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Bringing hobbits, dwarves and dragons to screens everywhere
Thursday, November 21, 2013
You don’t need to be besties with a Wizard to share an adventure in Middle-earth—just point your favourite browser to
on your laptop, phone or tablet to check out
“Journey through Middle-earth,”
Inspired by the upcoming motion picture
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,”
“Journey through Middle-earth” brings the locations and characters from the movie trilogy to life with a mix of modern web technologies. It was developed by North Kingdom in collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
on a beautiful, interactive map of Middle-earth. Zoom in to explore Trollshaw Forest, Rivendell and Dol Guldur (with more locations to come in the next few weeks). Click on each one to learn its history and meet the characters who inhabit it, or dive further to test your wits on a unique survival challenge.
The immersive 3D graphics in “Journey through Middle-earth” were built with CSS3 and WebGL, which you might recognise from
previous Chrome Experiments
. But “Journey through Middle-earth” is the first Chrome Experiment designed to bring this beautiful, 3D experience to mobile, thanks to
support for WebGL in Chrome for Android
on devices with high-end graphics cards.
The rich audio effects and sound manipulation are delivered through the Web Audio API, which is
on both Chrome for Android and Chrome for iPhone and iPad. Although WebGL isn’t supported on iOS, Chrome users can still experience most of “Journey through Middle-earth” on their iPhones and iPads. We can’t wait to see what sort of rich experiences developers will build as modern web technologies become available on more types of devices.
to stay updated as more Middle-earth locations get released in the coming weeks. You can also check out the
and read the team’s technical case study if you feel like geeking out a bit more.
a click away
. Just watch out for the trolls!
Posted by Posted by Christos Apartoglou, Product Marketing Manager & Part-time Dragon-slayer
Deyvi Wilton from Christchurch wins Doodle 4 Google 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
In June we announced our latest Doodle 4 Google competition, in which we asked school students across New Zealand to draw their own version of the Google logo, inspired by the theme “If I was an explorer....” Now, over 5000 doodles later, we can announce the winning doodle!
Congratulations to Deyvi Wilton of Papanui Primary School in Papanui. Deyvi has won a Chromebook and Nexus 7 tablet for himself and $10,000 worth of technology for his school. His doodle will be featured on
early next year.
Deyvi’s Doodle was titled “Exploring New Zealand”. Deyvi said "My Google Doodle is about New Zealand because New Zealand is a beautiful country. I drew the kiwis because they are New Zealand's national bird. The last letter of my doodle is a road. The road has an arrow so you will keep on exploring New Zealand's amazing scenery and animals.”
The National Age Group Winners spent yesterday at the
Voyager Maritime Museum
in Auckland for the unveiling of the National Winner. Tony Huang, Madeliene Ferkins, Deyvi Wilton and Harrison Tomuri were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the of the Museum and had a very special sailing experience on the Ted Ashby. The young doodlers also saw their work in a special digital display at the gallery.
This year in a special prize sponsored by
, the winning schools teacher from Papanui Primary School, Kerrie Stedman will be going on an Antarctic expedition with Professor Chris Turney. You can see more about the expedition and meet some of the wildlife in the following Hangouts On Air series which will air live from the Antarctic islands. Special guests may include sea lions, penguins and the great albatross.
Antarctica Doodle 4 Google Hangout On Air Schedule:
29 November, Sean Lions and Exploration (Enderby Island):
2 December, A View from the South (Carnley Harbour):
4 December: The Wandering Albatross (Campbell Island):
6 December: Bird Paradise (Snares Island):
Thank you to all our thousands of doodlers from across New Zealand, and look out for Deyvi’s doodle on our homepage.
Posted by Leticia Lentini, Event Marketing Manager, Google Australia, who is giddy with excitement at the prospect of seeing a penguin belly flop on the ice.
5 tips to help protect your kids online this summer
Friday, November 15, 2013
It can be hard to keep up with all the latest devices and apps out there. I know in my house, my tech savvy kids are increasingly becoming our at home personal tech support. The web has become an incredible resource for our children, but it is important that we all make sure they are using it in a smart way.
