New Gmail Features Deep Dive

By +James Sayer

And’s here! The new Gmail just launched globally this week and users will start seeing the option to turn it on over the next few days (if you haven’t already). So what is the new Gmail interface like and how will it impact your productivity? We dive deeper into Gmail here….

I remember back in 2004 I accepted my invitation to join Gmail. Beginning with 1GB of space (that doesn't sound so much these days!) we were amazed at all the free storage. And as a bonus, the amount of space would increase incrementally on a daily basis! Nowadays we have unlimited storage with Google EDU how can Google innovate on email now?

The last time Gmail was updated was 2011, so it was about time the interface got a refresh. Google have been careful to test the new interface on senior users whom are more sensitive to drastic changes in usability. Whilst functionality has seen some major boosts, you will still find most of your favorite tools and options in their existing locations.

Refreshed icons adorn the title bar area and your name/logo space. The labels list is clearer and the Compose button has a new design incorporating the Google colors.

Easy access

New icons will appear when hovering over an email, making it super quick to archive, delete, mark as unread or ‘snooze’ a conversation. You are now also able to open up attachments without going into the email itself.

Personally I love the snooze option - the selected message will temporarily disappear from the inbox until a predetermined time at which point I will be able to action it.

Get more done

The biggest change to your inbox is the existence of shortcuts to Calendar, Keep and Tasks.So often I receive an email and need to quickly create or reply to a calendar entry and I can now do that from the quick link with sidebar that folds out. Not just being limited to these Google tools, you can also connect Gmail Add Ons to get more done in your email. One such example is Trello’s add new card addon that can be accessed directly within Gmail.

Even better, my favorite app Google Keep is also available from right within Gmail. And lastly...Google Tasks is now right there along with the other apps. Users may not be familiar with tasks in its previous location, but now you can create a task from an email and see it appear in the tasks list. Prioritise, create lists and set due dates for all your tasks that come from email.

Nudging - AI is coming!

Nudging what? Nudging is Google’s latest effort at bringing AI tools to email. Nudging will prompt users to take specific actions on emails - reminders and more. This coupled with Smart Replies and other notifications should help users combat inbox overload.

Confidential Mode

And now onto a feature I am personally looking forwards to trying out. Confidential Mode allows email senders to set expiry dates on emails.

Other changes

In other changes, Gmail Labs have been upgraded to an Advanced tab, with all labs residing there apart from the old Calendar widget which appears to have been deprecated (not necessary now that new Gmail has Calendar embedded).

How to get the new Gmail?

For personal accounts, simply head to the options gear icon and click on ‘Try the new Gmail’. For Education domain accounts, the G Suite Super Administrator will need to opt in. From the Admin Console head to Apps >> G Suite >> Settings for Gmail >> Advanced Settings ... and then:

Once this is enabled, wait around an hour, and then users on the domain will be able enable new Gmail from the Settings Gear icon.

As US AppsEvents Director, Allison Mollica, suggests, enable new Gmail and let users try it out! You can ask Allison about this in person at the upcoming NH Upper Valley Summit May 4-5!

What is your favorite new Gmail feature? Have you tried it out and loved it? Let us know in the comments section below!

And you can catch me at the Dubai Google Summit May 11th - 12th at Kent College where I will be sharing these tools and many more ways to use Gmail to become more productive!
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#GooglePDStories: Stepping Up

London Summit Ft Google Education-Step Up
By Lawrence Tijjani 

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of running a session at Google Education’s London Summit run by AppsEsvent. AppsEvents is a Google Certified Partner who are responsible for providing training across Europe, Middle East, Asia and America. I’ve been working towards my Google Educator Certification (Level 1 and 2 completed) and I work in various schools co-ordinating their use of ICT. So this was a great opportunity for me. Although I was little hesitant to take up the opportunity, not because I didn’t want to do it but I worried whether my body would fail me just as I was about to present to the audience. If this is first blog post you have read read from me, I suffer from Epilepsy and an unexplained pain syndrome.)

I guess after the last four years my confidence has been dented somewhat following numerous attacks, periods of not being able to walk and being in and out of hospital. When I was teaching I always used to tell my students that nothing grows in the comfort zone, greatness occurs only when you are challenging and pushing yourself. But I think inadvertently I had placed myself in that very same comfort zone without actually realising it. It’s only when I reflect on how long I took to say ‘yes I’ll do it’ did it hit me. Some people may say that leaving a full-time job is not playing it safe but I guess this just felt different. On a bad day pain can be hidden or meetings rescheduled. But when you are presenting to professionals within an allocated time period, there is no do-over or delay till later.

I’m proud to say I made my debut. I stepped up, tapped in or whatever other wrestling analogy you can think of. I was present. I prepared my session, I sought feedback, I troubleshooted and rehearsed a few times. I wanted the participants to develop their confidence using Google Forms in their classrooms so I made sure I provided them with enough practical tips and opportunities to try a range of assessment techniques. Once the session actually began, my nerves fizzled away. It felt good to be present, communicating about something I love, sharing my knowledge with others. In a small way it reminded me again just how resilient I can be. But only if I choose to say yes.

