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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Google Drive - Store Files, Share Files, and Talk About Them

Today, Google introduced a new service for saving, sharing, and discussing files online. The new service is called Google Drive and it combines some of the best elements of Google Docs and Google Plus into one package. In fact, Google Docs is now a part of Google Drive.

When you upload a file to your Google Drive account you can share it with anyone just like you can share any document in your Google Docs account. You can share files publicly or privately. You can create comment threads for any of the files that you share whether they're document, image, video, or music files. These features alone don't make Google Drive significantly better than something like Dropbox with its new sharing functions. But Google Drive does have a nice search feature that I haven't seen elsewhere. Google Drive has a search function that will allow you to search the contents of your files, even your scanned files. Rather than just searching file names, you can search the entire contents of your files.

Watch the video below to learn more about Google Drive.


Applications for Education
Just like Google Docs, Dropbox, and other online files storage services, Google Drive eliminates the need for flashdrives/ USB drives and eliminates the need to send email attachments in order to share files. The threaded commenting option could be very useful for peer review of work as well as be useful for teachers to use to offer feedback to students.

Google Drive provides 5GB of free storage which should be more than enough for the vast majority of students. The only scenario in which students might use up this space is if they have a lot of video and music files stored in their Google Drive accounts.

And now I need to go make some updates to Google Docs for Teachers to include information about Google Drive.

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