With the summer holidays fast approaching and new devices rolling out, we thought it would be a good time to remind parents about some easy ways we can keep kids keep safe online. Protecting our users is one of our top priorities at Google and when it comes to family safety, we give parents and teachers with tools to help them choose what content their children see online.
The tools and tips here will give you the ability to make sure your family is able to navigate the web safely and securely:
in Google Search.
Want to hide explicit images, search results, and videos? Turn on SafeSearch, a filter that keeps many of the adult results you might not want popping up on the family computer out of your Google Search results. While no filter is 100% perfect, with SafeSearch on you can feel more confident browsing the web with your family. You can also lock SafeSearch on your computer by logging into your Google account and changing your settings.
. Turning on SafetyMode in YouTube is easy. Just scroll down to the bottom of any YouTube page and click on the button that says “Safety” at the bottom of the page switch it on. You can also log in with a YouTube account and lock SafetyMode as your default setting on each one of your computer browsers. It will filter out videos with mature content or that have been age-restricted, so they will not show up in video search, related videos, playlists, shows or films.
Learn how to turn on and lock Safety Mode on YouTube
. On every single video on YouTube, there is a flag that you can use to report a video if you don’t think it is appropriate and violates YouTube’s Community guidelines, including content that is violent, sexual or hateful. Flagged videos and channels are reviewed by YouTube staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate our
. Flagged videos that violate our guidelines are removed from YouTube. Check out more tips at the
YouTube Safety Hub
Google+ settings and safety notifications
You might not want to share the same photos with your boss as you would with your family. And you might not want your teen to have all the same ways to share that you do. Google+ is built to share selectively like you would want to in real life. Google+ is customised for teens helps them take advantage of the flexibility Google+ offers with the right starting points, educational materials, and timely reminders. When a teen joins Google+ they have different default settings to help keep them safe and remind them to be responsible. Check out
Check out our
Good to Know
. The site is our one-stop shop for information about the web and advice about how to keep yourself and your family safe and secure online. You can learn more about Google’s
privacy and safety tools for families
tips from parents at Google
about family safety, and find out more
what Google does
to protect you, your family, and the Internet.
We hope these tips will help make your summer holidays a little bit more relaxing. For more tips and videos about keeping your family safe online, visit our
Family Safety Centre
Lucinda Barlow, Marketing Manager for Google Australia and New Zealand
The Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy: Training our teachers for a digital future
Friday, November 15, 2013
There’s no doubt that the web is transforming how we learn. Being able to work together in online documents, and publish and share work with friends and family around the world, turns out to have a big impact on educational outcomes—because kids know their work is seen and cared about.
New Zealand is making a huge investment in ultra-fast broadband, and our schools will be among the first to benefit from super-fast speeds and the services that come with them. Schools like Pt England, part of the Manaiakalani cluster, are already making the most of broadband by combining traditional teaching techniques with new technology to create a blended approach to digital learning—we were so impressed by it, we featured Pt England in a video
Pt England provides a great example of the potential of the internet to
allow children to learn more, and to bring their knowledge and ambitions home to their families. But we’d love to see even more schools across New Zealand make the most of the same blended learning approach—and see more teachers and principals trained in how to make it happen.
That’s why we’re so pleased join the Ministry of Education in supporting the new Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy, a new partnership being announced today between the Manaiakalani Education Trust and the University of Auckland.
The Academy will take the skills and successes of the Manaiakalani cluster and share them with 10 graduate teachers who will teach and train in a full immersion digital learning environment for a year.
We’ll follow the stories of the first intake of graduate teachers here on this blog, and look forward to seeing digital learning light up classrooms across New Zealand in the coming years. To learn more about other New Zealand organisations making the most of the web, sign up to get the Innovation Partnership’s weekly Get On newsletter
Posted by Ross Young, Public Policy Manager, Google New Zealand
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