Tag Archives: google drive

4 Ways Administrators can use Google Drive

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

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One of the most effective ways for Administrators to empower and encourage their faculty to use new and innovative tools is to model best practices by employing them in their own administrative duties. Google Docs, a tool withinGoogle Drive, includes a number of robust features that can streamline teacher’s administrative tasks and highlight their ability to foster collaboration among peers and students. If you need a quick tutorial on Google Drive, check out this article on Daily Genius. Here are four ways that Administrators can use Google Docs to both streamline their own administrative tasks and model effective use of technology.

Real-Time Collaboration

One of the most time consuming administrative tasks is writing policies, drafting communications, and updating school documents. Often this is done in a collaborative setting with other administrators, educators, students, and/or parents. Rather than email files back and forth, draft your work on a Google Doc and share it with others for their input. You can share at different levels, giving your collaborators the ability to “view,” “comment,” or “edit.” This can give you control over who makes changes before a final draft. To review changes in a document, go to File → See Revision history. This will allow you to see what edits were made and by whom.

Community Whiteboards

Faculty live a life on the go and as such, it is easy for them to become isolated from their community. A solution to this is posting an embedded Google Doc on a blog, website, or other digital bulletin board. By selecting File → Publish to the Web and select the “embed.” You can then include this on your electronic medium of choice. Faculty can leave notes, engage in discussions about ideas, etc.

Make Comments for Evaluations

Narrative comments are an important component of evaluating faculty. With a Google Doc, you can share your reviews with Department Chairs, HR, and the Faculty being reviewed. You can even populate a document using a Google Form with the docAppender add-on.

Newsletters

Google Docs allow you to include images, live links, and more. You can easily format a school newsletter (using Google’s collaborative features with contributors) and then share it with your Faculty, Staff, Students, and Parents. With “view only” privileges, individuals can still read content, click on the links, and make a copy for their own records. An electronic newsletter saves on printing and mailing costs and allows you to easily catalogue and digitally archive content for later access.

These are three simple tips to help you get started using Google Docs to complete administrative tasks. By harnessing the power of its collaborative tools and ability to share with people both inside and outside of your community, you can streamline your own work while modeling effective and powerful technology use for others.

Learn more Google Docs this Summer!

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View the Full Course Catalog at ettsummer.org

5 Quick Tips to Get Started with Google Drive

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

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One of the most ubiquitous tools in educational technology today is Google Drive. If you’re unfamiliar with Drive, think of it as two elements:

  1. Online “cloud” storage where you can throw files of all sizes (up to 1TB) and access from everywhere
  2. A scaled down office suite that includes docs, sheets, and presentations tools.

If you would like get to know Google Drive, here are 5 tips to help you get started. While you can use Google Drive with any browser, I urge you to use Google Chrome (free for all devices), as it will enable all features and ensure a more stable experience with this tool.

Get Started With Google Drive: Sign in or Create an Account

If your school is Google Apps for Education or you have a Gmail account, then Google Drive has already been set up for you. Just go to drive.google.com (or simply Google “Google Drive”) and login with your Google credentials. If you’re new to the Google platform, you will be asked to create an account. Once you have signed in or completed the account setup, you will find yourself in your Drive window where all of your files and documents are stored. I recommend that you bookmark Google Drive (clicking the star in your Chrome Browser) for faster access.

Left MenuOn the left hand side you will see your navigation tools: your My Drive Folder (with a drop-down arrow to access all the folders you create), your Incoming (for files shared with you), Recent (where you can quickly access the documents you’ve worked on most recently), Starred(you can mark important documents with a “star” for quick access), and Trash (where documents you delete are stored for 30 days or until you empty the trash).

Create a New Document

The core suite of Google Apps within Drive allows you to create a Doc, a Sheet(spreadsheet), Slides (presentations), and Forms (a great tool that you should explore as you become a more advanced user). Creating a new document in Google Drive is simple. Click on the red “New” button in the top left and select the type of document you would like to create. When you have done this, a new tab will open with your blank document. To title it, simply click on the “untitled document” in the top left and then enter the new name. One of my favorite features about working within Google Drive is that all changes are saved automatically. I don’t have to remember to hit save before logging off of my machine. You will be able to access the most recent version from any machine with a web browser and internet connection.

