Tag Archives: G Suite

When parents become teachers: tools to help students at home

Editor’s note: On August 11, 2020 Google for Education kicked off a global back-to-school event, The Anywhere School. Check out the full recap of product launches and our collection of announcements.

For me, life at home now means an office in my garage and three children at home attempting to learn. I’m still adjusting to my children making appearances on my Google Meet meetings, trying to schedule more walking meetings to squeeze in some exercise, and creating a schedule that my children will only loosely follow. Luckily, nobody knows about the chaos that ensues behind the scenes thanks to Google Meet’s noise cancellation feature!

With these changes, you may realize that you need a crash course in algebra or Shakespeare, and one on the digital tools your kids are using. The resources below, along with  our Tech Toolkit for Families and Guardians, including a video series, can answer your questions about helping kids with lessons and homework, new products and features to help with staying in touch with teachers, and safeguarding kids when they’re online. 

How to help kids with homework and learning from home

When a student turns to Google Search for help with STEM homework this fall, Search will connect them to potential explanations, a step-by-step breakdown for complex math equations and detailed information on the underlying concepts, like the notorious pythagorean theorem. These features help improve comprehension and understanding of core topics. 

Visualizing STEM concepts can be hard without labs or hands-on learning tools. Now, students can see 3D content on Search for nearly100 STEM concepts across biology, chemistry and more using compatible Android and iOS devices. If students search for “Quantum mechanical model,” they can view a 3D atom up close and use augmented reality (AR) to bring it into their space. Check out how to use 3D for STEM concepts. 


3D Quantum mechanical model on Search from our partner Signal Garden.

When they’re stuck on a homework problem, students and parents can use Socratic and soon can use Google Lens to take a photo of a problem or equation they need help with. Socratic and Lens provide quick access to helpful results, such as step-by-step guides to solve the problem and detailed explainers to help you better understand key concepts.


Use Google Lens to look up homework questions and get help

Read Along helps kids develop a love of reading. Diya, the in-app reading buddy, uses Google’s text-to-speech and speech recognition technology, to offer assistance for children when they struggle, and reward them with stars when they do well. 


Use Read Along to help kids learn to read with the sound of their voice

When using Google Meet, turn on live captions to see English text. When you can’t meet teachers in person due to social distancing, you can meet them using video calls. If you're new to Meet, we’ve created a Guardian’s Guide that explains why schools choose Meet, and how you can use it at home. Teachers can also send you guardian summaries in Google Classroom to help you stay connected with your child’s work and overall progress.

And for a little help keeping your family on track with virtual learning, try using Family Bell on your smart speakers and smart displays. You can add bell reminders throughout the day that announce when it's time to start an online class, take a break, or settle in for reading time. To get started, simply say “Hey Google, create a Family Bell” or tap on Family Bell in your Assistant settings. Read on for more ways Google can help keep your family on track during the school year. 

How to help kids stay safe online

Family Link helps parents and guardians keep an eye on kids while they’re online. You can approve apps and extensions, set time limits, and use content filters to set boundaries for kids. And now, you can add aschool account for a Family Link user so you can set ground rules for your child while they do their schoolwork in Google Classroom, Docs, and other websites where you sign in with Google. 

With kids spending so much time online for school and virtual playdates, it’s important to talk to them about internet safety. From password security to phishing to behavior on social media, there’s a lot to talk about. Be Internet Awesome helps kids be positive digital citizens and stay safe online. It provides free family guides, tips from teachers, and Interland, a really fun game for kids to learn about online safety.

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How to learn more about digital learning tools

If your child uses a Chromebook, learn how to set it up on home Wi-Fi,  set controls like blocking access to harmful websites, and get more information on the Chromebook Help support pages. And make sure to check out the Tech Toolkit for Families and Guardians, which has a quick video series on our products and features, best practices for family engagement, and answers to the most frequently-asked technical questions. Guardian Guides offer easy-to-understand overviews of common school tools like Google Classroom, Chromebooks, and G Suite for Education. For more resources, check out Teach from Anywhere.

What’s new for admins in Google for Education this fall

Editor’s note: On August 11, 2020 Google for Education kicked off a global back-to-school event, The Anywhere School. Check out the full recap of product launches and our collection of announcements.

Educators, students and families have quickly adjusted to distance learning, and administrators have played a critical role in this success. Over the past few months, they’ve equipped teachers and learners with the tools they need. We’ve listened to what admins need to save time and meet new demands, and have made improvements so they are better equipped to keep supporting educators and students this school year.

Powerful insights in Classroom

Coming soon, admins who want to troubleshoot Classroom issues will be able to access Classroom audit logs directly from the Admin console. With audit logs, they’ll be able to pinpoint events such as who removed a student from a class or who archived a specific class on a specific date. 

