Category Archives: Google Drive Blog

News and notes from the Google Drive team

A new way to help students turn in their best work

Today’s students face a tricky challenge: In an age when they can explore every idea imaginable on the internet, how do they balance outside inspiration with authenticity in their own work? Students have to learn to navigate the line between other people’s ideas and their own, and how and when to properly cite sources.

We've heard from instructors that they copy and paste passages into Google Search to check if student work is authentic, which can be repetitive, inefficient and biased. They also often spend a lot of time giving feedback about missed citations and improper paraphrasing. By integrating the power of Search into our assignment and grading tools, we can make this quicker and easier. 

That’s why Google is introducing originality reports. This new feature—with several reports included free in every course—will be part of Classroom and Assignments, which was also announced today. We create originality reports by scanning student work for matched phrases across hundreds of billions of web pages and tens of millions of books. 

When assigning work in Classroom and Assignments, instructors will have the option to enable originality reports. Students will then be able to run up to three originality reports on documents they attach to the assignment before submitting their work. This heads-up gives students an opportunity to proactively improve their work, and also saves time for instructors. 

After submission, a fresh originality report will automatically be available to instructors when grading the assignment. These reports will flag text that has missed citations and has high similarity with text on the web or in books.

Analyze student work with originality reports in Google Assignments

But comparing work to search results isn’t the only way to ensure authentic work. Coming soon, schools can choose to have their own private repository of past student submissions, so instructors can receive originality reports that include student-to-student matches within the same school. 

Once the feature is generally available, instructors will be able to access originality reports at no charge for up to three assignments in each course they teach. Schools that would like unlimited access can upgrade their instructors to G Suite Enterprise for Education.  During the initial, limited testing period, all instructors can use originality reports as much as they would like to, at no charge. We’ll continue to add features at no additional cost to G Suite for Education.

To use originality reports with Classroom, sign up to apply to be part of the testing program by filling out our form. To try Assignments, which includes originality reports automatically, sign up through our website.

We’re looking forward to seeing how teachers and students alike use the tool to create work that’s both authentic and original. 

Source: Drive


Google Assignments, your new grading companion

Instructors lose valuable time doing cumbersome tasks: writing the same comment on multiple essays, returning piles of paper assignments, and battling copy machine jams. These frustrations are most often felt by instructors with the highest teaching workloads and the least time. For the last five years, we’ve been building tools—like Classroom and Quizzes in Google Forms—to address these challenges. Now you can take advantage of these tools if you use a traditional Learning Management System (LMS). 

Assignments brings together the capabilities of Google Docs, Drive, and Search into a new tool for collecting and grading student work. It helps you save time with streamlined assignment workflows, ensure student work is authentic with originality reports, and give constructive feedback with comment banks. You can use Assignments as a standalone tool and a companion to your LMS (no setup required!) or your school admin can integrate it with your LMS. Sign up today to try Assignments.

If you're one of the 40 million people using Classroom: you've got the best of Assignments already baked in, including our new originality reports. For everyone else, Assignments gives you access to these features as a compliment to your school’s LMS. 

Assignments is your tireless grading companion

Using an LMS can create more work than it saves: students turn in all kinds of files, you have to download and re-upload student files one-by-one, and what if students can keep editing after they already turned in their work? Assignments handles all this for you.

Assignments streamlines the creation and management of coursework, and tackles some of your biggest frustrations:

  • Stop typing the same feedback over and over by using a comment bank, and never worry about pressing the “save” button again

  • Check student work for originality and automatically lock work once it’s turned in

  • Assign files with the option to send each student a copy (no more copy machines!)

  • Grade assignments for an entire class with a student switcher and rubrics, and review any file type without leaving your grading interface

  • Comment and leave suggestions on student work with Google Docs

Grade in Google Assignments

Instructors and students can attach anything to assignments: Docs or Word files for papers, spreadsheets for data analysis, slides for presentations, sites for digital portfolios or final projects, Colab notebooks for programming exercises, and much more. 

Create assignments with Google Assignments

Help students turn in their best work with originality reports

With originality reports in Assignments, you can check student work for missed citations and possible plagiarism without interrupting your grading workflow. When students turn in a document, Assignments will check students’ text against hundreds of billions of web pages and tens of millions of books. 

