Google Drive…a few thoughts
Tuesday, May 01st, 2012 | Author:

So Google Drive launched last week, you get 5GB of free online storage, yada yada yada….

I tweeted that it didn’t interest me in the slightest and the reason for that is that I use Dropbox. I have blogged about it in the past and got referral links taking me up to 11GB of free online storage. I also got a deal with my HTC one X to add 25GB for two years so I technically have 36GB of online space for free, why would I bother with Drive?  Well what about for school.

I thought, what if everyone installed Drive and then had access to their Google Docs? They could manage them in a Windows-style environment instead of online. Many of our staff are not fans of Google Docs and a lot of this is down to the home screen and ‘losing’ documents, so having them in a Windows-style window would help. They haven’t lost them of course, they are organised somewhere instead. But there’s a problem. The majority of planning in school, well, mainly the folders in which the planning sits, are owner by me. I created the folder structure with my account and when you load Drive on the computer, it shows the documents that you own and to visit documents shared with you, you need to click a link that just opens the Docs website. Pointless. We can open a link ourselves.

But what if all planning was owned by one account and we shared that log-in for Drive? Then we can all access the same documents on our desktops. Ok, so we’d lose control over who edited what and when, but we’re all grown-ups so we can manage. Then the teachers can use their named accounts for checking mail and that. It’s easy enough to use the admin console to transfer ownership of all documents to an account e.g. teachers@ourdomainname.com. They’d never need to know that actually everything they were using was online, it just looks like it’s in a folder. Clicking on it opens ActivInspire, Google docs or whatever.

We’d also lose the ability to edit a document with multiple users, but we hardly ever use that anyway. I think staff might just prefer having their files accessible wherever they are. Maybe I’m wrong but I’ll be asking them once I’ve had a bit of a play. I can’t see a way of automatically converting uploaded docs to Google docs format from the Drive application, but maybe I’m missing a button somewhere.

Is it going to work? Not sure. But having all documents and not just planning online will be a huge bonus. This will include our flipcharts too. We’ll be playing with this over the coming weeks and seeing if it is the way forward or not.

Have you started using Drive? I’d be interested in your thoughts.