How Tring School creates a culture of student sharing that improves classroom results

Editor’s note: Leading up to Bett, one of the largest education technology conferences in the world, we're highlighting teachers, students and administrators who are using educational technology to help schools flourish and make learning more interactive and impactful. In this post, Chris Lickfold, Director of Learning at Tring School in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, explains how technology has encouraged their school’s 1,500 students to become more curious, independent learners. Over the next few months, we'll be sharing more Impact Portraits on the blog. And check out @GoogleForEdu and #BETT2017 to learn what we're talking about at Bett. Chris Lickfold will be speaking at Google’s teaching theatre at 11 a.m. on Jan. 26.

Traditional measures like attendance rates and grades are important benchmarks for a school’s performance, but they don’t paint a complete picture of student success. They don’t, for example, indicate whether students are engaged with their classwork or are inspired to discover knowledge.

Last year we brought Chromebooks to Tring School and trained teachers and students to use G Suite for Education. We were fortunate to be in a school environment that was already reaching its goals, but we saw an opportunity to improve further by creating a culture of sharing and engagement.

Shortly after bringing Google tools to students at Tring School, we saw students becoming more independent in their learning—and more curious about the world than we could have imagined. For example, when conducting primary research, we saw students collecting upwards of 300 data points using Google Forms, versus just a handful before the rollout of Google tools. Now, we're beginning to see the impact of student-led learning in more traditional performance benchmarks. In our science classes, 21 percent more students performed above their expected level in 2016 compared to 2015. And 20 percent more students reached average levels in 2016 compared to 2015.

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Students take ownership of learning—and ask teachers for support when they need it

With a few hundred Chromebooks and Google Classroom, we were able to fully appreciate our students’ proficiencies and challenges. Because Chromebooks allow for real-time collaboration, teachers can see school work in progress and offer support to students as they’re working on assignments instead of providing feedback after classwork was already completed. Students like the privacy of communicating within Classroom, and they’re less self-conscious about asking for help. Teachers are also able to direct students to specific resources they need. And the portability of Chromebooks lets teachers and students to share and respond to feedback even when they’re not in a classroom together.

“The increased feedback and interaction with teachers improved my marks,” one of our Year 11 students told us. “We never had this level of detail or ability to ask specific questions back within the work.”

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Richer, more contextual learning environments

Chromebooks and G Suite have buttressed our flipped learning approach and given students more autonomy over how they learn and what they learn about. It’s easy to provision content on Chromebooks; teachers in our modern foreign languages department add tools like Google Maps so students can immerse themselves in the locations of the languages they’re studying. Students in our design and technology department can work on projects at their own pace. In other words: Students, not teachers, decide how they’ll meet learning goals.

As students work with their chosen resources, such as digital textbooks, teachers can tailor feedback and guidance for individual students—something they wouldn’t have had the time or tools to do in the past. G Suite applications help increase students’ accountability and lets teachers track homework more efficiently than paper-based methods, and that saved time can go back into working with students one-on-one.

Students share classwork with each other simply because it’s so easy to do so. Teachers don’t need to encourage sharing—it’s become part of learning. All in all, Google’s tools have helped us build a culture of sharing that’s not only fun and engaging for students and teachers—it actually delivers better results.

Read the full Tring School Impact Portrait and check out g.co/EduImpact for stories of impact from around the world.

Making YouTube Better in a Mobile, Cross-Screen World

Throughout the day, people turn to their nearest device for help making choices about what to do, what to watch, or even what to buy. More than anywhere else, these moments happen on Google and YouTube, and more often than not, they happen on mobile.

With over 50% of YouTube views now on mobile, we’re focused on building scalable solutions that will work across screens. To do this, we're announcing changes today that allow advertisers and agencies to better measure their campaigns and reach their audience on YouTube across screens, while continuing to offer users control over their ads experience on YouTube.

Next generation insights and reporting

We’re developing a new, cloud-based measurement solution over the next year that will be at the cutting edge both in generating advertiser insights and in protecting privacy and security across Google and YouTube. With this new solution, advertisers will have access to more detailed insights from their YouTube campaigns across devices, so they can better understand the impact of their campaigns on their highest-value customers. For instance, a car manufacturer could get a rich understanding of how YouTube ads across devices influenced a specific audience (like previous SUV buyers).

As we build this new measurement solution, we will continue to work closely with leading MRC accredited vendors including comScore, DoubleVerify, IAS, MOAT, and Nielsen. Together, these vendors account for the vast majority of third-party measurement on YouTube. These collaborations will enable agencies and advertisers to continue to independently measure and verify the performance of their campaigns.

Improved ways to reach your audience

As more viewership on YouTube shifts to mobile, we’re making it easier for advertisers to deliver more relevant, useful ads across screens. Now, information from activity associated with users’ Google accounts (such as demographic information and past searches) may be used to influence the ads those users see on YouTube. So, for example, if you’re a retailer, you could reach potential customers that have been searching for winter coat deals on Google and engage with them with your own winter clothing brand campaign at just the right moment. In addition, we're creating new ways for advertisers to use their customer data to reach their highest-value customers on YouTube using Customer Match. For example, that same retail advertiser could reach customers that signed up to receive special offers in their stores.

