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Distance Learning Essentials: Google Drive

What is Google Drive?

Google Drive is a cloud-based storage service that enables you to store and access files online. Any documents, photos, videos, presentations, etc you save will be synced to any device you access it from, including smartphones and tablets. Google Drive is also fully integrated with other useful distance learning tools in G Suite for Education, such as Google Docs, Slides, Forms, Gmail, Drawings, etc - as well as other platforms and online services like YouTube, Google Analytics and Google+.

It’s also FREE - and easy to start using while learning from home. You just need an existing Gmail account or recommend setting one up to parents and guardians for students who don’t already have one.

Benefits for Teachers

  • Great backup solution: store lesson plans and student assignments, plus photos and videos which won’t become corrupted over time like a USB device
  • Allows you to send large files: Teachers can send learning resources - from large documents to lengthy video files - to students or co-teachers via Gmail
  • Handy search options: You can quickly locate files (by owner) using the built-in keyword search feature or scan documents using the optical character recognition tool to find specific data sent by other users, such as students, colleagues, or parents
  • Share files easily: Teachers can share files and folders by sending a link to their students to access from their free Google Drive - ideal for creating assignments, work, and providing feedback 
  • Open and edit various files: If you’re experiencing difficulty opening documents or video files, Google Drive is compatible with most file types, including PDF, PowerPoint presentations, JPEGs, Word docs, WMV, MP4 and more

Did we mention how incredible Google Drive is as a storage solution for schools? With each Google Account, you get 1-TB of storage - which is included for free too. Because of the ample storage space, you can view images at full resolution, without the need to be compressed! This means your students benefit from the same number of gigabytes, with access to Google Drive (and other G Suite tools) when they use their student S Suite Gmail account.

Google Drive for Distance Learning

Google Drive is a great collaborative home learning tool because it’s so simple and straightforward to use. Teachers and students can quickly share files as well as create brand-new files- all with the ability to insert images, tables, links, and more! Google Drive is ideal for making learning and revision remotely interactive - and connecting with parents or guardians to show them their distance learning progress.

With Google Drive, you can:

  • Create Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drawings, and even Sites to be used as part of virtual lessons or distance learning reports
  • Save and share docs and Gmail attachments in one safe place, conveniently organizing your files into color-coded folders and sub-folder categories
  • Access from your smartphone or tablet, which allows you to screenshot images of your documents, which can be converted into PDF format
  • Use the large amount of storage to keep a record/ archive of files during the distance learning period for completed assignments, email attachments for revision - plus it’s great to back up your photos and videos

We’re Here to Help You...

At MobileMind, we’re committed to supporting schools for short- and long-term distance learning. We understand it’s a difficult adjustment period, which is why we’re here to help. Take a look at our tips and advice on how practical and easy-to-use online applications, like Google Drive, will benefit your school.

Find out more about Distance Learning tools from Google 

Click here to visit the MobileMind Live page

Distance Learning Essentials: Google Docs

What is Google Docs?

Google Docs is a free web-based service which allows schools to collaborate with their students from a remote location - in real time! This versatile document authoring tool can be located within your Google Drive, simply by clicking create and choose Docs. It also brings the processed file to life with inventive tools to edit and style the assignments, tasks, and activities you create for your distance learning class. How? Choose from a variety of different fonts, insert images, drawings, add tables, and add links as well.

Google Docs is a paper-free formatting tool included in the G Suite for Education, enabling school work to be completed from home.

Benefits for Teachers

  • Multiple users can edit a document at the same time and view changes instantly
  • Teachers can create text documents and share with their peers or teachers
  • Access to view, edit, or comment on documents can be given to selected students, fellow teachers, or department heads to maintain secure sharing
  • Different access modes make it easy for teachers to grade work, provide feedback, or check progress and avoid any unauthorized changes
  • Schools can share documents with up to 200 people and collaborate with up to 50users in real-time - ideal to host virtual classes or participate in online staff meetings
  • If you need to share with more than 200 people, consider embedding it in a website or make the file public.
  • You can send shareable links for assignments, documents, and learning resources created in Google Docs instead of emailing them as an attachment
  • Documents can also be shared with contacts who don’t have a Google account, which is useful when communicating with parents or guardians regarding progress reports
  • Google Docs regularly auto-saves (everytime a change is made to the document) to prevent any loss of work
  • Teachers can install a variety of Add-ons, like highlighter tools, plagiarism search apps, word cloud generators and more
  • Schools can upload their own documents to Google Docs, directly from their desktop and convert them to the Google editing format if needed

Google Docs for Distance Learning

Preparing lessons and creating assignments with Google Docs helps teachers to save time with a stress-free platform that is easily adaptable for distance learning purposes. This can be done by creating new documents (with clear directions and instructions for students to follow) or uploading existing files you have on your computer. In addition to the bank of Add-ons you can install, there are templates for reports, agendas, meeting minutes and other types of documents you can choose from - to shake up the formatting styles without it getting too demanding and complicated. 

To make tasks even more engaging for a learn-from-home environment, teachers can turn their docs into ‘hyperdocs’, with links to Google Forms and videos, as well as insert tables or charts to organize the information and tasks more easily. Rest assured, everything can be shared via Google Classroom and Drive - or via email, school website and/or your LMS.

We’re Here to Help You...

At MobileMind, we’re committed to supporting schools for short and long-term distance learning. We understand it’s a difficult adjustment period, which is why we’re here to help. Take a look at our tips and advice on how practical and easy-to-use online applications, like Google Docs, will benefit your school.

Find out more about Distance Learning tools from Google

Click here to visit the MobileMind Live page

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