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 ( ) 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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Click once on the file that you want to “add” to a different folder (the file should be highlighted in blue).
On your keyboard, press the following keys: Shift + Z.
The “Add” window will open.
Navigate to the folder that you want to “Add” the document to. (Note that you will get an > symbol to navigate deeper into folders).
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?
Simply locate the file (it doesn’t matter which folder).
Click on once to select it.
Click on the i in a circle to reveal the details of the file.
Click the X to the right of the folder from which you want to remove.
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.
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.
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:
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):
Go to google.com.
Click on your picture in the upper right hand corner and select “My account”
Click on “Connected apps & sites”
Click on “Manage Apps”
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).
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.