Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Use templates to create files in the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides mobile apps

Reblogged from Google Apps Updates

Templates allow you to quickly and easily create files with specific purposes—for instance, you can pull together a project proposal in Google Docs, an invoice in Google Sheets, or a case study in Google Slides without spending unnecessary time or resources on formatting. In September, we launched templates in Docs, Sheets, and Slides on the web; today, we’re rolling out that same functionality for their corresponding Android and iOS apps.

Starting now, when you go to create a new document, spreadsheet, or presentation on your Android or iOS device (by clicking the red “+” button in the bottom right corner of your screen), you’ll be given the option to choose a template. These templates will be the same as those available to you in Docs, Sheets, and Slides on the web, including a meeting agenda, pitch deck, expense report, and more.



Focus on your content, not your formatting. Check out the Help Center article below for more information on getting started with templates.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (potentially longer than 3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

View functions in Google Sheets in your preferred language

Reblogged from Google Apps Updates

Employees across the world use Google Sheets. Starting today, any user whose preferred language is set to English or one of 21 additional, supported languages will see functions in Sheets on the web and mobile in that preferred language. (Please note that some specific functions will continue to appear in English only—even if the user’s preferred language is supported.)
Localized Functions.png
Following this launch, new Sheets users will see functions in their preferred language if that language is supported. Any existing Sheets user whose preferred language is supported will be given an option in Sheets on the web to keep their functions in English or to show them in their preferred language. If they choose the latter, they can switch back to English at any time by selecting Always use English function names underSpreadsheet settings in the File menu.
Localized Functions 2.png
Check out the Change a spreadsheet's locale, time zone, recalculation, and language Help Center article for a list of supported languages, as well as the additional articles below for more information.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid release, with Scheduled release coming on January 11th, 2016

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Chromebook Live Laoag!

Last November 27th, the Bluekore team went to Laoag City to conduct a seminar to showcase Google Chromebooks. This short seminar consisted of attendees given a chance to try out Chromebooks and see what makes it special in a school setting.

The seminar was conducted in Northwestern University and with this, we give special thanks to Ms. Angelica Hernando and the NWU team for sponsoring our venue.

Ms. Angelica Hernando of Northwestern University

Educators from different schools in Laoag City attended the Chromebook Live event and our team was truly excited to meet and connect with them!
The registration proceeded quickly using Chromebooks to check our attendees in.
The program proper consisted of an overview of Google Apps for Education, Google Classroom, Chromebooks, Chromebook Management Console, and the Chrome Web Store

Mary Manzano, Google for Education Trainer, giving a rundown of educational apps that may be installed from the Chrome Web Store.
A teacher taking a look at one of the apps in the Web Store.

The white Acer Chromebook 13 Touchscreen is of special interest. 
Chromebooks are fast, secure, simple to manage, and a fairly inexpensive solution to schools. No wonder it bags the number 1 spot in the US when it comes to devices being used in the classroom. The Bluekore team's goal is to ensure that schools in the Philippines are given that same choice and review Chromebooks as part of their device strategy for 2016.

Thank you to all those who attended!

Chromebook Live Laoag !
The Bluekore team

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The Chromebook Live events is a series of awareness events conducted by Bluekore Inc., an Authorized Chromebook Reseller in the Philippines.
Interested in bringing Chromebooks to your school or division? Email us at googleteam@bluekoreinc.com

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Innovation in the classroom

This year, I had a chance to ponder upon what makes a school innovative.

In speaking with different educators in Philippine schools, I was met with different views on technology. On one hand, we have the schools who will not wait for better bandwidth to arrive in order for them to start making improvements in technology. On the other hand, we have the schools who will go for tried and tested methods and conservative means to educate the kids of today.

I always wondered which was the more effective method, if there was one, and so I decided to reflect upon my own education and the teachers and mentors that made the most impression to me. The teachers that I remember the most were the ones that tried something different - the ones that taught lessons in unexpected ways, the ones that led me to discover things on my own, the ones that taught me to overcome my fear of the unknown.

In teaching me to think for myself and to learn with my teachers, I was given the necessary tool to survive the challenges of a more technologically advanced future.
Excitement and Curiosity. It didn’t matter that there were always new tools or new gadgets to use; I was always excited to try them out.

The result is the ability to keep up with the changing times. And for an educator, training this ability in our students is very important. The leaps in technology are such that we have no idea how fast information exchange will be tomorrow.

So, fear not.

Delving into technology, using digital resources (free or otherwise), trying out cloud services, using video instead of books sometimes - these are not things to be feared. They are there to be explored. Wake up the adventurer, the student, in you.

