Thursday, 29 August 2013

Setting up Google Drive and Sharing Documents

Welcome to "the cloud" feel free to collaborate

Google Drive is cloud file storage

Google Drive is a file storage system where the data is stored by Google at one of their data centres. The main benefit of this is that documents can be viewed and edited by several users at the same time, preventing multiple copies being created when more than one person inputs information. Consider the presentation or spreadsheet that you emailed to five people only to end up with at least six copies of that document all slightly different you splice back together. With Google Drive this no longer happens...

Most important bit of information - no save button, the documents save automatically!

In education this collaboration can be used for learning in many ways, click on the links to go to the Google documents I have created to help you understand how this might work for you.

  • Group projects - several students work on one document anywhere, anytime.
  • Peer assessment - teachers can share exemplar materials with students who can comment.
  • Peer review - a student can share their work with a partner to comment on
  • Marking and Feedback - teachers can see a students work from the very beginning not just at the end when it is handed in. Feedback can be added at any stage.
  • Joint planning - create a document and share it with your faculty. Everyone can add their ideas to it anytime. Here is an example created by maths teachers on twitter. 
All of these aspects of good teaching don't reply on the technology... and they shouldn't. However the technology can make the process more personalised, collaborative and in the hands of good educators, very effective tools for learning.

Setting up your Google Drive

Like any folder system Google Drive can become messy so my advice is to set up folders at the very beginning. The extra level of setting for you to consider is that you can share all your documents or folders with as many or as few people as you wish. You can share a folder of coursework with a teacher. A folder of course material can be shared with a class or the whole world can search for it. Students feedback can be shared with the head of faculty. The video below shows you how to set up class folders and how to share them.

Creating and Sharing in Google Drive

The video below shows me creating the documents that are linked above. I hope they help spark your teaching instincts for the possible uses of Google drive for learning.


Let me know how you get on as your experiences, good and bad, are valuable when shared on this blog.

Mr B Rouse
Technology for Learning Lead Practitioner

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