Assess: Google Drive & Apps

Mobile Collaboration OER

Google Drive & Apps
Platform:IPAD, Android, Apple compatible tablets and phones
Cost: Free




Google Drive is a cloud-based storage system that allows you to keep for free up to 15MB of storage; storage may be photos, stories, designs, drawings, recordings, files, videos, etc. The content is accessible from any device including tablets, and smart-phones. The types include are Android and Apple. The Drive permits individuals to work synchronously and asynchronously without ever losing data, and the information stored is always online. Users have the option of using different tools within the Google Drive, such as Google Forms and Google Drawings (which allow the layout of diagrams, flowcharts) and embedding them into websites, or somewhere within the Google document in use.

Pros & Cons

Pros: The Drive allows multiple files to be stored and embedded, and users have the option of working online or offline. You may see various versions of the same document for revision, and the Drive also lets people work seamlessly from work and home between their accounts. You can quickly and easily search for documents and files usually come up rapidly, so accessing is very easy. It has an additional feature called Google Vault, which enables search across all content in Drive, and may prepare it for export. The Drive allows for real-time collaboration, and additional features such as connecting with customers, and partners via HD video, voice or text is a handy tool.

Cons: Access to the Drive is only available through a Google account, and if users do not want to sign up they have no access. In addition, the documents do not differentiate user activity, and many time different colours or notes need to be placed in the Drive to suggest that certain users are editing materials. The Drive also lacks the functionality of full program Word processing, image editing, and presentation software, despite the fact that files may be viewed. The internal software for editing files is not the most advanced.


The Drive is best used as a storage device for multiple user needs. It permits users to edit information quickly and easily and information is always saved. It is best used when users need to collaborate with written, visual or auditory information on a platform. In addition, it acts a cloud storage much like other devices, Dropbox, etc. to hold information and files.

For further info, check out the UBC Wiki page: UBCGoogleDriveApps510

Next steps:

1. Fill out the survey in the toggle below:

SECTIONS-based Assessment Tool

2. Comment about how/why you would (or would not) use this app.

Commenting Suggestion: Before posting your comments, it might be interesting to compare your SECTIONS-based assessment to previous assessments. This can be done by completing the 4 item survey in the toggle above and using the Google link called “See previous responses”.
3. Check the SECTIONS-based Assessment Results (as of end of W05)


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  1. S Turner

    Our board implemented GAFE for teaching an learning last year and it is the main tool for students to use. It is extremely easy to use and has excellent tools and apps within it. It is also a tool that I use for sharing work with my students, providing feedback and formative assessment to students and collaborating between teachers. An excellent tool!

  2. cwc1

    Google Drive & Apps are great – I use them for collaborative writing projects, keeping track of student grades, and for student-produced videos. They are easy to use, (generally) don’t require a lot of bandwidth, and are easy to set up and use while providing great opportunities for collaboration and formative assessment.

  3. Rodney St-Pierre

    Our school board will be soon implementing Google Apps for Education and I look forward to saying goodbye to students submitting work to a network drive. I can count the number of times I have had to copying hundreds of files to a portable drive to take home with me. It will be convenient to be able to access these files from any computer anytime. That also means that students will be able to submit work from home (or anywhere) as well.
    For my own personal use, I use Drive and I appreciate that in addition to it being a available online through Google, Drive is also a program that installs on your computer and creates a folder that allows uploading of content to Drive simply by drag-drop within Windows explorer. Content in this folder is automatically synced with Drive (a files uploaded elsewhere will appear in your Drive folder on your computer). If you have not installed the program – give it a try!

  4. jenh

    This is a very useful product that ticks the boxes for me in terms of the SECTIONS framework. I’ve found it to be an easy to use, robust cloud storage option and an excellent collaborative tool. I’ve only used it in a collaborative way as a student in the MET program, but couldn’t have done my group projects without it.

  5. aisaac

    I’m a huge fan of Google Drive. It’s a great collaborative tool. I use it ALL the time for peer editing, to provide instant feedback to students and for collaborative presentations and projects.

  6. Lane Hardy

    I’ve recently switched over completely from Dropbox for my cloud storage. I keep all my teaching and MET stuff here (please don’t hack me!) and it helps for seamless functionality over the multiple devices I use in a day (which number around 4). I switched completely over to Google, as the integration with my other Google apps makes it a better fit. I tried using Google Docs in my classroom last year, but teaching grade 5 and having students below the age 13 limitations made anonymous Google doc usage a nightmare. You don’t mention Google Classroom, and I was hoping to learn more since my district won’t embrace it unfortunately. I’m sorry, I think you meant to have 15GB of storage rather than MB!