Especially now, we’ve heard that admins want dashboards that give them detailed visibility into usage and adoption of Classroom so they can provide targeted training to teachers, or help intervene with students who aren’t engaged. At schools with G Suite Enterprise for Education, admins will soon be able to automatically import Classroom logs into BigQuery, where they can get much deeper insights into who is using Classroom and how they’re using it. With just a few clicks, they can also create a customizable dashboard on Data Studio, giving them a slate of engagement metrics, including metrics like how many assignments were created, submitted, or graded, and will be able to pivot by date, organizational unit, specific instructors, or specific students. 

Moderation tools for Meet

Meet has become a common tool for teachers and students to connect with each other. As more people rely on Meet, the need for improved moderation tools has grown.

Admins can already get insights into how students and teachers interact with Google Meet using the Meet Quality Tool within the Admin console. Admins can see an overview of meeting metrics, find and debug meetings, view network statistics (like jitter, packet loss and congestion), or view system (CPU) statistics. They can now delegate access to the tool to other people in their organization using a custom privilege in the Admin roles section. Plus, just like in Classroom, admins can access Meet audit logs in the Admin console.

Admins also have the ability to enable or disable Meet independently of Chat. And now, Meet blocks anonymous attendees by default for Edu domains; admins have the option to change this setting as needed.

Better workflows for G Suite

As schools increasingly use G Suite to support distance learning, they’re looking for easier ways to communicate and share knowledge. To improve school-wide or small group communication, admins can use the improved Google Groups experience to create and manage groups. Also, a new beta will allow teams to sharespecific folders within a Shared Drive to help admins make sure that the right information can be shared with the right people. 

SmartCompose, which automatically suggests words and phrases, and Auto Correct, which corrects misspellings or grammar issues, are both now available in Docs for education customers. By the end of this month, admins will be able to disable both SmartCompose and Auto Correct if they choose. 

A simpler way to trial G Suite Enterprise for Education

Lastly, admins who are interested in starting a trial with G Suite Enterprise for Education will soon be able to do so directly without support from a reseller. In order to activate the one-time 30-day trial, admins can enroll from the Billing section of the G Suite Admin console and provision up to 10 team members.

Admins make Google for Education tools work smoothly behind the scenes, so educators and students can get down to work. We hope the new features smooth out the rough spots in the admin workday. If you’d like to learn more about all the new products and features, watch our keynote session from The Anywhere School event.

Grading made easy with Assignments, an app for your LMS

Editor’s note: On August 11, 2020 Google for Education kicked off a global back-to-school event, The Anywhere School. Check out the full recap of product launches and our collection of announcements.

While educators would love to spend every second of the school day teaching students, a good portion of the day has to be devoted to administrative tasks like handing out teaching materials or grading student work. At Google, we’ve watched and listened closely as educators around the world have adapted to distance learning while carrying out the vital job of teaching, administering and engaging students. 

That’s why today we're launching Assignments, an add-on application for your school’s learning management system (LMS), to general availability as a core service for all G Suite for Education schools. With Assignments as part of your LMS, you’ll be able to easily distribute and grade classwork—all with the collaborative powers of G Suite. And just like Classroom, Assignments comes with originality reports that allow educators and students to review classwork for potential plagiarism.

Bring the G Suite experience into your LMS

Assignments makes Google Docs and Google Drive compatible with your LMS, so it’s easier to assign, collect, and grade student work. It’s built with the latest Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standards for robust security and easy installation. Assignments integrates with LMSs such as Canvas, Schoology, Moodle, Brightspace, Sakai, and Blackboard, or any LMS that supports LTI 1.1 or higher. Instructions on getting started and setting up Assignments in your LMS are available in the Assignments help center. 

Save time with a simple solution to distribute and grade

With Assignments, educators can automate repetitive tasks like grading and sharing coursework. For example, teachers can automatically create and distribute personalized copies of project documents for each student to edit and submit or set up Google Drive folders for a whole class. 

Assignments also simplifies the grading process with easy-to-use tools, such as comment banks that store your most frequently used feedback, reusable rubrics to keep grading consistent, and the ability to make direct margin comments, strikethroughs or highlights. Not only do these tools help teachers save time and give feedback that helps students learn, they also help teachers stay organized in the face of disruption. With these tools, educators can plan semesters in advance and adapt previous class materials to be used again.

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Assignments is compatible with any LMS that supports LTI 1.1 and higher.

Spot missed citations and possible plagiarism with enhanced originality reports

Reviewing writing projects to make sure they are original helps make sure students are thinking critically and developing authentic work. Originality reports, which are built into both Assignments and Classroom, provide educators with flags for potential plagiarism in student work and also help students quickly identify passages that may need citations. Educators and students can use originality reports without leaving Assignments, making it easier and faster to check work.

