Sunday, 02 April 2017 22:15

Google Drive - Use in the Classroom

The following document was written in support of work being done in an School of Business classroom. 


There is a need to design processes that will support greater classroom engagement. Both teachers and students need strategies to enable classroom interactions, a set of tools to facilitate those interactions, and on-going work ‘habits’ to support their studies.


The notion of Idea Management offers strategies that span students’ academic work, that will help students use various media to articulate their thoughts into discrete ideas (narratives of learning), and make their thinking visible to their academic communities.

idea manage v2

Figure 1: Idea management.

Students become active learners when they can make connections between ideas, outcomes, and goals, and so understand why they are doing any particular activity. Teachers need to acknowledge and support these strategies to give students the opportunity to develop good habits.

Google Drive as tool for Idea Management

The notion of idea management derives from the concept of a portfolio and its ability to support long-term, on-going reflection. To create a culture of reflection, students need a cloud storage tool that allows them to organize, manipulate and share their ideas. A client-owned suite of services incorporated in Google Drive allows students to retain ownership and control access to their ideas. It also allows students to readily share their work, participate in classroom activities, and have access to the entire body of newly constructed, shared knowledge.

Discussion: Class Observation

The XXX Course requires students to review a range of case studies and then discuss possible interpretations and solutions. Each week follows a similar pattern.

Homework review questions are completed prior to class, and reviewed in class.

Next, students work collaboratively on a case study that requires in-depth analysis. They can use Google Docs to build a group answer, synchronously editing the same document, and contributing meaningfully in a manner that overcomes shyness and language issues.

Google Drive folders are created for each tutorial group. The students themselves are given responsibility to manage their own work within these folders.

The tutor can use Google Drive to access group documents and share group responses with the whole class. The ‘live’ document can be edited during the feedback process by the owners to incorporate comments and corrections from the tutor and other students.

google drive studentowners

Figure 2: Google drive folders.

Finally, the whole class participates in an audience response using a Google form, where they are posed survey questions to answer. The answers are shared immediately and provide a rich set of data for classroom discussion. One question is an affective domain question checking on their ability to cope with the work.

how do you feel week 2

Figure 3: Affective domain survey response graph.

Students also answer a cognitive domain question that checks their understand of a core concept or process from the week's work.

financial audit wordle

Figure 4: Word cloud based on cognitive domain survey question: What is a financial report audit?

Anecdotal feedback from students indicates that they are very comfortable with this technology. An informal count in class indicates that most in fact already have a Google account.


  • Students were able to grasp the concepts behind the use of cloud storage within minutes.
  • Students actively participated in the group discussions because they could. They had the power to edit the communal document, and be seen and heard.
  • The level of engagement across the classroom was almost immediately apparent and observed to be virtually 100%.
  • The survey was a highly focusing activity. All students were observed to pay close attention and to discuss the results readily and at length with their table mates. The results provided great insight to the tutor on the level of understanding across the room.
Monday, 20 January 2014 11:51

Google Drive as Assignment DropBox

Associated Skills of the Portfolio Process

One application of Google Drive is as an Assignment DropBox.

 cloud associated skills

To allow your students to use Google Drive as a dropbox, first of all, you need to ensure that:

  • All students have their own Google account (see Google Education).
  • You have a Google account!
    • If you have a GMAIL account, you also have a Google Drive account, Youtube, Google+, Blogger etc.
  • All students have set up their Google Drive. They should have Google Drive installed on their laptops, although this not necessary.

There is more than one way to approach this task. Here is one easy way.

If you have not used your Google+ account, preview it before class. Just click on the  square in your account area at the top of any google page, where you are logged in and then select G+.

google toolsGoogle+

With your students in class, have them search for you in Google+. Once they find you, have them add you to a circle. They can create a circle or add you to an existing one.


google circles add

Once you are added to their circles, you can easily search for your students and add them to your own circle.

google circles added

I recommend that you plan the circles and names carefully. Circles are great tools for communicating to specific groups of people. 

  • Note that it is not required to have people in Circles to share a folder with them, but circles do make the process much easier.

You can also simply go to Google+, click on People and then look in "Have you in circles".

google circles

Once you add students to a circle, you can check to see who is in the circle.

google edtcstudents

Next, go to the folder in your Google Drive account that you will use for the assignments. Right click on the folder and select share. You will see the following window.

google drive shareLink

In this window, you can select Google+ as the way to share the file. This allows your students to find the link easily. You will get the following window.


google drive share window

You can then share the folder with the circle you created that holds the students. The circles will appear as choices in the "Add People" section.


google drive share notice

A notice will appear on your home page in Google+. Similarly, the students in the circle will also see the same notice on their Google+ home page.

