5 Important Google Drive Updates for Teachers and Educators

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Over the last few weeks Google Drive released a host of interesting new updates to its various services. I went through these updates and selected the ones I believe are of direct relevance to us in education. If you have missed any of these updates, the list below has you covered. To stay updated about future releases, visit Google Workspace blog.

"For documents created in Google Docs, you can now change the page orientation on a per-section basis. This will allow you to make room for wider content such as tables and images that can benefit from extra horizontal space. You’ll also be able to edit, import, and export Microsoft Word documents that contain both portrait and landscape oriented pages."

Two important updates were released regarding this feature: first "when you send or receive email with an Office file attached, you’ll see an edit icon that will open the file directly in Docs, Sheets, or Slides while preserving the original file format". Second, the ability to answer the email from within the file. "Once the file is opened, you’ll have new options to respond to the email thread from the File menu in Docs, Sheets, or Slides."

Mobile Drive users who have the latest version of the Drive app will be to "1) See and re-run recent desktop and mobile searches.  2) View and select intelligent suggestions as they type, including suggestions for people, past searches, and keywords, as well as recently accessed files."

"You can now adjust text size, color, font, spacing, and more while typing in a text box in Google Sites. This significantly expands control over how individual words, paragraphs, pages, and sections look."

The new PDF improvements include :
"Image imports, including the image itself and text wrapping related to images. 
Text styles and formatting, such as importing underline and strikethrough, background color, and more fonts. 
Layout conversion, including support for multi-column layouts, custom page sizes, tables with borders, and improved content ordering."