Updating Google Apps
Saturday, May 07th, 2011 | Author:

Just a quick post about updates really. It’s weird, I spent two years training teachers to use the VLE in Hampshire and we had to test updates thoroughly, schedule them to happen during holidays just in case something went wrong. We also had to update all documentation and training guides to ensure people knew what was happening and what had been updated.

How things change.

I have lost count of the number of updates that have happened to Google Apps since we started using it (properly) at the end of February. How have I been informed about them? Almost by chance.

Updates have probably fallen into one of a few categories:

  • I saw a blog post about a feature coming soon (follow @gappsupdates on Twitter)
  • I noticed it on the calendar (which also tells you how to enable/disable it)
  • I accidentally found it
  • I missed it totally

How has this changed my experience? It’s mostly been very useful as the updates have been great improvements. This includes the ability to upload folders to Google Docs or have separate pages in a document. Generally you only find out about a new update a week or so before it goes live (if that!).

The nicest update recently? The ability to granulate the level of admin control. Once you have gone into Organization and Users, you can select a user and assign different privileges. Previously giving someone admin control meant that they had full admin control and could change anything and everything. Now, I can let me teachers change the password of the children in the school, but not change domain settings. Very useful. Especially as it means they don’t need to ask me to reset passwords!

I do like this way of managing updates but it does make me wonder how it would work across an entire authority. Training guides are also difficult as things change and update regularly. Children seem unaffected, but how would teachers cope with constant change? Should I update staff every now and again to tell them about the useful updates?