Google Drive is a great way to create, store, share, and collaborate files such as documents, spreadsheets, photos, slide shows and PDFs. If you create a personal Gmail account, then you automatically have 15 GB of free space. If you have an education account, like all EVSC staff, then you have unlimited space to store files. Your files in Drive can be reached from any smart phone, tablet, or computer with an Internet connection. So wherever you go, your files follow. What a deal, right?
You can quickly invite others to view, download, and collaborate on all the files you want. There is no email with an attachment needed. One of the best things about Google Drive, which makes it a much better option than Dropbox, is the ability to work on your files with up go 50 people at the same time. No more multiple versions of a document to keep up with . No more carrying a thumb drive to and from work. Everything is stored and updated immediately in Google Drive.
With Google Drive your files are private and for you to see only, until you decide to share them. You can quickly invite others to view, comment, and edit any file or folder that you choose. This is great if you share lessons with other teachers on your team or at another school. You can create a shared folder where everyone on the team can see and add to the shared lessons or unit. This is also perfect for student group projects. Groups of students could each take a chapter of a novel an create a slide show that summarizes it. Each student in the class could build a reaction slide to something that was covered in class and then those slides could be combined into one giant slide show. The possibilities are endless.
Every file in Drive stays safe no matter what happens to your smart phone, tablet or computer. Drive uses the same security protocol used on Gmail and other Google services.
How to Get Started
So how do you get Google Drive? Let me show you how. The easiest way is to simply go to www.google.com. You will see a blue sign-in button in the top right hand corner.
Once you click the button, you will see the window below which allows you to sign-in if you have an account or create one if you do not.
Once you are signed in, you will see your name in the top right with these app buttons.
When you click on the app buttons you will see several options, one of which will be drive.
When you click on drive, you will be taken to the area where files can be uploaded, created, and stored. The two main buttons are the create and uploads buttons seen below. The create button allows you to create Google docs, presentations, spreadsheets, etc… Already have a document created with MS Word, PowerPoint, or Excel? No worries, the upload button allows you to upload and convert things you have already created. I highly recommend that you change the setting to auto convert Microsoft files to Google files. To do that your gear in the top right corner. In the drop down menu, choose upload settings and place a check next to convert files to Google format.
Once you have uploaded or created a document you will see a share button in the top right corner.
To share this document click on that button. In the invite people bar, you can type in email addresses to share with others. Or, you can click on the blue word change and you will get several options of who can view or edit via the link highlighted in blue.
Click Done when you are finished. The best way to get familiar is just to get in there and play with it. I have barely scratched the surface on all that you can do with Google Drive and how it can benefit you. It is an amazing tool that is 100% FREE!!
- A place to store files in which you can access anywhere from multiple devices
- A place to collaborate with colleagues
- A place students can collaborate and create assignments and presentations
- A place that tests, quizzes, and surveys can be created via Google Forms
Why It Matters (Teacher Rubric)
The EVSC Teacher Rubric indicates that teachers should purposefully integrate the use of digital tools and resources that are
appropriate. Google Drive allows students to create and collaborate on schoolwork, projects, and presentations. Google Drive is an appropriate digital tool to use for most students.
The Teacher Rubric also indicates that teachers should ask for assistance, when needed, and consistently provides assistance to support others. A shared folder in Google drive is an excellent way to collaborate and assist colleagues. Lesson plans could even be created by multiple teachers working on them simultaneously. Lesson plans would be even better if two or three minds were giving input vs. one.
There are other good options for cloud storage. Check these out and choose the one that best suites your needs.
Create a Gmail account if you do not have one. In drive, create a shared folder with others that teach the same subject or grade level that you do. Create or upload files that you could do some collaborative planning with others. Or upload and create files that would benefit other teachers in your building or school district and add those folks to your shared folder list. Chances are, they will share something that you could use as well. Tell us how you would use or are using Google Drive and file sharing in the classroom or among your staff and colleagues to collaborate.