Friday, November 18, 2016

GSfE Update: New Google Templates Available

Posted: 16 Nov 2016 10:01 AM PST
We recently launched new tools in G Suite like ExploreAction items, and other features to help your teams save time and focus on what’s important: creating impactful work, quicker. We know time spent re-creating files in the workplace takes away from the time your team can spend collaborating and achieving results.

That’s why, today, we’re introducing custom templates in G Suite for the Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms files your teams use the most.

Simply submit files to shared template galleries in the DocsSheetsSlides, and Forms home screens for your co-workers to adapt and use as needed. With these customizable templates, your teams can focus less on formatting and more on driving impact and sharing success.

Note that if you disabled template submissions to the old Google Drive templates gallery in the Admin console, users in your organization will not be able to see and use the new galleries when they launch. You can enable the new galleries for your users in the Admin console (Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Templates). You can also configure the categories available for your organization’s templates from that same section in the Admin console.

In addition, G Suite for Business and Education customers can require templates be approved before they appear in the galleries, or prevent end users from submitting new templates altogether. These features are not enabled by default, so you’ll need to update your settings if you want to moderate or restrict template submissions to the galleries.

The old templates gallery will be shut down in early 2017, giving you and your users time to transition to the new galleries. We’ll let you know the exact date with a message in the old gallery, but it will not take place before February 1st, 2017.

An important note regarding this rollout: 
To give you a chance to update your settings and curate your organization’s template galleries, we’re rolling out these features (both in the Admin console and in the home screens) to all admins, regardless of their release track, starting today. We’ll launch to end users on the Rapid release track today as well, with the rollout to end users on the Scheduled release track starting on December 7th

Launch Details
Release track:
  • G Suite administrators
    • Launching to both Rapid and Scheduled release
  • G Suite end users
    • Launching to Rapid release, with Scheduled release coming on December 7th


  • Template galleries
    • Available to all G Suite editions
  • Moderation and restriction capabilities
    • Available to G Suite for Business and Education customers only

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

All end users

Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Enable templates for Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms
Help Center: Create a file from a template

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Gmail and Calendar Update on iOS

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 10:01 AM PST
(Cross posted from the Gmail blog

Posted by Matthew Izatt, Product Manager 

Today we're making some changes to the Gmail and Google Calendar apps on iOS.

The new Gmail app for iOS

When you get the next Gmail iOS app update, you'll notice some exciting changes: The biggest overhaul of the app in nearly four years. It's the Gmail you know and love, with a fresh new look, sleeker transitions and some highly-requested features. It's a lot faster, too.

With the new app, getting things done on the go is a lot easier — whether you're trying to find a message your colleague sent you last month, or trying to get through your work inbox on a Monday morning.

Starting today, you'll be able to:
  • Undo Send, just like you do on the desktop, to prevent embarrassing email mistakes
  • Search faster with instant results and spelling suggestions (like when you type "flighht," but you really meant "flight")
  • Swipe to archive or delete, to quickly clear items out of your inbox

Google Calendar: Updated for you

Based on your feedback (thank you!), the Calendar app on iOS has some shiny, new features:
  • Month view and week in landscape view, so you have even more ways to see your schedule at a glance.
  • Spotlight Search support, so you can search for events, Reminders and Goals in Apple's Spotlight Search and find what you're looking for faster.
  • Alternate calendars. If you often look up dates in a non-Gregorian calendar — like Lunar, Islamic, or Hindu — you can now add that calendar to easily see those dates alongside your current calendar.

We'll continue to improve both Gmailand Calendarfor iOS so you can be more productive on the go.

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

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

Available to all G Suite editions

All end users

Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Gmail app on iOS change management guide (pdf)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tech Tip: How to Bulk Copy Share a Google Site

Do you use Google Sites with your students?  If not, I would highly recommend it.  You can use Google Sites to allow students to publish a digital portfolio to showcase their work, or to have them create a product or theory and market it. The possibilities are endless!  

As a Technology Integration Coach, I will use Google Sites for all of the 8th grade students to collect information to determine if they are proficient in technology literacy.  All students must complete a series of assignments that contains many skills that meet the NJTAPIN rubric. (A technology literacy in NJ.)

Since all of the students at my school are using G Suite for Education, I decided to have the 8th grade students, (about 300 students), showcase their work using Google Sites rather than using a template in Google Slides.  The purpose, to expose them to another app other than Drive. 

My process:  I created a template for the digital portfolio using Google Sites, then I created a spreadsheet with their account information which included their first and last names, and email address.  Then, I installed a Google Sheet add-on called SiteMaestro, which allows you to bulk copy share a Google Site with a roster of students.

The SiteMaestro add-on takes all of the students who are listed in the spreadsheet and it creates a new Google Site, renames it, and shares it accordingly. At this point, the students will see the digital portfolio template listed under the Sites app, and they will also receive an email notification that a site was shared/created.  At this point, they will be able to modify it to include my requirements. 

A convenient feature is the spreadsheet I created will contain a link to all of the student websites, so that I can easily access them.  In addition, all of the Google Sites that were created using the add-on, will be listed under my Google Sites list.  However, this can be cumbersome for me because I have so many students, so in my case, I created another G Suite for Education account just for this purpose. This will prevent my account to become flooded with student's sites.

I found this add-on to be a life saver!  I was so impressed with it, I decided to create a screen cast of the process.  I hope you find it helpful. Enjoy!