Take a look at this Google Classroom video last year, and pay attention to Sister Rosemarie deLoro, who said that you cannot stay in teaching and keep going back to the old ways.

I love to hear of educators who in spite of the challenges like slow internet, or minimal budget, can still find ways to innovate in the classroom. These educators must have had great teachers themselves.

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If you are innovating in the classroom now, we’d love to hear your story. And if you are interested to innovate, but have questions holding you back, share them with us! Our team would like to help.

Add to-dos to Google Calendar using Reminders

Reblogged from Google Apps Updates

Calendars are great for keeping track of what's next and to-dos are great for keeping track of what needs to get done. But we often manage them separately, so it's hard to see everything that’s going on and prioritize what's important.

Starting today, people using the Google Calendar Android and iOS apps can now create Reminders to keep track of their to-dos alongside their events. Here’s how it works:

Reminders help with the details
Reminders can be created the same way as an event„Ö°by tapping the red Create icon (“+”) in the bottom right corner of the screen. Calendar can then add things like phone numbers and addresses automatically„Ö°using information from your contacts, as well as Google's knowledge graph, to provide a bit of extra help.

Reminders stick around
While events come and go, Reminders stick with you over time so you can track them until they are actually done. If a Reminder isn't completed, it will appear at the top of your Calendar the next day. And all it takes is a quick swipe when you're done.
13_Swipe.gif

Reminders work across Google
In addition to Calendar, you can add and view Reminders from a variety of Google apps: Inbox by Gmail (for any Apps customers in the early adopter program), Google Keep and Google Now. This makes it easy to add a Reminder to your Calendar when you're checking your email or only have time to create a quick note.

People can start creating Reminders today with the latest versions of Calendar on Google Play and the App Store. And don't worry, we're working on bringing Reminders to the web too.

Check out the Help Center for more information.

Launch Details
Release track:  
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

Rollout pace: 
Full rollout (1-3 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

Friday, December 4, 2015

What's new with Chromebox for meetings?

Reblogged from Google Apps Updates

Chromebox for meetings brings high-quality video conferencing to any room. To help Google Apps customers who use Chromebox for meetings devices stay on top of new feature releases and improvements, starting today we’ll provide a regular recap of recent and upcoming launches. Today’s update coincides with the release of Chrome OS 47 stable, and we will continue to post updates moving forward following the Chrome OS six week release cycle. 

Guest Access
Google Hangouts now supports meeting participants who do not have Google accounts.

Various Performance Optimizations
  • Improved WebRTC to reduce audio echoing and optimize performance on Hangouts.
  • Faster HD resolution, smoother video rendering, and OPUS codec for improved audio quality on CfM.
  • Screenshare improvements for faster updates for complex on-screen changes.

Admin Email Notifications

We recently launched the ability for domain administrators to be notified when a Chromebox for meetings device goes offline, either by email or SMS. There is a known issue on being notified after scheduled reboots, and we are actively working on resolving it.

On-screen Volume Control
In addition to using the buttons on the speaker/mic, it is now possible to adjust the volume using on-screencontrols that have been added to the user interface of Chromebox for meetings.


Launch Details 
Release track: 
All features launched to both Rapid release and Scheduled release; Performance optimization improvements require an upgrade to Chrome 47. Chrome 47 will roll out automatically over the next week for customers who have auto updates turned on.

Impact: 
All end users, plus the admin-only email notification feature

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Increased account security via OAuth2 token revocation

Reblogged from Google Apps Updates

In an effort to further increase account security for Google Apps users, a recent change has been made to oursecurity policy, whereby OAuth2 tokens issued for access to certain products will now be revoked when a user's password is changed. For example, if a user loses their device, and changes their Google password, their mail and other data will stop syncing to that device when the password is reset.

Token revocation itself is not a new feature, as users have always had the ability to revoke access to applications in Security Checkup, and admins have always had this ability in the Google Apps Admin console. This change in our security policy will simply automate the token revocation process. 

What products are impacted?
Any application or device sync functionality that uses the OAuth2 authentication method will stop accessing data upon password reset until a new OAuth2 token has been granted by the user by re-authenticating with their Google account username and password. This includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook (GASMO), and applications that use certain Google APIs. 

For a list of impacted data endpoints and scopes, and any known products that may not sync properly following the policy change, please check out the Help Center

In the future, we plan to expand the list of Google products and scopes for which tokens will be revoked upon password change, and will provide more details as they become available.

How will this impact Google Apps users?
If you have a corporate policy that requires your end users to change their passwords periodically, we recommend letting them know that they will also have to re-authenticate on their mobile devices, or any applications that they may be using to access Google Apps.

