What is Google Drive?


If you read my last post with great interests but were unsure of what Google Drive is worry not my loyal readers as I am here to help give you an idea of its features and why it’s pretty cool. Don’t worry folks you don’t need a valid drivers license to participate HA HA HA! (Omar coerced me into adding that lame joke). What you do need is a Google account and willing to read on past the break to see how to install and get the most out of your Google Drive.

So what is Google Drive

Google Drive is a service from Google (duh) that lets you create and manage your Google Docs. On top of that you can also use it as an online USB, like Dropbox. So this guide will help you get your Google Drive account, install in your computer and how to use it.

Step 1 – Get your Google account
If you don’t already, go over and get a Google account. If you have a gmail account, good news, you already have one. If not, the account is easy enough to sign up for and is free. Here is the link to get yours.

Step 2 – Sign up for Google Drive
Once you’ve got that awesomely new Google account, it is time to head over to Google Drive and activate it. Follow this link here to get to Google Drive and if it is your first time here, then you’ll see this screen. Go ahead and click on Get started with 5 GB free.


Once you are inside your Google Drive account look on the left hand side. You will see a link Download Google Drive. Obviously you are going to click that.

wpid-penzu_a0043-2012-08-24-19-032.jpg wpid-penzu_a0044-2012-08-24-19-032.jpg

Don’t worry if you have a Mac or PC, Google will know which one you need to download. Once it is downloaded (it shouldn’t take too long) here is what you can expect. You will find a new folder will be on your computer. The folder is not a normal folder. Anything you place in that folder will sync with your Google Drive account (online) and you will be able to access all those files on any computer anywhere in the world as long as you can get online.

On the Mac you can find your Google Drive folder in your home folder. So create a new Finder window and look at the picture below.


On a PC this is what you can expect to find the folder in your User account


Image from http://www.zdnet.com/photos/a-walk-through-google-drive-screenshots_p7/6359806#photo

But that seems like a lot of work to drop your files into, luckily the people at Google realized this too. That’s why they made quick and easy ways for you to add files to your Google Drive.

On a Mac, simply go to this icon in your menu bar wpid-penzu_a0046-2012-08-24-19-032.jpg. When you click that icon a drop down menu will appear, select Open Google Drive Folder and it will open on your Mac. Now just drag your file(s) there and they will sun automatically!

wpid-penzu_a0047-2012-08-24-19-032.jpg wpid-penzu_a0048-2012-08-24-19-032.jpg

Pretty easy though.

On a PC it is even easier. Just right click the file and you will be able to select this from the drop down menu that appears.


Image from: http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57419601-285/how-to-copy-files-to-google-drive-faster-in-windows-7/

You can upload just about any file you want to your Google Drive: Word documents, Excel files, PowerPoints, MP3’s and other audio files, video files of any type, and more. It is a great way to back up your important documents and files.

So why is this important
As a teacher you probably have important files such as tests (that you made) IEP’s, entire units, etc. It is nice to know that if your computer bites the big one you still have a bulk of your important work in tact and easily accessible. If you are a student, then this is a great way to back up your big projects, papers, etc. If you’re a student in my class, then you know (from my previous post here) then you know I have no sympathy for students who don’t back up their work.

Wrapping it up
If you’re not using Dropbox or something similar already, then you should be. If you are using Dropbox or another cloud storage service, then go ahead and sign up anyway. It’s 5 GB of free storage, you can never have too much space.

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