Teacher Review for Google Drive

Excellent Collaborative Tool for Writing

Cary Z.
Classroom teacher
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My Subjects English Language Arts
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time More than 15 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with General
How I Use It
I have to start this by prefacing that I am at a Google Apps for Education school that has the tech support to make using google drive features with students incredibly easy. Every student has their own gmail account and when I get my students as 7th graders, they are proficient users of their google drives. I use google drive daily in preparing units and lessons and my students use it in all of their classes. Google Drive is an amazing tool for education. Students can access their Google Drive from anywhere that has an internet connection, including their smart phones. In Google Docs, they can create and then easily share documents with teachers and classmates, both for revision using the commenting feature, or for collaboration on a writing project. There is also now an "Add-On" feature where programs like EasyBib can be used in the document to create and manage citations as students write. As a teacher, I can share out assignments for students to make copies and save in their drives. They can turn these in by either sharing them with me in an email (but this fills up inboxes, so I don't allow students to do this anymore) or by changing the share settings and then submitting the document by copying and pasting the URL somewhere (I've used Google Forms, Padlet, Socrative, and Schoology to collect student work, but there are other options in the Google universe like Google Classroom and the script Doctopus that allow a teacher more control as well as working like a digital "in-box"). Google Forms gives you the option to create surveys, quizzes, or questionnaires for students to fill in. As a teacher, I can create a form to gather information from my students that then gets organized into a spreadsheet. If I want to collect a digital assignment, I can create a simple form with a place for them to copy and paste a project URL. However, there are other really cool ways that you can use Forms with students. For example, this year I wanted to know how many books my students are reading and what they think of the titles they finish, so another teacher and I collaborated on a google form that we shared with our students so that they can log the books they are completing. I now have a spreadsheet that I can sort by class period and student. It is continuously updated as more responses come in throughout the year. Google Presentation is an easy online "powerpoint-like" tool. It is easy for students to use when collaborating on a presentation, and as a teacher, I often use it to organize lessons and present my directions. I can then share my lesson presentations for students who missed class instruction or with other colleagues. These are the primary tools I use within the Google Drive, but there is also a Drawing feature that allows you to edit images or create original work and other apps you can connect.
My Take
This has really changed my teaching and I think is giving my students more power as writers. Peer revision is much more authentic and I find that students are more willing to change and revise their writing.