Cost: Free – 15GB storage free then fees apply.
Availability: Accessed via a web browser, as a desktop app and as a mobile app on both iOS and Android.
What is it?
Google Drive is a cloud storage system that allows you to store 15GB of files; such as photos, documents, videos etc., for free. These files can be shared with others or files can simply be saved and backed up in Google Drive. As part of Google Drive there are a range of online office applications Google Apps. These include.
- Google Doc – Wordprocessor
- Google Slides – PowerPoint style presentations
- Google Sheets – Spreadsheets
- Google Forms – Polls and Surveys
- Google Sites – Websites
How does it work?
Google Drive allows you to upload files from your computer or mobile to be stored in the cloud. Along with its native formats for Google Doc, Sheets and Slides Google Drive will also recognise most of the main file types for Microsoft Office, Open Office and Pdf
What are the implications for teaching, learning and assessment?
Google Drive can be used to share files within a group for a project or as a site for students to upload work and academics to give feedback quickly. The ability for multiple people to simultaneously work on a single document makes collaboration so easy. All of these work seamlessly with other Google products such as YouTube, Keep, Maps, Blogger etc.
A few examples
- Google Sites can be used for student projects and portfolios
- Google Forms for polling students on topics or for session feedback
- Google Slides could be used for student presentations (group or individual)
For example, I have seen one universities student accommodation run their whole accommodation process from Google Sheets using custom Google script to automatically seen emails (based on templates) to staff and students based on events. Handle requests for rehousing including what is available and when it is likely to be available and how long for.
Other links and Resources
- Google Apps for Education
- http://www.cnet.com/how-to/onedrive-dropbox-google-drive-and-box-which-cloud-storage-service-is-right-for-you/ (Cloud storage comparison)