All password changes, such as an end user changing a password, or an admin changing the password on behalf of the end user―or even using tools such as Google Apps Password Sync or other Directory API client applications―will result in OAuth2 tokens being revoked.


Launch Details
Release track:  
Policy change will impact apps/device syncing for both Rapid release and Scheduled release tracks for all password changes starting December 10, 2015

Rollout pace: 
Gradual rollout (potentially longer than 3 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
All end users


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Easier user management in the Google Admin mobile app for Android

Reblogged from Google Apps Updates

The Google Admin mobile app allows Apps super admins to easily manage users and groups, contact support, view audit logs and perform other common administrative tasks all from their mobile devices. 

Today’s update to the Google Admin mobile app for Android makes managing users and groups even easier with the following new features:

Add users from contact list
When adding a new user, Apps super admins can now simply import a contact from their contact list and have all of their information pre-populated in the ‘Add user’ form. The information can then be edited as needed, and the user can be quickly created. 
2015-11-10-165446_540x960_scrot.png
Quickly change roles and remove members 
When viewing member information inside of a group, it’s now possible for super admins to quickly change a member’s role or remove them from the group altogether.
2015-11-10-165534_540x960_scrot.png

Check out the Help Center links below for more information on the Google Admin app for Android.

Launch Details
Release track:  
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

Rollout pace: 
Gradual rollout (potentially longer than 3 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

Monday, November 23, 2015

Drag and drop files directly into folders in Google Drive

Reblogged from Google Apps Updates

Google Drive allows you to upload files, images, and videos so you can work on them anywhere and anytime. With today’s update, if you’re using the latest versions of Chrome or Firefox on the web, you can now drag a file from your desktop directly into Drive folders or subfolders.

Launch Details
Release track:  
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

Rollout pace: 
Full rollout (1-3 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

Friday, November 13, 2015

Enhanced commenting, charts, and font functionality in the Google Docs and Sheets apps for Android

Reblogged from Google Apps Updates

Commenting is crucial to collaboration amongst your employees. This launch makes it easier for them to work together—even from their mobile devices. In the latest version of the Google Sheets app for Android, users can now add new and reply to existing comments. In the newest Google Docs app for Android, they can now see comments and suggestions in Print Layout view—and then resolve, close, accept, or reject those comments and suggestions—making it simpler to move between their desktop and mobile devices.

android-screenshot-20150928-151019.png
This launch also helps users better create and edit charts in the Sheets app for Android. For instance, if a user a selects a single cell and inserts a chart, we’ll automatically expand that data selection to include the immediately surrounding cells. This will make it easier for users to create robust charts with relevant information. In addition, when an employee creates a new chart, they’ll now see three recommended chart types, which we’ll suggest based on the data they’ve selected.

          

As a bonus, when your employees download the latest version of the Sheets app for Android, they’ll be able to view the more than 400 new fonts added to Sheets on the web earlier this week.

For more information on these new features, check out the Help Center articles below.

Launch Details
Release track: 
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (potentially longer than 3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Find 'missing' emails more easily in Gmail

Reblogged from Google Apps Updates

Sometimes emails are mistakenly marked as spam or put into Trash, and they can be difficult to discover via search. To help address this issue, Gmail will now search in both the Trash and Spam folders (only Trash was indexed previously). If a match is found, a footer at the bottom of search results will indicate the match and direct the user to view the messages.
trash-spam-footer.png
In addition, if a search query is too general to return useful search results, a different footer will now be shown guiding the user to try refining their query using Gmail advanced search.
advanced-search-footer.png
Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid release, with Scheduled release coming in two weeks

Rollout pace: 
Full rollout (1-3 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

Friday, November 6, 2015

Restore deleted events in Google Calendar web

Reblogged from Google Apps Update

Ever deleted a calendar event by mistake and wanted to get it back - just like you can in Gmail and Drive? Now you can: today we’re adding Trash functionality to Google Calendar on the web, providing an easy way for users to view, permanently delete, or restore individual and recurring deleted calendar events. Trash puts calendar users in control by letting them quickly reverse any event mishaps, and limits escalations to Google Apps admins.

trash_gif.gif

Trash is accessible from the calendar's dropdown menu in the "My calendars" section as well as from Calendar Settings. This functionality is available for both primary calendars and secondary calendars for which people have edit rights.

Admins can track events restored or removed from Trash within their domain using Calendar Audit logs in the Admin console.

Check out the Help Center for more information.

