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Maybe You Should Drive

Google Drive offers a whole new way to both create and manage your digital life. With amazing document creation tools that support full realtime collaboration, Drive opens up many new opportunities for the classroom. 

This session aims to both introduce you to what Drive offers and to show you its many possibilities. We will explore the Drive environment, looks at the options for managing your workflows, learn about Drive Apps, and see examples of how it can be used in a school. 

If you're coming from a Microsoft Office environment you'll learn how Drive can be used to rethink the way you create, collaborate and share documents within your school, and how it can help streamline the sorts of processes that you do every day.

Google Drive and Google Docs

Google Drive is a cloud storage facility where you can store all sorts of files. You have unlimited storage capacity.

You have great tools for managing and finding your Drive files.
  • Grid view vs List view
  • Activity and Details
  • Sort by Name, Last Modified, Last Opened
  • Search by name or contents
  • Detailed Search Panel
  • Stars
  • Recent
  • Colour coding

Your turn...

Activity: If you have file in your Google Drive already, try using the Grid and List views to look at them. Sort them by different columns. 

Activity: Use the Google Drive search function to find...
  • PDF files where you are the owner
  • Starred files modified in the past month
  • Video file where you are not the owner
  • Slides files where you are the owner, modified in the last week, that include the word "presentation"
*depending on what file you have in your Drive, you might not find matches to these queries. Do them anyway.

          Google Drive also has a range of productivity apps that offer similar functionality to other software tools you may know...
          • Google Docs <=> Microsoft Word 
          • Google Sheets <=> Microsoft Excel
          • Google Slides <=> Microsoft PowerPoint
          • Google Drawings <=> MS Paint, Inkscape
          • Google Forms <=> Survey Monkey
          • Google MyMaps <=> GIS software
          • Google Sites <=> Weebly, Wix

          Your turn...

          Activity: Create a new Google Doc, Sheet or Slide. Spend of few moment looking through the menus and options. 
          • How many do you recognise? 
          • What features can you find that you don't recognise? 
          • What, if anything, would prevent you from using the Google tool instead of the tool you're currently using?

          While the Google versions are simpler to use because they don't try to cram every single feature in, they have one very big difference. They are all collaborative, allowing people to easily share files and work together, simultaneously, in real time. This gives them some distinct advantages.
          • Sharing; managing who can do what in a document
          • Collaboration in real time
          • Revision History
          • Accurate voice typing
          • Easy options for adding images
          • Research tool
          • AddOns for extra features
          • Live links to embedded data, such as charts
          • File conversion and export to Office format

          Sharing Google Docs

          When you create a document YOU are the Owner, and the only person who can access the file. Nobody else gets access until you explicitly allow it. You can also revoke access at any tim

          Sharing with individuals is as simple as clicking the Share button and entering their email address (or name) into the Invite people box. Once you add the person's email, choose whether you'd like them to be an Editor, Commenter or Viewer of the document. 

          Pro Tip: In the advanced settings you also have options to control on-sharing. Ticking these boxes will restrict what people can do with the document. Use these controls carefully, and only add restrictions where necessary.

          You can share the document with as many individuals as you wish, and each one can have different permission levels. For example, in the same doc, some people could be editors, others commenters and others just viewers.

          If you change your mind later, you can increase or decrease any person's access level, or even revoke it completely. You can even give access for a specific period of time that expires after a number of days.

          As the document owner, you are always in complete control of who can do what.

          Sharing a folder causes every document in that folder to inherit the folders permissions. If documents inside a folder have different permissions to the folder, the most permissive wins.

          Your turn...

          Buddy up with a partner, and try the following...
          • Person A creates a Google Doc and shares it with Person B as an editor. Once you are both in the document together, write a few sentences collaboratively.
          • Person A then "downgrades" Person B to be just a Viewer.  What happens to their access to the document?
          • Person A then changes Person B to be a Commenter. What happen to their access to the document?
          • Person A then removes Person B's access to the document completely.  What happens?  What happens to the edits they made to the doc?
          What happens if Person B deletes the document?

          What happens if Person A deletes the document?

          Files that are Shared with You
          When someone else shares a file with you it appears in your Shared with me collection. You cannot organise the files in Shared with me. They are literally just a collection files that are shared with you.

          Files that are not shared with you specifically by name do not appear in Shared with me, however you can find them using the search function if you know the name or some other information about them.

          If you would like to file a shared document in your own Drive, you must first add it to your Drive by clicking the Add to Drive button. You can move a file or folder anywhere in your Drive's filing system and it does not affect other people's view of the file/folder. (However, do not move a file out of a shared folder or you will remove it for others! Read all warnings carefully!)

          When you delete a file that has been shared with you from your Drive, you only remove your view of it. You don't actually delete the file, since you are not the owner and only the owner can completely delete a file. 

          Open (non-specific) Sharing
          Sometimes, you might want to share a document with a larger group, such as a class, the whole school, anyone at your school, or even just anybody on the Internet. It would be a bit inconvenient if you had to type all their names into the Share box! Fortunately you don't have to.

          Some schools create Groups of users, for example, all staff, all Year 7 students, or even a Group for each class. You can also create your own Contact Lists using Google Contacts and share with that. Note that these Contact Lists are specific to you. Changes to the Contact List does not update sharing settings automatically so if list membership changes you'll need to check the sharing on the document manually.