Over the coming weeks, we’re improving originality reports so that more educators and students can benefit from them. We’re increasing the number of free assignments educators can use the feature with, making reports available in new languages, and adding the ability to print, save and download reports for easy sharing. And for schools with G Suite Enterprise for Education, teachers will be able to detect potential plagiarism between students, in addition to web pages. Learn more about what’s new in originality reports in this blog post.

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Detect potential plagiarism between students with school matches, a feature of G Suite Enterprise for Education.

We hope Assignments and originality reports will help you reduce time spent on administrative tasks so you can find more ways to connect and engage with students. If you need more information about Assignments or originality reports, watch our keynote session from The Anywhere School event.

More details on what’s coming to Meet and Classroom

Editor’s note: On August 11, 2020 Google for Education kicked off a global back-to-school event, The Anywhere School. Check out the full recap of product launches and our collection of announcements.

Google has always aimed to invest in products, programs and philanthropy that make learning possible for everyone, anywhere. This year we’ve been especially inspired by the teachers and students around the world who have used our tools in new creative ways and at unprecedented scale. 

As schools start this next semester, we’re excited to share the many new capabilities we’re bringing to Meet and Classroom, to support teaching and learning, no matter where it’s taking place. Let’s start with what’s coming to Meet.

Control for moderators 

Over the next few months, we’re giving moderators of Education meetings more controls for managing their virtual classes. Here are new capabilities, arriving in September, that moderators will have:

  • Prohibit participants from joining meetings after they’ve been ejected or after they’ve been denied entry twice (launching later this month) 
  • End meetings for all participants when class is finished
  • Manage join requests with ease by accepting or rejecting them in bulk
  • Disable in-meeting chat and set restrictions on who can present during a meeting 
  • A setting that requires the teacher to join first

Interactivity in Meet 

Opportunities for interactivity are critical for distance learning and we’re sharing new features to increase engagement with your students virtually:

Launching in September

  • A larger tiled views with a 7x7 grid so you can see up to 49 students at once 

  • A collaborative whiteboard with Jamboard in Meet so you can encourage students to share ideas and try creative approaches to lessons 

Launching in October

  • Blur or replace backgrounds so everyone feels more comfortable during distance-learning classes. Note: Admins can disable custom backgrounds as needed.

  • Attendance tracking to see and track which students attended virtual class (G Suite Enterprise for Education) 

  • Breakout rooms so educators can split classes into simultaneous small group discussions (G Suite Enterprise for Education) 

Launching later this year

  • Hand-raising to help you identify students who may need help or have a question 

  • Q&A features to provide a way for students to ask questions without disrupting the flow of the class discussion or lesson, and polling to engage students to share their voice (G Suite Enterprise for Education) 

New Meet features

New features coming to Meet can help make classes more engaging.

Additionally, we’ll launch temporary recordings later this year, which will be available to all Education customers for free (premium recordings will still be part of G Suite Enterprise for Education). With this new feature, any meeting host can record a meeting and share the recording within their domain for up to 30 days before the video expires. Given disparities in internet access, temporary recordings are intended to help students or meeting participants replay a class or session they couldn't attend live. Temporary recordings cannot be shared outside the host’s domain or downloaded. We’re granting continued free access to premium recordings until temporary recordings are available later this year (note: this is replacing the promotion for access to premium Meet features including live streaming and meetings of up to 250 participants that will be ending on September 30th). 

Now, let’s cover new features you can expect in Classroom.

Helping students and instructors stay on top of their upcoming work

Both students and instructors have risen to the challenge of learning and teaching from home, but it can be tough to stay on top of what they need to do and when. To help instructors and students better discover and track their work in Classroom, the Classes page will soon have a to-do widget for students and a to-review widget for teachers.


New, easier ways to join classes

In addition to sharing course join codes, educators can now share a link to join classes with a single click. Link-sharing allows educators to share classes anywhere they communicate with students, including in messaging platforms such as WhatsApp.


Spot missed citations with enhanced originality reports

Originality reports, which are built into Classroom and Assignments, provide educators with flags for potential plagiarism in student work and also help students quickly identify passages that may need citations. Now, we’re making originality reports even more helpful.

First, we’re raising the number of originality reports that educators can use per class from three to five. (Educators with G Suite Enterprise for Education licenses will continue to get unlimited originality reports.) Educators will also be able to print, save and download reports to share with students, parents and administrators. Soon educators and students will be able to run originality reports on Google Slides, in addition to Google Docs, as well as in multiple languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish, Indonesian and Italian.

