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The right apps help organizations get work done. That’s where the Google Apps Marketplace comes in, with hundreds of third-party apps that integrate directly with Google Apps for Work like BetterCloud, which automates management of your domain, or LucidChart, which helps you create beautiful diagrams within Drive.

And today, the Google Apps Marketplace is getting a virtual facelift to make it even easier for administrators and employees to find applications to help them get work done.

The new navigation bar enables you to easily find specific apps by browsing the most popular app categories, such as Sales & CRM or Task Management.
From Asana (a team task management tool) to Zapier (a way to connect apps you use and automate tasks), you can find the right app to solve your organization’s needs. Check out the new Google Apps Marketplace and learn more about how to manage apps for your organization.

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Posted by Catherine Davis, former 4th grade teacher and Director of Academic Technology at Pilgrim School

(Cross-posted on the Google for Education Blog.)




Editor's note: Today we’re launching a new Chrome extension, Share to Classroom, which solves a big pain point for teachers: getting all students to the same website during class. The Share to Classroom extension works on any laptop, including Chromebooks, Macs and PCs. Catherine Davis, former 4th grade teacher and Director of Academic Technology at Pilgrim School, piloted the Classroom extension with Mrs. Shorkey’s 3rd grade class, and here she describes her experience using this new extension and the impact on her students.







Sharing a website with my students is a great way to get them engaged. When we studied South America, I shared a video of Tierra del Fuego, and my students were able to view the coast, hear the wind and see the waves soar. But getting a class full of 4th graders on the same web page is a huge challenge. I typically write the URL on the board, then walk around to help each student who misses a capital or underscore or backslash. My students get frustrated, I get frustrated, and before I know it 10 minutes of precious teaching time is lost.

So I was thrilled to pilot the Share to Classroom extension. With the extension I can open a website and “push” it to my Google Classroom students, so the page opens immediately on all their devices. Our 3rd graders gasped when we tried it – the webpage instantaneously popped up on all of their screens.
The new extension lets me engage my students and help them drive their own learning on 1:1 devices at our school. When our 3rd graders were studying Native American culture, I pushed a website to the class so they could research traditional clothing and food. The students aren’t locked to the page I send, and one student navigated from there to an even better site. With the Classroom extension, the student was able to push the new site to me, and I reviewed and pushed to the entire class. She had a boost of confidence when her discovery drove class discussion.
Using the extension also lets me think on my feet. When discussing pioneers, a brave student raised his hand and asked “What’s a stage coach?” I realized my students hadn’t been exposed to the term. I immediately pulled up a definition and video and pushed it to the class. I also saved the webpage as a draft to post to my other Classroom students later. I could have projected on a screen, but the intimacy of having the webpage on each device allows students to explore on their own, hear clearly and watch repeatedly. It also levels the playing field for ELL and students of different backgrounds so everyone starts literally on the same page.

As teachers, we never feel we have enough time to do everything we want with our students. The new Share to Classroom extension gives us back those few minutes it takes to get students to the same place and makes learning about investigating, not about navigating.

*Note: Google Apps admins can install the extension for their entire domain so that it’s easiest for teachers and students to get started. Teachers and students both need the extension in order to push web pages to each other.

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Fall brings a new sense of energy and excitement as teammates get back to work after soaking up the summer sun and the kids return to school. To help you be more productive than ever this season, Google Docs is getting a whole new set of tools.

For 9 years our core focus has been on making collaboration as simple as possible, even if your team is spread out all over the world. So far this year, we’ve made more than 100 different improvements to the Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms apps that help ease the content creation process. Now we’re taking the first steps to incorporate the power and intelligence of Google into Docs. We hope to make analyzing your data more intuitive, editing more accessible and document styling more dynamic – now your documents can be as beautiful as your ideas are bold.

Bringing the power of Google to your Docs


Whether you’re an agency researching creative ideas for a client pitch or a bakery brainstorming names for your newest dessert, pulling the wealth of information from Google search into your docs can transform them from interesting to inspiring. With the new Research feature in the Docs Android app, you’ll notice there’s less than half the steps previously needed to pull quotes, facts and images from Google search into your – in fact you’ll never even have to leave the app.