  7. Steve Holmberg

    I like Google Drive. The storage capacity is great, the multi platform design enables a wide reach, and the collaboration factors work very well. I am currently trying to get my current staff to use Google Drive. As districts move away from networked “C” & “H” drives Google seems to be the best cloud based choice for educators and students.

  8. Chris Sandor

    I think drive meets most of the SECTIONS criteria but I’m not so sure about novelty. That being said, I don’t put much stock in the novelty section. I’m currently working in a district that is beginning to use Google Apps for Education in the classroom. This enables both students and teachers to have school district gmail accounts. Teachers can share documents with students through Google classroom and each student has a google drive account. It looks powerful and useful and seems to make sense for both the teacher and the learner. The students are not blown away by the novelty of this approach but appreciate the power for collaboration and seamless sharing between teacher and student.

    • Rhena

      Hi Chris,
      I agree that this is a powerful app. For me, as a first grade teacher, Drive is hugely helpful. I think this app isn’t going to go out of fashion anytime soon. It has certainly made organizing, sharing and collecting students’ digital content so much easier.

  9. Kirsten Ng

    Google Drive meets all of the SECTIONS criteria except perhaps Novelty. It is no longer a new learning experience for me but in its place is the comfort of familiarity and ease of use. That said, I’m not a huge fan of Google’s latest move to change the word “Shared” to “Incoming” for folders and files that others have shared with you. Takes getting used to!

  10. Eva Perez

    I have used the Drive throughout my time in this program and will continue to use it beyond MET. Although I am still learning what it can and can’t do, I find it easier than Dropbox to store things I need easily accessible from multiple devices and for collaborative purposes.

    • Anonymous

      Ditto. I use Dropbox mostly for storing stuff that I don’t need to look at often, like vacation pics and videos, and Drive for collaborating.

      • Kirsten Ng

        Whoops, that was me and my 5 am brain forgetting to sign in! 🙂

  11. Stuart Lulling

    For me I use google drive almost daily. I am a little skeptical about the security. For more sensitive files I would use cause of its encryption – Set up by Kim Dot Com. Really interesting lad, German born and raised but then adopted New Zealand cause of some issues with the law and the case exploded about the piracy issue with megaupload. The American special forces raided his mansion in New Zealand and the Kiwis went mad cause the NZ authorities just let the Americas do what they wanted….long story – here is more if you want to find out He is massively rich from his internet activities, and as an example just for giggles he decided he would take a F1 driver and race against him renting out the Nurburgring along with 30 cameras, two helicopters and an aeroplane – what else would you do on a boring Saturday in July!!!

    • Rhena

      Hi Stuart,
      Thanks for the links. The wide adoption of Google Apps for Education definitely makes privacy issues worthy of more in depth analysis. It’s such a convenient platform for both personal and professional use it makes it difficult to not jump right in.

  12. etower

    I love drive and use it personally all the time. I find it much easier than other applications like dropbox. Like most cloud storage, however, I find that my organizational discipline is lacking. This makes accessing the right files more difficult. I also love that more than cloud storage it facilitates collaboration. It scored well on the SECTIONS assessment for me.

    • etower

      I should say that I use drive mostly for cloud photo storage to protect those really special ones like the kids graduations or our wedding photos in case of disaster and text/spreadsheet files. Beyond that, I don’t use it for a lot of rich media but nothing beats it for textual collaboration.

  13. rhena

    Google Drive meets much of the SECTIONS criteria, especially in supporting collaboration, co-creation and sharing of projects. As a first grade teacher, I find Google Drive incredibly useful for storing and sharing student work on eleven class iPads. Students can create content on any device and upload their file to the correct Drive folder. Previous organizational nightmares have been streamlined since teaching students how to organize using Drive. It is practical to keep student work in just one app whenever possible and students have one place they can access to find their files, continue working on them and view each other’s creations.

    • Megan Dodsworth

      I need to set this up for my grade ones! I’m assuming all the iPads are logged into your google account, then the students save their work into their own personal folder that the teacher sets up within their drive account. Or if I wanted each of my students to have their own google drive account I would need to obtain permission from their parents as they are under 13 years old. Correct?


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