ImageThere is a new technology called “cloud computing”. This technology is available online as a storage space where users can store files and share them. Once a file is saved on the cloud, it becomes accessible from any electronic device connected to the Internet. Google Drive is one of the cloud-based networks that are available for free with a limited amount of storage space. This is a short explanation video about cloud computing that is understandable and truthful. Actually, it is explained by students!

A new reality

Cloud computing is the new thing for companies or even for schools. It enables companies to get rid of the physical servers and at the same time, it allows users at home or in schools to have access to a free cloud-based server. Google Drive is one server that has made it easier for everyday users. Here’s a page from the official Google Website that summarizes the different features of Google Drive.  Needless to say, a lot of teachers have started using Google Drive in their classrooms in order to communicate and share files with their students. Shelly Terrel is one of them and she wrote an interesting review on the different tools provided by Google on her blog.

Knowing that a lot of students have access to intelligent cell phones, tablets or laptops, I think it is good to provide access for them to the course content anytime on their electronic device. By content, I mean homework, course notes, readings, etc. One great feature of Google Drive is that students can also publish their own files to share with other students. I think it is great for collaborative work. One of the major problems of teamwork is communication and with a tool like Google Drive, students can exchange files with their teammates. It is also a way to have them hand out their assignments without wasting any paper.

Many extras

In addition to cloud basics, Google Drive has many other features that I find useful for teachers. I learned a few of those features for this website. It is oriented for teachers who want to use Google Drive with their students. Google Drive enables you to share videos, surveys, slide presentations and more. I would use the video option to have my students interested in the subject that I am about to cover, the survey option to have them give anonymously their opinion on discussions that we have had in class and the slides option to allow them to have access to what has been taught in class.

Back-up

This section is only for teachers. Teachers spend so much time building activities on their computers and cannot afford to lose those files because of a computer or hard drive problem. That is why I recommend any teacher who wants to have a back up of their files to use a platform like Google Drive. You can also buy extra memory and it is not that bad considering the price of hard drives. I think it is also safer up there in the clouds!

Conclusion

There are several ways for teacher to use Google Drive and I recommend it for any uses. It is a really helpful tool. Other platforms like Dropbox are also good for storage if that is the only option you need. If you want to push it a little further, try Google Drive for extras like slides, videos and surveys!

 

 

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