Google initiative raises awareness of available technology

Bruner presents plans for integrating more computer oriented programs into the local school districts.
Bruner presents plans for integrating more computer oriented programs into the local school districts.

Jordan Williams, Staff Reporter

Yesterday, students and faculty gathered n University Center North for the Women and Technology seminar, an event sponsored by Google. The purpose of the evening was to introduce all interested in the company’s Computer Science First initiative.

The program was developed by Google and centers on the company’s dedication to increasing student exposure to the computer sciences, which is done so by means of after-school, in-school, and summer learning courses. Each of these are designed to help spark interest in today’s rapidly expanding technological encompassed society.

In addition to planning and organizing the event, informatics junior Jessica Bruner introduced what CS First was and spent the first half of the evening explaining how and why it would be such an impactful opportunity within the community.

“Brand initiative is a big part of what I do,” Bruner said. “But teaching students about programs they don’t think of or had no way of knowing are available to them is the priority.”

For example, the partnership between Microsoft and IUS allows for useful programs like Google Docs to be free. Many students, but primarily children, don’t understand how to use this feature due to a lack of familiarization and an overall absence of promotion within the community.

A big goal for the CS First plan set up by Google is to help students with local opportunities and any potential jobs involving technology and computer sciences. t is also to help bring awareness to useful programs, like Google Docs, to uninformed students.

The focus of the event may have surrounded any possible future benefits for the district, but Bruner added a flare of buoyancy to the evening with some interactive games and prizes for willing participants riddled throughout.

Not only is Bruner involved with campus activities as a student, she she is also the president of Women and Technology, a club focused on helping women and minorities in the tech field, and the Google Student Ambassador, meaning that she frequently works as a liaison between IUS and Google. Making sure to have a keen understanding on what the variety of communities are like, Google holds a conference for student ambassadors at the company’s complex in California.

“Google records helpful data on our demographics and I attend events,” Bruner said. “The purpose of events like The Summit, which is held annually at the Googleplex, is to provide an overview of the things that we will be doing within our communities.”

While the title of the event, Women and Technology, may not sound like it caters to all sects of people, the opposite is actually true as the goal behind the on campus group is to make sure that every person, no matter their gender or ethnicity, is offered every chance possible to succeed in the technology field.

“What we hope to accomplish is to introduce programming to kids while they’re young and to break down these social barriers early on so they don’t exist later in their lives,” Bruner said.