Google Drive – Someone trashed my file!

Here’s the scenario. You are working on a project with other colleagues. You have a shared folder and several Google Docs inside – also shared to the team. Things are going great. Ideas are being shared, the project is taking shape and best of all everyone is on the same page. Sounds like a dream come true doesn’t it? Most times it is but let me throw you a curve ball. One team member accidentally decides to trash one of the documents. Uh oh! But they weren’t even the owner-how in the hell can this happen? Well folks, it can … kind of. Read on to see it in action and how to fix it.

Here I have a folder on my Google Drive and it is shared to a test account. It is only View Only right now.

Now I switch over to the test account and “trash” the Test Presentation #1. So just to be clear, the test account is not the owner of the document – I am, yet the test account was able to trash it

Just as you saw – the test account seems to be able to delete the file. When I go back my account (again, I own all the documents in this account) – it is gone like Keyser Söze.

Oh man – that is very scary. Imagine sharing a document with your entire school and someone can trash it at will! It sounds nightmarish but all is not lost.

You see, the file is not deleted. It is … somewhere else, but here is where it gets a little weird. If I go through my Google Drive, I cannot find it. It doesn’t seem to show up, not even in the trash, but if I search for it, I can find it. So far this is the only way I can locate the file – no matter how I sort my files or search them manually I cannot find the file, but the search does the trick.

Whew – there it is, but the real question is where exactly is it? I honestly have no idea. When you select the file there are two interesting things that happen. One is in the information that you can get from Google Drive. You can see that it does not show you where the location is in Google Drive.

Also there is a new option on the toolbar when the file is selected. It gives you the option to add it back to your Drive. This is weird, because it is not in the trash. It’s just somewhere hidden in your drive. Strange huh?

So I click that and add it back to my Testing Folder.

Now it has a location again.

The best explanation I can come up with for this weird behavior is that the folder system in Google Drive is a sham. The folders are just a fancy way of tagging files as opposed to actually organizing the files. The folders are really just filters. Kind of interesting but if you’re lost then don’t worry about it.

Just know that if someone trashes a file you own, you can find it, restore and keep on working.

UPDATE* THANKS TO URKO MASSE (@urkomasse) FOR THIS TIP!

There is another way to find the trashed file and this seems a bit easier. Find the folder on your Google Drive but don’t open it, just select like I did here.

Then select the “I” to bring up the information for that folder. Click on “Activity” and you will see who removed the file and when. It also gives you a way to find it by clicking on the magnifying glass I’ve pointed to in the image below.

When you click the magnifying glass it performs a search like I did before and voilà! You’ve found your trashed file. Thanks again to Urko Masse for this very helpful tip!

YouTube Safety Mode with Google Apps for Education

Yep, this is a thing. If your school is Google Apps for Education and you guys leverage the huge power of YouTube in your teaching then maybe you have fallen victim to the YouTube Safety Mode automatically being turned on. Basically what happens is that this feature seems to suddenly be turned on and certain YouTube videos are blocked (even though they are educational in nature). It’s frustrating because teachers don’t have the ability to toggle it off or on – it’s just on and a nuisance.

OK – here’s the trick – when my school ran into this I reached out to Google for assistance – here was their reply.

So basically what this very polite email says is that YouTube is not a core feature and therefore not covered in their support. The images this rep refers to are directions on how an individual can turn it on or off on their personal account. With our people, it was not an option and kept pointing them back to the Google Apps administrator – me.

After an exhaustive search through the Google forums I came across a plausible answer to this problem. For our school we had Safe Search (through the Chrome app settings) turned on for all users. What I did was switch it off and this fixed it. I was also able to verify this on a support page from Google – check it out below.

A bit of a risk I agree but well worth it since a lot of our teachers use YouTube, but why Google bundles Google search and YouTube search together is a bit of a mystery – especially since this was not always the case.

So check out the video above which shows how easy it is to change this setting. Remember though, only your Google Apps administrator can do this so please talk to her/him to make the change.

Security vs. Stability

It’s a tale as old as time.

At my school, we have been struggling with WiFi stability since we started our BYOD program. It is certainly something a lot of other schools can relate. We’ve been able to trace our problem down to three separate issues. Two of them were configuration issues that were done improperly from the start but the third is an Aruba server that handles our access to our network. This is the point of our discussion.

Our school uses Aruba to handle security to the network. The server we use is faulty – plain and simple. We have bypassed it so Aruba engineers can work on it and not cause any disruptions. When we implemented the bypass our WiFi network became quite reliable. Not perfect but usable and you can count on it in most cases now. We do have security on our network but it’s not the most robust.

With Aruba we get a few perks – check out the list below.
– Reports for IT

– The ability to shut down a user completely (except their smartphone with a data plan of course)

– The ability to view and track users throughout the network

– Limiting the number of devices a user can use

Now, it’s not all sunshine and unicorns with Aruba either.
– Lengthy time to get all users on our network (it usually takes about 2 weeks). Without Aruba it can be as little as 3 days

– Can’t just turn it off if there are problems

– Reliant on outside engineers to service it. The bypass we created was done primarily in house and we can work on it if needed

– Daily IT helps people get connected with new devices (removing older devices and helping to on board the new device)

– Costly

Eventually our Aruba will be sorted out and ready to be switched on. In theory it will be seamless, but the question is – do we switch it on? Do we trade ease of access for a little more security? Do we trade the ability to troubleshoot or issues in house for a more powerful service that requires outside configuration and support?

What do you think?

What I like about Prezi

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about Prezi so I thought I would make a quick Prezi about what I like about it. This is by no means a review or a how-to document. That stuff will come later so hang tight. The biggest thing I like is how easy it is to use. I haven’t made a Prezi in about two years and it was like slipping back into a comfortable shoe. Check out the Prezi to get a taste of the review to come.

Technology is frickin’ awesome

Still not interested in technology? Still think that technology is impersonal and keeps people from connecting with one another? The video above shows just how important and how technology can change lives and connect people in various ways. Love it!

This is a great video to show students to show them that technology just isn’t hiding behind a computer and pounding away on a keyboard. Check out how people are helping each other at the Collective Project and Limbitless Solutions..