Sometimes opportunities come knocking when you least expect them and you need take them with both hands. I can’t completely control my conditions but I can make sure I am as prepared as possible.

I am going to leave you with this quote from Michael Jordan “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the winning shot…and missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why…I succeed”

N.B What is Google Forms?

Google Forms is a G-Suite application that allows you to create dynamic forms. It’s flexibility in functionality allows you to manage event registrations, whip up quick polls, collect email addresses for a newsletter, create quick step-through tests and much more.The session I lead on focussed on using Google Forms for Assessment and understanding how they can be used to support differentiation.

About the Author

Lawrence Tijjani, Happy2Host Co-founder

After studying Software Engineering in University, Lawrence combined his passion for working with young people and Computing. He has been involved in Education for over 10 years as a former Computing Teacher, later Head of Faculty and IT Co-ordinator at St Michael’s Catholic College.

He was responsible for introducing and developing Computing at KS3, GSCE and A-level at the College. In addition to the pastoral responsibility of a year group and the management of other subject leaders. He has recently left classroom teaching to take up an exciting IT consultancy role with Inspire Through Teaching and supports other schools with the use and development of G-suite.

In addition Lawrence is also the creator of ‘’- an inspirational social enterprise project that works with disengaged students.
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Acer Chromebook Tab 10 & How to Manage Chrome Devices

In this video, Dean talks about the newly announced Acer Chromebook Tab 10 and walks you through some of the best settings for managing Chrome devices in your school or district.

Looking for training on G Suite or Chromebooks? Visit

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Arch Ford Educational Services Host Google Education Summit This June

Arch Ford Educational Services to Host Google for Education Summit

The Arch Ford Educational Services in cooperation with AppsEvents is proud to be hosting the 2018 Arkansas Summit featuring Google for Education taking place at the Arch Ford Educational Service Center, 101 Bulldog Drive, Plumerville, AR.

Google Apps for Education (recently rebranded as GSuite) is a powerful suite of tools that can enhance and support 21st century learning and the Arkansas Summit is a fantastic learning event to support classroom teachers, school leaders and school IT staff.

This is the 5th year AppsEvents, an official Google for Education PD Partner, will be cooperating with Arkansas educators to deliver two days of training targeted to help all educational stakeholders become more proficient, productive and enthusiastic about utilizing the best technology resources available.

Presenters will be flying in from across the US. Speakers are both practicing educators AND leading Google EDU Experts. They will be joined by leading local Google educators to learn about using the latest technologies to enhance collaboration in the classroom and beyond!

The summit will be a 2-day event featuring fantastic keynotes and several concurrent sessions catered to all experience levels and job roles. There will be sessions aimed at classroom teachers where you get to learn practical uses of Google tools as well as more generic sessions for anyone who wants to work smarter, improve productivity, and learn new ways to use technology in both their personal and organizational set-up. IT administrators and staff can also benefit greatly from the Google Summit.

Delegates will also be able to test drive the latest Acer Chromebooks including the latest touchscreen, convertible models that support the use of Android applications.

For those Google Education enthusiasts who are experienced in some area of using Google tools in Education and are interested to apply to lead a session, the organizing committee is now accepting session proposals. Speaking is a really great way to raise your profile in Google EDU and EdTech circles as well as prepare for becoming a Google Certified Trainer.

For more information, please visit the official event website at

For all inquiries please contact:
Arch Ford Educational Services
Marilyn Johnson,
Bill Beavers,

Guen Sayson,
Allison Mollica,

For further information about Google Apps for Educators program, visit
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General Data Protection Regulation and European International Schools

General Data Protection Regulation and European International Schools

By +John M. Mikton

On May 25th 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into full swing in the European Union as law, focused on individual privacy and access/use of personal information of European Union citizens.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new set of rules governing the privacy and security of personal data laid down by the European Commission which impacts all European Union's (EU) organization both commercial and non commercial (non-profit) and foreign companies and organizations which handle European Union citizens personal data. 

The objective of bringing this regulation into law across the EU is in reaction to significant changes with the digitization of information and the growing power of algorithms used by large corporations in analysing and using personal data for commercial use. The General Data Protection Regulation has been designed to give a greater level of control to EU citizens over how their data is processed and used by companies and organizations.

For European International Schools GDPR is an important regulation that schools are working to become compliant. The GDPR requires European International Schools to ensure that all schoolwide processes, producers, and policies with personal data of staff, faculty, parents and students are complaint with the GDPR regulation.

Local government authorities enforcing the GDPR could potentially give out fines if organization do not comply to the GDPR.

There are three areas that European International Schools have to focus on for the GDPR : Governance ⅓, Data Protection ⅓ and Cyber Security ⅓.