Click on the folder link. You will see a button that asks you to add the folder to your Drive.

google drive share opendrive


Once in the folder, you can:

  • Create a new folder and name it with your name and student ID:
      • Fatima Ahmed h0012345
    • Right-click on the folder and then select share.
    • In the Share setting, click on 'Change'

google changeaccess

  • and then, select Private...

google sharing setting

  • Once you do this, you can then simply save the setting and only you and your teacher (the person who originally created the parent folder) will be able to see that folder.
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 17:10

Security in Google Drive

Security in Google Drive
(Thanks to Google)

google secure lapHere are some tips to keep the files you store in Google Drive safe and secure:

  • Regularly update your account recovery options.
  • Perform regular operating system and browser updates.
  • Never use your Google Account password on another website.
  • Protect your password. Never send your password via email.
  • If you share a computer, sign out of your Google Account when you're finished.
  • If you’re on a public or shared computer, do not install Google Drive, as anyone with access to the computer would be able to open and view your files.
  • Choose an appropriate sharing setting — Private, Anyone with the link, or Public — for your files, folders and Google documents.


General Tips:


Keep your computer and device clean

One of the top ways that criminals can take control of your computer is by installing malicious software, or malware. When installing any software, be careful about associated software. Often, you will be asked to install other programs at the same time.

Some of these might not be malware exactly, but they still can steal processing speed and hard drive space.


Stay up to date

One way that people sometimes gain access to your computer is by looking for known security problems in old versions of software. Many people don’t always update to the latest version of software, which has the best security protections.

Keep your mobile device safe

Smartphones running Android software have similar protections in place to reduce the risk of damage.

Android also requires that every app in the Google Play store list what kind of information the app wants to collect or access from your device, so you can decide whether you trust the app or not.


Manage multiple accounts

Many devices now support multiple online accounts. This means you’re in control of which account you use, and when. And even if you are signed in to multiple Google Accounts on the same device, personal information from one Google Account is not combined with information from any other Google Account, unless you decide to link those accounts together.

You can toggle between your Google Accounts easily and quickly, both on desktop and on mobile. For example, you can add a secondary Google Account when you’re signed in on your main account and switch back and forth between them.

Jargon Buster


How to Use Google Drive


Sharing Settings in Google Drive

Sunday, 20 October 2013 04:18

Create a Blog using Google Blogger

Create a Blog using Google Blogger

  • Go to Google and sign in. Under the Tools menu, click on MORE and you will see the icon for Blogger:

google tools more

  • Once the Blogger page opens, click on New Blog.

google newblog

  • You will be asked to give your blog a title and a web address.

google blog title

  • In the title, you can give the blog a descriptive, but short name. Your blog name should indicate its purpose and semester.
    • For example, you can call it, My Reflective Journals - Semester 2, 2014.
  • In the Address, use a name that is easy to remember. It also has to be unique.
  • Once you have created the blog, you can set many different options including the template and side bar.
  • Many of the settings can be left as default. However, you should look over them to be familiar with the privacy settings.
  • Please note - the proxy server at the college may prevent you from creating a blog. You may have to repeat this process at home.


Post by Email

You can create a post for your blog via email from your smart phone or tablet if you so desire. You can also insert an image or two via email as well.


  • Click on SETTINGS and then click on Mobile and Email

google blog settings

  • Once in the settings, you can set up your blog to allow you to post to your blog from your mobile device.

google blog mobile

  • You can create an email address to which you can send your posts from your phone.
    • Add a word in the email box. It should be something easy to remember.
    • Then, add the email address to your phone contacts. Call the new contact, Blogger.
    • Test it by taking a photo with your phone and then emailing it to the blog.
    • The subject of the email will be the title of the post. Any words you type into the message box will appear in the body of the post.

google blog final

Sunday, 13 October 2013 23:13

Add Showcase Folder to Mahara Portfolio

Add Showcase Folder to Mahara Portfolio

mahara swc

  • You can either create your own page, or click on “Shared with Me” and select a preformatted page from the list.
    • For many of your pages, you will be able to select a preformatted page to save yourself lots of time.
    • If you select a preformatted page, you will need to click on the “Edit Page” link in the top right corner.
    • If you create a new page, it will automatically open in edit mode.
  • When your page opens in edit mode, you will see several editing tabs for different options.

mahara edit content

  • You can edit the title and description and layout at any time. See the “Edit Title and Description” instructions for detailed use.
  • Go to EXTERNAL CONTENT and then drag and drop the “External resource block” anywhere on the page. You can always move it later.
    • Refer to EDIT LAYOUT for information on how to edit the page columns.

mahara edit drag

  • Once you drop the block, you will see this page of options:

mahara ex resource

  • In the Block title, you can type the name of the folder you are sharing. Leave the next two boxes unticked.
  • To get the URL, you need to return to Google Drive, right-click on the folder you are going to share, select share and then copy the URL from the top of the window (Click here to see how to share).

google shared

  • Copy the LINK TO SHARE, and paste it in the URL box in Mahara.
    • You can also share the link via the other tools listed underneath the link (Gmail, Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter). This adds content to your profile and makes you look good.
      • To get people to visit your site, you need to have something for them to look at.
      • You can also use this method to share work with colleagues through Google Plus. See sharing with Google Plus.
  • Click on Save. You will see this on your page:

mahara folders view

Sunday, 13 October 2013 22:55

Share a Folder or File in Google Drive

Share a Folder or File in Google Drive

  • Go to your Google Drive folder
    • You can go to your computer based folder, or you can do this in Google Drive on the cloud (in a browser)

google folder drive

  • Create a folder called “Lesson Plan Exemplars”.
    • You can create and name any folders you want or need, and you can save them in the same manner.
  • When you create the new folder, you will notice a small icon in the bottom right of your screen (top right on a MAC).

