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Google Drive!

This In an Hour Class will cover how to use Google Drive including:
  1. How to SIGN IN to Google Drive from any browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari).
  2. How students SIGN IN to Google Drive.
  3. How to SIGN OUT of Google Drive.
  4. Create Google Documents, Spreadsheets, Slides and Forms
  5. Upload and download other file types
6. Simple organizational  tips to find your Google Docs easily
7. Sharing files and working with students using Google Drive
8. how to store assessment data in your personal Google Doc.

There are a great deal of online training videos that show how to  take advantage of Google Drive features. 
  • Beginning learners will start with the basics of Google and be able to review the lessons with the training videos after class or whenever a refresher is needed.
  • Intermediate or advanced users will be able to differentiate their training by viewing the training videos  and practicing the Google skills presented on their own during class time while still having access to an instructor for questions.

These (short!) slide shows and videos about Google Drive by GCF (Goodwill Community Foundation) provide very helpful, concise (3-5 minutes each) training specifically about Google Drive as well as several others about Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, and other programs, including Microsoft, Open Office, and Social Media.

Here is an additional set of online tutorials from about Google Drive. The GoogleGooru also has tutorials for Google Spreadsheets.

1. Getting Started: SIGNING IN
If you have never opened Google Drive, watch the video below on Getting Started. You can access Google Drive from the web from any computer by going to and clicking the SIGN IN button in the top right corner. 

The video includes an option to install Google Drive on your HOME computer. You can ALWAYS access Google Drive by SIGNING IN on the Google website. The installation step is OPTIONAL and not possible at school. However, it may be a useful option to intermediate or advanced users.

If you know how to sign in and out of Google with your students and you can find Google Drive, move ahead to 4: Creating Files and Folders.

Getting Started & Optional: Installing Drive on a Home Computer

2. Getting Started: SIGNING OUT
  • Be sure to sign out of GOOGLE on any computer that is not your personal machine so that no one else can access your Google Drive.

  • Be sure to sign out of Google Drive on Chromebooks and Ipads as well.

3. Getting Started: Student SIGNING IN
  • Students have Google accounts as well. Student accounts use their network username followed by @branchburg.k12.nj,us and their network password.

  • For example:

  • Students currently DO NOT have GMAIL enabled on their account and cannot send or receive email. However, their Google account can send email notifications to teacher accounts when documents are shared. If you do not want to receive email notifications from students when they share work, make sure they UNCHECK the Notify people via email box when they share a document with you.

4. Creating Files and Folders

There are a five different types of files you can create with Google Docs. Documents, Spreadsheets, Slides, Forms and Drawings. The shared Google Drive! folder has samples of each. Open each file with the link below and practice using the commands from the Google Drive Training: Basic document.

If you know how to create files and folders with different types of Google files, move ahead to 5. Upload and Download non-Google Files.

  1. Open this document, read it and notice that you cannot edit it. You are allowed to VIEW ONLY. This is set in the SHARE options that we will discuss in part 7.
  2. In order to edit, you will need to make a copy. Choose FILE > MAKE A COPY and type your own file name. 
  3. Find the copy you have made in MY DOCUMENTS on your Google Drive.  
  1. Open this document, read the column headings and notice that you CAN edit it. You have been given EDIT rights to this document. This is set in the SHARE options.
  2. Click in one cell in column A and type your LAST NAME.
  3. Click or push TAB and type your FIRST NAME in the next cell.
C. Sample: Presentation
BCMS Google in an Hour Presentation Flyer
  1. Open the Sample Presentation for your School above.
  2. Use the ADD SLIDE button and create one slide with a TITLE and 6 words about GOOGLE on it.
    Google Add slide button
D. Sample: Video 1 Survey
  1. Click the link to the survey above.
  2. Answer the survey questions.
  3. See the survey results in Google Drive.

To review: check this slide show about Creating Files in Google Drive and using templates.

5. Upload and Download non-Google Files

Google Drive is BOTH a storage location AND a suite of editing software for documents in Google formats. 

If you know how to upload and download non-Google files, move ahead to 6: Managing and Organizing Files.

Google Drive can store files in in their original format (Word, PDF, etc) or convert them to Google Doc format. To preserve specific formatting or layouts in documents, you may want to store them in their original format and use Google drive for file storage and transportation.
    1. When Upload (RED up arrow to the left of the RED CREATE button) is selected, you choose whether to keep file in original format or convert to Google format.  
    2. If files are uploaded in their original format, they can be converted later, or downloaded in the original format on another device.
    3. Google files can be converted to other formats by choosing  File > Download as >  .docx, .pdf and other formats.
    4. Google files do NOT count towards your storage quota, all other files count towards your limit of 5GB.

6. Managing and Organizing Files
Once you have created documents, use these tips to manage your files by creating folders and using the sort, filter and search commands to locate specific files.

If you know how to manage and organize files, move ahead to 7: Sharing Files.


  • My Drive contains files that you have created or that you have moved from Shared with me to your drive. You can organize your files into folders which will show up underneath the words My Drive.
  • Shared with me files are ones that someone else has created and given you rights to view and/or edit. If you do not send email notification, your collaborator may not notice that they have shared files.

  • Starred: I click these on the files that are the final copy or most recent version with so that I can sort them out quickly with the Starred choice. Multiple uploads with the same file name look the same in the file list.

  • Recent : if you are looking for a file that you have recently opened in Drive, this choice will show the most recently opened files, regardless of location on your drive.

  • WORDS in RED show what part of Google Drive is ACTIVE. You can sort by Title, Owner, Last Modified date. You can also use the Search Box at the top of the Drive screen to search for files by name or parts of names.

  • On the  top RIGHT side of the screen are ways to display the Drive files that you are viewing.

  • Sort: Allows you to decide how the files will be listing in My Drive. You can select by Title, Last Opened by me, Last Edited by me, Last Modified.

  • Display and search by List/Grid View: Grid shows a thumbnail view of the file in My Drive. List displays the File names in My Drive (shows more items per page).

  • Preferences: Display Density: Comfortable/Cozy/Compact determines how tightly the file names display on screen.

View the Managing Files and Sort, Filter, Search video below to review.

Managing Files and Sort, Filter, Search

7. Sharing Files

Sharing files with other users is useful for collaboration. Use the hints in this video to understand how shared folders work.

If you know how to share files, move ahead to Google Drive TOO!!

There are multiple ways to share your own Google Drive files with other users. All are equally good and you can choose whichever method is easiest for you to remember. 

All involve:
    1. Selecting a File: Click the square in front of a file name or open the file.
    2. Indicating you want to share the file: Choose the Share icon, or Blue Share button or More > Share...
    3. Choosing who you want to share the file with: Type the usernames in the INVITE box.
    4. Choosing how much control you want to give others to the shared file: Choose Can Edit, Can View, Can Edit, Can Comment or Owner depending on your purpose for sharing.
    5. Notifying others that you have shared a file: Click add message if you want to send a personal note to those you share your file with. Otherwise, leave the checkbox selected and the users will receive an email that the document has been shared with them.

View the Managing Shared Folders video below to review.

Managing Shared Folders