How I Use It
At the beginning of the school year, I have all students create a folder within their Google Drive (every student in our school corporation has a Google account) for my social studies class and share this folder with me. Each student gives me "editing" capability within their folder, which is crucial for being able to make comments/suggestions on assignments. In addition, I create a folder for each of my classes and share this folder with each student in that class (giving them "viewing" capability only). Throughout the year, I will add assignments, readings, resources, etc to the folders that I have created for the students to be able to access. Every time a student creates a product for an assignment, they create it within the folder that I have access to. This way, they do not have to worry about emailing me the assignment, or risk losing it before it is due (no paper). Google Drive allows for easy commenting and feedback that is easily for reviewing by the student. I find this to be very beneficial because students can review the feedback, and make changes right away. The turn around time is greatly diminished. I find that I have saved vast amounts of time and money (saving on paper). Furthermore, the one piece that is very beneficial to me, especially if an assignment is time-sensitive, is that Google Drive time stamps all files when they are finished and/or modified. All in all, it has become a crucial tool for me in the classroom!
Google Drive is an ultimate tool for providing collaboration between not only student to student, but also, and in many ways more important, student to teacher. It provides the essentials that you would see with Microsoft Office, but with the connectivity of email and personal folders. It drastically reduces paper usage, and allows for the turnaround time on assignments to be drastically reduced.