How I Use It
Collaboration: I assign collaborative essays from time to time, and the students are able to create and revise an essay even when they can't find a way to meet face to face. They can also share with me so that I can "conference" with them about their writing while they are still drafting the essay. They can ask questions and get answers quickly and efficiently.
We also use google docs to create classroom notes; I make the document available to anyone with a link; then, I attach the link to the class website. We create the notes collectively in class -- using laptops, tablets, cell phones -- and then they can all access the notes anytime they like.
Signups: We use the spreadsheet feature to create online signup sheets so they can choose outside novels and/or partners for projects in a way that is fair to all. It eliminates any advantage that morning classes might have in a traditional signup. I just open signups at a pre-announced time, and they all have equal opportunity.
Other applications: We use mind-mapping as a means of analysis and also for note-taking. Some mind-mapping sites, such as mind meister, can be added to the Google Drive, so the students can create an online mind map and then share it with me through our google drive.
Class video projects: This is an excellent way to share student-created videos. They upload to google drive, share with me, and I can access it easily from anywhere.
We use Google drive in many ways. It is an essential part of our classroom functioning at this point.
I love Google Drive, and would honestly be lost without it in my classroom now. The students love that their papers can't be "lost" on a flash drive or left at home; they're always accessible. It offers many classroom uses -- see below.