google sync

    • This shows you that the content of the Google Drive folder is syncing with the cloud-based folder, stored safely on a Google server somewhere.
  • Go back to the browser and refresh. You should see this folder in your Google Drive.
    • You can create folders in the browser as well and they will sync to your laptop.
  • Right-click on the folder, go to share and then share. Click.

google folder share

  • Click on change and then change the option to “Anyone with the Link”.

google share options

  • Your options should look like this.

google shared

  • Return to your computer folder.
  • Find two or three documents and place them in the folder.
    • Once this this folder has been created and shared, you can simply add documents to it as you create them and they will automatically appear in your linked showcase folder.
Sunday, 13 October 2013 02:14

Set up Google Drive

How to Set Up Google Drive

  • Go to Google Drive.

google tools

  • From any Google page, such as your Gmail page, you will see a small icon next to your account name. Click on it and open Google Drive.
    • If this is your first time, you may be asked to register or something else. Do whatever you are told.
  • Next, you will see a link to connect Google Drive to your Desktop.

google drive connect

  • Click on this and follow the directions. When you are installing this software, make sure that you DO NOT install any other junk software that you will not need.
    • DO NOT click yes, yes, okay, okay until you have read just what you are installing.
  • Once you have installed the Google Drive, Look for the Google Drive folder that is now on your computer.

google folders

  • You can store all of your work in this folder if you wish.
  • You MUST store any work that you wish to share or save in the cloud in sub folders inside of this main root folder.

google folder drive


Thursday, 03 October 2013 16:43

Google Drive for Assignment Submission

With the demise of SharePoint as an academic tool, we need to find another e-submission method (not email). Here is what I propose.

We will test drive Google Drive. To do this, you should:

  • Make sure (finally) that you have added your college email to your Google account


google account access


  • Then, confirm that you are member of the EDTC Circle in Google Plus. To do so, simply go to Google Plus, click on People and then look in "Have you in circles".


google circles


  • Once there, check to see if you are in the EDTC students circle. If you are not, then add me to your circles and I will see you. I can then add you to the circle.


google edtcstudents


  • Then, go to your home page  and look for this notice:

google plus share

  • Click on the folder link. You will see a button that asks you to add the folder to your Drive. Do so. Once in the folder:
    • Create a new folder and name it with your name and ID:
      • Fatima Ahmed h0012345
    • Right-click on the folder and then select share.
    • In the Share setting, click on 'Change'

google changeaccess

  • and then, select Private...

google sharing setting

  • Once you do this, you can then simply save the setting and only you and I will be able to see that folder.
Friday, 13 September 2013 18:45

EDT 2203 - Week 2 - Google Up

This week, you will get your file management sorted out and begin to use various types of media including discussion boards, journals and Twitter.

So far you have all created Google Accounts. Here is a checklist for the next accounts:

  • Google account
    • this involves a Gmail account, which you do not need unless you want to use it for your personal email.
    • It also serves as a basis for all of the rest of your accounts.
  • Google+
    • this will provide you with photo library that can be embedded and otherwise shared in a variety of ways.
    • it also provides a profile, although it is rather informal for a professional profile
  • Google Drive
    • Cloud storage to keep your work safe from viruses and for easy access from any of your many devices.
    • Use for documents that will be shared for showcase purposes.
    • Can also use for sharing between faculty.
    • Also serves as a very convenient network file distribution tool in school computer labs.
  • LinkedIN
    • Use this for yor professional profile. It also provides networking.
  • Blogger / WordPress
    • Use for your personal journal. Wordpress has more functionality but blogger is a Google product, and so you can use your Google account.
  • Education Community Site -
    • You will use this site for discussion board topics and as a testing ground for your projects and teaching practice work.
  • Mahara Portfolio Site -
    • This will be the aggregator site for your portfolio profile and showcase interface with your audience.
    • You will also test it out as a group tool (I need help with this!)
  • EDTC Moodle Site -
    • For now, we will use this site as a place to host your work which you may want to share with your teaching practice colleagues.
    • You will also complete your discussion board entries here. A nice feature of these boards is that you can export the discussions to your portfolio as a file.
  • SharePoint
    • Just as I have begun to dramatically reduce my SharePoint use, confoundingly, the HCT is starting a wide-scale use of the very same!
    • We will use it for archiving and sharing of administrative information to which college stakeholders need access.
  • Twitter
    • I expect that most of you already have Twitter accounts and can probably show me a few things about it. However, if you do not, I will also expect you to get a Twitter account.
    • We will use it occasionally for communications and as a classroom response tool.
    • As part of our social media discussions, we will examine Twitter use as classroom tool.

Discussion Board Topic

We also need to start our first discussion board topic:


In your world, what literacies do you need to have to 'survive'?


Check out this link.

Go to Moodle!

Published in EDT 2203