 Schools need to show that they are working toward compliance in all three areas and ensure that any personal data they process is handled and stored securely. The focus is on mitigating the risk of personal data not being properly safeguarded. The GDPR extends to those organizations, companies, and services which European International Schools use for different services or resources in and outside of school Under the GDPR schools will be responsible to ensure these organization which might be accessing community members personal data are compliant with GDPR.

There is no doubt this new regulation brings about a lot work for European International Schools as they review, and analysis their current status and enhance procedures, process and policies to be compliant with the GDPR.

This summer as many European International Schools realized the importance of this new regulation and in tandem understanding the extensive work needed to be done the International School of Brussels created a GDPR International Schools working group in an effort to share expertise and resource. In this GDPR working group over 45+ European International Schools are currently sharing and collaborating both virtually and in person. 

There have been two meetings hosted by the International School of Brussels on their campus in Brussels this fall and spring. 45+ European International Schools came together with representatives from school Leadership teams, IT Departments, and Administrators to work to support each other. In tandem the Brussels GDPR International Schools working group has been supported by 9ine consulting who are working with quite a few European International schools as consultants/experts on GDPR compliance in a school setting.

It is evident that working towards General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is very time consuming workflow, and the process requires whole school communities to consider enhancing or implementing new process, procedures and policies related to personal data used on and off campus. This workflow is requiring schools to look at all the daily process and procedures we often take for granted where personal data is being used, access and shared. One actually does not realize the magnitude of ways we work with school community members personal data in and out of school. This process is bringing this to light for many schools.

Below are good resources to support a further understanding of the GDPR


Burgess, Matt. “What Is GDPR? WIRED Explains What You Need to Know.” WIRED, WIRED UK, 6 Feb. 2018,

Consulting, 9ine. “9ine Consulting | Blog - 9ine Consulting | GDPR.” 9ine,

“Home Page of EU GDPR.” EU GDPR Portal,

“Introduction to General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR).” YouTube, YouTube, 22 Apr. 2017,, 5874 Design -. “Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – 10 Steps for Schools.” Harrison Clark Rickerbys,
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Google Partner Summit New York March 2018 Highlights

AppsEvents was delighted to be asked to attend the ‘Google for Education Partner Summit’ in New York in March for an amazing two days of learning and sharing with partners around the world. AppsEvents had four representatives at the summit; Allison Mollica-USA Director, Dean Stokes-UK Director, Dan Taylor-CEO and Oli Trussell.

The event took place over two days in the amazing Google offices in the Chelsea area of midtown Manhattan. The offices are really awe inspiring and take over an entire city block in the old headquarters of the Port Authority of New York. There are at least 5 restaurants and over 6000 Googlers working in the building!

The event started early with an evening event at the offices of Neverware. Neverware turns old laptops into Chromebooks and it was great to get a look at their system in their very cool midtown offices complete with standing desks and a very Googley vibe.

Google has an ecosystem of partner companies who support their efforts in education, which are basically broken into six categories: Firstly PD (Professional Development) partners, like AppsEvents who deliver high quality training for schools. There are OEM’s - basically the big Chromebook manufacturers (or top recommendation for schools being Acer). Then ISV partners (Independent Software vendors) who make software that integrates with G Suite like Texthelp and Soundtrap. Technology partners such as RM Education help with anything ‘techy’ such as migrations and integrations. Then finally Distributors & Resellers deal with anything related to Chromebook sales. It’s amazing what a global community it is and there were attendees from literally across the globe including many I have had the pleasure for knowing for 5 plus years now.

The conference proper started on Wednesday, and kicked off with an overview of the Global state of Google EDU. I’m still amazed about the numbers: 30 million students and teachers using Google Classroom. 80 million students and teachers using G Suite for Education and 1 billion assignments turned-in on Google Classroom. 

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Then we were on to breakout sessions for two days. We learned about the Experiences of the NY Department of Education, got a sneak preview of the ‘Google for Education product road-map’ (top secret I wish I could tell you ;)), we had a breakout game (we will be featuring these at our events and are fantastic ways to encourage critical thinking,collaboration, creativity and communication), plus many more sessions.

I attended a fantastic discussion on ‘Adding Value with Professional Development’ helping technical partners plan PD as a key offering. Too often people add in PD as an afterthought and this session underlines how it needs to be central to any Google project, whether you do the training yourself or engage a PD partner. In my 20+ years of working on IT projects in both business and Education the number one reason (by far) for a project failing was a lack of emphasis on training.

Dean and Oli from AppsEvents gave attendees a fantastic session and ‘drop-in’ clinic, showing partners how to demo Chromebooks and G Suite and have developed a tool to automate the demo process (email for more info).

The second day finished in mid-afternoon leaving the AppsEvents team a quick afternoon of sightseeing before heading home. We’re already looking forward to next year!

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