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What is it?
Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) is a free online space to create, edit, store and share documents, presentations, spreadsheets and forms.
Google Drive syncs to the cloud, meaning you work is available from anywhere, at anytime.
Why should I use it?
It's great for group assignments - you can easily share a file and multiple people can work on it at the same time!
It's in the 'cloud' - you can access your work from any where, at anytime. You can never lose your homework!
It's a word processing tool for your iPad or computer - no need for Microsoft Word, Pages, or other applications.
It has version history - you can view all changes that have been made to file (and revert back to an older version if you make a mistake!)
Create a document
On your PC:
- Sign in to Google Drive at http://www.google.com/drive (see instructions on the right of this page)
- Click the red "new" button and select document.
- When you create a new document, Google will name it Untitled by default. To change this, click on the title, or go to file > rename.
- You can type and edit your document like you would in any other word processing program.
- Google continuously saves your work, so there's no Save button. If "All changes are saved" displays next to the menu bar, you can close the screen without losing any work.
On your iPad:
- Open up your iPad app and tap the + in the top right corner.
- Select document
- Name your document and tap "create"
- You can type and edit your document like you would in other apps. Tap "fonts" to change the text size, colour and font.
- Google continuously saves your work, so there's no Save button. Tap "done", then "close" to exit.
Share a document
On your PC:
1. Open up the document you want to share
2. Click the blue "share" button in the top right hand corner
3. Copy the link to share with a large group of people. They will only be able to view the link by default. To change, click "change"
4. To collaborate with a few individuals, enter their email address under "invite people". They will be able to edit by default. To change this, click "can edit".
On your iPad:
1. Open the Google Drive App
2. Tap the information icon to the right of an item's name to open the details panel.
3. Tap the "Share" icon and enter email address under "add people"
When you share your document, you can allow people to:
- View - cannot make any changes
- Edit - cannot make changes but can make comments
- Comment - can make changes and comments
To view any changes that have been made to a document:
1. On your PC, open the document
2. Select File > See revision history.
3. Click on a time and date to see the document at the time. Any changes made by a particular collaborator will be shown in the color assigned to that individual in the revision history pane.
4. To revert to the version you're currently viewing, click Restore this revision. To return to the the current version, click the X in the upper right of the 'Document History' pane.
From EdTech teacher terrific How to...Creating that digital portfolio using Google Drive
- Go to drive.google.com
- Type in your Lowther Hall email address but do not enter a password!
- Click Sign In
- Enter your LH username and password
- Click Sign in
Get the App:
- Search for "Google Drive" in the App Store or click here. Available for iPad, iPhone or Android.
- Repeat the login instructions above.
Get the Desktop App:
- Go to drive.google.com
- Click the Download Google Drive for your PC button.
- Follow installation instructions.
- When you are prompted, follow the login instructions above.
Different Google Drive functions
You can do lots of different things in Google Drive. Click each link to find how tos
A word processor (like Pages or Word) that you can use to create an essay or something similar
A presentation program (like Powerpoint) that you can use to make a slide show
A spreadsheet program (like Excel) that you can use to work with numbers or items in a grid for calculation
A tool you can use to create online surveys & quizzes and then send them to other people
A tool you can use to create and edit drawings using specialized tools (can be used to make charts, diagrams, designs, flow-charts etc.)
Can't find a shared document? Try looking in "Shared with me" rather than "My Drive".
Shared items will appear here unless you select "Add to Drive". Then it will be synced to your Drive folder on your PC.
- Click Shared with me.
- Select the files or folders you'd like to have synced.
- Click the Add to My Drive button. The selected files will automatically sync to the Google Drive folder on your computer.
Google Docs in Plain English