Tag Archives: DropBox

…ACSI Oct 5th – GoogleDocs 101…

Hello GoogleDoc-ers! (Or, should I now be saying Google Drive-ers…)

Unfortunately, I have come down with the Flu and will not be with you on Friday. But, to make my session available for those who are interested, here is a Coles-notes or talking-points outline of my presentation. My suggestion to you is that you follow along by reading and trying the links I have provided. Please know I would love to connect with you for follow-up, or to hear how you are using Google Drive in your unique situation. I will be on Twitter during session A from 10:30 – 11:30 and during session B from 1:10 – 2:10. Please use the Twitter Hashtag #acsigd and you can communicate directly by mentioning me @paulkellybc.

Additionally, I am very happy to thank my good friend, intuitive colleague, and fellow Math nerd, Mr. Richard Bitgood for helping the show go on! He will be delivering this session live in Chilliwack, BC.

GoogleDocs 101
Note: GoogleDocs has now been rebranded as Google Drive. For the purposes of this presentation I will still refer to both – GoogleDocs when I’m referencing the actual apps, and Google Drive when speaking about the platform in general.


  • I encourage you to open both of the following links in half-screen, side-by-side view. You will be amazed at how quickly your results move from the ‘submit’ to the results spreadsheet.
  • To begin the session as people are coming in I would encourage people to fill out this quick, 3-question survey (this is actually a Google Form and it took my about 45 seconds to make).
  • Here is the spreadsheet results this form will produce. I encourage you to open both links in half-screen, side-by-side view. You will be amazed at how quickly your results move from the ‘submit’ to the results spreadsheet


  • Top three reasons I love Google Drive:
    • 3 – Free productivity suite (Documents think “MS Word”, Spreadsheet think “MS Excel”, and Presentation think MS PowerPoint)
    • 2 – Cloud storage for excellent mobility & security
    • 1 – Top notch live-time collaboration

A bit of Housekeeping:

  • To start using Google Drive, you must begin a relationship with Google – either only for GoogleDocs (now officially called Google Drive), or a full Gmail account. Have you signed up for a Google Drive account? Yes/No
    • If Yes, I suggest linking your most current email to your Google Drive account so you can receive GoogleDocs more easily. You can do this by signing to your Google Drive account and clicking on your “Account”. Then you can ‘edit’ your email addresses.
    • If No, then please click here to set up a Google Drive account. NOTE: you have two options: 1) set up a full Google account with a Gmail address (recommended), or 2) just link any existing email to give you access to Google Drive. To start this process, click here
    • Now you have access to Google Drive from any web interface, or you download Google Drive to act as a folder on your computer, or you can download the Google Drive app for your mobile device.

Hands-On Simulation:

  • Hands-on way to explain the difference/limitations with Email & Dropbox Vs Google Drive
    • Consider a school trying to build the master Library, Computer Lab, Gym, and Music Room schedule. Consider the following three scenarios as I break the group into thirds:
    • 1) Email the Excel file to each staff person.
      • I hand out individual sheets with a schedule template to 1/3 of the room.
      • People fill it out, then return it to the master schedule builder
      • Double-bookings or errors must be re-emailed
      • KEY: Only the master scheduler has the current file
    • 2) Dropbox the file to everyone.
      • Now everyone has the original file…but in order for Dropbox to work properly, one file can only be open at a time
      • I hand out one sheet to the first person in the second group. They fill in their info, then send it to the next person…eventually everyone in this group has put in their info
    • 3) Google Drive the schedule
      • Share the schedule file with everyone in the final group and encourage them to fill in their info whenever they want – no need to email it back or only have one person opening it at a time
      • Take the final group to a standing paper chart where together they can collaborate in live-time to create the master schedule
  • Now, this isn’t a perfect analogy…but it does serve to highlight the limits of always having only 1 original, so emailing and synthesizing results. On the other hand, using a GoogleDoc allows everyone who has access to have the ‘original’.

