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Using google drive for internal school management effectively - advantages and challenges

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Started by Natasha Furness 11 Dec 2014 9:33am () Replies (13)

Hi there, 

This year our leadership team has used a mixture of staff share and google drive to organise our folders and for administration purposes. Next year we are looking at moving away from using staff share and storing everything online (i.e. through google). 

I am interested to hear where others have done this; the advantages and challenges?

Many thanks, 

Natasha

Replies

  • Paul Sibson (View all users posts) 11 Dec 2014 9:53am ()

    Hi Natasha

    We have been on this journey for a few years now. It is definitely the way to go and makes everyone's life so much easier. The ease with which we can share and find documents make using google drive an greta choice. I like the fact that people can choose to organise (or not) the files in a way that suits them. I have some leader who puts everything in directories to organise where as I don't file anything, I just use the search function. 

    There are still some challenges around using drive for storing files that are not docs but that is more to do with weaning people of using word and excel. If everyone can be trained to default to google docs it becomes much more straight forward. Now that you can merge cells in table on a doc, it is much better.

    Happy to help if you need it ;-)

    Paul

     

     

  • Ragne Maxwell (View all users posts) 11 Dec 2014 11:49am ()

    You may already know, but the key thing is ownership for future proofing. We've created an smt identity, hod identities (for things private to HoDs e.g. appraisal) and dept identities (for all our resources, planning, copies of students google docs for online moderation etc). We are keeping the ownership of folders with these central, unchanging identities, then sharing them with individual staff identities. That way, as individuals we can see and use everything, while remaining in our own drive.

    In our first year, we experienced staff moving on and the loss of google resources. It's key to get staff to make ownership of their resources sit with the Dept identity. When they leave, they'll have to take a copy of their drive over to a personal google account anyway, so it won't matter to them that the ownership is with the Dept. However, it does matter to us as we'll lose it when they leave.

    The drawback I do find is that on my school computer I can't seem to have my individual google drive and the smt one open at the same time. When I want to organise and tidy up the smt one, I have to close right out of everything and go back in as smt. Yet on my mac at home I can have my school and personal drives open at the same time. I just use the 'add account' function. These alternative accounts show on my school computer, but I just redirect to the account I already have open. If anybody has a solution to that, I'd like to hear it. I assume it's something to do with the system setup, but our techies don't seem to know what.

    Also, check out google classroom if you haven't already. It is looking VERY cool and will replace Teacher Dashboard for us next year.

  • Abbie (View all users posts) 25 Mar 2015 8:03pm ()

    Have you moved solely to Classroom, or have you found you needed to use Hapara* alongside it still?

    *Assuming Teacher Dashboard refers to Hapara 

  • Vish (View all users posts) 25 Mar 2015 9:03pm ()

    I was using Hapara and Classroom last year. I used hapara to sort out password problems and check their drive folders but I used classroom to manage student assignments and invite them. Classroom had a disadvantage in that it didn't allow multiple teachers so I could only have one teacher of my class. Otherwise I found its user interface much easier to use and it promoted voice of students who were shy in discussions but happy online.

    Our school uses Google Drive where we copy the folders to our teacher drives and we all get to use the same folders within our own professional Drives. We are moving away from a server based storage system and working in the cloud. I don't have Hapara this year so I use a single Drive account for my class and teach them how to create documents and presentations online using that. 

  • Geoff Childs (View all users posts) 11 Dec 2014 1:03pm ()

    I also find that I can't have more than one drive open at once, I have three accounts and it's a bit of a pain having to close my own drive to open in order to open an "institution's drive"

    Will get in and have a look at Google Classroom. I'm interested in how we can use this for NAPP.

  • Paul Sibson (View all users posts) 11 Dec 2014 1:11pm ()

    The trick to get past the 'multiple drives open' problem is to use Google Chrome. In Chrome you can set up completely separate instances which are opened separately and keep everything tidy. In Chrome go to preferences, scroll down to people and choose 'Add person...' You can add as many accounts as you like and give each one a little picture. To switch between them click on the picture in the top right hand corner of your browser window. ;-)

  • Ragne Maxwell (View all users posts) 11 Dec 2014 1:46pm ()

    Thanks Paul, that will be why it works at home of course. We aren't on chrome as an institution. I'll see why we haven't switched to that.

