Start Using Google Drive to Its Fullest Potential
To many people, Google Drive is just a simple online storage system, an online hard drive like Dropbox. But it’s so much more than that! Yes, you can store files in Google Drive, and yes, you can organize them nicely into folders, but Drive also has a collection of FREE built-in tools that allow you to create new projects right inside Google Drive, including:
A word processing program that does the same thing as Microsoft Word. With this tool, students can do narrative writing, informational writing, and argumentative writing. They can collaborate with other writers, insert images and link to other forms of multimedia to enhance their writing. The can use the built-in research tools to check spelling, find resources to support their writing, and even cite those sources properly. And when final drafts are ready, students can use Google Drive to publish their writing and share it with others.
A presentation program that works just like PowerPoint. With Slides, students can prepare slideshows that integrate text with visual images, charts and graphs, and other multimedia to support their claims, share their research, and even showcase their talents in portfolio-style slideshows. They can even publish slideshow presentations as PDFs, making Google Slides a perfect tool for creating e-books on any subject imaginable! bb
A survey tool similar to SurveyMonkey. Students can use Forms to collect authentic data from their peers or other students around the world. They can practice entering, interpreting, and analyzing data, then using that data to support a claim in argumentative writing or speaking. Teachers can also use Forms to create tests, quizzes, or integrate videos for flipped lessons.
Sounds great, right?
But what if you don’t know how to use all these tools? What if your students need to learn how to use them? Should you spend hours demonstrating the tools yourself, or combing through YouTube trying to gather video tutorials that will do it for you? And what about kids that don’t pick up the skills right away? Should you go back and re-teach them? What about the kids that already know how to use these tools? Should they be expected to sit through lesson after lesson covering skills they have down pat?
What if you had a set of short, simple video tutorials that could teach you and your students all the skills you need to use these tools to create academically rigorous, authentic projects?