New Google Log in screen

Those eagle eye users will notice a difference in the Google Log in page over the next couple of weeks. No need to worry, it is planned and legitimate.

Currently, the log in box looks like this:

Current Google log in box

Soon, it will look like this:

New Google Log in box.

Some of the changes will include tweaks to the Google logo, an outline around the text field, and center alignment of all items on the screen.

Gmail Update

The new Gmail update has rolled out. We’ve started training on the interface (it really doesn’t take much training, but there are additional features that you can utilize).

One of the “hiccups” in the new Gmail interface was that .wav files (phone messages) wouldn’t play. This has now been resolved.

New Drive Look and Feel

Google Drive UI updates

Google is making some updates to the look and feel of Google Drive on the web. There’s no change in functionality, but some icons and buttons have moved, and there’s a range of visual tweaks to align with Google’s latest material design principles. Google built that this new interface to create a responsive and efficient experience for Drive users, and to feel cohesive with other G Suite products, such as the recently redesigned Gmail.

Specific changes include:

  • The logo in the top left has been changed to the Google Drive logo.
  • Our Dearborn Students First Logo ( Students First Logo) is now in the top right.
  • The Settings icon has been moved in line with the search bar.
  • The Help Center icon has been moved in line with the search bar.
  • The page background is now white, not gray.
  • The “New” button has been updated.
  • The font used for headers has been changed.

These changes will be rolling out in a couple of weeks.

New Gmail Interface

Google is rolling out a new interface for Gmail.

There are some nice features in the new interface.

  • Tasks are now integrated. (Combined with the new Google Tasks App (Chrome Extension, iOS App, Android App), this means that Tasks are now really usable).
  • Calendar is now integrated.
  • Smart replies
  • Snooze email (Schedule it to return to your Inbox)

 

You will have the option to transition to the new Gmail. You have to enable it manually by

    • clicking the cog in the top-right corner,
    • clicking Settings,
    • then choosing Try the new Dearborn Public Schools Mail.

 

  • You can go back to the Classic view by following the same steps

 

**Please be aware the voicemails will not play within the browser (no .wav files will play). Thus, you would have to add to Drive or Download a voicemail to listen to that voicemail. Google is currently working on the issue. 

 

Integration with Calendar, Tasks, Keep

Along with the new Gmail, Google is launching a revamped Google Tasks and making it, as well as Calendar and Keep, easily accessible in Gmail from a right-side panel.

This may be my favorite feature. The right hand side now has buttons which reveal Calendar, Keep and Tasks. Tasks become a supported useful feature. Drag an email to the Task list and then archive the email. You can also create (and easily switch amongst) multiple Task lists.

Bolder warnings

Spam and phishing emails are a part of our everyday lives and from now on, you’ll see bolder, bigger, redder warnings when an email looks suspicious.

Smart replies

After launching on the mobile apps, Smart replies are coming to the web Gmail interface too. For short messages and answers, this is a quick way to get things done without crafting an elaborate reply.

Nudges

We’ve all been there: you get an email and hope to reply to it today, maybe tomorrow at the latest. Fast forward two weeks and that email is still hanging in your inbox and you are actively trying to avoid looking at it again. Gmail will start nudging you to follow up with emails you’ve received a few days ago and neglected.

Quick actions, snooze, view attachments

If you hover over any email in your inbox, you’ll see a few quick action icons that let you archive, delete, mark as read, RSVP to invites, and snooze the email so it shows up later. Attachments will also display as small and easily accessible chips below the email.

Logo With Account Name

The Dearborn School Logo will be moved from the left hand side to the right hand side with your name. This really helps with identifying which account that you are currently in.

Dearborn Logo next to account image

Overview Video

 

Google Drive-Sync-Stream-Backup

Google provides some really great tools. One thing that they aren’t so good at is naming things. Google also isn’t afraid to learn from user experience and implement new things. Sometimes, this leads to confusion.

Some users may have received a notification that the Google Drive App is going away (note the word App, this is NOT Google Drive, but the Google Drive App – see what I mean about naming?). This was an application that the district did not install. However, we also didn’t block it. Some users may have installed it on their own (many may have installed it at home). What it did was to keep a “local” copy of documents on your Google Drive (again Google Drive is NOT going away). Google has removed the Google Drive App (but not Google Drive, Google Drive is still around).

*Note that the web version and the mobile version of Google Drive will not change. 

Google is actually replacing the Google Drive App with two different options:

  • Google Backup and Sync
  • Drive File Stream

Google Backup and Sync

This is the none Google Apps for Education version being rolled out to allow users to have a “local” copy of their Google Drive documents. This would be for your personal (non-Dearborn Public Schools) account. This will sync copies of your Google Drive documents to your computer.

Drive File Stream

This is the official Google answer for Education providers using Google Apps. We are still evaluating the implementation features and consequences of this.

