Google Drive Basics
Google Drive is the storage location that ALL Grade 4-12 students should be using to save their work, on all computers, at all times. Each student at BCC in Grade 4 or above has a Google Apps account, which includes 10TB+ of free Google Drive storage space. Your Google Drive and all of your schoolwork saved there can be accessed from any device, anywhere, at any time.
This brief tutorial shows the basics of using Google Drive, in particular how to create a Google Doc and save files to Google Drive.
Open Google Drive
Next, the Google Drive window will open (see image above). On the left hand side of the screen, you will see several categories of documents in the Sidebar, including:
- My Drive - All of the documents that YOU have created or uploaded into Google Drive
- Incoming - All of the documents that anyone else has shared with you in Google Drive
- Recent - Documents that have recently been created or edited.
- Starred - Any documents that have you "starred", or made a favorite document in Google Drive
- Trash - Documents are placed in the trash temporarily before permanent deletion (similar to the "Recycle Bin")
Create a Document Google Drive
Select the Type of File to Create
Next, select the action you would like to do in Google Drive. The options available are:
- Folder - Creates a folder to organise and store files
- File Upload - Upload an individual file from your computer
- Folder Upload - Upload an entire folder from your computer
- Google Docs- Create a "Word" style document
- Google Sheets - Creates an "Excel" style document
- Google Slides- Creates a "Powerpoint" style document
- More - Create a Form (questionnaires, surveys or tests) a Drawing file (charts, graphs, etc.) or other enabled apps
In this case, we are going to select "Google Docs" to demonstrate some of the features of a Google Doc.
Working with a Google Document
After selecting a document type, a new tab or window will open with your new file.
The image above shows a Google Document. Google Documents have the following features:
- Title - Click on the Title (1) and select "Rename". Now you can name the file
- File Menu - Google files display a similar menu (2) to most Office Suites, including fonts, text styles, formatting, ability to insert images and other objects, etc.
- Comments - Google files are designed for collaboration and multiple people can edit and comment on them at once. The Comments button (3) allows comments to be embedded into files.
- Sharing - You can share a Google file to any staff or student using the Share button (4) in the document. Sharing can be done at the group level (e.g. a class) or to an individual. You can choose whether files you share are view only or if they can be edited by others.
- Document Body - Click into the document and start typing just as you would any Office file. Changes are saved instantly in real-time.
Sharing a Document
To share a document, click the "Share" button and the window above will open.
- Next, type the email address of an individual or group in the "Invite people" box.
- Click the "Can edit" link to the right of the address field and choose one of the three sharing options.
- If you want to add a custom message, click the "Add message" link and a text box will open.
- Click the "Send" button to complete sharing the document, including sending an email with the share link to the individual(s) you've invited.
Collaboration with Google Documents
The image above shows two users editing a document at the same time. A comment has also been added to the document. This is the power of a Google Document.
As you can see above, documents that are created within Google Drive are saved automatically. There is no need to save them and they are accessible from anywhere on any device with a web browsers and an internet connection.