Google never ceases to amaze me with its continuous improvements and updates. If you want to stay on top of changes to your Google Workspace, you can check out the Google Workspace Updates blog. You can also keep an eye on the What’s New in Google Workspace page, which allows you to search using keywords and filter by product. Let’s take a look at a few interesting updates that started rolling out this month!
Google Admin Console Updates
2-Step Verification (2SV)
If you are a Google administrator, it’s important to know that Google has started to enforce 2SV. This is an additional security measure to protect businesses and organizations from cybersecurity threats. For some admin, this change is already effective, and Google will be enforcing this across the board in 2024. Once this goes into effect for your domain, admins and super admins will be notified to turn on 2-step verification by a specified date. If 2SV is not enabled by the required date, you will be locked out of your admin account and forced to recover it. Google recommends going ahead and enabling it as soon as possible.
Google Classroom Updates
Starting December 12, 2023, teachers have the ability to excuse assignments for absences, dropped grades, etc. in lieu of giving a grade. This heavily requested feature will be available to all users. With a gradual rollout, Google workspaces and personal users should have access to this feature by December 27.
Now, users with Education Plus and the Teaching and Learning Upgrade can create video assignments for students using YouTube videos. Add questions for students at different points throughout a video and see a dashboard of insights once they’ve responded.
Google Docs Updates
We’ve been able to insert smart chips into Docs for people, dates, files, events, and places. Now we can insert placeholder chips for collaborators to complete! All users should be able to view placeholder chips by December 23.
Smart Compose in Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Drawings now does more than offer suggestions for writing content. It can suggest solutions to math problems! This feature is available to users with certain accounts. Depending on whether you’re a Gradual or Rapid Release domain, you may or may not have access yet.
Google Chat Updates
All users will be able to mute and unmute conversations to disable notifications and push chats to the bottom of the conversation list. This feature is already available in mobile, and depending on whether you’re a Gradual or Rapid Release domain, you may or may not have access yet on the web version.
You will now see shortcuts in your left sidebar menu. This permits you to easily go to the Home screen and access @ mention messages. Plus, you can now filter unread messages or view threads from Home. Rapid Release domains should already have access to this feature and Gradual Release domains will have visibility by December 26.
What do you think of these new updates? Don’t forget to take a look at the Google Workspace Updates blog for any newly added changes or features that may affect you and your organization.