Action

So, what do you need to do? Generally, nothing. You can keep going to the web view of your Google Drive and that will keep right on working.

  • If you have a personal Gmail account and have Google Drive installed on your home computer, you may want to install Google Backup and Sync.
  • At work with your Dearborn Account, there is nothing that you need to do.

Google Updates

As you may know, Google constantly updates Google Docs, Sheets, Presentations and Drive. A couple of updates have recently occured.

Search within a folder

It is now possible to search within a folder on Google Drive. There are two ways to achieve this:

  1. Right click on a folder in Google Drive and select “Search within…..” (the name of the folder will occur after Search within
    Search within menu shown
  2. Use the ninja button (advanced search).
    1. Click the Ninja button (Advanced search – the triangle at the end of the search box.
    2. Click on “ANYWHERE”.
    3. Click on “My Drive” (if searching My Drive)
    4. Navigate to the folder that you want to search.
    5. Add in some text that you are looking for in the box after “Has the words”
    6. Click Search
      Advanced search menu example

Inserting Breaks

*This one has not rolled out yet, but will be coming soon. 

In Google Docs, Page and Column breaks are currently separate lines under the Insert menu. Soon, they will be combined into a “Break” menu. Page and Column break will be a sub-menu.

  • Before: Insert > Page break or Column break
  • After: Insert > Break > Page break or Column break

Alt Text

*We are really NOT happy about this one. This has not rolled out yet either, but is coming. 

Alt Text will be moving from the Menu to a right click only.

  • Before: Select shape > Format > Alt text. This option will be removed from the menu.
  • After: Right click on shape > Alt text. This is the new way to add alt text to a shape.

One Google Document in Multiple Folders

One File, Two Folders

Sometimes, it can be beneficial to have one Google Document in two different folders. Maybe you are meticulous about organizing your files, but you have a file that could easily be in two different folders.

This can happen when you are collaborating with one group and need to give another group access to the document in a specific folder (for the sake of organization).

*Please note that files can’t be added to Team Drives; they must be moved.

Fortunately, this is easy to do.

  1. Click once on the file that you want to “add” to a different folder (the file should be highlighted in blue).
  2. On your keyboard, press the following keys: Shift + Z.
  3. The “Add” window will open.
    The Add Panel
  4. Navigate to the folder that you want to “Add” the document to. (Note that you will get an > symbol to navigate deeper into folders).
    Add panel selection showing steps above.
  5. Click “ADD” (this will say “ADD HERE” until you select a folder).

Note that this will mean that there will only be one document. Any changes to the document will be reflected in both folders. Also note that the privileges on that document will be the highest privileges of any document.

Let’s say that you create a Google Doc called “My Great Document” in a folder titled “My Team Work”. Then, you are asked to place this document in a “District Team Work” folder that is shared with lots of people with Editing privileges. Using the method above, you create a link to “My Great Document” and add that to the “District Team Work” folder. Anyone who has editing rights to the “District Team Work” folder will also have editing rights to “My Great Document”.

Removal

Need to remove the file from one folder but not the other?

  1. Simply locate the file (it doesn’t matter which folder).
  2. Click on once to select it.
  3. Click on the i in a circle to reveal the details of the file.
  4. Click the X to the right of the folder from which you want to remove.

Screen shot illustrating steps to remove a document from a folder.

Two Files, Two Folders

Please note if you want to share a document, but not have the original affected, you can use the File | Make a copy option. That will make a copy of the file at the moment in time. Any changes on one copy will NOT be reflected on the other.

 

New Google Calendar

Starting today, we are making the new Google Calendar available. This is an optional update at this time. You will need to click a blue button in the top right hand side of the calendar to upgrade. The new Google Calendar brings with it some nice features:

  • Pretty. The fonts and colors have been updated and modernized.
  • Add rich formatted text to events.
  • See contact information in events.

Google has some helpful information on the new calendar:

We hope that you find the new Google Calendar even more useful.

Student Chrome Extensions

With the end of the school year, we have implemented a new feature. We will be limiting Google Chrome extensions for students. This is intended to provide additional security for our users and allow teachers to continue focusing on student work. Occasionally, we had students install Google Chrome extensions that would take over the browsing experience for the student. This meant that a teacher had to stop what he/she was doing and try to figure out what was happening with the student’s computer. This was frustrating for the student and the teacher.

Staff members will continue to be able to install any extensions that they want. We also have a handy form for staff members to suggest an extension that they would like students to be able to install. Extensions that students have installed that are not approved will be removed. Here is a list of the approved extensions:

  • Calculator
  • Camera
  • Gmail
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Classroom
  • Google Docs
  • Google Docs Offline
  • Google Drawings
  • Google Drive
  • Google Forms
  • Google Keep
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides
  • HiveSchool – Student
  • YouTube
  • Screencastify
  • SpeakIt

 

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