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.


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”.


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


Phishing Attack

There was a major phishing attack today. This one was particularly well done. In short, here is what was happening:

Users would receive an email that someone had shared a document with them. This document was a “real” person. When the user clicked on a link, there was a prompt to allow “Google Docs” access to your data. This was an App that was masquerading as “Google Docs”.  If the user clicked “Allow”, the App now had access to contacts and would further propagate itself by sending out more emails.

This phishing attempt was well crafted in several ways. Everything was spelled correctly. The link looked perfectly legitimate. Lots of people clicked the link and allowed access.

As soon as the Technology Department saw this attack, we immediately began taking steps to intervene. Our intervention included many steps with an “all hands on deck” mentality. We were able to very quickly stem the flow of phishing attacks. However, email moves very quickly and there were some people who received the emails. Again, we took many steps to mitigate the damage (which we don’t lay out here for security reasons).

This attack was not limited to Dearborn Public Schools. Thus, your personal Google account may also have been compromised.

Google has revoked the access that this App had. Thus, everything should be fine now. However, if you want to be double-triple sure, you can go to your Google settings and remove access (the App should no longer be there, but you can confirm that):

  1. Go to
  2. Click on your picture in the upper right hand corner and select “My account”
  3. Click on “Connected apps & sites”
  4. Click on “Manage Apps”
  5. Find the app called “Google Docs” (you may have a legitimate one – click on the name to check the date installed. If today, May 3, 2017, it could be a problem).
  6. Revoke all permissions


Again, it appears as though Google has responded in a method that completely remediates this issue. You shouldn’t have to do anything in particular.

This is a good time to remind ourselves to be careful when we approve others having access to our stuff though. Think twice, click once.

Refreshing the Google Accounts login page

Google will be updating the look of the log in page.

Starting April 5, 2017, we’re rolling out an update to the Google Accounts sign-in page to give users an improved experience to securely sign in to their accounts. This new design will make browser sign-in flows consistent across computers, phones and tablets.

Example of new Google Log in page

What will stay the same

  • The steps to sign in won’t change. You’ll enter the same information you usually do, like your email address and password.
  • You can use your account to sign in securely to the same Google services as before.

Why the page is changing

The new sign-in page will:

  • Have a cleaner, simpler look.
  • Make the sign-in process faster.
  • Be consistent across computers, phones, and tablets.

Google Classroom

Please note that we’ve discovered an issue with Google Classroom. If you attempt to go to Google Classroom without already being logged into Google, then you will receive a 404 error.

Error 404. Unknown Link message.

However, if you are logged into Google, you will be presented with the Classroom. Thus, if you are trying to go to Google Classroom, but get an error page, please sign into Gmail and then go to Google Classroom.


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