If you enable originality reports on an assignment, students can also check their work for authenticity (a limited number of times) to correct issues, turn in their best work, and save instructors time grading. Since both you and your students can see originality reports, they’re designed to help you teach your students about authenticity and academic integrity. 

Analyze student work with originality reports

Getting started with Assignments

Starting today, you can sign up to get access to Assignments when it becomes available in a few weeks. Assignments will be available for free as part of G Suite for Education and can be used by instructors alongside or integrated with an LMS. 

Instructors can use Assignments even if your school has an LMS. There’s no setup required, all you need is to sign up and have a school-issued Google account. 

Admins can turn on access to Assignments within your LMS. Assignments is available as an LTI tool, which provides a more integrated experience and enables roster syncing and grade transmission to your LMS gradebook. Assignments is an improved and expanded version of Course Kit, so if you’re already in the Course Kit beta, you’ll automatically have access to Assignments. 

If you use Canvas, we’ve worked with their team to complement the Assignments LTI tool with a set of additional features that make Docs and Drive work seamlessly across all Canvas assignments. 

Source: Drive


Changing how Google Drive and Google Photos work together

Many of you store your photos and videos on both Google Drive and Google Photos, which keeps them safe and easy to access. We’ve heard feedback that the connection between these services is confusing, so next month, we’re making some changes to simplify the experience across Drive and Photos.

Changes to automatic sync between Google Drive and Google Photos

Starting in July, new photos and videos from Drive won’t automatically show in Photos. Similarly, new photos and videos in Photos will not be added to the Photos folder in Drive. Photos and videos you delete in Drive will not be removed from Photos. Similarly, items you delete in Photos will not be removed from Drive. This change is designed to help prevent accidental deletion of items across products.

 New “Upload from Drive” feature in Google Photos

We’ve heard that many of you would like more granular control when copying photos and videos from Drive into Photos. So we’re bringing a new feature to photos.google.com called “Upload from Drive,” which lets you manually choose photos and videos from Drive, including “Shared with Me” items, to import into Photos. Once copied, these items are not connected between the two products. Since photos and videos will no longer sync across both products, items copied in Original Quality will count towards your storage quota in both Drive and Photos.

 Backup and Sync for Windows and Mac will continue to work

You’ll still be able to use Backup and Sync on Windows or macOS to upload to both services in High Quality or Original Quality. As before, items uploaded in High Quality won’t count against your account storage quota, and items uploaded using Backup and Sync in Original Quality to both services will count only once towards your quota.

 Your existing photos and videos will stay in Google Drive and Google Photos

Any photos or videos from Drive in Photos that you have uploaded prior to this change will remain in Photos. If you have a “Google Photos” folder in Drive, it will remain in Drive, but will no longer update automatically.

 Our goal with these changes is to simplify some features that caused confusion for our users, based on feedback and our own research. We’ll continue to look for more ways to help support Drive and Photos users going forward.

 If you want to take a closer look at these new changes, please check out our guide.

Source: Drive


More science in more places with Science Journal and Google Drive

We first launched Science Journal in 2016 so that students, teachers and science enthusiasts could conduct hands-on science experiments using their phones, tablets and Chromebooks. Since then, we've heard one request from teachers loud and clear: students need to be able to access their experiments no matter what device they're using or where they are. Learning doesn't just happen in the classroom, it happens outdoors, at home and everywhere in between. So today, we’re bringing a new Google Drive syncing feature to Science Journal. Now, you can access your experiments on any device using a Google Account.

Drive Sync with Science Journal

Accessing your experiment from Google Drive is easy: you can sign in with any Google Account and all of your experiments will be backed up to a Science Journal folder in Google Drive. If you have existing experiments on your device, you can add them to your Google Drive account. Many viewing, sharing and collaboration features will be coming to Science Journal in the future.


If you don't have a Google Account or you don't want to sign in, you can still use Science Journal—but your data won't be saved to Google Drive. If your school doesn't have Google Accounts, you can sign up for G Suite for free—just remember that G Suite for Education accounts need a domain administrator to activate Science Journal in the G Suite Admin console.


