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Google drive can be a really useful resource for both teachers and students. I’ve had a few requests for a guide to using it, so here is a quick guide to the basics (creating and editing files and folders). I’ll also include some links at the end to explain the more difficult concepts that not everyone will want to use.

The main thing that people use google drive for, is storing notes, and backing them up. To be organised, I recommend including the current class year, class period, your name, and the name of the document in the title. This will really help you find the document you need.

When you share documents, you get to decide how much access a person has to that document. The “can edit” option lets the other person make changes to the document. This is especially useful for group work when several people have to collaborate on a single piece. The “can comment” option means that the other person can’t edit, but they can leave comments in the document which are visible on the screen. This option is useful for proofreading and peer review. The “can view” option means that the other person can only view the document; they cannot leave comments or edit in any way.

You can share the document with only specific people. You do this by clicking the blue “share” button. This opens a sharing settings window. In the box labelled people, enter the people or groups that you want to share the document with and change their access settings (e.g. can edit). Then click the “send” button and the recipients will receive an email that a document has been shared with them. You can return here and change the settings to add or remove people later.

You can also share documents using links. This is what I do when I share my printables. Right click on the document that you want to share and click “share” to bring up the pop up. Click the button in the right top corner that says “get shareable link” and a new link will appear. Anyone with that link has access to the document. Again, you can change the access options as I explained above.

Folders can be used to organise your documents. Go to your main google drive screen and select where you want to create your folder. Click “new” and then “folder”. Then type in the name of the folder. You’ll see here that there’s also an option for “file upload”; this is how you upload an individual document. You can both move and add documents.

You can share folders by right clicking the folder and choosing the “Share” option. This will open the share pop up, and you can follow the instructions from earlier about sharing a document.


Here are some links (for both teachers and students interested in using google drive):