Tag Archives: G Suite

Enroll in the new Advanced Protection Program in an instant

We aim to secure all of our users with simple, powerful and personalized protections. The Advanced Protection Program helps high-risk users—like members of political campaign teams, journalists, activists, executives, employees in regulated industries such as finance or government—shield themselves from targeted, sophisticated attacks on their Google Accounts. We’ve helped protect these types of people for many years: we introduced our government-backed attack warnings in 2012, and from July to September 2019, we sent more than 12,000 warnings to users around the world.

People consistently tell us the Advanced Protection Program has been a leap forward for their security, but we haven’t made it easy enough to enroll. Today, we’re simplifying Advanced Protection while maintaining the same high level of security protections. Now, if you have an Android phone or iPhone, you can sign up and enroll into the program with just a few clicks. Here’s how it works.

Advanced Protection, simplified

Advanced Protection offers added protection from phishing attacks because the program requires exclusive use of security keys. According to a study we released last year, people who exclusively used security keys to sign into their accounts never fell victim to targeted phishing attacks. But, using security keys can be a hurdle for users: they can be costly, and acquiring and keeping track of two extra pieces of hardware is a burden.

Everything becomes much simpler when the things we’re already carrying around—our smartphones—have a built-in security key. That’s been the case on Android since last year, and starting today you can activate a security key on your iPhone as well. Millions of people around the world—many high-risk users among them—use iPhones, and this new capability makes Advanced Protection significantly easier for them. To learn more about using your iPhone’s security key, check out this post on our security blog.
Google's Smart Lock app

Approving the sign-in to a Google Account via Google's Smart Lock app

Getting started with Advanced Protection

You can enroll in Advanced Protection with a few clicks if you have a phone running Android 7+ or iOS 10.0+. 

Advanced Protection enrollment for Android users

Advanced Protection enrollment for Android users

With attacks on the rise, and many major events on the horizon this year like the U.S. elections in November, the Advanced Protection Program offers a simple way to incorporate the strongest account protections that Google offers. Enroll now.

ICYMI: Checking in on G Suite’s newest tools

2020 is just around the corner, and we’re already looking ahead. But before we shift focus to the upcoming year, let’s take a look at what we’ve accomplished together over the last six months in G Suite.

Giving businesses the assist 

In November we hosted Google Cloud Next ‘19 in London, where even more assistive features were introduced in G Suite.

For starters, you’ll start seeing suggestions in Google Docs to help correct grammar faux pas via cutting-edge, neural network technology. We’re also bringing the power of Smart Compose from Gmail over to Docs so you can draft work faster, along with other helpful updates

Integrations between the Google Assistant and G Suite are also now available in beta for businesses to test. These integrations bring you new ways to accomplish more on the go with the Google Assistant when you’re logged into your G Suite account. This includes things like managing your calendar, sending quick messages and joining meetings hands-free. If those features pique your interest, you can learn more about how your company can sign up to try these helpful new additions.


Take-home tip: Did you know that Google Docs, Sheets and Slides have built-in AI to help you do things like search the web and embed imagery in documents, crunch numbers in spreadsheets and more? Learn how to use the “Explore” feature.


Start simple

Access to technology that’s easy to use matters, especially if you run a business—you can’t afford to adopt new systems that create confusion among your employees or that slow work down. We get that, which is why we’ve always been focused on making G Suite tools intuitive to use. 

These past few months, the product and engineering teams worked tirelessly to provide highly requested features in G Suite to make work flow more seamlessly. That list of features includes things like even more accessibility in G Suite as well as security updates including advanced phishing and malware protection, the introduction of Google’s Advanced Protection Program (APP) to protect high-risk users from security attacks (like CEOs), making Titan security keys available to more countries, and more. 

Take-home tip: There’s more material available if you’re  interested in learning more about how to get started in G Suite, including a step-by-step walkthrough for setting up G Suite for your business. Also, our handy ultimate resource guidegives you a sneak peek at some of the often overlooked resources available to you for free! 


Want to keep reading about everything G Suite did this year? There’s plenty more. You can also keep track of the latest on our website. Happy early new year!

One year, three highlights: Google for Nonprofits looks back

Imagine ending homelessness, solving climate change, or guaranteeing a sustainable future for the world. Nonprofits work hard to make these goals a reality. They tackle the most urgent issues facing society, and Google products help make their missions more visible and far-reaching. Let’s look at three ways the nonprofit community thrived in 2019 with the support of Google for Nonprofits and partner teams.