In addition to today’s syncing feature, we have a lot of new resources in Science Journal, just for teachers. Check out the new fundamentals and advanced professional development modules in the Google for Education Teacher Center. For introductory science activities, head over to Scholastic's Science in Action initiative, and for more hands-on physics content, you can pre-order Arduino's Science Kit. If you're looking for new ways to enhance Science Journal's capabilities, check out Vernier's Go Direct line of classroom sensors. Science Journal activities can now be found on the Workbench site, and you can always find activities and more on the Science Journal website and get support in our new help center. Finally, the Science Journal iOS app is now open source, so the app's code is available to the public, making it a great opportunity for students, hobbyists and companies who want to see how Science Journal works and even contribute code back to us.


Our goal with Science Journal is to help you enhance scientific thinking and data literacy in your classroom. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months, and let us know what you think on our forum. You can tweet at us @GScienceJournal, or just use the #myScienceJournal hashtag on Twitter.

Source: Drive


ICYMI in May: here’s what happened in G Suite

While Laurel vs. Yanny dominated office chatter this past month, businesses also got their first taste of working in the all-new Gmail. Packed with advanced security features, more integrations and new applications of Google’s artificial intelligence, Gmail is already receiving positive feedback like this, this and this from users.

To experiment with the new Gmail in your personal Gmail accounts, go to Settings in the top right of your inbox and select “Try the new Gmail.” It’s also available for G Suite businesses to use in the Early Adopter Program (EAP).

Subhead 1 ICYMI G Suite

We all have that one coworker who we rely on for tips on how to master spreadsheets, draft functions, organize email and more. We want to empower anyone who uses G Suite to become the go-to “pro” in the office. To help, we’re kicking off a bimonthly series called “G Suite Pro Tips.”

This month, a Google developer expert breaks down how to combine data from one spreadsheet into another spreadsheet in less than two minutes:

Import data from one spreadsheet to another
Subhead 2 ICYMI G Suite

→ Now you can work offline with ease in the new Gmail. Open Gmail in Chrome browser and search, write, delete or archive up to three months worth of messages.

→ We’ve made it easier for IT admins to export and download a copy of data securely from core services like Gmail, Google Docsand more. Navigate to the Tools section in the right-side slideout menu of the Admin console and select “Data Export.”

→ We made some minor changes to Drive’s user interface (UI), stuff like colors and fonts.

Drive UI change

→ We're rolling out Hangouts Meet to new regions. Welcome Colombia, Croatia, Lithuania and Portugal! We’re also automatically enabling Hangouts Meet (instead of Classic Hangouts) for all G Suite domains. Now, you’ll see Meet video meeting details in your Google Calendar events.

→ We’ve expanded Braille support for Sheets on Windows computers. Now you can use Braille on ChromeOS, Windows and Mac systems. Learn more.

Jamboard is now Bluetooth-enabled. Connect Bluetooth Conferencing devices (speaker and microphone combined) for your next jam session.

Check out a full recap of all product updates in May (PDF version).

Source: Drive


Google Drive recognized as a leader by Forrester for File Sync and Share (EFSS) cloud solutions

Drive

We’re designing cloud-based solutions to help teams become more knowledgeable and more effective. Businesses like Whirlpool are turning to Google Drive because they need more secure, friction-free tools to help them house—and more importantly, share—collective company knowledge.

Our continued efforts to help businesses collaborate in the cloud have not gone unnoticed. Today, Drive has been recognized as a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise File Sync And Share Platforms–Cloud Solutions, Q4 2017 report, which ranks cloud-based file sharing and storage solutions for enterprise IT professionals. Earlier this year, Drive was also named a leader among content collaboration platforms by Gartner.

Related Article

Google named a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Collaboration Platforms

For multiple years now, Google Drive has been focused on the needs of large enterprises, because they have the most exciting and impactfu...

Read Article

What does this mean for your business?

There are inherent benefits to working in the cloud, and businesses are starting to take advantage of them. Cloud-first tools like Drive gives companies a single place to store, access and share information, which can improve efficiencies.

