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  • Writer's pictureJames Kieft

Google Drive - Create, collaborate and store files in the cloud

What is it

The days when you're required some sort of new mobile hard drive to cart around with all your files are long gone. Now their is a wealth of cloud storage providers available with both Google and Microsoft offering the opportunity to create, edit files and store files on the move from a range of devices. Having you looked at Microsoft One Drive on a earlier blog post I thought it was time to take at a look at Google Drive and explore it features and how it can potentially can be used to benefit you as a teacher when working with your students. How does it work So firstly with a free account Google account you are limited to 15 GB of storage, as a teacher with an academic count you have an unlimited amount of storage with the only restriction being a maximum individual file of 10GB. You can choose to upload a folder of files or individual files you can also set if you want your office files to be converted into Google equivalents. In addition to being able to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations you can also create drawings, websites, my maps and surveys with Google forms. See some of my previous blog posts for more details about the functions those apps. Files are automatically saved as you edit them removing any chance of losing work, however for me the best aspect of Google Drive is the collaborative features that allow you to work simultaneously on the document with up to 25 other editors. It's very easy to share your files you can choose to give your collaborators the rights to view, comment or edit the file. You can also restrict how long they will have access to the file and prevent them from adding other collaborators and printing the file out. Any file that you put into folder will always take on the sharing rights of the folder. When could you use it. When it comes to sharing resources with your students it's very easy to do you can make a folder and then share it anyone with the link can view this way they don't need to log on to see the class resources. All they need to is bookmark link and then they can access it. You can easily to embed a file into a page this is a great way of sharing presentations via your course site or VLE. The version history tool allows you to look back at previous draughts and see who has contributed to them and makes it easier to revert to an earlier draught, this can be a great way to see which students have contributed to a piece of group work. It is also possible to download your files as a PDF or an equivalent office file. Another useful feature when working with your students is the comments feature, this allows you to select text within a document and add a comment, they can respond to the comment by marking it as resolved so you know that they've read and understood what you asked them to do. Here is my walk through guide to Google Drive

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