Google Parts Ways With Longtime Education Evangelist, Jaime Casap

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

“After more than 14 years at Google, my last day is today,” Jaime Casap, the corporate’s former chief training 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 group “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 training occasions, delivering rousing speeches about the way forward for studying and the function 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 group in February 2006. Nor was there a lot thought of an training 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 obtained 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 out to be a decades-long effort to develop Google’s footprint within the training market.

The firm notched its first main Ok-12 buyer in 2009, after Casap helped ink a take care of the state division of training 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 units to high school know-how leaders, lots 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 pressure within the training 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 units bought within the U.S. Ok-12 training market in 2019, far eclipsing its rivals. (But abroad, Windows computer systems proceed to dominate.)

Futuresource report: K-12 mobile device shipment breakdown
Breakdown of cellular gadget shipments within the Ok-12 training 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 training group, even because the enterprise was rising. The Chromebooks group was separate from apps, as an illustration. He and a number of other colleagues labored throughout totally different product divisions to piece collectively the training 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 employees to particularly help its training enterprise beginning about 5 years in the past, which freed up time for him to develop his public talking engagements.

Further consolidation adopted. Earlier this yr, the corporate reorganized its training efforts beneath a extra streamlined division beneath Ben Gomes, an early govt who led its search engine improvement. Avni Shah, a product supervisor, has been named vice chairman of training at Google.

But these strikes additionally meant revisiting Casap’s function, and whether or not Google nonetheless wanted an training 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 rising 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 think about different roles on the training group. The positions accessible entailed overseeing inside construction and operational processes—high-level managerial work that he wasn’t taken with. He most well-liked public engagement.

Google didn’t remark or share extra particulars 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 typical and standard chorus in Casap’s keynotes, one which challenges educators to organize college students for a future the place conventional job capabilities could now not exist.

So what does he need to sort out 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 among the stereotyped labels related to low-income minority communities—as a part of his identification, going as far as naming his home made manufacturing studio “Ghetto People Productions.”

Casap credit training with being his lifesaver. But he doesn’t need to be the exception on the subject of beating the chances. “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 needs to write down.

Casap says the working title thus far is “From the Ghetto to Google: The Hoodlum’s Guide to Thriving in America.” Those phrases might be jarring to some. For him, it’s constant along with his model of irreverent, unvarnished candor each time he tells his story of overcoming the chances.

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