The Wonder of Cloud Storage

You’ve probably heard the phrase “in the cloud.” What this means is that content is not stored locally (on a computer or other device) but rather it is hosted on the web. The benefit of this is that you can access content from anywhere without having to have the actual device that created it. It also won’t take up valuable space on your hard drive. In addition to documents that you create within Google Drive, you can store your files (videos, images, documents, etc) in the cloud for your own access or to share with others.

Share a Document for Real Time Collaboration

One of the most unique features of working within Google Drive is that you have the ability to collaborate with others on the same document in real time. To share within a document, select the blue “share” button at the top right of the document. You can share at various levels: with specific individuals (via email address), individuals within your domain (if you have a Google Apps for Business or Google Apps for Education account), individuals with the link, or publicly on the web. Additionally, you can give other users the ability to “edit,” “comment,” or simply “view.” This allows you to select the appropriate level of openness for specific documents.

Sharing levels

For example, if you want to share a document for input, but don’t want the viewer to make any changes, then “comment” is the appropriate level of sharing. Those with access can read and leave comments throughout, yet they cannot change the text itself. Good Drive promotes collaboration, so other people can share with you the same way. When a document is shared with you, it will appear in yourIncoming folder. You can access it from there, or move it into My Drive for better organization.

Right now, Google Apps for Education users are allowed unlimited data storage, Chromebook Users 1TB, and individual users 5GB (you can buy more storage for a small fee). To upload a file to Google Drive, click on the red “new” button and select “upload file” or “upload folder” and then select the file(s) you would like to upload. However, if you are using the Chrome Browser you can literally drag and drop files in the browser window! Just like documents you create within Google Drive, you can share these files with others (although editing privileges are often limited).

Go Mobile!

In addition to working within a browser, you can access Google Drive using a Smartphone or a Tablet with the Google Drive App for iOS or Android (free). This gives you access to your files on the go and allows you to upload content directly from your tablet or smartphone. If you’re like me, your phone is your camera. Using the app makes it easy to create and share on the go. For example, you can take your vacation photos on your phone, upload them directly to Google Drive using the app, and then share them with others.

Google Drive is an incredibly flexible tool that you will find adapts to many of your digital projects. Once you have mastered the basics, move on to more advanced features: “10 Things Every Teacher Should be able to do with Google Docs,” “5 Time Saving Ways Teachers can use Google Forms,” and “5 Ways to use Google Presentations, not as Presentations!.”

Learn more about Google Apps this Summer with EdTechTeacher!

  • Google & Web Tools in the Student-Centered Classroom
  • The Chromebook Classroom
  • Google & Chromebooks
  • And More!

View the Full Course Catalog at ettsummer.org

The New Google Drive Empowers Language Learners

The New Google Drive Empowers Language Learners

This is a guest post from Jennifer Carey (@TeacherJenCarey) of EdTechTeacher– an advertiser on this site.

Recently, while demonstrating to a Spanish class how to use Google Drive, I also showed them how to change the overall text to Spanish. By doing this, autocorrect would stop trying to change their text, and they would no longer have that annoying red line appearing under their writing. I then reminded them to switch the language back to English when they returned to working on other classes. A student (7th grader) quickly shot up his hand and taught me something new today about Google Docs.

With the New Drive, not only can you now set your overall language, but you can also include a subset of languages that you understand. This is a great tool for students taking foreign language classes. A first year Spanish student, for example, can easily get confused when their menus switch to Spanish as a result of changing the primary language in Drive. That’s no longer an issue if Spanish is added as anadditional language rather than the primary one!

The addition of more languages is easy. While in the New Drive,  click on Settings(the gear shaped icon in the top right corner) and then select “Settings:”Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.21.59 PM

 

You can read the rest of the post via the link:

The New Google Drive Empowers Language Learners.

