What is Google Drive?
Google Drive is essentially a cloud service by Google. Using Drive means that your files are accessible to you from any device that has internet connection.
Why is Drive better than other cloud services, or better than my flash drive… or better than my hard drive?
Haha, I’m glad you asked! I have iCloud on my iPhone… but it only comes with 5GB of storage–which seems like a lot… until they ask you to pay for more. If a person has a gmail… they get 30gb free! If you have an educational Google account (as I do, since my district has “Gone Google”) then you have UNLIMITED drive storage.
I signed up for Google Drive over the summer, in one of the very first google trainings that our new district Director of Digital Learning was hosting. Since then, I have been trying to convince the world of its awesomeness. Finally, the Digital Learning Committee (which I chair) recommended to the campus that on our next staff development day, all teachers be required to attend a training and sign up.
…Shortly after that, I ran into one of my fellow Spanish teachers, sitting at her desk. She was looking at her Drive in awe. She shared with me the many ways Drive was going to make her life easier. Here is a picture of her Desktop and her Desktop (ha, see what I did there?)
Drive has been my Go-to and saving grace this year. I am a frazzled lady, and I often start working on a task at home and get to school, only to realize the file I need is on my home computer. Drive has changed my productivity, for the better. A teacher’s productivity is directly related to student outcomes. In a teacher’s world, every second counts. If I can save some time, that is time I can be interacting with kids, providing feedback and growing relationships.
Tips, Tricks and Ideas for Google Drive:
- Google Drive works best when you check the box that allows any file to be converted into a Google file. This means that if you upload a “Word” document… you’ll be able to open it, even on a computer that doesn’t have Word. Most of your formatting will be the same. Every now and then, something changes… but you can always convert the file back!
- Google Drive has a Google search bar… this is amazing! You can search for the title of the file or any word that might be in the file. This is much easier than the process to do the same thing on a normal computer… and even better, you can do this from ANY computer with internet access (or device!)
- Google Drive allows you to seamlessly share files with contacts. We’ll get into this more in the next post but: you can share items with links through email, invite others to edit your files, push files to the web as individual webpages with links and more!
- Drive has an intuitive “incoming” folder that keeps a list of any files shared with you, almost like an “inbox”.
- As mentioned in my previous post about Google Classroom, Classroom actually creates and manages assignment folders and files in your Drive. When a student “submits” the assignment, it magically appears in your folder!
- Any file can be added to drive. I have uploaded tons of videos and sound files that I use for listening assignments in my Spanish classes, and Google opens them with the web-based Google Play. This is amazing, since teachers often have to fight with quicktime and windows based systems that may not agree in file type.
The best part about this tool, for me, is that it’s free. Most of the things I can think of that would save me some time or chaos… cost too much money. Everyone knows teachers only spend money on Bills, Students, Their kids or their “other kids”… rarely on something that is just for the purposes of making their lives better.
Are you using Drive? How has it changed your world? Leave a comment 🙂