the size of browser or app content, or make everything on the screen—including app icons and Chrome tabs—larger for greater visibility.
For higher levels of zoom, try thefullscreen or docked magnifiers in Chromebook accessibility settings. The fullscreen magnifier zooms the entire screen, whereas the docked magnifier makes the top one-third of the screen a magnified area. Learn more in this Chromebook magnification tutorial.
Features that read text out loud can be useful for students with visual impairments, learning and processing challenges, or even students learning a new language.
Select-to-speak lets students hear the text they choose on-screen spoken out loud, with word-by-word visual highlighting for better audio and visual connection.
With Chromevox, the built-in screen reader for Chromebooks, students can navigate around the Chromebook interface using audio spoken feedback or braille. To hear whatever text is under the cursor, turn on Speak text under the mouse in ChromeVox options. This is most beneficial for students who have significant vision loss.
Add the Read&Write Chrome extension from Texthelp for spelling and grammar checks, talking and picture dictionaries, text-to-speech and additional reading and writing supports- all in one easy to use toolbar.
For students with dyslexia, try the OpenDyslexic Font Chrome extension to replace web page fonts with a more readable font. Or use the BeeLine Reader Chrome extension to color-code text to reduce eye strain and help students better track from one line of text to the next. You can also use the Thomas Jockin font in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.
Students can continue to develop writing skills while they’re learning from home.
Students can use their voice to enter text by enabling dictation in Chromebook accessibility settings, which works in edit fields across the device. If dictating longer assignments, students can also use voice typing in Google Docs to access a rich set of editing and formatting voice commands. Dictating writing assignments can also be very helpful for students who get a little stuck and want to get thoughts flowing by speaking instead of typing.
Try the Co:Writer Chrome extension for word prediction and completion, as well as excellent grammar help. Don Johnston is offering free access to this and other eLearning tools. Districts, schools, and education practitioners can submit a request for access.
We just shared a 12-part video series with training for G Suite and Chromebook Accessibility features made by teachers for teachers. These videos highlight teachers’ experience using these features in the classroom, as well as what type of diverse learner specific features benefit. For more, you can watch these videos from the Google team, read our G Suite accessibility user guide, or join a Google Group to ask questions and get real time answers. To find great accessibility apps and ideas on how to use them, check out the Chromebook App Hub, and for training, head to the Teacher Center.
We’re also eager to hear your ideas—leave your thoughts in this Google Form and help educators benefit from your experience.
Editor's note: It’s International Fact-Checking Day today and teenager Lyndsay Valadez from Indianapolis, Indiana tells us why fact-checking matters. She’s a member of the Teen Fact-Checking Network at MediaWise—part of the Google News Initiative and a Google.orgfunded partnership with The Poynter Institute for Media Studies.
Being a freshman in college and living in a dorm away from my mom and sister means we usually stay in touch by text. In between “What’s up?” and “Miss you!” I occasionally get a different kind of message from home: “Is this real?” But now that my school has switched to digital teaching because of the coronavirus, there’s no escape from my family who constantly bombard me in person about claims surrounding COVID-19.
Scrolling through social media, it can be tough to know the difference—especially if you haven’t been trained to look for it. Just like my mom taught me to say “Please” and “Thank you,” I’m now teaching her how to tell the difference between fact from fiction online. And learning those skills is really crucial at this time with people’s health on the line.
As a journalism major at Indiana University, I understand the need for truth-telling and how important facts are in this digitized age. That’s why I became an intern with the Teen Fact-Checking Network—part of the MediaWise Project—where I research, write and put together videos debunking false claims, half-truths and fantasy.
One fact check that’s particularly special to me is one I did alongside my younger sister, Elizabeth Valadez, who recently joined MediaWise’s Teen Fact-Checking Network. It has been so neat to watch her fact-check while helping her along the way. Together, we worked on this fact-check about how long the coronavirus can live on different surfaces.
During the time working with my sister, I realized how our own media experiences affect the way we approach fact-checking. We have different tastes—she’s into the social aspect while I like the more informational side. But this variety of media viewpoints and understanding helped us present a fuller, more comprehensive fact-check. Together, we’re teaching people to ask three key questions created by MediaWise partner, the Stanford History Education Group: Who is behind the information? What is the evidence? And what do other sources say?
Teen fact-checking siblings
Surprisingly enough, we aren’t the only siblings fact-checking together at MediaWise.
Fact-checking brothers Kush Patel, 16, and his little brother Parth, 13, from North Carolina debunked a Twitter claim about a book predicting the 2019 coronavirus. Brother-sister duo Jahin Rahman, 16, and Fahmin Rahman, 14, teamed up to fact-check a claim aboutCO2 emissions dropping 25 percent in China because of the virus. You might be surprised by the answer!
Left: Brother-sister duo Jahin and Fahmin Rahman. Right: Kush Patel and his little brother Parth.
Today the Teen Fact-Checking Network has 35 teenagers on staff from a dozen states. Through social media storytelling, we’ve debunked more than 300 claims—and that’s only the beginning. The staff is now solely fact-checking claims about COVID-19, and has debunked more than 20 social media posts. Who knows, in 10 years the TFCN could be fact-checking at a level similar to organizations like Politifact or Snopes.
And as we mark this fourth year of International Fact-Checking Day, we recognize the need for this kind of media literacy and teaching others how to fact-check. So far MediaWise has helped more than 5 million people learn how to be media savvy about what they see online. And through in-person training, the MediaWise team has taught more than 18,000 students at 70 different schools across the country.
MediaWise has taught me that no matter how old you are, we can all stand to be better. And we all need to work together to do our part in combating the spread of misinformation. Now more than ever.
This International Fact-Checking Day, check out Civic Online Reasoning, a free curriculum developed by the Stanford History Education Group as part of MediaWise on how to evaluate online information.