Google News

3rd Edition

Overview of Google Drive

The purpose of this newsletter is to introduce teachers to the various parts of Google Drive, to extend the understanding of others, and to take our teaching to a higher level on the SAMR model.
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What's in a Name?

As illustrated above, Google Apps for Education Suite (GAFE) is the overall name for all the Google Apps. You will also hear it referred to as Google Drive. Google Drive is a cloud storage service that stores your documents, photos, videos, and more online. We use GAFE and Google Drive interchangeably.

Where Is Google Drive?

The simplest way to get to Google Drive on the web is by typing this address in your browser: drive.google.com.
I think you'll notice a pattern here.
  • mail.google.com
  • slides.google.com
  • support.google.com
  • sheets.google.com

Google Drive App

Do a Google Search for the Google Drive App for your Mac. (It is not in the app store). Once you’ve downloaded it, you should have a drive icon in your top menu bar. Click on that icon and you’ll be able to access both your app and Google Drive on the web.
Now you'll be able to access your Google Drive documents when you are offline. The next time you are on wifi, it will automatically sync your work. This is very handy, especially for students who do not have access at home.
The Google Drive app works on all your devices.
The video below shows the installation process for the Google Drive App and how the app works on your laptop. It will open in a new tab so when it is finished just close the tab and you'll be back to this page.

Backing up Your Laptop with Google Drive

With the Google App we have 10 TB of space. That's a huge amount of space. That is enough to back up all of your documents on your laptop. Which, by the way, is a great thing to do! Here's how:
  • Open the Google Drive App. It will be listed in your Finder.
  • Now open another finder window and arrange them side by side as in the photo below.
  • Simply drag folders from your Documents folder into your Google Drive folder.
  • You will still be able to edit them in Google Drive or delete them or move them to other folders. Nothing has changed in that respect.
  • The advantage is that now, your documents are in the cloud and can be accessed using any device that has Google Drive. WOW! If your computer crashes, the documents are safe in the cloud! {BIG sigh of relief!}
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Let's Work Together!

One of the best features of Google Drive in the classroom is that is collaborative. Students can work together on slide shows, documents, spreadsheets, drawing and more without being in the same location. Teachers can see the revision history (under File) to see if everyone was involved in the assignment, how much they contributed, and what they contributed.

View & Edit

When sharing documents, slides, forms, sheets, drawing, or folders, make sure you check either view or edit. Choosing View will allow students to only view the document. You want to do this if you're sharing your lesson plans, instructions, text, and probably many more documents.
Choose edit when you expect them to edit or complete a document. A study guide, for example, might have questions for the students to complete or vocabulary for the students to illustrate. They can only do that if you set their access to view. You'll see this when you go to share.
Just make sure that you check out the instructions for making a copy the easy way. We've been telling students to click on the document in the shared folder and go to File/Make a copy. That works, too, if they do it!

View & Edit your Files Offline

This video shows you how to view & edit files offline from the web on any device. Then you'll see how to use the Google Drive app to view and edit files offline.
View and edit your files offline

Creating Folders

Your google documents should look like your file cabinet. When opened, we should see folders. Investigating a little further, we'd see documents inside of the folders. There shouldn't be any loose documents outside of the folders. Every document has a place within a folder.
In Google Drive, you'll create your folders by clicking on the New button. You might want to set up folders for each subject you teach or each class period. You decide what works best for you. You can also color code your folders. Just right click on the folder and choose Change Colors.

Making a shareable folder!

Now this is really cool. You can create a folder for your class and immediately share the folder with all of your students. Now anything and everything you put in that folder will be shared with your students! Ah, so study guides, packets, vocabulary, photos, and more and more! Here's the catch! If you put something in and a student starts to complete it, the rest of the class will see his/her answers. Each student needs their own copy! Here's the greatest solution!

* * * HOW TO MAKE A COPY THE EASY WAY * * *
Open the document you plan on sharing with your students.
Now look at the last part of the URL. It should end with the word edit.
Change the word edit to copy.
Now when a student tries to open your original, it will force the student to make a copy!
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Voice Typing in a Document

In a Google Doc you are able to use voice typing. This only works in Chrome at this time and on a laptop/computer.
  1. Open a document.
  2. Go to Tools in the menu and select voice typing.
  3. Click on the microphone that shows up on the left side and start speaking.
  4. Say the punctuation when it is needed. Ex. The horse is brown comma white comma and black period

Here's the support page on Voice Typing for further detail.


This only works in Chrome at this time and on a laptop/computer. Phones and tablets have a microphone in the keyboard that allows voice recording in Google Docs.

Tech Challenge

On any device, go to app.gosoapbox.com
Enter the code: royals win
Click on the prompt for the discussion and add your reply. Be sure to check back on the discussion to see what others have added.
There will be a prize for those who reply by Friday, Nov. 6th- something very attractive!