Google + iPad = Learning

This is reblogged from my post on iPadApps4School.

Screen-Shot-2014-09-22-at-8.28.40-AMiPads can be powerful devices in education – they are mobile, they are personalized, and they are intuitive. At the same time, sharing content between apps or devices can be a challenge. Fortunately, iPads in conjunction with Google Apps can create a powerful medium by which to input, edit, share, and publish multimedia content.

Google Drive for Privacy and Security

There are many different types of cloud computing solutions. However, the power of Google Drive with Google Apps for Education allows educators to protect the privacy of their students and comply with Federal statutes and mandates. Additionally, its price point (zero dollars) helps those working in a world of tight budgets and limited funds.

Google as a Repository of Content

Because Google Drive exists in the cloud, you can access and add content from anywhere. Students can easily take photos, record video, and import content from a variety of sources to their Google Drive accounts. In fact, students can even collaborate with a shared Google Drive folder; using it as joint storage for group projects. Because Google Drive provides a ton of storage (5GB for single users, 30GB for GAFE), space is never a concern. Using the Google Drive App on iPad, students have access to their material anywhere. Additionally…

read the remaining post here.

Track & Rate Skills Directly in Google Drive

One of my favorite tools for providing feedback in Google Drive is Kaizena, which allows you to leave voice comments on documents. Today Kaizena launches an enhanced feature: tags. Tags allow you to track and rate skills, saving your comments for future use. Not only does this provide effective feedback for students and a means to track skill development, it’s a real time saver for grading papers.

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Here is a summary of what these new features in Kaizena can do:

  1. Track and rate skills – tags can be rubric criteria, common core standards, your local state, region, or country’s standards, learning objectives or outcomes…anything.
    1. The first time you type in a tag, we save it for future re-use.
    2. Every tag gets a rating. You can change the tag’s rating levels to match, say, your rubric levels.
    3. After you’ve tagged a highlight, add a voice comment, type a text comment, or add a resource. Or any combination.
  2. Save feedback for future use
    1. Remember that voice comment you just made? Save it to the tag, and every time you use that tag in the future, it will reappear. You can even save multiple voice comments or a combination of voice comments, text comments and resources to a tag (psst: tags get really powerful in combination with resources).
  3. Skill summary
    1. If you made five “transition” tags with different ratings, then “transition” would appear in the summary as an average of those ratings. This is like a rubric summary, but smarter: students can click on each tag in the summary and see the evidence for the score they received.

Voice comments saved educators time while enabling better student outcomes, and tags continue this legacy:

Better student outcomes

  • Knowledge of strengths and weaknesses is a prerequisite for improvement
  • Transparency: showing the evidence behind a rubric score builds trust between educators and students

Save time

  • Re-use your feedback
  • Get rubric criteria out of your head as you read

5 Great Tech Tools to Prep for the School Year

It’s the end of July and the school year is just around the corner (T-minus 19 days for me). Here are some great apps to help you organize in preparation of the school year.

 

Courtesy of Pixabay

Courtesy of Pixabay

Evernote (Free & Paid) – A great tool to organize your lessons, resources, notes, to do lists, and more. Evernote is a highly versatile tool for organizing your life.

Google Calendar (Free) – If you have a Google Account, you can easily create a Google Calendar. With calendar you can organize your personal and professional life, create shared calendars for collaborative projects, and keep specialized calendars for your classes.

Socrative (Free) – Build great bell ringer activities and exit tickets with this student response system. With the release of Socrative 2 has come a series of robust upgrades including Google Drive integration, Common Core tagging, individual student reports, and so much more.

ShopSavvy (Free) –  A barcode and QR code scanner, ShopSavvy allows you to scan the barcode of an item in store and will return price checks of stores in the area as well as online deals. This is a great way to hunt down back to school deals!

Genius Scan (Free & Paid) – This is my favorite camera scanner app. If you are looking to digitize your handouts or reading lists, this tool will allow you to create digital documents (PDF, JPEG, etc) using only your camera and then transfer documents via email, DropBox, Google Drive, Evernote, and more.