Check for potential plagiarism between students 

Traditionally, originality reports have surfaced matches for potential plagiarism against hundreds of billions of web pages and over 40 million books. Now, instructors with G Suite Enterprise for Education licenses will be able to see potential plagiarism between students at their school. Starting in a few weeks, originality reports will check submissions against a private, school-owned repository of past student work to look for student-to-student matches. Student submissions are automatically added when instructors use originality reports in Classroom. If admins want to actively manage the repository, they can manually add files or remove documents directly. Google never has access to or the ability to use this repository—it’s owned and used solely by the school domain.

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More visibility and tools for Classroom admins

Coming soon, we’re rolling out additional tools for adminswho want to troubleshoot Classroom issues or gain deeper insights into usage across their domain. For example, all Education admins will now have access to Classroom audit logs, and admins with an Enterprise license will also be able to export their logs to BigQuery or create a customizable dashboard on Data Studio to see a slate of engagement metrics.

Classroom now available in additional languages

With Classroom usage quickly growing around the world, we’re making it accessible to more learners in their native language. We’ll be launching Classroom in 10 additional Indian languages. Soon Classroom will support over 54 languages globally; with even more coming in the future.

More support from partners

With the new features in Google Classroom, you’ll also see that many apps are also launching new features that make their tools easy to use alongside Classroom. Explore these apps to learn how teachers and students can continue to stay organized, interactive, and collaborative with Classroom: Canva, Nearpod, Screencastify, Achieve3000 and Adobe, to name a few.

Classroom features coming soon

In the coming month, we will provide a more detailed roadmap to help education leaders and teachers understand and prepare for other improvements that will launch to Classroom throughout the school year.  Here’s a sneak peek at some of the specific areas we’ll be working on:

  • Student engagement metrics: Educators will be able to see stats that help track how students are interacting in Google Classroom each day.

  • Deeper integration with other teaching tools. With Classroom now playing a role as “mission control” for many classes, we'll enable more seamless integrations with the content and learning tools schools are using alongside Google’s tools.

  • Mobile offline improvements. We know that home and mobile internet connections aren’t always available or reliable, so we’re working to update the Classroom mobile apps to work much better even with intermittent connectivity.

Integrated admin capabilities for deploying and managing Classroom. Provisioning classes for an entire school system can be time-consuming, especially given the scale of many of our customers. We’re building integrated tools to make it easier to create and manage courses at scale.

If we can’t all physically be together in our schools this year, we’re committed to making Classroom and Meet even better to bring everyone together online. Please continue to share your feedback, and we’ll keep adapting our tools to meet your evolving needs.

Nonprofits use Google tools to stay resilient

From bringing an aquarium online through live webcams to building an app that prepares underrepresented students for the workforce, nonprofits around the world are responding to issues facing their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using technology as a key resource, these organizations are showing resilience, determination and flexibility while also trying to quickly adapt to everything that’s happening this year. Google for Nonprofits is now available in 67 countries around the world, offering free tools and resources for organizations to boost productivity, engage supporters and spread the word about their stories. Here’s how three organizations continue to make an impact with help from Google tools. 

Providing workshops for budding entrepreneurs

Instituto Fazendo Acontecer (IFA) is a nonprofit based in São Paulo, Brazil which provides entrepreneurial education for vulnerable children and adolescents. Before COVID-19 became a concern, they ran eight types of in-person free workshops to prepare students for their professional futures and strengthen their roles as citizens, regardless of their backgrounds.

At the start of the pandemic, they worked quickly to move education programs online. They developed a free mobile app with their learning curriculum available in both English and Portuguese, so students could access workshops, educational games and training experiences from any location. IFA also started using Google Meet to create an interactive environment from home and connect teachers to students. 

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IFA team members use Google Meet to stay connected and develop programs. 

With these new app-based workshops and remote work capabilities, they soon realized this was an opportunity to expand their programs from São Paulo to more locations. So far, they have supported more than 8,000 students. IFA expects to engage 10,000 more this year by partnering with teams around the world, and they have more than doubled their instructors during the pandemic. “Google has helped us provide the tools we needed in a moment when we weren't sure how to keep our work running, and this was key for our success,” says Jose Dornelas, IFA’s president. 

Bringing interactive activities online

California Academy of Sciences is an aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park—and a powerful global voice for biodiversity research, environmental education and sustainability. Normally, they see around 1.5 million visitors every year. Prior to COVID-19, they opened their doors every Thursday night for an experience called NightLife, a themed interactive event that immerses visitors in a mix of science, art and culture. 

With the museum closed due to the pandemic, they had to quickly reorganize their approach to start working remotely. In just two weeks, they started to find ways to support the community and make these nighttime programs still accessible.

California Academy of Sciences

Viewers can now watch live streams of the Steinhart Aquarium which is home to nearly 40,000 live animals from over  900 unique species.