Voice typing has helped change the way we work on the go (when it’s easier to talk than type). We’re now bringing that innovation to the web, where improvements to voice transcription make even long-form dictation, like sharing your brainstorming ideas with teammates around the world, a breeze. In fact, it even supports more than 40 different languages, so it’s also handy for practicing your language skills. To start, just turn on voice typing from the tools menu in Google Chrome.

Whether it’s the data from your newly created Forms (more on that later) or one of your existing documents, the new Explore feature in Google Sheets will help you make sense of it all. It’s a tool designed to help you visualize, summarize and interpret your data 
 no more stressing or wasting countless hours stewing over endless rows of data. Simply select some data, open the Explore panel (available on the web and Android) and you’ll instantly see a selection of charts and text-based insights that help bring meaning to your numbers.



Documents that work for you


Google Forms makes it easy to quickly get information from teammates, customers and partners. And it’s getting a refresh, with new themes and the option to add your own photo or logo. You can choose from a wide selection of question types and even add images and gifs to your forms.

It can sometimes be a little overwhelming trying to make your docs look great. You’ll now notice a new arsenal of templates in the Docs, Sheets and Slides homescreens to make your work really stand out. Whether you’re creating a project plan for the team’s next big product launch or a simple budget spreadsheet to manage office finances for the next quarter, you’ll find a template for every scenario.


Finally, to make it easier to keep up with the latest updates when collaborating on a Doc with your team, there’s a “see new changes” option. It’ll show you all the changes made by your team, so you can check out what the Tokyo office was up to while you were sleeping. 


Want to learn more about each of these new features that are rolling out this season? Keep tabs on our Google+ and Twitter channels to see more tips, tricks and features.

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Editor's note: Today we hear from Jamie Holyland, director of communications at London youth support organisation Epic CIC. Epic saved £67,000 last year by switching to Google Apps for Work, with projections to save £140,000 annually. Read how Google Apps re-energised the 155 workers at Epic with forward-looking solutions.

When government budget cuts threatened our organisation's financial health, we didn't expect a technology change to keep us afloat. But that's exactly what happened. We provide a wide range of youth services in inner London, including an assistance program for teenage parents and programs to help young people find employment. In the wake of increasingly severe public funding cuts, Epic joined the private sector after 25 years with the local authority of Kensington and Chelsea. Ending even one of our projects was a step we didn’t want to take, and by transitioning to Google Apps for Work, we didn’t have to. The £140,000 a year that we save with Google gives us room in our budget to maintain all of our services. Now Epic is not only financially sustainable, it’s more efficient, more secure, and primed for a future of cloud computing.

Google Apps pulled our fragmented organisation together. Before we switched over last year, few of our 80 part-time staff had a work email account or online calendar; we relied entirely on phone calls, texts and face-to-face meetings to communicate. Now, almost everyone uses Gmail and calendar to stay organized and in touch. Whether staff are working with young people at one of our six youth centres or at any of our other eight offices, they can use one of 50 Chromeboxes to check their accounts. And for management rushing between meetings and our 20 case workers who operate off-site, we have 40 Android devices for them to stay connected from anywhere.

The impact on our efficiency has been huge. Google Apps for Work has reduced the number of emails we send by 50 percent in two months. The Chromebooks our 25 senior and middle managers use take seven seconds to start up, compared to the 20 minutes we spent starting up some of our old machines, so their time is spent fixing problems for our other 130 staff rather than waiting for technology to warm up.

Cloud computing is the future for our kind of community work, where teams are spread thin and wide. For example, instead of relying on a scattered paper trail to register attendance at our events, we now use Forms to track participation as they happen. Under our old system, the quarter of a million files we had stored on the local authority hard drives were full of confusing duplications. In one case, we found the same document saved in 47 variations by over 50 people, with no clue as to which was the final version. Now, the whole team can work together on a single shared Doc. And because there’s only ever one version, we don’t just save time, we stay aligned and build off of each other’s feedback seamlessly. We found Drive to be more secure, too, because its privacy and file access controls let us control information in more nuanced ways than we could before.

Maintaining our services without public funding was a daunting challenge, but Google Apps helped make it possible. Even better, the tools bring our team together and save us time, so we can spend more of our resources on the people who need them most.

