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The Silicon Valley Review Names CTL as One of the 50 Best Workplaces of the Year

The Silicon Valley Review Names CTL as One of the 50 Best Workplaces of the Year

Growth and transition definitely have their ups and downs, so as companies grow from 10 people to 100 people, the challenge of cultivating employee morale and retention often is overlooked. A strong core value initiative at CTL is remaining true to the roots of small business by providing a unique place of growth and opportunity for its 40+ employees, and this seems to be catching some eyes.

The Silicon Review, an international magazine which stands as a platform for top-level executives to share their ideas, services, and solutions, recently named CTL as one of the 50 Best Workplaces of the Year for 2017. The magazine noted CTL’s vision and resilience when moving the company towards education solutions. In what could have been a risky transition, CTL moved the company towards Chromebooks as the best solution for education, even when it seemed like no one took note of the potential uses in schools and classrooms. During this time, CTL confident in their direction doubled down and watched as Chromebooks for education rose to the top, becoming the current #1 choice for schools. That vision has created a business that allows CTL to be one of the undisputed leaders in ed-tech. It has also allowed CTL to grow its team and provide a long-term steady environment for its employees.

The Silicon Review mentioned CTL’s dedication having a healthy work communication with regular anonymous feedback surveys and 1:1 meetings to ensure mutual contentment with performance and experience. Employees are also able to give virtual shout-outs and words of appreciation to fellow employees. CTL offers benefit packages, 401Ks, PTO, and competitive wages to its employees. As CTL becomes known by those outside the company as a great place to work, employees at CTL have known this for some time; the average length of employment is currently 10+ years.

For 20 years, CTL has remained dedicated to smart growth while imbuing employee trust in the company’s direction. As the company has gone through transitions, the decision to focus company efforts toward the ed-tech sector is one which has been fruitful for both the bottom line and the employees. This direction has also created a space where all members of the CTL team can feel great about the services they are providing for educational communities around the globe. With initiatives like the Nevada Ready 1:1 program, even children in rural schools now have access to Wifi and Chromebooks for education, leveling the playing field for children who would otherwise have been left behind in a time when ed-tech is more important than ever. This is something that team members at CTL can feel great about.  

If you’d like to read what The Silicon Review had to say about CTL as one of the 50 Best Workplaces of the Year, you can read the full article here:


At CTL, the philosophy is happy employees make happy customers. We’re proud to have such a great team of enthusiastic employees who are dedicated to their co-workers and customers. If you happen to live in the Portland metro area and think you’d make a great fit for our always growing team of CTL employees, you can read about our career opportunities here:


Google Drive Tips and Organization

Google Drive Tips and Organization

By Katherine Livick      

What is Google Drive, anyway? What does it have to do with Google Docs? And why do you need to know about it? Let’s take a look at the basics of Google Drive.

Drive: Home base for all your stuff

Google Drive works like the hard drive on your computer, but it actually keeps your files in the “cloud”. What’s this “cloud”? Don’t worry, it just means that your data is stored on a server, similar to the shared drive you may have used at work. This is very secure (though nothing is 100% foolproof).

The great thing about this is that you can access your files from anywhere, on almost any device. You don’t have to drag your laptop home to work on something--you can just log into Drive from your home computer and work on it there. You never have to worry about having the right version of a file on your thumb drive - there’s only one version. And you can collaborate with anyone from anywhere. It’s a pretty great setup!

Create and import files
You can upload almost any kind of file from your computer to store in Google Drive. Office files (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) can be converted to Google versions to edit and share online, or left as is. Drag and drop the files into Drive, or use the blue NEW button to upload a file or folder. Be sure to double-check that everything has uploaded correctly before deleting any files from your local computer!

Create new Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and more with the blue NEW button. Be sure to check out the “More” pop-out to find Forms, Google Drawings, and any apps your administrator has added to Drive for your use.

Customize your view
You can customize how Drive looks to you and organize your files however you’d like. The first thing you should know is how to change the general Drive view from icon to list. Most people who have a lot of files choose List, but you can do what works for you. Look for the icon near the top right that looks like a bulleted list. Click it, and it changes to a grid of six squares. Click again, and you’re back to the larger icons. In either view, you can sort your files by name (folders will always sort to the top above files) or by date modified by you, modified by anyone, or last opened.

A quick tour
You’ll notice when you start using Drive that there are quite a few gray buttons and menu items around. What does it all mean? Check out the left sidebar first. You’ll see a folder labeled “My Drive”. That’s the top level of your Drive storage, where all your files live. If you have created folders within Drive, they’ll show up when you click the small triangle to the left of the My Drive folder. Below My Drive you’ll see the following filters. A filter is simply a different view of the files you have in your Drive.