With help from G Suite for Nonprofits, staffers used Google Chat and Meet to stay in touch and brainstorm ideas virtually. They had dabbled in livestreaming before, so they decided to create a YouTube livestream for NightLife, bringing in many production partners like scientists, musicians and programming teams to create a virtually engaging experience. Their YouTube channel became more popular than ever before with people tuning in to join educational programs, take part in Nightlife and to enjoy live animal webcams. With the in-person exhibits remaining closed for the time being, NightLife continues each week to bring its after-hours educational experience to the community. 

Supporting volunteers and addressing uncertainty 

Venture 2 Impact, based in Halifax, Canada, works to break the cycle of poverty for individuals, families and communities by connecting skilled professionals with the communities around the world that need their support. Before the pandemic, they had tech experts travel around the world to lead workshops and trainings. But when travel was no longer safe, they had to reassess their entire strategy while helping volunteers cope with loneliness, anxiety and fear about the future. Their challenge was to figure out how to use technology to inspire hope within volunteers and continue to provide support to the communities they serve. 


Venture 2 Impact now trains their nonprofit partners by creating content on YouTube. 

They focused on understanding the challenges of NGO partners by using surveys with Google Forms. Then, they determined which training videos to produce, reached out to industry experts to create them and used Google Calendar to organize the schedule. Google Meet, which is now free for everyone, was essential in delivering and recording the workshops. Then, they uploaded the videos to YouTube to share them with their nonprofit community in India, Nepal, Thailand, Romania and Rwanda, and they organized the content into playlists to make it easier for viewers to find. 

To support volunteers in the U.S., Ireland, the U.K. and Canada, they created a mental health-focused virtual series hosted on Google Meet called WholeHearted Thursdays. They also created a room on Google Chat to share simulating articles, videos and ideas. Google tools helped them to launch new programs quickly, engage their staff, partners and volunteers in meaningful ways and tackle the problems that each community is facing. 

The Last Mile grows with G Suite Enterprise for Nonprofits

In the United States, as much as 83 percent of formerly incarcerated people return to prison. The Last Mile (TLM) is a nonprofit on a mission to reduce the re-incarceration cycle by creating new pathways to jobs for prison populations. Since 2010, it has provided classrooms to 600 incarcerated men, women and youth across the country, offering a highly competitive coding skills curriculum and becoming one of the most requested prison education programs in the country. Technology has played a huge role in TLM’s growth and is helping to keep the program going despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which is hitting prison populations especially hard. We interviewed Mike Bowie, director of Engineering, to learn more about TLM and how G Suite helped them boost efficiency and streamline operations.

What is the story of The Last Mile, and what’s the problem you are trying to solve?

We believe that high-quality education for incarcerated populations is key to providing new opportunities and breaking the re-incarceration cycle. When Chris Redlitz, our cofounder, entered the San Quentin State Prison for the first time in 2010 to speak to a group of men about business and entrepreneurship, he was impressed by the men’s eagerness to learn, and started to nurture the idea of creating a technology accelerator inside the prison. 

He started The Last Mile alongside his wife and business partner, Beverly Parenti. Graduates of TLM coding programs in San Quentin now take part in the first-ever web development shop in a US prison. After leaving prison, many TLM graduates enter paid apprenticeships with leading companies, turning their skills into careers and smoothing the way for reentry. 

The Last Mile upgraded from G Suite for Nonprofits to G Suite Enterprise. Why?

As the information services at TLM have evolved, technology needs have also changed. It became clear that we could vastly simplify our service catalog, improve our security posture and streamline our IT operations with this one low-friction transition, so we decided to upgrade to G Suite Enterprise. Given the valuable range of functionality G Suite Enterprise already affords us, having Google now offer such reasonable discounts for nonprofits makes it hard to pass up. 

Did one or more of the G Suite Enterprise features help you solve a challenge that you think most nonprofits might face?

For any organization, people are the most critical component, and in the nonprofit environment, that’s especially true. As part of G Suite Enterprise, we now use Secure LDAP Service as a single identity and access management platform. Staff use the same G Suite credentials to log into multiple apps and, in many cases, without re-logging in. 

Having standardized on Chromebooks as our platform of choice, we can ensure the key G Suite apps for our organization are readily available as soon as the user logs in, and everything is kept up-to-date without the need for significant technical support. A centralized access management system has reduced financial costs, simplified IT management, streamlined staff onboarding and simplified the experiences for everyone who interacted with the complicated and burdensome systems we'd used in the past. Less time spent by IT engineers creating or updating accounts means more time working on things that have a valuable impact on our cause. 

How is TLM using G Suite to increase collaboration and security?

G Suite is the foundation platform for all of our team. Having that familiar, feature-rich set of tools as a starting point for communication and collaboration is key to our productivity. To ensure documentation processes are well detailed, TLM is using enterprise features in Google Meet, including the ability to record meetings and securely store them in Drive. 

