Homeschooling with Google Drive

Homeschooling with google drive


Episode 2: Homeschooling with Google Drive

In this episode, you will learn what Google Drive is, why you should be using it and how to use it in your homeschool.

What is Google Drive?

 
Google Drive is essentially an online filing system. In addition, it is integrated with a number of apps which makes it even more powerful. You do need a Google account to use it. You can find it at drive.google.com

Why use Google Drive?

  1. You get 15GB free storage to use across Google Drive, Photos and Gmail
  2. You can sync it to your other devices
  3. It provides an way to transfer large files between people. When my online students create videos that are too big to submit in the Learning Management System we use, I tell them to upload to Google Drive and then share the link
  4. It is easy to share files. Just click on the share button and either use enter an email to share with a specific person or provide them with the link. The latter method is useful if you want to share something with a large number of people
  5. Storing files on Google Drive frees up space on your hard drive
  6. All the Google Drive apps include an autosave feature which means you can’t lose you work if you forget to save
  7. The Google Drive apps make collaboration between people easy. It is very easy to work together on a document. My high school children and I would share documents we kept updated with their activities and achievements so either of us could update it.
  8. The Google Drive apps allow you to recover earlier versions of your documents. Just to the right of “help” at the top of the screen, you will see “All changes stored in drive” or “last edit made on …”. Just click on that and in the righthand side of your screen you will see all your versions and you can choose the one you want to revert to.
  9. Changing the content of a shared document or file means that everyone with access to the file automatically has the latest version
  10. It is in the cloud so you can access it anywhere you have internet. You don’t need your own device. You can log in on anyone’s computer to access your files.

What are the Google Drive Apps?

How to organize your files in Google Drive

 
Just as with a physical filing system, you can create folders. And then you can create folders within folders. You could have one folder for “School”. Under that folder, you could have a folder for each child. And in each child’s folder, you could have folders for each subject.

Once you have high schoolers you can add a college folder which has more sub-folders for information about colleges, one for scholarships, one for the documents needed to submit to the applications. You just need to find a solution that works for you.

You can have top-level folders for all the major areas in your life you will use this for. For instance, I have one for my online classes, one for vacations and one for Science Olympiad (which I coach).

How to save your files in Google Drive

 
Once you have your folders created, you can either use the integrated Google Apps to create documents in the folders, or you can upload files from your hard drive.

Of course, if you realize you want to move a document to a different folder, it is very easy to do that!

If you use Gmail, you can save attachments directly from your email. At the end of the email, look for the Google drive icon. Click on that icon instead of downloading the file to your hard drive.

There is a Chrome extension called Save to Google Drive that makes it really easy to save files while browsing the web. You may want to download a document from a website you visit or a class you or your children are taking.

Open the file in your browser. Then click on the Chrome extension and the file will be automatically downloaded into the folder you designate. You designate this folder when you set up the extension and then everything will go to the same folder. (Call it ‘Downloads’ for instance). You just need to remember to go to that folder and move the document to the correct destination.

If you have never used Chrome extensions before, here is a video to explain what they are and how to add them to Chrome.

Online tutorials on Google Drive

If you would like your children to learn to use Google Drive, take a look at FundaFunda Academy’s web-based unit study which also covers how to use Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides and Google Forms. In fact, you can learn along with your children!

If you found this useful, please subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts.

Homeschooling with Google Drive

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