Of course, you need to be confident that these new cloud solutions will work well with your existing IT investments. Over the past year, we’ve enhanced Drive with additional enterprise features to make migrating from on-prem fileshares and content management systems easier:

  • Team Drives, so you can work on collectively-owned files and feel confident that your work will stay put no matter who comes or goes on your team. 
  • AppBridge, so your enterprise can migrate all of its data more securely to the cloud with ease. 
  • Drive File Stream, to help you access all data quickly without using up a ton of disk space.  
  • Data Loss Prevention and Google Vault for Drive, to help you control how your teams share information and to help you keep sensitive data safe.
  • Quick Access in Drive, to help surface your data faster with artificial intelligence-powered technology.

To learn more, access the 2017 Forrester Wave EFSS Cloud Solutions report here. Or get in touch with us to learn more about how your business can benefit from moving to Google Cloud.

Source: Drive


Work hacks from G Suite: onboard new employees like a boss

We’ve talked about how corporate training can positively impact employee engagement. The same is true for efficient onboarding. The faster new employees are onboarded, the faster they  feel they’re part of the team and can contribute to your company’s mission.

Here are a few tips to help you onboard new employees without a hitch.

1. Set up an onboarding checklist, save to Team Drives

Google Keep work hacks

To help new employees get up-to-speed quickly, create centralized resources like an onboard checklist or company backgrounder in Google Keep or Docs.

Your new team member can track to-dos by listing out key tasks in Keep. Create a note in Keep and select “Show checkboxes” in the three dots menu. Type in to-dos like “set up HR benefits,” “outline goals” or “meet with Anish about process.”

Pro-tip: Keep integrates directly into Docs. If you’re in Keep, pick a specific note, click the three dots menu and select “Copy to Google Doc.” Or if you’re in Docs, drag-and-drop your note over from Keep.

You can also prepare a more detailed company background for your teammate in Docs. List upcoming projects, assign action items or include other reference material like key contacts. Once you’ve created these resources, be sure to save them to your Team Drives so that the “newbie” knows where to find or upload files for team use.

2. Create an onboarding portal with Google Sites


Now that you’ve created individual resources for an employee, create a mini-onboarding portal in Sites to house them. What’s great about Sites is that you don’t have to be handy with code to build a website—you can spin one up quickly without design, programming or IT resources. Sites also syncs with your favorite G Suite apps, like Drive and Calendar.

Sites GIF

3. Request access to IT systems and equipment using Forms

Sometimes it can take a while to get access to the tools we need to do our jobs, but G Suite apps can help you get around the lag. Help your IT department set up equipment and system access on day one using Forms and Sheets.

If you’re a manager or work in the human resources department, try using Forms to submit requests to IT before a new employee starts. Create a form for equipment and access needs, like computers (shameless plug: Chromebooks), keyboards, phones or IT system permissions. The IT team can then import requests from Forms into Sheets and keep track of needs in real-time.

GIF 3 work hacks

4. Introduce new employees to the team with Google+

G+ work hacks

During your first few days on the job, it’s hard to remember all of the new names and faces. Try setting up a welcome community on Google+ to help your newbie get to know the team.

To get started, go into G+ and click Communities > Yours > Create a Community. Enter the name of the community you want to create and manage who can see the community in your settings. Click “done,” invite people to join your community and started posting.


Employees are a company’s greatest asset. Try these tips to make new folks feel engaged and productive right from the start, or learn more at the G Suite Learning Center or the Google Cloud Transformation Gallery.

Source: Drive


Protecting our Google Docs and Drive Users

Protecting all Google users from viruses, malware, and other abusive content is central to user cyber-safety and sometimes we remove access to certain files in order to provide these protections.


On Tuesday, October 31, we mistakenly blocked access to some of our users’ files, including Google Docs. This was due to a short-lived bug that incorrectly flagged some files as violating our terms of service (TOS). The blocking raised questions in the community and we would like to address those questions here.


The Google Docs and Drive products have unparalleled automatic, preventive security precautions in place to protect our users from malware, phishing and spam, using both static and dynamic antivirus techniques. Virus and malware scanning is an industry best practice that performs automated comparisons against known samples and indicators; the process does not involve human intervention.