User controls built for the mobile world

In addition to the advertiser solutions announced above, users will continue to have control over what ads they see on YouTube and across Google with the controls in My Account, and as always, we maintain strict policies against sharing personally identifiable information with advertisers. In the coming weeks, we’ll enable a user control that was built with cross-screen viewing in mind: if a user mutes an advertiser on Google Search, ads from that advertiser will also be muted when they watch on YouTube. For example, if you see a gym membership ad but have already signed up for a gym as part of your New Year’s resolution, you can mute that ad in Search, and you won’t see ads from that advertiser on YouTube.

Paving the path for the future

As we roll out these changes, we’re supporting the platforms where the majority of users watch today rather than continuing to invest in the legacy technologies of the desktop web. As a result, we’ll be limiting the use of cookies and pixels on YouTube starting this year.

While technologies like pixels and cookies still have a role in the broader ecosystem, most were built for a single screen—neither pixels nor anonymous cookies were designed for the ways in which users increasingly watch content on YouTube, like on the mobile app or in the living room. This can lead to inconsistent measurement and less relevant ads across screens, making it harder for people to control the ads they see or the data used to show them.

By investing more in the mobile first solutions we’re announcing today, users will have more choice and transparency over how they experience ads on Google and YouTube, and advertisers will have more opportunities to be present and relevant in the moments their audience chooses to watch.

Source: Inside AdWords


App Security Improvements: Looking back at 2016

Posted by Rahul Mishra, Android Security Program Manager
[Cross-posted from the Android Developers Blog]

In April 2016, the Android Security team described how the Google Play App Security Improvement (ASI) program has helped developers fix security issues in 100,000 applications. Since then, we have detected and notified developers of 11 new security issues and provided developers with resources and guidance to update their apps. Because of this, over 90,000 developers have updated over 275,000 apps!
ASI now notifies developers of 26 potential security issues. To make this process more transparent, we introduced a new page where developers can find information about all these security issues in one place. This page includes links to help center articles containing instructions and additional support contacts. Developers can use this page as a resource to learn about new issues and keep track of all past issues.

Developers can also refer to our security best practices documents and security checklist, which are aimed at improving the understanding of general security concepts and providing examples that can help tackle app-specific issues.

How you can help:
For feedback or questions, please reach out to us through the Google PlayDeveloper Help Center.
security+asi@android.com.

App Security Improvements: Looking back at 2016

In April 2016, the Android Security team described how the Google Play App Security Improvement (ASI) program has helped developers fix security issues in 100,000 applications. Since then, we have detected and notified developers of 11 new security issues and provided developers with resources and guidance to update their apps. Because of this, over 90,000 developers have updated over 275,000 apps!

Android app security improvements

ASI now notifies developers of 26 potential security issues. To make this process more transparent, we introduced a new page where developers can find information about all these security issues in one place. This page includes links to help center articles containing instructions and additional support contacts. Developers can use this page as a resource to learn about new issues and keep track of all past issues.

Developers can also refer to our security best practices documents and security checklist, which are aimed at improving the understanding of general security concepts and providing examples that can help tackle app-specific issues.

How you can help:

For feedback or questions, please reach out to us through the Google Play Developer Help Center. To report potential security issues in apps, email us at security+asi@android.com.

App Security Improvements: Looking back at 2016

Posted by Rahul Mishra, Android Security Program Manager
In April 2016, the Android Security team described how the Google Play App Security Improvement (ASI) program has helped developers fix security issues in 100,000 applications. Since then, we have detected and notified developers of 11 new security issues and provided developers with resources and guidance to update their apps. Because of this, over 90,000 developers have updated over 275,000 apps!
ASI now notifies developers of 26 potential security issues. To make this process more transparent, we introduced a new page where developers can find information about all these security issues in one place. This page includes links to help center articles containing instructions and additional support contacts. Developers can use this page as a resource to learn about new issues and keep track of all past issues.

Make sure to check out our new Security for Android Developers page, which highlights the latest security posts, security best practices documents and security checklist. These resources are all aimed at improving your understanding of general security concepts and giving you examples that can help you address app-specific issues.

How you can help:
For feedback or questions, please reach out to us through the Google PlayDeveloper Help Center.
To report potential security issues in apps, email us at security+asi@android.com.

See how G Suite and DocuSign help real estate brokers close deals faster

G Suite helps teams cut through clutter and get right down to business: accomplishing more with less rigmarole. In November, we welcomed DocuSign to the Recommended for G Suite Program to trim time businesses spend on e-signatures and approvals. This G Suite integration makes it easy to fast-track signatures with multiple signers, which is especially valuable for our customers in the real estate industry.

Sereno Group, a real estate brokerage firm in California, uses DocuSign and G Suite to schedule signings, maintain communication between agents and clients, and easily exchange paperwork. By using less complicated tools, agents can build their business and clientele faster.  

“When our tools are easier to use, agents can spend less time managing paperwork and devote more time to their clients,” said Tim Proschold, VP of Group Strategy & Success at Sereno Group.