The IT staff also gets access to security dashboards, reporting and eDiscovery tools. For example, email log helps determine the coverage of phishing campaigns, and eDiscovery gives visibility to phishing engagement. The system alerts IT of any suspicious logins, and gives them the ability to prioritize, investigate and escalate them in the console. 

What’s next with The Last Mile?

COVID-19 has posed new challenges. In-person activities have been paused to protect our students and slow the spread of the virus in prison facilities, which are particularly affected by the outbreak. But TLM's momentum isn't stopping. We have 23 classrooms across six states (California, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Michigan and North Dakota), with plans for rapid expansion. Our goal is to be in 50 classrooms across the country within the next four years. The tech-centric nature of our program has enabled us to continue providing value during the pandemic with remote instructions and recorded content. The efficiency of having a single unified means of managing all of the systems we have further supports our growth.

Make the most of your day: 7 Google Calendar tips

Time is precious—especially when you’re working from home and balancing work and family. The less time you spend fussing with tasks like scheduling, searching for a meeting code, or switching from app to app, the more time you can spend on things that matter. 

Google Calendar is filled with intuitive tools and tightly integrated with other G Suite apps—including Gmail, Meet, Drive, Contacts and Sites—to help you stay on top of your day-to-day schedule. Here’s a handful of tips, tricks and features that will help you plot a course for your day.

Find a meeting time that works for everyone

Childcare. Time zone differences. Other meetings. Finding a time when everyone can feel like a tricky game of Tetris. With Google Calendar, you have a helping hand to figure out when someone’s availability intersects with yours. 

Here’s how to do it: In Calendar, click on Search for peopleon the left, type in the name of someone you want to meet with. If they’re part of your work or school organization, you can select their name and see their calendar overlaid on yours. Pick an open time slot, fill in the meeting details, and click Save

When you invite a guest to an event, a unique Google Meet code is automatically added (you can adjust this in Settings). And for G Suite customers, dial-in information is added in case someone joins from a phone. 

Meet across time zones

Meeting with people in different regions adds complexity to scheduling. If you do it frequently—say your London-based company has offices in New York City or you have a weekly call with teams across the country—then it’s helpful to display multiple time zones directly on your calendar. 

Click on the Settings icon and select Settings. Under Time zone, click the box to display a secondary time zone and choose your preferred time zone. To add multiple time zones, simply scroll to theWorld clockand click Show world clock. Selected time zones will show up on the left-hand side of the Calendar below the month view. 

Stay attuned to others’ working hours

It’s important (courteous, in fact!) to be aware of others’ working hours when scheduling a meeting. We made it easy to set your own working hours, and see other people’s working hours. 

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To set your working hours, click the Settings icon in Calendar, then select Settings. Under General, click Working Hours, then checkEnable working hours. Select the days and times that you work. This feature can be turned on or off on a computer, but not via the mobile Calendar app.

Now coworkers can see your working hours when they schedule meetings with you, reducing the likelihood of meetings popping up outside of your working hours. 

If you’ll be out of the office, Calendar can automatically decline events during that time. At the top of your calendar, click the first date you’ll be out of office. In the event details box select Out of office, then choose the dates. Calendar will decline meetings scheduled over your out-of-office blocks and include a custom message. Coworkers will still be able to communicate with you in Google Chat or Gmail, but they’ll see an automated notification that you’re out of office when they start a chat or email to you. 

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Share your calendar

People are balancing more demands from both work and home, making it extra important to respect everyone's schedule. Adjust your default settings so people on your team or organization can view the full details of events on your calendar, rather than only seeing “free” or “busy.” This way, if someone wants to meet with you they can see whether you’re giving an important presentation that can’t be moved or simply having a virtual coffee chat that can be moved. This is especially helpful for people who have a lot of meetings and reduces back-and-forth emails about availability.

To share your calendar broadly or with specific people, go to the My Calendars section, hover over the calendar you want to share, click on More (the three vertical dots), then Settings and sharing. It’s helpful to share your personal calendar with your work account to make scheduling even easier for you.

You can always unshare your calendar or adjust permissions and visibility. Learn more about calendar sharing on our Help Center

Control who sees what

You can change what others see about certain events. For example, you might want to keep a confidential meeting or telehealth appointment private. In Calendar, open the event that you want to update and click Default visibility. Choose the privacy setting for the event and click Save.

Organize your to-do list

Scheduling a task is a lightweight way to organize your to-do list in Calendar. To add a task to your calendar (these will only be visible to you), click on the Tasks icon on the right side panel. Select Add a task, give it a label or name, then add details and a date and time. You can also add tasks to your calendar from Gmail, Google Drive, or from a file in Docs, Sheets, or Slides—just look for the Tasks icon in the side panel, a column on the right side of these apps. Learn more on our Help Center.