Tuesday’s bug caused the Google Docs and Drive services to misinterpret the response from these protection systems and erroneously mark some files as TOS violations, thus causing access denials for users of those files. As soon as our teams identified the problem, we removed the bug and worked to restore access to all affected files.


We apologize to our users for any inconvenience this incident caused and remain committed to offering high-quality systems that keep their content safe while fully securing their files.

Source: Drive


The meeting room, by G Suite

With G Suite, we’re focused on building tools that help you bring great ideas to life. We know meetings are the main entry point for teams to share and shape ideas into action. That’s why we recently introduced Hangouts Meet, an evolution of Google Hangouts designed specifically for the workplace, and Jamboard, a way to bring creative brainstorming directly into meetings. Combined with Calendar and Drive, these tools extend collaboration beyond four walls and transform how we work—so every team member has a voice, no matter location.

But the transformative power of video meetings is wasted if it’s not affordable and accessible to all organizations. So today, we’re introducing Hangouts Meet hardware—a new way to bring high-quality video meetings to businesses of any size. We’re also announcing new software updates designed to make your meetings even more productive.

Introducing Hangouts Meet hardware

Hangouts Meet hardware is a cost-effective way to bring high-quality video meetings to your business. The hardware kit consists of four components: a touchscreen controller, speakermic, 4K sensor camera and ASUS Chromebox.

Hangouts Meet controller

The new controller provides a modern, intuitive touchscreen interface that allows people to easily join scheduled events from Calendar or view meeting details with a single tap. You can pin and mute team members, as well as control the camera, making managing meetings easy. You can also add participants with the dial-a-phone feature and present from a laptop via HDMI. If you’re a G Suite Enterprise edition customer, you can record the meeting to Drive.

Designed by Google, the Hangouts Meet speakermic actively eliminates echo and background noise to provide crisp, clear audio. Up to five speakermics can be daisy-chained together with a single wire, providing coverage for larger rooms without tabletop clutter.

The 4K sensor camera with 120° field of view easily captures everyone at the table, even in small spaces that some cameras find challenging. Each camera component is fine-tuned to make meetings more personal and distraction-free. Built with machine learning, the camera can intelligently detect participants and automatically crop and zoom to frame them.

Powered by Chrome OS, the ASUS Chromebox makes deploying and managing Hangouts Meet hardware easier than ever. The Chromebox can automatically push updates to other components in the hardware kit, making it easier for large organizations to ensure security and reliability. Remote device monitoring and management make it easy for IT administrators to stay in control, too.

New Hangouts Meet enhancements greatly improve user experience and simplify our meeting rooms. It also creates new ways for our team to collaborate. Bradley Rhodes
IT Analyst, Woolworths Limited, Australia

Says Bradley Rhodes, IT Analyst End User Computing at Woolworths Ltd Australia, “We are very excited about the new Hangouts Meet hardware, particularly the easy-to-use touchscreen. The enhancements greatly improve the user experience and simplify our meeting rooms. We have also seen it create new ways for our team to collaborate, like via the touch-to-record functionality which allows absent participants to catch up more effectively.”

More features, better meetings

We’re also announcing updates to Meet based on valuable feedback. If you’re a G Suite Enterprise edition customer, you can:

Dial in image Hangouts Meet
  • Record meetings and save them to Drive. Can’t make the meeting? No problem. Record your meeting directly to Drive. Even without a Hangouts Meet hardware kit, Meet on web can save your team’s ideas with a couple of clicks.
  • Host meetings with up to 50 participants. Meet supports up to 50 participants in a meeting, especially useful for bringing global teams together from both inside and outside of your organization.
  • Dial in from around the globe. The dial-in feature in Meet is now available in more than a dozen markets. If you board a flight in one country and land in another, Meet will automatically update your meeting’s dial-in listing to a local phone number.

These new features are rolling out gradually. The hardware kit is priced at $1999 and is available in select markets around the globe beginning today.

