Tech Tools for School: Google Drive

I hate paper.  This is a problem for a teacher because we are very regularly buried in paper.  Some days I feel like I am drowning in paper…we hand it out, we hand it in, we mark it, learn from it, store it, shred it, cut it, glue it, display it, save it, etc.  It really is a problem for most teachers.  So what can we do to reduce our reliance on paper.  I could pretend that this is altruistic on my part and that I am writing this on a mission to save the environment but I am not.  This is because I hate organizing paper and can never find what I need when it is needed. I rely on technology to do this for me. (computers have a search function my file cabinet does not)

This is why Google Drive is a perfect solution for the hand it out and hand it in problems with paper work.  Give your students a google drive account (my school board has done this for me) and have them type out their work and hand it in there.  This is great for Writing drafts.  I don’t know about you but I hated hand writing multiple copies of my writing in school and this is an unrealistic practice for students to do these days. They would not do this in real life why do it in school.

 

What Google Drive can be used for

  • Typed good copies
  • Exit Cards or Assessment Check ups
  • Tests
  • Presentations
  • Posters
  • Forms (parent or student use)

 

What you Need

Access to computers
Internet Access
An Idea of what you would like typed.

How I Use it…

Special Education: First I use this for students with special learning needs that have assisted technology needs that require them to type on a computer.  Last year I had three with two more on the list that needed technology.  Using Google drive means that they type all of their work on this service and you can monitor and provide feedback immediately.  You can also help guide their writing by providing prompts and help with the editing.  Additionally gone are the problems with….”I lost it….”, “I forgot to save it…”, “I left my USB at home”.  Google Drive saves it automatically and you can see the revision history and monitor how they have used their class time.

Writing Drafts:  My students get to write weekly about anything they want.  They choose one of a selection of writing forms that they have chosen as a class and write a rough draft in their notebook.  Once a month they choose a draft and type it out in a “better copy” to be edited and reviewed.  This “better copy” is typed on Google drive.   They log in to their own drive accounts. (I have also done this where we have a shared account but it gets cluttered quickly) They then type out their “Better Copy” and email it to me.  I review them provide them feedback for them to improve their work all done within Google drive.  They make the corrections and hopefully by the end of the term they have one or two polished pieces of writing that they can really publish.  These are substantial pieces of writing so I am looking more for quality rather than quantity.  I have found engagement on this is also high as students are writing about what interests them in a form that they are interested in.

Presentations: With the interest in project based learning, although I am a newbie only dipping my toe in at this point.  Having students work on projects for science and social studies is important to me.  I find that students internalize their learning when they have buy in and a project helps in this area.  Google Presentations is a great tool that students can use to make a visual presentation to present their ideas.  The added benefit that they can work on the project both at home and at school without needing to worry about duplicate data or losing information on a USB stick.  If all of the information is online then you help to eliminate the “I forgot my research at home”

Take it Slow

With each year I try to introduce new technology ideas into my classroom and make them routine parts of my teaching.  Try using this Tech Tool in your Classroom and see how you like it.  I have just started over the last few years with this and I can’t wait until I get this up and fully functional as part of my everyday practice.

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