          As well as sharing docs with individuals and contact lists, you can also share a doc to a non-specified collection of people. 

          You can share to...
          • Anyone at <your school> with the link (unsearchable)
          • Anyone at <your school> (searchable)
          • Anyone with the link (unsearchable)
          • Public on the Web (searchable)
          For each of these access levels, you can also define the role of Editor, Commenter or Viewer.

          This multiplies out to offer a large number of variations on how you decide to share a document! This is why it's important to really understand how sharing works!

          Your turn...

          Using the supplied share cards, do the following activities...

          1. Pick a card at random. Working in a pair, describe to your partner what the permissions on the card mean and what they allow/disallow. Swap turns to explain your card to each other.

          2. Go to your computer, create a Google Doc and set the permissions to match the one on your card. (you'll have a different domain to the cards of course)

          3. Combine with two other pairs of people to form a team of 6. Lay all your cards out and arrange them from the most restrictive to the least restrictive. You may need to discuss and debate your choices! Come to an agreement.

          4. How many different sharing permission variations are there?

          5. On your computer, share a document and investigate the Advanced sharing options. What do they do? How do they affect the choices you have for your sharing a doc?

          6. Working in teams of 4, one person should open this Doc, and share it with your other three partners so you can all work on it together. For each of the scenarios listed, work together to choose the best option for setting the sharing permissions on the document. Discuss with your partners as you work.

          Moving vs Adding a File
          If you move a file from one place to another in your Drive it appears in the new location, and is no longer in the original location. Moving a file works exactly as you'd expect if it was a real object.

          However, Google Drive allows you to do something that you can't do with real objects. You can Add them to other locations without removing them from the original location. It's not a copy, not a shortcut, not a link. It is literally placing the same file in two places at once. You can delete either of these instances, but don't remove the last one or you will remove the file from you Drive completely.

          To Move a file, select it in Drive and press the Z key. To Add a file to a second location, press the Shift-Z key.  (or if you're on a Chromebook you can simply CTRL-Drag the file to create a second instance of it)

          Google Docs and Microsoft Office: How does that work?
          You can store any kind of file in Google Drive - PDFs, JPGs, video files, Photoshop files... anything. When you want to work on those files you just download them back to your computer, open them with the appropriate application and then save them back to Drive afterwards.

          With Microsoft Office files you have a few more options. If you choose to, Word, Excel and Powerpoint can be converted directly into Docs, Sheets and Slides, turning them into editable, sharable files in Drive. Or they can be left in their original format and simply stored in Drive like any other kind of file. It's your choice.

          In the settings menu of Drive you can check the box for conversion (or not). If you turn it on, then every Word, Excel or PowerPoint file you upload to Drive will be converted to the corresponding Google format file. File conversion has gotten much better over the last few years and generally does a pretty good job of converting Office file to Google format. However, if a Microsoft file uses features that simply do not exist in Google Docs, then those features will be ignored, or sometimes even convert poorly. Don't worry though, the original Office file is never modified so you can always just store it in the original format if you need to.

          Documents you create directly in Google Drive can be easily exported out in a variety of different formats, Including Office formats. 

          Best Practice...

          Best practice tip: Develop a habit of creating all new documents using Google Drive. Later, if you need to have them in MS Office format you can always export them. This is a more reliable approach to doing it the other way around.

          Extension tip: Try the Office Editing for Docs Sheets and Slides Chrome Extension. It allows you to open and edit any Word, Excel or Powerpoint file directly in Chrome. Its amazing! It also lets you easily export to Docs format if you wish.

          Let's play!

          Drive activity 1 - Make an Information Flyer

          Create a document with the following specifications  (File > Page Setup)
          • Landscape mode
          • A4 paper size
          • 1.2cm margins
          • Pick a related topic of your choice and use the Research Tool to make an information page about it. (Tools > Research)
          • Include text and image(s)
          • Cite your references
          Here's an example -

          Drive activity 2 - Working with Styles

          Open this document.   It is shared as View Only, so after you open it, choose File > Make a Copy to take an editable copy. (By the way, this is a good way to "hand out" a document to your students)

          Use Styles to Format the list. use Title for the top line, Heading 1 for the event name and Heading 2 for the date. Once you've done this, modify the font, spacing and colour of each Style, then update the style so it reflects on the whole document.

          Here's an example -

          Drive activity 3 - Create a Drawing in a Doc

          • Open a new Doc in your Drive.
          • Insert > Drawing and a new Drawing Canvas opens up
          • Use the shapes, lines, text (and images if you like) to create a simple drawing or diagram on the canvas.
          • The usual vector art tools work here
            • Hold Shift while resizing to maintain proportions
            • Hold Shift to select multiple objects
            • Hold Option (Mac) or Ctrl (PC) to drag-copy an object
            • Cmd-G (Mac) or Ctrl-G (PC) to Group objects
            • Send objects forward or backwards through the stack to reorder
          Once you finish drawing, close the canvas to place the drawing into your doc.  Double click it to reopen it for editing.

          This is a hugely underused tool in Google Drive!

          Here's an example -