There are a lot more tools out there that can help you organize and prep for the school year. However, don’t forget the most vital element in gearing up for Fall – rest up and recharge!

Why We Went Google Apps

This is reblogged from my guest post on the blog Ed Tech Researcher (a great blog to add to your RSS feed) in Education Week. I will be presenting on this topic at the annual SAIS conference in Atlanta.

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From time to time I’ll have some guest posts this summer. I’m very pleased to have Jen Carey kick things off. She’s been a fabulous colleague for EdTechTeacher, and an amazing live blogger at our events, and she’ll be speaking at the EdTechTeacher Summit in Chicago in July. Here are her thoughts on why her school recently adopted Google Apps for Education. 

Why we went Google Apps for Education

Ransom Everglades School is a successful day school located in Coconut Grove, Fl. We pride ourselves on the progressive and innovative education that we provide our students, and our students do well in the college placement process. So then it may surprise some that we proactively explored and then implemented Google Apps for Education at our school. After all, if we are satisfied with our achievements, why would we look at making and applying a significant change at Ransom Everglades?

There are several reasons for this of course. Like all good educational institutions, we look to the future – what will our students need to be successful in college and graduate school, as well as to lead satisfying and productive lives? How can we better facilitate the needs of our teachers and staff? How can we continue to achieve our standards of excellence? Like many other educational institutions, we heard a great deal about Google Apps for Education, so we decided to explore what it had to offer that could benefit the Ransom Everglades community.

What is GAFE

Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is a prominent technology tool that has been gaining momentum in both K-12 as well as higher education. It includes Google’s core suite of applications (DriveCalendarContactsGMailSitesTalks/Hangouts) with the added ability to control, scale, and manage access with an eye for an educational institution’s individual needs. For example, we activated Google Drive for students (so that they could use the Word Processing and Cloud Storage provided) but disabled GMail (as we use our exchange server for email services); also, we enabled Talks/Hangouts for Faculty and Students grades 10-12 to facilitate communication between faculty and online study groups for our AP Students. The highly customizable features of GAFE allowed us to explore available options and then implement them progressively and as needed.

Promote 21st Century Skills

The development of 21st century learning and skills (collaboration with peers, digital literacy, effectively harnessing Social Media, and drawing skill sets across multiple disciplines) is no longer optional for students or teachers. Again, Google Apps for Education allows us as an institution to promote them within a safe and managed environment. Students can collaborate on research projects and papers using Google Drive’s share features. By using tools such as Google Sites, students can create digital portfolios (I provide several examples in my article, “Google Sites for ePortfolios“) to highlight their accomplishments and demonstrate their learning through multi-modal examples (documents, imagery, video, and more). What I like best as an educator, is that by building their work within Google Tools, I can monitor their progress and provide feedback as they build and revise in real time! This is instrumental in assessing not just the end result, but the process (see my article, “Google Drive & Research Essays: Monitoring the Writing Process“).

Security and Privacy

Along with more prominent use of internet tools has come greater concern for student security and privacy. Many third party tools mine student data, use content for their own advertising purposes, and struggle with protecting valuable and sensitive data from hackers. Google itself, in its individual services, states that your documents, emails, and content created, stored, and sent via Google can be mined for content and sold to third party advertisers. This is exactly why there is a 13 year old age requirement for signing up for many services online (including Google). Several Federal mandates, such as FERPACIPA, and COPPA, establish basic requirements and guidelines for institutions to protect student’s data and privacy online. Google Apps for Education is compliant with these mandates, in fact it is why there is not an age 13 age restriction for students to sign up for GAFE accounts. Institutional and student content cannot be provided to third parties and identities and information must be protected through robust, secure servers. Additionally, by using third parties tools like Cloudlock, we can ensure that our students are engaging and collaborating with others appropriately and safely.