Leave room for a breather

When you’re taking back-to-back meetings from home, it’s convenient to have a few minutes to prepare for your next meeting or even stretch. Set scheduled events to end five minutes early (events longer than a half hour will end 10 minutes early). In your Calendar settings window, scroll down to Event settings and click the Speedy meetings box. 

We’ve found that even if a meeting is scheduled to end at, say, 4:25, it tends to run until 4:30. So instead of ending meetings early, start your meetings five minutes past the hour or half-hour. You might find that those extra few minutes make a real difference.  

To learn more about how Google Calendar can help you make the most of your day, visit the Calendar Help Center.

Get inspired by five Google Cloud Next ‘20: OnAir sessions

Yesterday we kicked off Google Cloud Next ‘20: OnAir, a free, nine-week, in-depth digital event series covering all things cloud computing. While many Next ‘20: OnAir sessions will cover topics near and dear to the hearts of developers, businesses and startups, there are a number of interesting and inspiring sessions that don’t require deep cloud knowledge. Here’s a look at a few of our favorites, ranging from the least to most technical:

1. Google's Diversity Strategy and How It Works
Six years ago Google announced its Diversity Annual Report, and since then we’ve been scaling up and evolving our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies. In this session, Chief Diversity Officer Melonie Parker discusses how Google is continuing to build a workforce that reflects all communities, sharing more on our efforts to better understand our global workforce and tackle the challenges to advancing DEI in this unique time. Available to watch on demand now. Learn more

2. Communication in G Suite: The Future of Gmail, Chat, Meet and More
Over the past year we’ve made a lot of improvements to our communication tools across the web, Android and iOS to address the needs of the modern worker. Join us to hear the latest updates on and vision for these tools in G Suite—we'll show you what's new today, what's coming tomorrow and why we're more excited than ever about the future of these products. Available to watch on demand beginning July 21. Learn more.

3. G Suite Accessibility Features to Empower Inclusion
When we’re talking about connecting digitally, we need to make sure everyone can connect. Emails, calendar invites, video conferences, presentations, documents and spreadsheets are all important tools, and G Suite’s accessibility features are designed so that anyone can use them to get more done. That means they’re inclusive of those who have audio, visual or motor impairment. Check out this session to get an overview of these features and how to use them on mobile or web. Available to watch on demand beginning July 21. Learn more.

4. How Certification Impacted My Career
Becoming Google Cloud-certified has the power to boost careers, and the experience is unique for each person. Solution Engineer Jewel Langevine, who has three certification badges, will discuss her path to certification and how it plays a role in her career. Jewel will also talk about her journey from growing up in Guyana to her present position at Google Cloud. Along the way, she’ll describe how she was introduced to cloud computing, her experiences in mentorship, how she maximized networking opportunities and how she continues to give back to underrepresented communities. Available to watch on demand beginning August 4. Learn more.

5. Data Driven Responses to COVID-19 Using Looker & BigQuery
As governments and businesses plan their near and long term strategic responses to COVID-19, data is central to their decision-making processes. But with that data rapidly growing and evolving, it’s not always easy to understand which tools can help develop actionable and timely insights. This session examines how Google Cloud data analytics technologies like BigQuery and Looker can support organizations as part of their efforts to respond to the pandemic. Available to watch on demand beginning August 11. Learn more.

Google Cloud Next ’20: OnAir is running from now until Sept. 8, with new on-demand content available each week on Tuesdays. Haven’t registered yet? Get started at g.co/cloudnext.

Introducing an easier way to design your G Suite Add-on

Posted by Kylie Poppen, Senior Interaction Designer, G Suite and Akshay Potnis, Interaction Designer, G Suite

You’ve just scoped out an awesome new way to solve for your customer’s next challenge, but wait, what about the design? Building an integration between your software platform and another comes with a laundry list of things to think about: your vision, your users, their experience, your partners, APIs, developer docs, and so on. Caught between two different platforms, many constraints, and limited time, you're probably wondering: how might we build the most intuitive and powerful user experience?

Imagine making a presentation, with Google Slides you have all sorts of templates to get you started, and you can build a great deck easily. But, to build a seamless integration between two software platforms, those pre-built templates don’t exist and you basically have to start from scratch. In the best case scenario, you’d create your own components and layer them on top of each other with the goal of making the UI seem just about right. But this takes time. Hours longer than you want it to. Without design guidelines, you're stuck guessing what is or is not possible, looking to other apps and emulating what they've already done. Which leads us to the reality that some add-ons have a suboptimal experience, because time is limited, and you're left to build only for what you know you can do, rather than what's actually possible.