1. Staying in the know

Followers of Google for Nonprofits’ monthly newsletters and livestreams enjoyed a steady stream of news and tips about Google products. They learned how to spread their messages on YouTube, how to make a bigger impact with Google Earth and Maps, and gained insights from Google Analytics. 

Nonprofits also learned from each other. Thrive DC shared their mission to end homelessness in Washington, D.C., and how Google for Nonprofits helped them drastically improve their efficiency and productivity. GoVolunteer described how Google helps them grow and develop inclusion programs for immigrants and refugees in Germany.

Along with hearing these inspiring stories, nonprofits asked questions and supported each other on the newly launched Google for Nonprofits community forum. And they discovered an updated Google for Nonprofits site that’s more useful for everyone, including visitors with accessibility needs.

Thrive DC culinary arts

Thrive DC clients attend Culinary Arts, a program to teach culinary skills and provide new job opportunities to vulnerable populations.

2. Connecting with the community

Sixty-five nonprofits attended a day-long workshop that Google for Nonprofits held at Google’s Community Space in San Francisco. They received training on using YouTube to spread awareness and heard Invisible People speak about building empathy and support for those affected by homelessness.

In April, attendees of Google Cloud Next listened to the Google for Nonprofits team discuss how G Suite empowers nonprofits to collaborate and communicate more effectively. Two nonprofits also shared their experiences and best practices (watch the recording).

3. Putting themselves (and trees) on the map

In 2019, around 2,000 nonprofits across 59 countries used Google Maps Platform credits to raise their profiles and encourage others to join their mission.

Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms USA, which helps travelers find and work on organic farms, added Maps to their site so visitors could zoom in on any area in the U.S., see all the available farms and filter their search to narrow in on the right farms for them. After the switch to Google Maps Platform, WWOOF-USA’s page views increased to 8 million and the number of paying members nearly tripled since May 2018. 

EcoFarm Florida

A cow in an WWOOF-USA eco farm.

People also relied on YouTube to get more eyes on fundraising campaigns. In October, YouTube creator Mr. Beast vowed to get 20 million trees planted by the end of the year. The campaign, #TeamTrees, engaged other YouTube creators to promote the effort. More than 200 creators either posted videos about #TeamTrees or promoted it by using YouTube Giving.

We’re looking forward to more partnerships and stories in 2020. To stay up to date on all the latest nonprofit news, you can subscribe to our newsletter and YouTube channel, and join us at the Nonprofit Technology Conference in Maryland this March where we’ll be a platinum sponsor.

Google Docs unveils one writer’s creative process to the world

When Viviana Rivero set out to write her short story “Just do it!” she decided to experiment with her process. Instead of writing alone and revealing her work to readers later, she invited thousands of people to watch her write—and comment on her writing—in real-time with Google Docs.

More than 10,000 people watched the Argentinian writer’s story come to life in real time as she wrote it. We sat down with Rivero to learn more about how she incorporated technology into her creative process, and how it changed the final product.


Tell us about using Google Docs to publicly write your story.

Believe it or not, this was my first time using Google Docs. First, I created a new document and selected “comment-only” in the share permissions. Next, I hosted a few “live sessions” where I wrote a short story in the document and invited readers  to watch and comment. To my surprise, thousands of people contributed! The short story from this session became a part of a printed book called “Zafiros en la Piel” (“Sapphires on the skin”). The book’s back cover even has a QR code that takes the reader to the story on Google Docs, bringing these worlds together. 


What was it like to write in front of other people?

It was a challenging thing to do. Usually, when a writer creates a story, they don’t find out what the reader thinks until afterward, and even then, there’s no way of gauging how people react the moment they read the words. It was different and exciting because it allowed me to see their reactions as they had them.


Did  your story change as a result of readers’ comments?

Yes! There’s a character in the story who talks with his dog. People fell in love with the dog—they wrote so many comments about it. I decided to make the dog more important to the story and gave him and his owner more dialogue.


Did using Google Docs affect your creative process?

Reading and writing can be lonely activities. While my creative process wasn’t necessarily altered (I already had the general idea for the story), the way in which we experienced the story changed. Docs helped bring the writer and reader together. These two things that are usually done in isolation were shared. It made the process much more enriching.

It also meant I showed everything that happens behind the scenes. For example, I don’t use punctuation when I write at first, just to make it faster. I typically put accents, periods and commas in after the story is written. At first I felt vulnerable because I didn’t want people to see unpolished work, but in the end, I think the readers appreciated seeing how a writer works. 


Were there any interesting results from the experiment?

