Google Drive is true magic! It is “cloud storage” and enables storage, access, sharing and collaboration from all your devices and internet connections. You can adjust the permission on files and folders to enable others to access or edit files or folders and you can even make content public or only shared within your institution. Content that is “shared” with you can also be treated as part of your drive if you “add to drive” (note: this does not change ownership of the content)

Drive was updated in July 2014 and has a number of neat features that make it more user friendly and intuitive as well as being faster. You can read all about the tweaks and improvements as they happen on the Google Drive Blog.


Ideas for use of Drive by Students and Teachers?:

A walk around the library during an exam block highlights how much Google Drive is being used. Students are choosing it as their method of note taking due to the ability to collaborate and share and the fact that they can access the content easily from other devices.

Class or group folders:

Manually created folders work really well with classes. Once permissions are set for who is to access the folder then anything you drop into that folder will have the same permissions. Subfolders can be made for groups within the group where you can remove the permissions and add just the members from the sub group. Presenting content from these folders is easy where files just open in the browser, even videos just open like youtube videos.

Public or shared folders:

This is a nice way to share resources and even project files from apps and the like. Share a project send or post the link to it and the end user can open that project in the appropriate app or bit of software. This certainly works well for Notability notes and Explain Everything projects. More testing coming soon!!

Working With Multiple Devices:

If you work with more than one device then having a “transfer” folder that you save to and open from each device can work really nicely. eg screenshots from an ipad into a document you are working on on a computer.

LMS Integration (Canvas in our case):

Our Learning Management System, Canvas has Google integration through the collaborations tab where documents are created and permissions set for users as they choose the other users in the class that they want to collaborate with.

Host a website:

You can use a public Google folder to host all your files and hence host a website! Check here for more info.

Drive on your devices:

The Browser: You can always access your drive via the browser when you go to and login.

On Mobile devices: Download the “drive” app from the app store for your device log in and you will have access to all of your files and folders. You will notice that it asks you to download the “Docs” app for working on docs, the “sheets” app for Google Sheets and “slides” app for Google Slides (coming to iOS soon!)
NOTE: you can choose to make files editable offline by clicking the information “i” button and sliding the “Keep on Device” slider to ON. When you come back online your document will be synchronised and updated.

Synchronise Drive to your computer:

Users can synchronise their Google Drive to a folder on their computer. This gives local offline access to files and folders. Users can save work locally on their computer and yet it is saving to the cloud for access across your devices.
Any changes you make to this folder will be replicated online so take care! If you delete something in the local folder it will be in the Bin (or trash!) when you go to drive in the browser. Sometimes is takes a minute or so to Synchronise (you can always refresh your browser if need be)

A look at Google Drive online and a synchronised Drive folder side by side. Click on the graphic to enlarge.

A look at Google Drive online and a synchronised Drive folder side by side. Click to enlarge.

– You can choose to synchronise just chosen folders in the preferences of the drive sync on your computer.
– A regular backup to an external drive is a good idea.
– the google Docs, Sheets and Slides files are actually just links and you will need an internet connection to access them fully.
– If a file is deleted and then cleared from the trash then it is gone! A backup actually only saves a link to the original web version that has gooone!

Comments and Feedback:

We would love to hear your ideas and experiences or maybe something from this page that has helped.

Also Check out:

Further overviews and ideas for use:
– Google Docs
– Google Sheets
– Google Slides
– Google Forms
– Google Shortener

– Google “Blogger”
– Google Sites
Return to #GoogleGold MENU page

Page History:
17 June 2014 Page Created by Rolfe Kolbe
20 July 2014 Huge updates to this page