Whether you're collaborating in Jamboard, recording meetings and referencing discussions in Drive or scheduling your next team huddle in Calendar, Hangouts Meet hardware makes it even easier to bring the power of your favorite G Suite tools into team meetings. For more information, visit the G Suite website.

Source: Drive


8 tips to help you keep up in Google Keep

Google Keep makes organizing information a cinch. You can easily jot down ideas or share to-dos with co-workers. We asked Mario Anima, product manager for Google Keep, to share some of his favorite Keep tips. This is what we learned.

1. Record voice notes.

For recording thoughts on the go, you can record voice memos within Google Keep on your Android or iOS device. Open up the Keep mobile app, click on the microphone icon at the bottom right of your screen and record your message. When you’re done talking, the recording will automatically end and a new screen will pop up with the text of your message and an audio file.


Record GIF

Click on “title” at the top of your audio file and name your note. Your note is automatically synced with the web app, too, so you can access it on your desktop.

2. Transcribe notes from pictures.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Keep can transcribe text from pictures for you, so you don’t have to worry about typing up notes from a meeting or whiteboard session (shameless plug: you can also use Jamboard for that).

Just take a photo, select “Grab Image Text”  and Keep will transcribe your note.

OCR gif

3. Create drawings and even search handwritten notes.

You can sketch images in Keep. Select the pen icon at the bottom of your mobile screen and a bunch of options will appear. Play with colors, shades and more. Once you’re finished with your drawing, you can share it right away with coworkers. Or, you can come back to handwritten memos later by searching for what you wrote.

Speaking of search, you can also find images by searching for words contained within them. Say you snap a photo from a whiteboard and the image contains the word “Proposal.” Just search Keep for “proposal” and your image will appear.

4. Drag and drop notes from Keep into Google Docs.

Now you can use Keep directly within Docs—take notes you’ve created in Keep and drag them into client proposals and more.

If you’re in a Doc: click “Tools” on the menu bar, and then “Keep Notepad.” A sidebar will pop up with all of your note options. You can scroll through the list or use the search bar to jump right to the note you need. Once you’ve found it, drag-and-drop the note into your doc.

If you’re in the Keep app: select the note you want to send, click the three dots menu and click “Copy to Google Doc.”

You can also create notes in the Keep notepad while viewing a Doc. One bonus is that when you create a note in Docs, Keep creates a source backlink—so you can access the note in Keep and it will link back to the source document where the note was created.

Keep GIF

5. Use the Chrome Extension.

Create notes while you browse the web by downloading the Chrome Extension. One cool thing is that when you create a note using the extension, it saves the site URL with it. So if you browse back to that same URL, the extension will show your note in context.

Chrome Extension

6. Send notes from Keep to other apps you use.

Some teams save content from other messaging or social media apps in Keep to reference later. Or, vice versa, you might use Keep to draft emails or social media posts on-the-go. Click on the three dots in the bottom right corner of your Keep app, select “send” and choose the app you want to share your note with.

7. Color-code or label your notes to find them quicker.

To organize your notes by color-coding them in Keep, at the bottom of a Keep note, select the three dots menu and choose from several colors to help you quickly identify a note. You might consider color-coding by task or deadline. If you’re working on your desktop, you can also use the Category Tabs for Google Keep Extension in Chrome to assign category names by color. It will look like this:

Changing colors in Keep

You can also add labels to your notes. Another way to locate your information in Keep is to add and create labels using #hashtags. When you create a note in the Keep app, you can type #label-name and Keep will prompt you to either apply a label if it already exists, or create one if it doesn’t. It’s a pretty handy shortcut.

8. Set reminders for yourself.

Notes matter only if you can execute on what your record. Keep lets you set up reminders which can help.

Select a note and click the finger icon at the top right of your screen in Keep (it has a string on it). When you do that, a pop-up window will give you options to set reminders. The great thing about this is that these reminders will alert you in other Google tools, like Calendar, Chrome or on your Android device.

Note: make sure you have Reminders enabled inside your Calendar app in order to see them. You can check out how to do that on our Help Center under the “Don’t see your Reminder” or “Switch between Tasks and Reminders” section.

Try Keep today

Keep is a great way to keep track of your work tasks. Learn more about how you can get started on our site.

Source: Drive