I was surprised by the amount of new readers who participated. I expected many people to be fans already, but there were many new readers who joined the live sessions by chance. Since writing the story, we’ve seen a 170 percent increase in sales of the paper book. It was also awarded a Bronze Lion at the Cannes Lions Film Festival. 


Do you suggest other authors try using Google Docs and inviting readers to watch their process?

Many of my writer friends ask what it was like to write in front of thousands of people, something not many of them would dare to do. I tell them: Stories are something that will never die, and the way we tell them will continue to evolve. Before paper existed, people shared stories with their voices. And even if paper ceases to exist, the storyteller will remain, because people love stories. 

Being able to interact with readers so closely motivated me; I hope to be able to do it again someday.

International Volunteer Day: a spotlight on GoVolunteer

In 2015, more than 1 million people sought asylum in Germany. Faced with this overwhelming humanitarian crisis, many Germans wanted to help but didn’t know how. Inspired by his fellow citizens’ willingness to lend a hand, Malte Bedürftig founded GoVolunteer, an online platform connecting people and corporations to volunteering opportunities and social initiatives. After GoVolunteer joined the Google for Nonprofits program, they gained more online visibility through Ad Grants and more team structure and efficiency through G Suite for Nonprofits. 

“We were a group of people who wanted to help others, inspired by the dream of changing things,” says Malte. Since then, Malte and his friends have built GoVolunteer into a full-fledged nonprofit, connecting 250,000 people to more than 3,500 volunteer opportunities in 250 cities across Germany. 

Today, in honor of the UN’s International Volunteer Day, we’re recognizing GoVolunteer and everyone else who makes time to help others. Watch the video to learn more about GoVolunteer’s journey and how Google for Nonprofits has supported their growth.

Share your own volunteer story with #IVD2019 and #InternationalVolunteerDay.

Use the Google Assistant with your G Suite account in beta

This announcement was made at Google Cloud Next ‘19 UK. Check out Next OnAir to tune into the livestream or watch session recordings following the event.


What’s changing

We’re opening a beta program to allow G Suite users to accomplish more on-the-go with the Google Assistant when logged in with a G Suite account. The Google Assistant will respond to voice commands for certain Google Calendar and Gmail functions and:

  • Let you know when your next meeting is
  • Create, cancel or reschedule a Calendar event
  • Send a note to event attendees via email
  • Send an email
  • Dial into a meeting


Who’s impacted

Admins and end users

Why you’d use it

By using the Google Assistant with your G Suite account, you can easily accomplish work-related tasks while on the go.

How to get started


  • Admins: Apply to be part of the beta program using this form.
  • End users: No action required.

Additional details

To use this functionality in the Google Assistant, you must be logged in to your G Suite account. Additionally, if you have both a personal and a G Suite account, please note that the Assistant can only answer questions for one account at a time. You must switch between those accounts if you’d like to ask a question about your other account.

This beta functionality is only available in English.

Availability

G Suite editions
  • All G Suite editions are invited to apply to the beta program.
On/off by default?
  • These features will be OFF by default. Admins can apply to the beta program using this form.
Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Exchange In-Place Archive support available for G Suite Migrate Beta

What’s changing

We’re adding support for migrating Microsoft Exchange In-Place Archives to the G Suite Migrate beta. Admins can use this new functionality to migrate the content of their user’s Exchange In-Place Archives to G Suite. Additionally, admins can:

  • Make migrated archive mail only visible in Google Vault (not Gmail).
  • Make attachments of archived mail uploaded to Google Drive only visible in Google Vault. If you turn on this setting, large email attachments will be visible in Vault (not Drive).
  • Choose how to apply labels to archive folders in Gmail.

Who’s impacted

Admins only

Why it’s important

Previously, it wasn’t possible to migrate archived email from Exchange to Gmail. This feature makes it easy for admins to migrate both active and archived email to G Suite.

How to get started

Helpful links

Availability

Rollout details
G Suite editions
  • Available to G Suite Business, G Suite Enterprise, G Suite Enterprise for Education, and Drive for Enterprise
  • Not available to G Suite Basic, G Suite for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits

On/off by default?

Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Can mindfulness actually help you work smarter?

Mindfulness isn’t just sitting on the floor, legs crossed, and chanting mantras. It’s a tool that, when used wisely, can boost your experience at work, your relationships with others and even your overall well-being. Mindfulness is maintaining a moment-to-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings and emotions, while having an attitude of kindness and curiosity.