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Sereno Group agents save time by using other G Suite integrations, like DocuSign for Google Drive and the DocuSign Gmail extension. Agents use Zipforms, online forms used by real estate agents, to store important deal information. Then others can go into these Zipforms, assemble important real estate, add in files or documents stored in Google Drive with the DocuSign for Google Drive integration and send materials to clients for them to sign. Tracking the status of signatures is easy with the DocuSign Gmail extension. Sereno Group agents can see the status of signatures directly in Gmail to know what’s pending and what’s complete. 

Other brokers are catching on too. Chris Lopez, broker with World Class Properties, is saving time with DocuSign and G Suite: “I sign between five and 10 documents every day and I save up to 10 minutes on each document. That frees up nearly eight hours a week for me to focus on what’s important for my clients.”

These real estate agents are clearly on to something. According to DocuSign, Sereno Group real estate agents are using DocuSign tools more and more — last year they used 18,000 envelope signatures up from 5,500 the year before. To learn more about how to use G Suite and DocuSign for your business, sign up for this webinar on February 7, 2017 at 10am PST / 1pm EST.

Source: Gmail Blog


Dev Channel Update for Desktop

The dev channel has been updated to 57.0.2986.0 for Windows, Mac and Linux.


A partial list of changes is available in the log. Interested in switching release channels? Find out how. If you find a new issue, please let us know by filing a bug. The community help forum is also a great place to reach out for help or learn about common issues.


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Google Chrome

Legacy versions of Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides mobile apps shutting down on April 3, 2017

On April 3, 2017, we will shut down older versions of the following Android and iOS applications: 

  • Google Drive for Android (prior to version 2.4.311)
  • Google Docs for Android (prior to version 1.6.292)
  • Google Sheets for Android (prior to version 1.6.292)
  • Google Slides for Android (prior to version 1.6.292)


  • Google Drive for iOS (prior to version 4.16)
  • Google Docs for iOS (prior to version 1.2016.12204)
  • Google Sheets for iOS (prior to version 1.2016.12208)
  • Google Slides for iOS (prior to version 1.2016.12203)

This month, users of these legacy versions will begin seeing the below prompts to upgrade. Please note that after March 1, some users with very old versions will be forced to upgrade when they receive the prompt.


If you are using any of these unsupported versions, we encourage you to download and install the latest version of that mobile application. Note that corresponding web and desktop applications will not be affected by this change. On most devices, you can find an app’s version type in its settings menu.


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Solution guide: creating self-service IT environments with CloudBolt



IT organizations want to realize the cost and speed benefits of cloud, but can’t afford to throw away years of investment in tools, talent and governance processes they’ve built on-prem. Hybrid models of application management have emerged as a way to get the best of both worlds.

Development and test (dev/test) environments help teams create different environments to support the development, testing, staging and production of enterprise applications. Working with CloudBolt Software, we’ve prepared a full tutorial guide that describes how to quickly provision these environments in a self-service capacity, while maintaining full control over governance and policies required by enterprise IT.

CloudBolt isn’t just limited to dev/test workloads, but anything your team runs on VMs. As a cloud management platform that integrates your on-prem virtualization and private cloud resources with the public cloud, CloudBolt serves as a bridge between your existing infrastructure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Developers within your organization can provision the resources they need through an intuitive self-service portal, while IT maintains full control over how these provisioned environments are configured, helping them reap the cost and agility benefits of GCP using the development tools and processes they’ve built up over the years. It’s also an elegant way to rein in VM sprawl, helping organizations manage the ad-hoc environments that spring up with new projects. CloudBolt even provides a way to automatically scan and discover VMs in both on-prem and cloud environments.

Teams can get started immediately with this self-service tutorial. Or join us for our upcoming webinar featuring CloudBolt’s CTO Bernard Sanders and Google’s Product Management lead for Developer Tools on January 26th. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to explore which enterprise workloads make the most sense for your cloud initiatives.

The New Google Data Studio PostgreSQL Connector

Over the past months, we’ve been hard at work adding and enhancing all of our connectors. After our recent launch of the MySQL connector, many users asked for a PostgreSQL connector.

So today we’ve launched a new PostgreSQL connector in Google Data Studio!

Visualizing your data hasn’t been easier.

PostgreSQL data visualized in Data Studio
To get started, create a new Report, add a new Data Source, and select the PostgreSQL Connector. Then use the wizard to configure access to your PostgreSQL database. a new Report, add a new Data Source, and select the PostgreSQL Connector. Then use the wizard to configure access to your PostgreSQL database.

The new connector in our ever expanding list
Once connected, you will see a list of all your columns and you can create custom aggregations and calculations over your data directly in Data Studio!

Calculations on top of fields accessed from postgreSQL
We’re excited to learn about what you do with this connector. Visit the Data Studio PostgreSQL connector help center article, for more details on how this connector works.

Finally, we prioritized this connector directly from your feedback. If there are any additional connectors you would like added, please fill out the Data Studio Data Integrations Survey.

Posted By Anand Shah, Product Manager, on behalf of the Google Data Studio team