From virtually any computer on any network, you can access your Google account. This means that you can get to files in your Google Drive from anywhere. Don’t forget to sign out when on a shared computer!
- WATCH VIDEO: Sign In To Your Google Account
And with no limit to the amount you can keep in your Google Apps for Education account Drive, you can use your account to store everything, if you choose!
- WATCH VIDEO: Create, Store, and Share in Your Google Drive
Uploading files to your Drive is a quick and easy process - just drag and drop! You can store any type of file in your Drive. Certain types of documents are viewable in your Drive while others are not. Microsoft Office docs (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) are all viewable and can be converted to an editable Google version. PDFs and pictures are viewable but not able to be converted and edited in Google. Other types of documents can be stored in your Drive but are not able to be viewed online - SMART Notebook or Comic Life files, for example.
TRY THIS: Upload a Word document to your Drive. Click on it and note that it is not editable. Then, convert the Word document to an editable format. Make changes to the document and note that changes are automatically saved. Google saves every 2-3 seconds.
Do you want ALL your Microsoft documents to be converted automatically when you upload them? You can.
- WATCH VIDEO: Convert Your Office Files Automatically
You can share any Google document. If you give other people rights to edit it, they can make changes to your document. Note that when you’re typing names to share with users inside Rockingham County Public Schools, names from the directory will automatically appear in the sharing window as you type them just as we see in FirstClass. BUT ALSO KNOW that RCPS STUDENTS are in the same directory so be particularly careful as you select names. All students have their graduation year as the first two characters of their usernames. No teacher will have numbers at the start of his/her username.
TRY THIS: Create a new Google document and share it with someone else. Give him/her editing rights and note that you both can make changes and edits and they are seen instantaneously. Involve more people - it’s ok if they’re not in our class - in this document, if you want! Try sharing the document with a link with a couple people. See that documents shared with a link do NOT appear in the "Shared with me" folder. They do appear under Recent, though. And, you can always use the Search field at the top of the page to search for files you have opened at some point.
Google keeps track of all changes made to a document. When a document is shared, Google will identify who made changes. You can restore a document to a previous state if you later don’t like changes you or others have made to a document.
- WATCH VIDEO: Use Revision History
Using comments in documents can be a useful way for people to discuss the content in a document. Remember that you can set privileges on a document such others can only comment (and view, of course!) If you set the document as view only, neither editing nor commenting can occur.
- WATCH VIDEO: Comment in a Document
TRY THIS: Practice commenting on a document with someone else. Comment in different places in the document to see how Google keeps threads separate.
When someone shares a document with you, you can make a copy of it for yourself. Use File > Make a Copy to do this.
- WATCH VIDEO: Make a Copy
It doesn’t take long before you’ll need to organize files in your Drive. Use folders to get started.
- WATCH VIDEO: Organize with Folders
You can delete a file by dragging it to the trash just as you throw away a file on your computer. Empty the trash to delete the file permanently. You can delete a file you have shared with others but know that it also deletes it out of their accounts when you remove it permanently from yours. NOTE: Keep in mind that if someone shares a document with you and you want to be sure that you retain a copy of it, just use File > Make a Copy so that you have your own version. Remember that any changes made to the original won’t be reflected in your copy but you will be assured of having a snapshot of that document when you make the copy.
- WATCH VIDEO: Delete a Document
DO THIS: Work with someone and create a document and share it. Both make a few changes to the document. Then delete it and empty your trash. Note that it leaves the other person’s Drive, too. Experiment back and forth with different situations like this (using unimportant files, of course!)
Google gives us the ability to color folders and use stars to gather files and folders together into a single screen to help us with organization. You can also sort your documents based on usage.
Perhaps the only complaint about Google Drive is that we cannot clean up our "Shared with me" folder. A lot appears there and we can’t do much of anything to organize it. Rule of thumb: Don’t MOVE documents in a shared folder to your Drive or to your computer's desktop. In the end, it’s safest to just leave everything in there alone. Take advantage of the effective Search capabilities at the top of the screen to find documents in your Drive and in your "Shared with me" folder.
- WATCH VIDEO: Organize Your Shared with me Folder - NOT
You can share a folder with others and the nice thing about this is that any file you drop into it inherits the exact same sharing preference. Putting “View only” rights on a folder means that others can only view the files inside. They also cannot move files from the folder. If you give “Edit” rights to a folder, then anyone can edit the files inside (as well as do the inadvisable action - move them OUT of the folder! A bad thing!) If you want people to add files to a shared folder, the folder must have edit rights on it, however; so it’s good to make everyone clear on the fact that files should not be dragged from that shared folder to any other location within their Drives or to their computer's desktop.
- WATCH VIDEO: Share a Folder