How I Use It
I have all my students create professional gmail addresses that they can put on resumes and use for other educational resources we use, to keep things consistent throughout the school year. They use that gmail to sign up for Prezi accounts, educational games sites, etc. They create folders for each units and store all their work in there. They share their documents with me and other students for editing and comments. When I say all their work, I mean everything. They put their unit menus (which is how track our work), all assignments for the unit, question sets, readings they find and use, videos, powerpoints, excel sheets and graphs they create as application projects, everything. I can then check all their work with ease, add comments for the students to see what they might need to edit or things they did well. They then download their final drafts of assignments and share them in our online learning platform. I put all my documents for them on there as well. I create folders for all the units, so my videos, powerpoints, readings, websites, etc. that I want to share with the students are in one place. It ensures that students have access to all their work and my resources 24/7. With all the students having gmails, it allows them to reach me at any time with questions, since my email connects to my phone, I can respond pretty quickly.
I love Google Drive to help keep myself and my students organized! It is a safe place for students to their work safe and for me to check their work and provide instant feedback. It ensures that all assignments are saved, as all changes are saved instantly in the drive, as students forgetting to save work is often a big problem. Students can collaborate with each other, peer edit, and chat about their work. They can also access it from anywhere without having to have a thumb drive with them or just emailing to themselves. It also helps with their knowledge of word programs and their typing skills. It gives them a place to store all work, so they have a portfolio of their work to show off. The best things are it is free and there is nothing to download! Once the students have gmails, it is so easy to use.