I was not introduced to Google Drive until I entered the blogging world, and I have realized that I was missing out on a wonderful free technology resource for teachers! When school started this year, it became apparent in my building that very few people knew what Google Drive was. Some teachers are still only using it for things that they absolutely have to, such as lesson plans. This wonderful website and free app can enhance the learning environment in so many ways. I wanted to share some of the wonderful ways that it can be incorporated in the classroom.
To access Google Drive, you do have to use an email address. This could be an issue for young children, but it could be accessed with parent permission and their email. Whether used with coworkers, parents or students, there is so much to offer for free! Here are some ideas:
1. Share lesson plans with coworkers and/or administrators – These could be uploaded or they could be written in a shared document that everyone can edit. This would be a great way to collaborate co-teaching plans for a special education teacher and a general education teacher.
2. Collaborative projects – Documents can all be shared, so it is a great way for teams to work together on projects. It will keep information much more organized than corresponding through emails or writing.
3. Collecting Data – Forms can be created for people to fill out to collect data. The data can be organized in a spreadsheet automatically.
4. Organization – Whether keeping track of assignments, dates, or anything else, Google Drive can help with organizing.
5. Sharing Documents Easily – With the free Google Drive app, a document can be scanned and uploaded quickly. This is an easy way to share documents. Scan a newspaper or magazine story to easily share with a class or group.
6. Editing Writing – Students can type their writing assignment into a Google Drive document, and then a teacher will be able to edit and enter typed notes into the document easily. This saves paper, and it is a great way to work on the writing process. Students can even work collaboratively on writing.
7. Collaborative Brainstorming – Brainstorming Maps can be completed as a visual representation for any task.
8. Self-grading quizzes – A quiz can be set up as a form, and then the spreadsheet can be formatted to score the quizzes for you.
9. Presentations – Slide presentations can be made and shared on any subject.
10. Note Taking – Does your hand get in the way when you are writing notes on a projector? Project your document, and then type directly into it for students to be able to see and copy down.
These are only a few ways that Google Drive can be used. Doctopus is a wonderful app script for Google Drive that allows a teacher to easily share and organize documents with students. When not working collaboratively on one document, Doctopus allows students to each have their own copy of the document. It takes a bit to setup, so I am including a video to help you.
A quick Google search will bring you to other how to videos and documents for using different parts of Google Drive. I know that it has changed how I do many things in the classroom. I love how easy it is to share work with students online. Work can easily be shared with parents for viewing also.
Do you use Google Drive in your classroom? What ideas would you add to this list?
Heather Salsman is a Special Education Inclusion Teacher from Indiana. She blogs at Teaching Through Turbulence about behavior management and differentiation.