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(Cross-posted on the Google for Education Blog.)

The tradition of ringing in each New Year with resolutions (whether we stick to them or not) is always an opportunity to reflect and start the year ahead on the right foot. As students and teachers around the world return to campuses and classrooms this fall, we’re embarking on a different kind of fresh start: a New (School) Year. And we want to help you make the most of it. So we’ve put together a few resolution ideas, plus tips to help you stick to them. We’ve also made a resolution of our own: to bring the best of Google technology to education.
The best of Google, for education

Like many resolutions, ours might sound familiar—and that’s because the Google for Education team has been working on it for a while. Over the last few years, we’ve spent a lot of time with teachers and students, witnessing firsthand how technology is helping in the classroom and learning about challenges that are yet unsolved. With feedback from schools, we’ve improved products like Google Apps for Education and Docs, building in new features specifically useful for education. We’ve also created new learning experiences like Google Classroom—a sort of mission control for teachers and students, offering a single place to keep track of all class materials, eliminating paperwork and making it easy for teachers to collaborate with students, and students to collaborate with each other.

So as part of our resolution this school year, we’re launching some new features in Google Classroom. Teachers can now easily ask students questions in Classroom, alongside all the other class materials in the stream. Teachers also told us that they want more ways for students to engage with each other, and flex their critical thinking muscles. So now students can comment on each other’s answers in Classroom and have open-ended discussions. In the next month, we'll also make it possible for teachers to add assignments, due dates and field trips to a shared calendar.


So what’s your resolution?

We’re sure you’ve already set some big goals for the year ahead—from acing AP Bio to landing that killer internship. Whatever your plans, it can be tough to stick with those goals once assignments and social commitments start to pile up. So we’ve collected 50+ tips from more than 15 Google products to help you follow through with your resolutions. Here are some ideas:
Resolution 1. Get (and stay) organized

When you’re bogged down by clutter, it can be tough to get stuff done. Make this your year to be more organized. Never miss another study group with help from Google Calendar. Use Google Sheets to keep all your classmates' info in one place, and better manage your inbox by emailing everyone at once with a Google group.


Resolution 2. Get (mentally) fit

Push yourself to take your studies to the next level. Teach yourself how to code with Made with Code. Make the most of language class by saving your most used words and phrases with Google Translate or magically translating webpages with Google Chrome.


Resolution 3. Get some worldly perspective

Not studying abroad this year? No problem. You can still unleash your inner explorer with Google Maps Treks and visit the Pyramids of Giza or the Great Barrier Reef without leaving your room. Or bring your art history class to life by seeing those masterpieces up close and in perfect detail with Cultural Institute.

We hope these give you new ideas for how you can make this school year your best yet. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be announcing more tips and other updates—so follow along with #GoogleEdu and on Google+. We’ll be doing our homework to stick to our resolution, so we can hopefully give you what you need to do the same. Now go hit those books! 

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Editor's note: Today we share a few of the most enlightening insights from our study on the impact of collaboration and innovation on a company’s success. Read on for some highlights of what we learned from business leaders at companies of all sizes and industries, then check out the full report here.

As a culture, and in business, we’ve become increasingly conscious of the positive impact of collaboration, group interaction and free exchange of information. And with the word “social” tied to many of the ways we now spend our time — social media, social apps, social gaming, social software — we’re often reminded of the power of connecting and sharing.

The numbers reflect this trend. Over the last decade, Google search volume for the term “social collaboration” has grown globally by more than 300 percent, while interest for the term “social innovation” has jumped more than 200 percent. And the money trail is headed in the same direction: business leaders are directing focus and budget on tools and strategies that foster collaboration.

So how exactly does collaboration stack up against other business objectives in the eyes of today’s business leaders? We teamed up with Raconteur to find out. We surveyed senior staff and C-suite executives at 258 North American companies of all sizes and industries about a wide range of business concerns, from changes that impact profitability, to barriers and drivers of innovation, to the most formidable organizational threats they’re facing, to the tools they’re using to address their challenges. Here’s what those business leaders told us.

Collaboration is good business


Our research shows that the benefits of collaboration extend far beyond the success of any single project. An overwhelming 73% of business leaders said their organization would be more successful if employees could work in more flexible and collaborative ways. In fact, they tell us that “employees working together more collaboratively in person” is the number one factor impacting profitability.

