How I Use It
As a high school journalism teacher, students produced written work in Google Docs and then granted editors and teachers access to read and revise it. Because Google Drive keeps a record of changes that have been made, it's ideal for editing because one can review where something may have gone wrong and see what user has recommended each edit. Google Drive can also store folders from indefinite users in one folder, making it helpful for task submission as well. When students would begin writing an article or story for the yearbook, their blank document would be created by an editor or teacher in a folder with all of the stories from that deadline. As the writer wrote and editors and teachers collaborated to get the writing to its finished form, all of the work was tracked and kept in Google Docs, which eliminated a lot of the confusion that I discussed above.
Google Drive is an essential teacher tool for many reasons, but can function not only for teacher file and task management but also for student collaboration, especially on writing. It works well for both group projects or giving feedback — anything that can benefit from multiple editors using real time collaboration. Before the journalism program I taught with used Google Drive, we printed hard copies of everything and passed them around to be edited by hand on paper. There would always be several drafts of a document circling, with conflicting feedback — who knew what had already been fixed or what someone else had written? — but now, with Google Drive, as many viewers as possible can have access to the same digital copy of something and view everything that has happened to it (even older versions via changes tracking). It also eliminates the problem of a student not having access to a printer.