Jul 15, 2018

What do your students need to know and be able to do to be confident using Google Drive?

What do your students need to know and be able to do to be confident using Google Drive?


Tips and strategies, as well as helpful links to prepare your students to be successful as they start using Google Drive and take full advantage of the benefits

Benefits of Google Drive

Google Drive is a great tool and it's easy to use, but students need to be comfortable and confident for it to be successful. Students can store any file in Google Drive, access them anywhere, share with others, work saves automatically, and they can search for their work.

How to Best Prepare Your Students

However, to take advantage of these benefits, students need to be comfortable with Google Drive. What they need to know will really depend upon the assignment that you want them to do but some basic skills and facts that student should know include the following (I am including a link with a good summary to each):

  1. Understanding sharing settings 
  2. Understanding how to search for and save (organize) files
  3. Basic formatting tips -- the G Suite Learning Center is a great resource, even with printable PDF’s that would be great to put on tables, or hang around the room! I am linking here to the section on Docs. 
  4. How to make a forced copy (this can also be done through Google Classroom
  5. It may help students if you make a template that they can fill in. This takes away a lot of the fear of staring at a blank document. You you could give the option of using a template. Some students will want to be creative but not all. I often make a template with a forced copy link as in #4. Another option is to make a template, as described here
  6. Think about the specific assignment that you want them to do, and what skills will come in most handy.

When and how should I teach these?

I am not a big fan of doing a big intro, but a quick mini lesson, or even a few steps at the beginning of the assignment that will teach and review the necessary skills. These assignment specific skills might include things such as:
  • inserting pictures 
  • formatting 
  • inserting links 
Be patient as students are learning new technology. We often think that they are ‘born with technology in their hands’ and that they already know all of this, but in many cases they do not. They may know some technology skills, but not necessarily the academic ones we are trying to teach them. Work with your students and you may learn something from them too.

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