Another eye-opening discovery was that collaboration and employee happiness go hand in hand: 88% of business leaders who believe their company fosters a culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration also say employee morale and job satisfaction are high.

Business leaders also told us that the most serious people management-related threats to organizations are failure to attract enough talent (25%), inability to retain the best talent (18%), and concerns about a disengaged workforce (14%). While we haven’t proven a direct causation, it appears that a culture of collaboration could potentially help address these threats by creating a more desirable work environment.

Who can spark change?


While business leaders look to departments across the organization for innovation and collaboration, they consider IT the greatest changemaker. Twenty-six percent named IT the leading department for driving innovation, and 28% named IT the department that best collaborates with internal and external teams. So we weren’t surprised when leaders also told us that investing in technology, which IT manages, has the biggest impact on knowledge sharing and collaboration. We saw that companies of all sizes rely on IT and technology for the tools to share, innovate and transform.

Business teams with access to the right technologies and tools and the support of IT and leadership can work better together, with greater mobility. And this paves the way for a collaborative culture that may bring a host of benefits, including greater profitability, happier employees and more consistent innovation. We may continue to be surprised by what results when teams truly sync.

See the full report on collaboration here.

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(Cross-posted on the Google for Education Blog.)

As you gear up for the new school year, try the newest features in Google Classroom for more ways to save time, engage your students and keep everyone organized. Most of these features are rolling out this week; stay tuned in the next few weeks for more back-to-school goodies in Google Classroom, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, all designed to help you make this school year yours.

Keep students engaged with question-driven discussions 

Since Classroom launched last year, teachers have been using their class stream to host student debates, Q&A and discussions. Starting today, you’ll be able to do this in a more collaborative way. You can post questions to your class and allow students to have discussions by responding to each other’s answers (or not, depending on the setting you choose). For example, you could post a video and ask students to answer a question about it, or post an article and ask them to write a paragraph in response.

“Often, teachers want to do a quick check-in on what their students are learning. Now with this built in to Google Classroom, teachers can easily do this on the fly, any time,” said Michael Fricano II, who teaches at Iolani School in Honolulu. “Your class can have a really engaging, focused conversation.”

Reuse posts 

You know those lessons that worked so well last year that you want to use them again? Now you can reuse assignments, announcements or questions from any one of your classes — or any class you co-teach, whether it’s from last year or last week. Once you choose what you’d like to copy, you’ll also be able to make changes before you post or assign it.

“The reuse post feature gives teachers the gift of time. Making changes to something already created is way easier than starting from scratch,” said Heather Breedlove, Technology Integration Coordinator at Flagstaff Unified School District in Arizona. “It’s working smarter, not harder.”


Calendar Integration 

In the next month, Classroom will automatically create a calendar for each of your classes in Google Calendar. All assignments with a due date will be automatically added to your class calendar and kept up to date. You’ll be able to view your calendar from within Classroom or on Google Calendar, where you can manually add class events like field trips or guest speakers.





And a few more improvements you’ve asked for:

  • Bump a post: When you want to make sure an older item is easy for students to find, you can now move any post to the top of the stream. 
  • Due dates optional: For long-term projects or student-driven assignments, you’ll now have the option to create assignments that don’t have due dates. 
  • Attach a Google Form to a post: Many teachers have been using Google Forms as an easy way to assign a test, quiz or survey to the class. Coming in the next few weeks, teachers and students will soon be able to attach Google Forms from Drive to posts and assignments, and get a link in Classroom to easily view the answers. 

In case you missed it 

We know YouTube is an important source of educational content for many schools. Because it also contains content that an organization or school might not consider acceptable, last month we launched advanced YouTube settings for all Google Apps domains as an Additional Service. These settings give Apps admins the ability to restrict the YouTube videos viewable for signed-in users, as well as signed-out users on networks managed by the admin. Learn more here.

All of us on the Classroom team have been deeply touched by the teachers in our lives, who inspire us in the work that we do. For me, that’s my brother Tuan, an English teacher at the Chinese International School in Hong Kong. We make these products for you. And we hope these new features will help you kick off another incredible year of teaching and learning.