  • Shared with me is a filter that shows any files created by another person who has shared with you. This includes Docs, Sheets, Slides, or even non-Google file types. Your ability to edit these files will vary based on settings the file’s owner has determined.
  • Google Photos may appear in this list; it’s not every photo in your Drive, but only photos you have deliberately uploaded to Google Photos or Google+.
  • Recent is a listing of your most recently opened files - handy if you forgot what you named that document you were just working on.
  • Starred files are files to which you’ve applied a star (by right-clicking on the file or adding a star from within the document to the right of the document title). You can use stars to quickly find important documents or something you’re working on over a period of time. Be sure to un-star documents when they become less important - if you star everything, this filter isn’t helpful!

  • Trash is where files go when you remove them...they aren’t permanently deleted until you empty the trash. (If you have an education account, you have unlimited storage, so don’t be in a big hurry to empty the trash, especially if you’ve previously shared a document with someone else!)

You’ll notice some buttons up along the top right of your Drive as well, and these are the same buttons you’ll see if you right-click (control-click or Command-click) on a file in Drive.

These buttons may change slightly based on what file you have selected - for instance, a file shared with you by another person will show an “add to drive” button, while a file you created will not. Other buttons allow you to share the file, retrieve the shareable link, preview the file, or move it to another folder. Hover over the buttons for a moment to see what each one does. Not seeing a button you expect? Google resizes this toolbar based on the width of your browser. Click on the three vertical dots menu (if you hover, it says “More Actions”) to see what else you can do with the selected file.

Be sure to check out the gear icon at the top right of your Drive. This contains your Drive settings, where you can choose options for viewing, storing and converting files.

Organize Files
You can create folders from the blue NEW button  to organize your files in Google Drive, and you can nest folders within folders, just like you can on your computer. Once you’ve created a folder, you can rename it, color-code it, star it, or move it by right-clicking. You can use any naming convention and sorting scheme that works for you.

FileStream and Offline Work
Though you’ll usually work seamlessly on your Google files while they reside in the cloud, sometimes you may be offline for a while and still need to work - or you may want to back up your files to a separate location. Check out Drive File Stream or Backup and Sync for options. There’s also a sync setting within Drive settings you can enable to sync files to your local computer. Be sure to check with your IT administrator for district policy on backing up files to a personal computer.

Other features
As you become more familiar with Drive and all it can do, you’ll discover some additional features that can help you work more efficiently. For instance, you can convert PDFs and photos to text right in Drive, so you can convert a picture of some text into an editable document. Drive has keyboard shortcuts to make your work go more quickly.  If your administrator has enabled Team Drives, you can share a file space with your co-workers while sharing ownership of group files - if a team member leaves your organization, files they added will stay in the drive, unlike when an individual’s account is deleted. It’s a great way to collaborate with colleagues. Be sure to check out the G Suite Learning Center for more tips and tricks for working with Drive.

If you'd like to learn more about Google apps like Drive and Classroom, Katherine Livick presents at our monthly webinars. If you'd like to view the accompanying webinar to this blog post or any of Katherine's past webinars or to register for upcoming webinars visit, http://ctl.info/webinars/ 

About Katherine Livick
Katherine is the Professional Development Manager for Digital Learning at ESD 112. She is a Google Certified Administrator and manages ESD 112’s GAFE training domain. She’s also a Google Education Trainer who trains district personnel on best practices for managing and using Google apps in an educational setting, as well as providing general tech integration training.

CTL Expands Education Customer Warranty to include 2-way Shipping for Repairs

CTL Expands Education Customer Warranty to include 2-way Shipping for Repairs
We are excited to tell you that we are expanding on CTL's warranty!  Effective November 01, 2017 CTL will now be including 2-way shipping service via call tag with our standard 1-year warranty for qualified education customers in the continental US.  This means, that if your machine requires service, CTL will now pay to ship both ways!   And to make it even better, we are retroactively applying this to existing machines that have a valid warranty.  This warranty expansion is only available on CTL branded Chromebooks and to Education customers.  (see the FAQ below regarding the details)

CTL already has one of the best warranty in the industry including a guaranteed 5 day turnaround time for a repair once we receive your product.  Additionally, we have a host of extended warranty options including accidental damage, theft, and warranty coverage up to 5 years.

We want to thank you for your continued business and we hope you will appreciate CTL's dedication to providing the best service and products in the industry.
You can learn more about our new 2-way cross shipping service in this FAQ: http://ctl.li/2zYIsdR. And you can read more about our warranty here: https://ctl.net/pages/warranty.