Google Parts Ways With Longtime Education Evangelist, Jaime Casap

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One of probably the most seen faces of Google’s schooling efforts—who helped lay the groundwork for its dominance within the U.S. schooling market—has left the group.

“After more than 14 years at Google, my last day is today,” Jaime Casap, the corporate’s former chief schooling evangelist, mentioned in a YouTube video posted on June 27. “This isn’t my choice. Several months ago, during one of Google’s reorganizations, it was determined that my role wasn’t vital and therefore was eliminated.”

In an interview, Casap mentioned the chief management workforce “concluded that they could live without my position,” which largely entailed public engagement, thought management and different “external-facing” efforts over the previous a number of years.

To many educators, Casap could also be finest referred to as a marquee headliner at schooling occasions, delivering rousing speeches about the way forward for studying and the position of know-how. But that was not the job he utilized for. There had been no “evangelist” openings at Google when he joined the engineering workforce in February 2006. Nor was there a lot considered an schooling enterprise.

That would quickly change. Shortly after Casap began, he met with officers at Arizona State University and requested them what their greatest know-how ache factors had been. “They said email,” he recollects. At the time, Google had been promoting an enterprise model of its work productiveness instruments, and Casap received the college to enroll.

Shortly afterward, “I moved from being on the engineering team to joining the enterprise team, which was unheard of at the time,” says Casap. That grew to become the beginning of what would turn into a decades-long effort to broaden Google’s footprint within the schooling market.

The firm notched its first main Ok-12 buyer in 2009, after Casap helped ink a take care of the state division of schooling in Oregon to deploy Google Apps for Education to its districts. And as Chromebooks entered the market in 2011, Casap and his colleagues pitched the then-new gadgets to highschool know-how leaders, a lot of whom had been shopping for Apple iPads which had been in vogue on the time.

These seeds would assist Google develop right into a dominant power within the schooling market. In April 2020, the corporate claimed its G Suite for Education merchandise had been utilized by 120 million college students and customers internationally. More than 100 million use Classroom, its on-line collaboration and studying administration platform. Over 40 million college students and educators throughout the globe now use Chromebooks.

According to market analysis agency Futuresource Consulting, Chromebooks accounted for 60 % of all computing gadgets offered within the U.S. Ok-12 schooling market in 2019, far eclipsing its opponents. (But abroad, Windows computer systems proceed to dominate.)

Futuresource report: K-12 mobile device shipment breakdown
Breakdown of cell machine shipments within the Ok-12 schooling market by working programs. Source: Futuresource Consulting

When Casap wasn’t pitching college leaders, he was typically talking on a stage. It was after a presentation in 2008 when he first entertained a title change. “A tech director from Michigan came up to me and asked what my job title was,” he recollects. “I said Google education business manager. He said ‘No. You’re an evangelist.’” The title caught.

For a lot of Casap’s time at Google, there was no devoted schooling workforce, even because the enterprise was rising. The Chromebooks workforce was separate from apps, as an illustration. He and several other colleagues labored throughout completely different product divisions to piece collectively the schooling enterprise. “You’d need to be involved in everything. You had to know the backend technology, handle marketing and sales and understand how everything fit together,” he says.

According to Casap, Google began including workers to particularly help its schooling enterprise beginning about 5 years in the past, which freed up time for him to broaden his public talking engagements.

Further consolidation adopted. Earlier this 12 months, the corporate reorganized its schooling efforts below a extra streamlined division below Ben Gomes, an early government who led its search engine improvement. Avni Shah, a product supervisor, has been named vp of schooling at Google.

But these strikes additionally meant revisiting Casap’s position, and whether or not Google nonetheless wanted an schooling evangelist.

“In all large companies, an evangelist role means you’re evangelizing their tools and products. “But I never did that,” says Casap. In his keynotes, Google merchandise typically took a backseat to broader themes that mattered extra to him personally, concerning fairness, range and growing academic alternatives for minority and underserved youth.

“Besides,” he provides, “is there still a school out there that doesn’t know about Google? What’s there left to evangelize?”

Casap mentioned Google executives inspired him to contemplate different roles on the schooling workforce. The positions out there entailed overseeing inner construction and operational processes—high-level managerial work that he wasn’t occupied with. He most popular public engagement.

Google didn’t reply to a request for remark about Casap’s departure.

Casap’s Next Problem

“Don’t ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. Ask them what problem they want to solve.”

This is a standard and common chorus in Casap’s keynotes, one which challenges educators to arrange college students for a future the place conventional job capabilities might now not exist.

So what does he wish to deal with subsequent?

“The next problem I want to solve is around equity and inclusion,” says Casap. He contemplated, for instance, methods to revamp curriculum to higher mirror the range of scholars’ cultural backgrounds. “Students should have more of a voice in what they read and learn.”

Casap says he has no particular subsequent steps in thoughts. “Hopefully I’ll pick projects that will have a great impact on students like me,” he says.

In his talks, Casap typically weaves in his private story. Raised by a single mom within the early 1980’s in Hell’s Kitchen—then a harmful neighborhood in Manhattan—he doesn’t maintain again when describing the tough, drug-ridden atmosphere he grew up in. Casap embraces that upbringing—and even a few of the stereotyped labels related to low-income minority communities—as a part of his id, going as far as naming his home made manufacturing studio “Ghetto People Productions.”

Casap credit schooling with being his lifesaver. But he doesn’t wish to be the exception in terms of beating the percentages. “There are millions of students who are just like me, who have just as much talent, who have just as much to contribute,” says Casap.

“In my 14 years at Google, I almost never met anyone with my background reach a position of influence, at a level to be able to impact people,” Casap provides. “One of the biggest problems with minority students and students in poverty is that they have no idea how to build social capital” within the type of significant human relationships that result in alternatives.

Even earlier than his departure, Casap already started sharing private life experiences and classes realized on his personal YouTube channel, which he launched in 2018. And he says he’s solidified concepts for a ebook he desires to write down.

Casap says the working title up to now is “From the Ghetto to Google: The Hoodlum’s Guide to Thriving in America.” Those phrases could be jarring to some. For him, it’s constant together with his model of irreverent, unvarnished candor at any time when he tells his story of overcoming the percentages.



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