In the Bay Area, Google’s fleet of buses–the seventh largest in the region–make it a symbol of tech wealth and gentrification. But in Bangladesh, Google is repurposing a bus for a much different purpose: to teach 500,000 students in the country how to use its tools.
The search giant said Thursday that it kicked off a year-long road trip this week to visit 500 college campuses in Bangladesh. Though Google refers to the initiative broadly as a way to help students understand how they can leverage the Internet, it’s clearly a marketing opportunity to promote its brand and products among budding entrepreneurs in the country. Students, who are encouraged to stay connected with Google Plus, will be trained to use certain web tools and will be given the chance to interact with Android devices.
The educational initiative furthers the company’s ambitious plans to increase the proliferation of the Internet. Google and Facebook both aim to bring the Internet to parts of the world where such infrastructure doesn’t exist: Google with floating Wi-Fi balloons and Facebook with an army of drones, satellites, and lasers.