U-M Google Updates

Recent Activity Displayed in Google


Google is continuously looking for ways to improve collaboration. One way is by adding new activity features to make it easier to see who updated a file and how.

Google Drive

Introducing Activity dashboard in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides! It’s a feature that lets collaborators with edit access see who has viewed the file and when they viewed it. For example, a collaborator can check if a coworker has seen a file already and alert them that it’s been updated. Or an account manager can judge the best way to follow up with a partner, depending on whether that partner has viewed the materials they previously sent.

You may have noticed a notification in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to explain the feature and its control options. Activity dashboard will only show viewing data for a collaborator after they see this notification. It will not display any activity from before they saw it.

All collaborators will have access to privacy settings that allow them to control whether their views show up in Activity dashboard at any time. For more information and to change settings, see the Activity dashboard Help Center.

U-M Google March Summary


The monthly U-M Google Summaries inform campus of Google releases for Core Apps as well as the Non-Core Apps (those that are not part of the G Suite for Education agreement). We communicate important information on Core Apps throughout the month. Core and Non-Core Apps are listed on the G Suite website.

Core Apps:

Previously Communicated:

Note: Keep in mind that even when Non-core Apps are found in a Core App (like Google Drive), they are not covered by the G Suite for Education agreement.


Announcing Google Jamboard!



The new Jamboard service combines the same real-time, collaborative benefits of other G Suite applications like Google Docs but with a whiteboard interface that allows ideas and projects to come to life. The service is part of the Google Core offering available to the university.

Jamboard App

With the Jamboard app, you can use the Jamboard service with your tablet, phone or the web to connect to a “Jam session” (or Jamboard file) from anywhere. Once connected, several people at a time can collaboratively whiteboard and pull in content from Google Drive and other sources. You can view Jam sessions from any device with a web browser. The G Suite support site has more information on the phone app and the tablet app.

Jamboard files save automatically. The ones that you own appear in your Drive folder. This means you can open, copy, and share jam files from My Drive and Team Drives, and save Jamboard files to My Drive. With this launch you can:

  • Share Jamboard files directly from Drive.
  • Open Jamboard files from Drive in the Jamboard web and mobile applications.
  • Search for Jamboard files in Drive (by entering “type:jam” in the Drive search bar.)

For more information on using Jamboard, check out the Help Center.

Jamboard Kiosk

The Jamboard service can also be used with the Jamboard kiosk - a 55-inch, digital, collaborative whiteboard that works in the cloud. You can create notes, text, and images on the board. And, whatever you put on the board can be shared with the rest of your team, whether they are using another Jamboard in a remote location or on a mobile device, using the Jamboard app. The Jamboard kiosk comes with a passive stylus and an eraser (no batteries needed.) It can be wall–mounted or mounted on a movable stand.

The Collaboration Services team is gauging the interest for Jamboard hardware on campus. Before making any arrangements with a reseller,  please contact ITS if you are interested in purchasing Jamboard kiosk hardware. We will be working to ensure they can be acquired, installed and configured in the best way possible at the University of Michigan.

Update on Google Hangouts Chat


Earlier this month we announced that the new Google Hangouts Chat would be rolling out on the UMICH domain. Since then, the ITS Infrastructure Collaboration Services team, ITS Accessibility experts, and the Collaboration Services Advisory Group at the University of Michigan have taken a detailed look at Hangouts Chat.

After thorough testing, these groups found that this current version of Google Hangouts Chat lacks many critical and essential features. The ITS Collaboration Services Team and the Collaboration Services Advisory Group recommend that the University of Michigan not activate Google Hangouts Chat until these gaps are addressed and the product matures. For more information, please read the Service Evaluation.

Google Hangouts remains available as it is a different app than Hangouts Chat.

We will keep you updated with new developments.

Prompt to Upgrade to New Google Forms


In February 2016, Google announced the new Google Forms, which had reduced functionality from Classic Forms. Since then, Google has been adding functionality while Classic Forms remain available. We recently noticed when going in to edit a Classic Form, a pop-up window appears, prompting to upgrade the Form to New Forms. Eventually, Classic Forms will be retired. Now may be a good  time to begin upgrading any Classic Forms still being used and testing their functionality in New Forms. At this time, New Forms can be reverted to Classic Forms if the new offering does not meet your needs. However, as with other Google service improvements, the ability to continue to use older versions of the service will eventually go away.

If you have any questions or run into any issues upgrading, contact the ITS Service Center.