4 Important Google Drive Updates Teachers Should Know about

Share this post:  
June 3, 2016
Over the last few weeks, Google added a number of interesting features geared towards improving the overall functionality of Google Drive tools. For those of you who have not seen them yet, here is a quick overview of the new releases that are important to us in education. These include: availability of Docs Outline feature for iOS users, embedding of charts created in Sheets onto Docs and Slides, creating engaging presentations using the new Slides Q&A feature, and the last one is for Google Calendar which now allows users to quickly view events  locations and details on the web.

1- Document outline for iOS apps

Outline, the new feature that was recently introduced to Google Docs on the web, is now available for iOS users. ‘Outline allows you to easily structure your documents.It is also a great tool to help you quickly navigate the different parts of your documents. Once activated, Document outline displaces a pane to the left of the page featuring all the headers contained in your document. Clicking on each of these headers will jump you straight to its corresponding section. You don’t even have to manually apply headers, Google Docs smartly detects the different sections of your documents and generates an outline accordingly which you can edit as you want.’

2- Embed charts from Sheets in Google Docs and Slides 

Google Docs has recently added a new functionality that allows you to integrate different chart types right into your document. These charts are pre-made and all you have to do is to edit and customize  them using your own data. Editing is done on Google Sheets. Once you edit them, new changes will be reflected in the original chart you have embedded in your Google Doc by simply clicking on the ‘update’ button that will show up in your document. Alternatively you can build your own charts from scratch on Google Sheets and integrate them into your document using the ‘Insert’ button. With this new feature, you are able to create and experiment with four major pre-made charts namely: Bar, Column, Line and Pie.

3- See event locations at a glance with Google Calendar on the web

‘Google Calendar on the web is getting an update today: event locations will now appear in the day and week views.Instead of needing to navigate to an event’s details in order see the event location, the event location will now appear on your calendar, when there is enough space available.’

4- New Feature to Gather Realtime Feedback in Presentations 

Google Slides released an exciting new feature called Slides Q&A which allows presenters to connect with their audience and gather realtime feedback. Using a link displayed on a Slides presentation members of your audience can directly post their questions and comments and also vote on the ones they want answered the most. Audience members can engage with your presentation and ask questions from any device (tablets, phones and laptops).