The Cloud: Ways to store and/or share files on the internet:

  • Pre-Cloud: email, disk/flash drive
  • How many clouds are there?
    • Shared folders on a networked drive, DropBox, Box.net, SkyDrive, iCloud, GoogleDrive
  • Pros: always backed up, available from any web-ready device
  • Cons: must have web access

Privacy / Security With GoogleDrive:

  • Data stored all over the world – not solely on Canadian soil – this has HUGE implications – mostly due to the US Patriot Act that states all data is searchable
  • In British Columbia, this is the starting point: Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia (Public Sector and Private Sector)
  • Public Vs Private organizations in Canada
    • No public organization can store personal information in the cloud if that data will be stored outside of Canadian soil
    • Private organizations are not held to this same standard, but, they must have consent to store personal data in the cloud
    • Organizations require a Privacy policy & a way of asking for consent
    • My suggestion: work this into your re-enrollment packages for a media release (photos on school website, Facebook, blog, etc), and a Cloud storage release that states personal information will be kept private, but will be stored in the United States

Hands on Scaffold:

  • Take a look at the following link. It includes eight 1-minute YouTube videos produced by Google explaining the different elements of GoogleDocs. Feel free to add your comments into the spreadsheet.
  • Application/Discussion:
    • How could you see yourself using this in your classroom, planning team, office, etc?
    • Have you ever had students ‘forget’ their presentation or homework at home? What could this Cloud-based technology help?
    • Have you ever had more than one person cramming around your computer screen trying to give input to the document?

Ok, let’s take a look at GoogleDrive:

  • Google Products: Google Search engine, Google Chrome, Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Blogger, Reader, etc.
  • GoogleDrive:
    • Document – think ‘Word’
    • Spreadsheet – think ‘Excel’
    • Presentation – think “PowerPoint”
    • Forms – think easy ‘Survey’

Create a Document:

  • You have two options when starting a new document:
    • i) you can “create” – just decide what type of Doc you want from the drop down options.
    • ii) you can upload existing files from your computer into Google Drive. Your original files will not be changed. But, you now have a sharable, cloud copy.
  • Sharing
    • There are 3 levels of sharing in GoogleDocs:
      • i) Invite with email only – you must type in the email of the person you wish to share your file with…only they will have access to your doc
      • ii) Share via Link – anyone with access to your link can either view only, or can edit your Doc. You have the ability to decide what level of collaboration you want to give them (view only or edit)
      • iii) Public – anyone on the web can search for your file by name/contents and gain access to your file. Again, you as file owner decide if this will be view or edit only.

Intro Revisited – let me explain my top 3 reasons for loving Google Drive:

  • 3 – Free productivity suite (Documents think “MS Word”, Spreadsheet think “MS Excel”, and Presentation think MS PowerPoint)
    • This alone is a very handy piece of free software. Ever bought a new computer and then been told that it will be another $150 for the MS Word Suite?
  • 2 – Cloud storage for excellent mobility & security
    • I used to keep a backup of all my current files on a flashdrive. Now-a-days, there’s something to be said for having all your key documents available to you at any time on any device.
  • 1 – Top notch live-time collaboration
    • This is the bees-knees of Google Drive – where email and Dropbox are limited when multiple people want the same file at the same time, Google Drive comes to life when collaboration is needed. This is the main reason I use GoogleDocs with my office and teaching staff – we can be working on the same document at the same time. Really, it’s a digital whiteboard that we all have access to together.

Personal Anecdotes RE using GoogleDocs:

  • Needing to type a very critical email with a 20 minute deadline. I went to the Elementary Principal’s office and began a Google Document. I shared it with him. We both started talking out loud, writing, and building the email. Before we knew it – bam – it was done and we both felt really good about what was said. Cut & paste into our email client and that was that.
  • With our Campus School being so connected with our Online School, I am on the leadership team for our Learning Commons (the space formerly know as the Library). Pippa Davies is our Leader for this movement and often we are discussing items that require revision, or creativity, or collaboration. So, we will often Skype each other while we are working live-time on a GoogleDoc together. This is Google Drive at its finest!
  • I took the initiative to try get as many Christian Educators as possible to connect – this GoogleDoc is what I came up with – feel free to add your info!


  • Could you see yourself using this web 2.0 software in your classroom experience? Or elsewhere?
  • When was the last time you needed/wanted to collaborate with someone on a digital file? Would it have been beneficial if you were able to work live-time on the same file?
  • I encourage you to please fill out this quick post-session survey. Find the anonymous results here.

GoogleDocs 202

  • In my next session (post) I will share what I have found to work well with GoogleDocs and share some of my current files and how I have used them in the classroom, in our office, and also in the Twitter-verse.