That's the idea behind Google's mindfulness programs, which include seminars called Search Inside Yourself and Fundamentals of Mindfulness, and an internal program called gPause that promotes meditation and mindfulness practices. These initiatives have been created over the last 10 years in 64 offices around the world with more than 350 volunteers that host guided meditation practices, events and workshops. Through these programs Googlers have an opportunity to develop emotional intelligence, enhance well-being, improve team effectiveness and support a culture of respect and inclusion. 

So how can this practice actually have an impact in our jobs? To answer this question we sat with Ruchika Sikri, Well-Being Learning Strategy Lead at Google, who shared some tips we can start using in our everyday routine.

Let your thoughts settle.

Ruchika shares the analogy that our mind is like a snowglobe. We’re constantly shaking it with information overload, distractions and task switching. This results in reduced clarity of our priorities and a lack of focus. By practicing a brief meditation (as short as five minutes!)—we can let the “snow'' settle and see things more clearly and vividly. Clarity of mind can help us prioritize what’s important, solve problems better, figure out new strategies or uncover issues we may have ignored.

Be mindful of what you say. 

Mindfulness has a direct impact on our work culture and team effectiveness, Ruchika says. It helps you stay aware of what you say and what impact your words might have. It can help when you’re having difficult conversations, because you’re more present and therefore able to take your own and another party’s perspective more actively, and respond instead of react to external or internal stimuli. She cites a study done at Google, which found that most high functioning teams have psychological safety as a key element of their work environments, which means that team members feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other. Being mindful of that sense of safety can help boost everyone around you at work. “The teams that feel safe and trust each other actually feel more accomplished and do more,” she says.

Commit to a routine.  

Ruchika says a mindfulness practice starts with making a mental commitment to it. It’s certainly helpful to take a workshop, but you can simply start the practice with an app like Headspace. The app provides bite-sized guided meditations for busy schedules. You can start the practice at home or during your commute if you use public transportation.

Have the right expectations. 

Mindfulness is not a panacea, though. Instead, it’s an important tool that can raise self-awareness and help you identify personal needs more clearly. Ruchika recommends building an intention for your practice before jumping in. What is it that you want to improve? It could be better focus and clarity at work, healthier relationships, managing stress more effectively or adopting a healthier lifestyle. Then, practice makes it perfect. To actually feel the benefits of mindfulness, you have to make it a regular practice.

Step away from your screen. 

Every 90 minutes, our mind and body need a break to rest and recover, Ruchika says. To remain alert and attentive towards what you’re doing, step away from your screen and go for a nice walk, have a glass of water or simply do something different, and really savor the moment. You may notice that you have fresh perspectives and ideas when you get back to your desk. You can also install the Mindful Break Chrome extension to go through a one-minute breathing exercise.

How classroom tech brings accessibility with dignity

For Lisa Berghoff, Director of Instructional Technology at Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Illinois, one of her big assistive technology “aha” moments came while working with a student with autism. The student, often disruptive in class because she wanted immediate answers to questions, needed a teaching aide at her side—an accommodation that set her apart from her peers. “There’s nothing less cool than having an adult next to you in a high school class,” Berghoff says. 

Berghoff decided to open up a Google Doc on the student’s Chromebook, with the teaching aide accessing the same Doc on her own Chromebook from across the room and responding to the student’s questions in real time. “That document, with all the questions and answers captured by the student, actually became a resource for other students—it was a huge win for everyone,” Berghoff says. “That’s something we couldn't have done years ago.” 

In Berghoff’s 25 years in education, she’s seen the many changes that technology has brought to every student—but particularly those with learning challenges. In honor of Disability Awareness Month, we asked Berghoff about the impact of assistive technology and accessibility up close. Just getting started with G Suite and Chromebooks, and want to learn more about accessibility? Head to edu.google.com/accessibility to learn more. 

How’d you get started in special education?

I did my undergrad degree in psychology with grand plans to be a psychologist, but when I applied to some Ph.D programs they told me to get some experience in the real world. My first job was working at a crisis shelter for teenage girls. Because of my work with the girls who struggled so much to learn, I took some courses in special education—and realized that was where I wanted to be.

How’d you make the switch from special education to instructional technology?

I’d spent the last several years working with high school students with an array of significant disabilities. I would try anything if I thought it could help my kids learn, so the technology office started throwing all the tech my way—everything from Chromebooks to iPads to Promethean boards—because they knew I’d give it all an honest try. 

I saw that when used with integrity, technology could really be a game changer in helping kids learn. I distinctly recall a reading lesson where I recorded myself reading and shared a YouTube link, so students could pause and replay the video at their own pace.

Timing was on my side, and when the instructional technology director position opened up at Highland Park, the thought of having a wider influence appealed to me. At the time, I was fascinated by all kinds of kids with learning challenges—not just the students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). No matter what challenges kids have, many often need some kind of special support and could benefit from the right technology. 

