Sunday, 4 March 2012

Google Drive - Anywhere you need it.

Google Docs (now Google Drive) is a fairly comprehensive suite of productivity apps including, a word processor, spreadsheets, a presentation creator, and a drawing option as well. These are all available and can be private (available and seen only by you), shared with others (parents and students), or open to others who are invited to collaborate,  add to, and change things in the document itself.  This allows students to work together co-authoring a project together at school on seperate computers, or even from home.  Student work completed on an iPad, or on a computer can be copied and quickly pasted into Google Docs, so that you can view it later and edit it, or mark it all in the digital cloud without needing to print it.  The Drawing option is new to me, and I tried to use it much like a Mindmapping activity.
Here is a screenshot:


It is easy to set up an account, and this would be very a very beneficial way to have students work, and collaborate whether they are on an iPad, or a computer. The program is more limited on the iPads, but anything they have worked on can be copied into Google Docs. You can begin something at home, edit it on your smartphone, and access it and print it off at school. As long as you have internet access, you can work on Google Docs. Of course, that is the one Achille's heel of Docs, you do need to have access to the internet in order to work on Google Docs, there is no offline feature.

 I have really made use of Google Docs this year, and I find it to be an excellent way to do work, and instead of getting to work and realizing I forgot to copy the work onto a USB drive, or email it to myself. It is just there, waiting, no matter which computer I am on.  If anyone is interested, I would be happy to offer a workshop on this before school, after school, or even during a nutrition break.