Cost Effective

Google Apps for Education is a free service provided for schools. However, it would be misleading to state that there are no costs involved. Just like all tech roll-outs, it is important to provide effective professional development for faculty and staff so that they can not only learn the basic features of these tools, but use them to deliver more innovative and pedagogically rich lessons. For example, one can simply replace Microsoft Word with Google Docs. At the same time, that doesn’t take advantage of Docs’ ability to collaborate and share with peers, effectively use its research tools, or for teachers to employ the revision history tool in order to monitor the revision process to better understand the evolution of a student’s work.

In addition to professional development and training for faculty and staff, it may also be necessary to hire external support specialists to audit your exchange server (if you wish to migrate your calendar and mail services to Google) or sync your logins using a tool like GADS. It is always necessary to invest in assessment and planning on the front end to avoid serious complications after the fact.

Even with these initial investments, the cost savings in the long-term are astronomical. You do not have to pay for an expensive cloud based or remote login solution to allow faculty and students to access content off campus, you can save thousands of dollars on software licensing, provide greater storage space (GAFE currently provides 30GB of free cloud storage), and by migrating many of your internal services to the cloud you can free up your IT staff to focus on more important internal needs.

Single Solution

As Director of Educational Technology at Ransom, one of my favorite features of GAFE is that it provides a single solution for multiple issues – students can use Google Drive to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations; students and faculty can share large files (such as images and videos) with ease; departments, staff, and students can maintain a single calendar; and Google Sites can readily serve for ePortfolios, class sites, and blog platforms. Instead of researching multiple different tools (having to focus on cost, privacy issues, and compatibility), there is often a tool in the Google Suite that will fit our needs.

Another great feature of Google Tools is that they are cloud based and cross-platform compatible. While our school primarily runs on a Windows platform, there are exceptions on campus within our Arts and Yearbook programs; many students and faculty have Macs at home; and if someone wants to access a resource on a phone there is not only iOS and Android, but Windows Phone and Blackberry (at least for now). Google Apps works across all of these platforms via Apps or a simple web browser. For example, a student can create a video on their iPhone at home, upload it to Google Drive via the App, and then share it with their teacher or classmates without having to use a flashdrive, email, or other creative solution. It seamlessly integrates across platforms. Specifically at Ransom Everglades, we struggled with more effective ways to use iPads. We are on a shared-cart model and using the Google Drive iPad App (free), we can readily get media on and off of the iPads, rendering them more effective mobile learning platforms.

Integration with Other Tools

With the rising ubiquity of GAFE in K-12 and higher education (more than 20 million students worldwide, 7 of 8 Ivy League Colleges, 72 of the top 100 schools; you can see their exponential growth along with their customers here), more and more educational services now integrate with Google. This is great for providing your users with easy single-sign-on options for third party apps, integrating with Learning Management Systems, and overall blending numerous services under a single umbrella. This allows for better and easier incorporation of new tools at your institution.

Greening

Like many other institutions, Ransom Everglades has a greening initiative. We recognize that our environment’s resources are limited and we must do our part to limit waste and promote conservation efforts. The suite of tools within Google Apps for Education allows us to move forward with that initiative. For example, by providing students handouts via a shared Google Drive folder, I limit printing in my classroom. By storing documents and materials online, I not only conserve space but limit paper use. By having students store research, organize a project, write and revise electronically we limit waste. As we move forward with Google Apps for Education in conjunction with a robust overhaul of our wireless infrastructure and broadband, we hope to further our efforts to make our institution more environmentally friendly.

Moving Forward

At Ransom Everglades, Our GAFE deployment is still in its early stages. However, after witnessing its successes in our initial pilot and deployment we have plans to explore a more extensive roll-out, such as migrating our exchange server, expanding our training, and moving our non sensitive records and documents to the cloud. Google Apps for Education has helped us to maintain and further our standards of excellence by promoting a more robust pedagogy, supporting our faculty and students in their needs, and continuing to allow us to provide innovative and robust pedagogy within our established rigorous curriculum.

For regular updates, follow me on Twitter at @bjfr and for my papers, presentations and so forth, visit EdTechResearcher.