Kelsi's Corner

Education Programs Specialist @ RIU#6

April - Tech Tip

There's no doubt about it...I love Google Apps for Education!

This past year (the first year of RIU#6's Google Apps for Education initiative) I've been able to share this love with many of you during in-service days, small group sessions, and some 1:1 coaching. Some staff members have dived right in finding things they love, too. Several staff members are testing the Google waters, and others are wading nearby waiting for additional information. Well - here's some additional information!

Below are two quick overview videos of what Google Drive is all about.

Work has gone Google 2013
Going Google with Google Drive

Google Docs and Drive 21 Day Challenge

No matter where you are in the GAFE initiative, I would encourage all of you to finish out the school year by taking the Google Docs and Drive 21 Day Challenge.


In 2014, Smithfield Public Schools emailed a tip on Google Docs and Drive to their staff each day for 21 days. Then they compiled those tips into a blog so now we ALL can read and learn from them. I have included Day 1, 2, and 3 below, but be sure to check out their website for the additional days!


(Note: I suggest to start with Tip #1 and work your way up. Also, in order to see Day 1-21, you'll need to click on "March" in the blog archive, on the right-hand side of the page.)

Google Docs and Drive 21 Day Challenge

An introduction to Google Docs and Drive in 21 small, daily chunks brought to you by Smithfield Public Schools.

Day 1 - How Do I get to Google Drive?

Day 1 - How do I get to Google Drive?


Like the other tools included in Google Apps for Education (Calendar, Sites, etc.), Google Drive can be quickly accessed right from your Google home screen. Here's how:

  1. Click the "Grid" icon at the top of the screen next to your email address (or your picture if you've added one)

  2. Click the icon for "Drive"

  3. A new browser tab or window will open displaying your Google Drive

  4. If you're using a modern web browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you can easily switch back and forth between your Mail and your Drive just by clicking on the corresponding tabs at the top of the browser window

BTW, if you want to get a good, quick overview of what Google Drive is and why you would even want to use it, take a look at these short videos. They're obviously advertisements for Google Drive, but they do a nice job showing the strengths and advantages of Drive.

Day 2 - Create a New Document

Similar to Microsoft Office, Google Drive allows you to create a number of different kinds of documents; word processing (Documents), spreadsheet (Sheets), presentation (Slides). One of the main differences is that you don't need to have any special software installed on your computer in order to create and work on these documents. You simply need an internet connection and a modern web browser (Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox work best).


Let's start out by creating a simple word processing "Document"

  1. If you're not already there, go to your Google Drive by clicking the "Grid" icon at the top of the screen

  2. Click the "Create" button on the left and select "Document" from the list that appears

  3. A new browser tab or window will open with your new "Untitled" document
  4. Click on the top of the page to name your new document

  5. Enter a name for your document and click "OK"

  6. If you look at the top of the screen, you will notice that Google Drive automatically saves your changes as you work. You don't ever need to manually save!

Day 3 - Where are my Documents and Files?

When you create Documents using Google Drive, they are automatically stored for you in your Documents and Files list. You can access them at any time from any computer without having to worry about emailing them to yourself or carrying them around on a thumb drive! Here's how:

  1. If you're not already there, go to your Google Drive by clicking the "Grid" icon at the top of the screen

  2. You will find your Documents and Files in the list. Each type of document or file has it's own style of icon to help you tell them apart

  3. Click on a Document or File to open it

  4. You can sort the list of Documents and Files by clicking on one of the Headings at the top of the list

  5. You can also use the Search box at the top of the screen to search for a specific Document or File.

We've Only Just Begun...

I look forward to sharing even more of what Google has to offer. Next year we'll check out Google add-ons and Chrome browser extensions to make our work lives easier and more efficient.

Kelsi Wilcox Boyles

I am an Education Programs Specialist at RIU#6. I work on ELA projects, STEAM initiatives, and Instructional Tech coaching.


Ask Me About: Google Apps for Education, iPad Apps to Transform the Classroom, Digital Learning Tools for Formative Assessment (Kahoot!, Nearpod, Plickers), Discovery Education, Text-Dependent Analysis, Non-Fiction Reading Strategies, STEAM Competitions, PAECT membership