To simplify all of this, we’re introducing the G Suite Add-ons UI Design Kit, now live on Figma. With it you can browse all of the components of G Suite Add-ons’ card-based interface, learn best practices, and simply drag-and-drop to create your own unique designs. Save the time spent recreating what an add-on will look like, so that you can spend that time thinking about how your add-on will work .

While the UI Design Kit has only been live for a little over a month, we’ve already been hearing feedback from our partners about its impact.

“Zapier connects more than 2,000 apps, allowing businesses to automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks. When building these integrations, we want to ensure a seamless experience for our customers,” said Ryan Powell, Product Manager at Zapier. “However, a partner’s UI can be difficult to navigate when starting from scratch. G Suite’s UI Design Kit allows us to build, test and optimize integrations because we know from the start what is and is not possible inside of GSuite’s UI.”

Here’s how to use the UI Design Kit:

Step 1

Find and duplicate design kit

  • Search for G suite on Figma community or use this link
  • Open G Suite Add Ons UI Design Kit
  • Just click the duplicate button.

Step 2

Choose a template to begin

  • Go to UI templates page
  • Select a template from the list of templates

Step 3

Copy the template and detach from symbols to start editing

Helpful Hints: Features to help you iterate quickly

Build with auto layout, you don’t need to worry about the details.

  • Copy paste maintains layout padding & structure.
  • Maintained padding & structure while editing.
  • Built in fixed footer and peek cards.

Visualize your design against G-Suite surfaces easily.

Documentation built right into the template.

  1. Go to the component page (e.g section)
  2. Find layout + documentation / api links on respective pages

Next Steps to Consider:

With G Suite Add-ons, users and admins can seamlessly get their work done, across their favorite workplace applications, without needing to leave G Suite. With this UI Design Kit, you too can focus your time on building a great user experience inside of G Suite, while simplifying and accelerating the design process. Follow these steps to get started today:

Download the UI Design Kit

Get started with G Suite Add-ons

Hopefully this will inspire you to build more add-ons using the Cards Framework! To learn more about building for G Suite, check out the developer page, and please register for Next OnAir, which kicks off July 14th.

5 tips to brush up on your Docs, Sheets and Slides skills

The more people work from home, the more help we can use collaborating. If you use G Suite’s content collaboration tools—Google Docs, Sheets and Slides—we have some quick tips, based on our popular series of short videos, that can help you take your productivity game up a notch. 

Have a dialogue in your document with comments and suggestions.

Want to leave feedback on a document or ask a teammate to update a slide? Use comments to have a discussion around your content.  Highlight the section you want to discuss, right click and select Comment, then type your comment into the box. You can tag a teammate by typing the “@” sign and their email address, and check the box to assign them an action item (they’ll receive an email notification). You can also use suggestion mode to propose edits without replacing the original text—then, the document owner and users with edit access can accept or reject the changes. 

See new changes or restore an old version using version history.

Sometimes it’s helpful to look back at an older version of a Doc, Sheet or Slide to see how the contents have evolved or to restore an earlier version. In the file, click the gray text at the top saying “Last edit was on [date].” You’ll see a list of versions organized by date to the right of your file; click on a version to view associated changes. You can also revert to a particular version by clicking “Restore this version” (a blue button on the top left above your file). You can even name your versions to help keep track and quickly find the one you’re looking for.  If you’re working in Sheets, use edit history to track edits for a specific cell.  

Present your project, (virtually) face-to-face.

Sometimes it’s easiest to have a live discussion around your project, so you can collectively discuss and edit a file in real time. As G Suite’s tools are tightly integrated, it’s easy to present your Docs, Sheets and Slides in Google Meet. Once you’re in Google Meet, click the Present button, choose the content you’d like to present and click Share (you can present your entire screen, a window or a Chrome tab). 

Stay productive, even offline.

You can’t always count on a strong internet connection, but that doesn’t have to stop you from being productive. You can still create, view and edit Docs, Sheets and Slides even when you are offline. First, to enable Offline mode in Google Drive, open Settings (click the gear icon in the top right of your screen in Drive) and check the box next to Offline. Then right click on what you want to work on offline and select “Available offline.” 

Bring the best of real-time collaboration to Office files.

Did someone send you a Word document or Powerpoint slide? Need to comment on a colleague’s Excel spreadsheet? No problem—with Office editing, you can edit, comment and collaborate on Microsoft Office files, even if you don’t have Office installed. In Google Drive, double-click your Office file, which will open a preview of the file. At the top, click Open in Google Docs, Sheets or Slides. Then you can edit, share and collaborate as you usually would in a G Suite file and your changes will be saved to the original Office file. 

For additional tips to boost your collaboration game, check out the G Suite Welcome Center.