Note: The first time a user deletes an event from a shared calendar after the launch, a one-time email notification will be sent to them from Google Calendar, explaining the Trash options and details around sharing settings.

Launch Details
Release track:  
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

Rollout pace: 
Full rollout (1-3 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI



Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sharing on the go with Google Drive

Reblogged from Google Apps Updates

Following the recent addition of the ability to request access to Drive files on Android, today we’re making sharing on the go even easier with several new features in the Drive apps for Android and iOS.

Sharing notifications (Android and iOS)
People using the Drive app can now choose to receive mobile notifications when someone shares a Drive item with them, allowing them to open the file or folder by simply tapping on the notification. If a file/folder owner has notifications turned on and someone requests access to their content, the owner will be notified of the request instantly on their mobile device so they can quickly grant access.



People will be informed of this new feature the first time they use the updated versions of the Drive app, and can choose to turn it on or off in Settings.  

Consistent sharing experience across platforms (iOS)
We’re implementing a more consistent sharing experience in Drive (and the Docs editor apps too!) across platforms, including the ability for people using the Drive iOS app to add custom messages to recipients directly from the app when sharing a file. 

Seamless sharing to people without a Google account (Android)
Until now, a Google Account was needed to view shared files on an Android device. Now, people can do this without a Google Account just like they can on the web.

Launch Details
Release track:  
Launched to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

Rollout pace: 
Gradual rollout (potentially longer than 3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Do more on the go with new features in the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides Android apps

Reblogged from Google Apps Updates

The latest versions of the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides Android apps include several new features that make it easier to work on your mobile device. You can now:
  • View more content at one time in Sheets - Now, when you scroll down or zoom in on a spreadsheet, we’ll hide your toolbars and headers so that you can see more of your content on the screen at one time. To bring those toolbars and headers back, simply scroll up or zoom out.
  
  • View existing filters in Sheets - If you apply filters to your data in Sheets on the web, those filters will now appear in the Sheets Android app as well (previously, you might not have known that you were viewing filtered content).

  • Paste only values, formatting, and more in Sheets - Already available in Sheets on the web, thePaste special feature in the Sheets Android app allows you to copy content and then paste only the associated values, formatting, formula, data validation, or conditional formatting. You can also paste everything but borders or paste your content in a transposed order.
  
  • Hyperlink text and shapes in Slides - You can now insert new and edit existing links in your presentations directly from the Slides Android app toolbar and context menu.

  • Use superscripts and subscripts in Docs and Slides - Create superscript and subscript text in the Docs and Slides Android apps using the text formatting palette.

Launch Details
Release track: 
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (potentially longer than 3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Head back to school with new features in Google Classroom


Reblogged from Google Apps Updates


As teachers gear up for the new school year, we’re adding a number of new features in Google Classroom to help them save time, engage with students, and keep everyone organized. Most of these features are rolling out this week, with others coming soon.

Keep students engaged with question-driven discussions
Since Classroom launched last year, teachers have been using their class stream to host student debates, Q&A, and discussions. Starting today, they’ll be able to do this in a more collaborative way. They can post questions to their class and allow students to have discussions by responding to each other’s answers (or not, depending on the setting chosen). For example, teachers could post a video and ask students to answer a question about it, or post an article and ask them to write a paragraph in response. 

TeacherStudentQuestion-04.gif


Reuse posts
Teachers can now reuse assignments, announcements or questions from any one of their classes — or any class they co-teach, whether it’s from last year or last week. Once they choose what to copy, they’ll also be able to make changes before posting or assigning it.


ReusePost-05.gif


Calendar Integration
In the next month, Classroom will automatically create a calendar for each class in Google Calendar. All assignments with a due date will be automatically added to class calendars and kept up to date. Teachers will be able to view their calendar from within Classroom or on Google Calendar, where they can manually add class events like field trips or guest speakers. 

calendar-classroom-integration.png

And a few more improvements based on teacher feedback:

  • Bump a post: When teachers want to make sure an older item is easy for students to find, they can now move any post to the top of the stream. 
  • Due dates optional: For long-term projects or student-driven assignments, teachers will have the option to create assignments that don’t have due dates. 
  • Attach a Google Form to a post: Many teachers have been using Google Forms as an easy way to assign a test, quiz or survey to the class. Coming in the next few weeks, teachers and students will soon be able to attach Google Forms from Drive to posts and assignments, and get a link in Classroom to easily view the answers. 

Launch Details
Release track: 
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release this week, with the exception of Calendar integration and attaching a Google Form, which are planned for the coming weeks

Rollout pace: 
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
All end users (teachers/students)

Action: 
Change management suggested/FYI