Tech Tuesdays: Collaboration on Files Using Google Drive

Google Drive - HeaderOn behalf of the Student Affairs Technology Committee, we are pleased to be offering professional development on various technology topics every Tuesday this summer, thanks to the Atomic Learning platform that BSU has a license for! Atomic Learning is an online learning platform that you can access at your own convenience.

Here at BSU, we are all accustomed to utilizing Microsoft Office’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint for our document, spreadsheet, and presentation needs. Over the years, the software has evolved, gaining new features, and becoming more mobile friendly. However, over the past eight years, Google has developed its own array of applications focused on these tasks, but with the added benefit of embedded collaboration tools as well. Google Drive is a suite of online applications, including Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Google Drive has come a long way. Anyone with a Google account—the kind you have for Gmail or any other Google service (e.g. YouTube, Android, etc.) —gets instant access to the tools. Today, we will be sharing tips on document, spreadsheet, and presentation collaboration utilizing the Google Drive suite of apps!

The main difference between using Google Drive and Microsoft Office is that Google Drive allows the creator of the document, spreadsheet, or presentation to collaborate with others by sharing access to the file (by link or by permission) to simultaneously edit. This means that instead of emailing and attaching an important document, spreadsheet, or presentation to multiple people to be edited… the creator of the file sends multiple people to the same file, thus removing the antiquated notion of  multiple “versions” of files. Additionally, Google Drive has built in storage for you to store and share files, similarly to DropBox and other cloud storage solutions.

In order to access the Atomic Learning platform, please click here to log in FIRST, before clicking below. Once you are logged in, click the following modules:

  • Google Drive (Introduction): Learn about Google™ Drive – the cloud computing solution that keeps your files and folders updated and synchronized across the Web, desktop computers, and mobile devices. In this online training series, you’ll learn how to create a new folder, upload a file, create a new doc, sheet, or slide and connect other apps to your Google Drive.
  • Google Docs: Google™ Docs has numerous tools for editing and formatting your documents. In this online training series, we’ll learn to format text, add images, links, and comments. We’ll also explore tools for replacing words, checking spelling, and adding a table of contents.
  • Google Sheets: This online training series covers the very basics of Google™ Docs Spreadsheets. You will learn to create, save, and enter data into spreadsheets as well as be guided in importing and exporting and navigating the interface. Finally, you will learn time-saving keyboard shortcuts.
  • Google Slides: In this online training series, you will learn to create a new presentation and assign a theme using Google™ Presentations. This training covers how to add, organize and delete slides in a presentation and how to insert text boxes, images, and shapes. You will learn to work with animations and transitions, and how to view a presentation.

Some quick ideas for using Google Drive in your everyday BSU work:

  • Need to collaborate on a manual, standard operating procedure, or important memo with another person or multiple people? Do it on Google Docs and share a link to your collaborators to edit!
  • Does your office utilize an Excel spreadsheet to keep a record of expenses for your office? Instead of keeping that excel file on the G drive or on one person’s computer, use Google Sheets instead and share a viewable link to your staff so they can always peek on the updates to the spreadsheet.
  • Working on a new presentation for student or staff training this fall and have co-presenters? Use Google Slides and brainstorm your best ideas on one presentation file then export to Microsoft PowerPoint, Mac Keynote, or Prezi to add transitions and other fun media!

Did we mention you can also add comments and start text or video chats with collaborators? We hope this inspires you to give Google Drive a try with your staff! Please, share your best ideas on how you use Google Drive in the comments below!

Next week, we will be discussing how to create “screen capture videos” utilizing software like “Quicktime” for Mac or “Jing” for the PC enabling you and your staff members to have brief “how to videos” for your online forms, services, etc!

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About Ed Cabellon, Ed.D.

Assistant to the Vice President, @BSUlife @BridgeStateU | Chair of the BSU Student Affairs Technology Committee | former ACPA Digital Technology Co-Chair | Connect with me on my site at http://edcabellon.com
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