3 Great Things!

March 2014
Welcome to Google Drive!

This issue of 3 Great Things! presents several tutorials for starting with Google Drive. The transition to Google Apps for Education means you now have access to several excellent collaboration and productivity tools. Our students have access to the same suite of tools and there's  great potential for improving feedback on assignments and projects, streamlining group projects and encouraging students to increase their tech skills. Read on for an overview of the most popular tools.

Great Thing #1

  Sharing documents eliminates emailing documents back and forth to your co-workers or students, and increases productivity and creativity. Additionally, it allows people to work on the same document at the same time. If you've seen someone adding text or making other changes to a document that is shared with you, it's one the of most amazing aspects of Google Drive.

Sharing documents allows collaborators to work asynchronously; this is a considerable benefit for group projects, which many learners dislike intensely. The ability for group members to contribute to a project at times that suit personal schedules is a significant benefit. This video provides a short introduction into how easy it is to share in Google Drive.

Great Thing #2

Google Docs allows you to create word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms (and tracking spreadsheets), and drawings. Especially valuable for teachers is the opportunity to provide feedback easily- have students create documents in Google Drive, share those documents with you and comment simply by inserting comments. No longer is downloading and saving documents to your computer necessary. This video provides an excellent overview of Google Docs basics, although it's bit long at 24 mins, it provides lots of details that many other videos gloss over- revision versions, sharing documents and a compare and contrast between Google Docs and MS Office.

Google creates excellent text based directions for each of its products- take a look at these directions for creating, editing and formatting Google Docs.

Great Thing #3

Google Forms are a great tool for traditional and online courses, faculty or students can create a variety of forms for everything from assignments to surveys. As with all Google Drive tools there are a variety of sharing and editing options as well as several templates that can be adapted to your needs. Take a look at this video and let consider how you can use it in your work and courses.

Bonus Great Thing #1

Finding help to explore and use Google Drive- as demonstrated in this issue, there are lots of great resources available when you want to try a new Google Doc application or figure out how to do something that's confusing you. Simply plug your question into your search bar or You Tube. Don't let unfamiliarity stop you from using all the great things Google Drive has to offer educators and students.