Innovation Recap: Keynote, Google Drive & Email Hack

Apple released its iPhone X, Home Pod, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the latest iteration of the Apple Watch this week in the new Steve Jobs Theater. Each of Apple’s products can consume a blog post in their own right, but I’m going to focus on a presentation failure worth sharing with students. In addition, there’s been much trepidation about the imminent death of Google Drive, so I want to allay some fears and highlight Drive File Stream. Plus, one of my colleagues turned me on to a cool email hack worth sharing.

Best Lesson from Apple Keynote

Failure happens to the best of us – even to tech giant, Apple. On stage during the keynote, the facial recognition failed during Craig Federighi’s demonstration of their newest product, the iPhone X. Having been in the tech world for decades, we’re used to it. The Innovator’s Mindset is built into our DNA. Honestly, I’m glad it happened. What a great lesson for our students – you don’t need to be perfect. When you fail, work to figure out why.

There were tweets about it being embarrassing, and ultimately Apple investigated the logs to find out what happened. It turned out it worked as it should because other people were handling the device and the device was attempting to log them in, and when too many attempts are made, it requires a passcode. Craig happened to use facial recognition after too many failures occurred which prompts the user for a passcode.

Google Drive Changes

Google’s iterating and innovating on their Google Drive product, and now Google Drive has been parsed into two offerings: Drive File Stream, designed for enterprise/education and Backup and Sync, designed for consumers. I find it interesting that Google hasn’t released a video highlighting the changes/differences/advantages, but it appears to be true. If any readers find a great video explaining the differences or if you’ve created one, please add it via the comments!

Drive File Stream allows users to quickly access their data by creating links on your hard drive while storing the files in the cloud. Giving files offline access can be accomplished with a couple of clicks. For most educators, this will be the solution of choice. Why? Keeping student data on laptops and desktops creates a security risk, faster hard drives are getting smaller, and as districts move away from the old-fashioned, resource intensive solution of file shares and move to Team Drives, accessing those files more quickly provides a value-add for users and teams enhancing collaboration.

Excerpt copied from Google’s Support Site

Compare sync solutions


Feature Drive File Stream Backup and Sync
Access files in My Drive
Access files in Team Drives
Stream files on demand
Sync only selected folders in My Drive
Sync only individual files in My Drive
Use native applications like MS Word and Photoshop
Sync other folders, such as Documents or Desktop



Cool Email Trick for G Suite Users

Earlier this week while Innovation Coach Dan Little, STEM teacher Karen Vome, and I were brainstorming solutions to an account problem, Dan brought up the Google plus, dot trick. It turns out you can use a dot or + sign and any word to create unlimited faux email addresses that all come straight to you. How cool? This trick is a great addition to Aaron Roberts’ blog post about achieving Inbox Zero. Admittedly, the only time I’ve seen Inbox Zero is when I sign up and delete the welcome email, but his tips are great, and I’m adding Pocket to my workflow.

Read this article that Dan recommended: How to Use the Infinite Number of Gmail Addresses Google Gives You

Here’s an example of how it works:

Say, my email address is I can sign up for a retail account with janedoe+orders@gmail account, and it will still be sent to my account. Google ignores what’s after the plus sign.

janedoe+orders@gmail = = =

Why is this important? You can set up filters to put each of these in a categorized folder without creating multiple email addresses for different functions. For ordering, if you use janedoe+ordering, these folders can all go into an Orders folder. Here you can track your quotes, orders, and other purchasing related items.