Lisa Berghoff in the classroom

So you’re seeing the value of the “accessibility for all” movement up close.

I do a lot of training in universal design, which is about making everything more accessible. When you design things for people at the edges, everyone benefits—like how ramps help people in wheelchairs, but if you’re pushing a baby stroller, you’ll benefit too. 

What’s changed in special education and EdTech over your time in the field?

It’s the attitude of the kids, and that’s because of the better tools we have. In the past we had to give struggling students big, bulky laptops with accessibility tools—and they hated them, because the laptops made the students look different than everyone else. Now laptops like Chromebooks are so ubiquitous; everyone has one. I love that students with disabilities can access the tools they need in a way that gives them dignity, and that doesn’t separate them from the rest of the class. Having a device in each student's hand has completely changed teaching and learning.

What’s the next new thing in assistive technology?

I think there’s a lot coming with augmented reality and virtual reality, especially for students with physical disabilities who don’t have access to the wider world. There’s also the possibility to use technology for global connections. We see kids who have a rare disease or disorder, and feel like they’re the only ones out there. If they can connect to other students just like them out in the world, it makes a big difference for them psychologically. 

I have a student who doesn’t speak, and hasn’t physically been to school for a long time. Even simply using Gmail helps her make friends at school—and her friends feel like they are her ally. Her lack of speech is no longer a barrier.

A progress report with Google Classroom’s first school

Five years after Google Classroom first showed up in schools, teachers are looking back at the tool that forever changed how they organize their classes and communicate with students. Out went the long hours standing at the copy machine; in came instant feedback, easy quizzes and “do now” assignments and more engaged students. 

To celebrate Google Classroom’s fifth birthday, we asked two faculty members from Fontbonne Hall Academy, a private high school for girls in Brooklyn, New York about their early days as one of Classroom’s beta testers, and what school life is like five years later. (Just getting started with Classroom, or need a refresher? Visit g.co/firstdayofclassroom and g.co/classroom/help to study up.) 

What was teaching like at Fontbonne before Google Classroom?

Jennifer McNiff, social studies teacher:I periodically think about what my life was like before, and I break out into a cold sweat. What I think about is how much prep we had to do, like printing out assignments and getting them to the kids. 

Mark Surdyka, director of technology:I used chalkboards and had kids write everything down in notebooks. I’d give kids assignments and grade them, and then those papers would get thrown in the trash. There was tons of paper wasted, and the prep time was ridiculous. 

Right now, I’m teaching an AP math course, and I think I printed out only one thing—some instructions on how to log in to Classroom. That was it. We do everything else in Google Drive instead of wasting time writing things down. Everything is shared faster. And our photocopiers don’t get so beaten up like they used to. 

I periodically think about what my life was like before, and I break out into a cold sweat. Jennifer McNiff
Social studies teacher

I’m sure you don’t miss all that prep time and paperwork! What does this mean to you as teachers?

Jennifer:It’s nice now because I don’t have to worry about using my prep time for mundane tasks like making photocopies. I can focus on lesson planning and getting right to work with students collaboratively, instead of waiting to give them handouts.

Mark:It’s part of our routine now. If we were without it, I don’t know what we’d do—it would feel like we were going back in time 20 years.

Were people nervous about using Classroom at the beginning?

Mark:There’s always fear of the unknown. People didn’t know what to expect, so they were hesitant to jump in with both feet. We were lucky to have a teacher do an early test of what is now called Classroom. We were able to take a collective deep breath and assure ourselves this would be a good experience. 

Jennifer: I remember that my biggest fear was that if my assignments were all online in Classroom instead of written down, that I’d forget about them. But that didn’t happen—teachers are good at remembering what they’ve assigned.

How have you gotten creative with Classroom?

Jennifer:I use it even for simple things, like my “do now” assignments that I give to kids as soon as they walk into the room. It’s so much easier now to get students starting on something right away, and getting comments from them right after they sit down. 

I also teach AP Psychology, and I structure it like a college class—we work together collaboratively as well as have lectures. I created slide templates in Classroom so that students can take lecture notes in them, and also see graphs and videos that I put there. It really helps move along the lectures so that students understand the material better. I love having all the content in one spot.

Any advice for schools that are just starting to use Classroom?

Mark:In one word, play. You’re not going to learn anything about Classroom unless you sit there and play around with it. The more you start playing with all the features, like making copies for students assigning projects, you won’t fully realize what’s there and how it can help you.