  • Martine (View all users posts) 11 Dec 2014 9:50pm ()

    Yes definitely need to add separate users in Chrome...as a GAFE admin person at my school there are loads of accounts I have control of and it's so easy to switch between them by just clicking on the icons.

    When we moved to GAFE from our old onsite server setup earlier this year I set up a Google Site as a central hub for many of our schoolwide staff resources/admin stuff. As well as staff having easy anytime access to docs we were also able to upload some of our old Word documents that didn't convert to Docs very nicely and have them as downloadable files on the site. I set up the Google site under it's own generic account so that it isn't attached to any one person but there are a couple people who have editing rights for it. The teachers love it because everything is easy to find - often much easier than getting them to find things that have been shared to their Drives.

    I wish I'd understood the whole ownership thing properly before we started setting up accounts though...having to create generic accounts and transferring ownership to them later down the track is just plain annoying.

     

     

  • Brent Caldwell (View all users posts) 24 Jan 2015 5:13pm ()

    Great tip about the Chrome drives. Paul thanks.  5 minutes on VLN and already learning.  Ta

  • Mark Callagher (View all users posts) 25 Jan 2015 10:59am ()

    Hi, Interesting reading all the ideas. At Palmerston North Boys' where I worked recently we had Department Drive A/C's set up for storage structure (see this diagram) where the bulk  of the stored files for Dept and Student docs were to go here and be linked via Moodle (called Stratus) site and other means. Dept HOD's and teachers have taken to this and worked well and as the school is fully Google Chrome it has started to work well for alternative sign-ins. Using Incognito window is a good alternative for logging in as a different user.

    As Google suddenly announced about October and have now enabled UNLIMITED storage, doing this again I would now likely go recommend going a full step further and suggest, even for a big high school, ONE Shared Drive Login for storage with multiple subdrives (staff, student), like on a server, and then get people wanting to upload large school files on there to do so. This also means that files can be dragged between the different areas easily. Creating shared sub folders for student shared and public viewable would then make it easy for teachers then to share info and change ownership to the shared folder structure later (in case the teacher leaves). Hope that makes sense. My diagram will make sense hopefully of what I am getting at.

     

  • Warren Grieve (View all users posts) 25 Jan 2015 10:01pm ()

    We have one central account that will hold all docs that are essential to the school and "belong" to the school. If you create a share in this persons folder and setup teacher group permissions on this then everyone can edit and drop docs into this and then transfer ownership to the school "admin". 

    When staff leave school it will be important to have a decomissioning process that checks this has been done. 

    In our folder we have a staff shared (docs private with staff- folders inside with different levels of viewing permissions also), pupil shared (all in school again folders within with varying levels of viewing), and public which is open to view by anyone. 

  • Tony Cairns (View all users posts) 25 Mar 2015 9:15pm ()

    New discussion post: Using google drive for internal school management effectively - advantages and challenges

    Vish added a new discussion post to the group Using google drive for internal school management effectively - advantages and challenges:

    Title: e-Learning: Leadership
     

    I was using Hapara and Classroom last year. I used hapara to sort out password problems and check their drive folders but I used classroom to manage student assignments and invite them. Classroom had a disadvantage in that it didn't allow multiple teachers so I could only have one teacher of my class. Otherwise I found its user interface much easier to use and it promoted voice of students who were shy in discussions but happy online.

     

    Our school uses Google Drive where we copy the folders to our teacher drives and we all get to use the same folders within our own professional Drives. We are moving away from a server based storage system and working in the cloud. I don't have Hapara this year so I use a single Drive account for my class and teach them how to create documents and presentations online using that. 

    Vish

    we have the server with all the files on it which is remote accessible 24/7 but not disaster proof and the google drives in clouds that are - we are moing all to teh cloud - we also have POND, Pinterest, Wikis, Moodle, Google classroom, hapara, my portfolios etc etc I love Google classroom and i hate Moodle and no longer use hapara IMHO cheers tony ps our teachers choose what they will but i am moving all resources i own and have access to to clouds asap esp POND
     
    can you set up multiple teachers and shared logins for classroom or have extra powers for a student account? or all teachers share that one login for classroom?
     

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e-Learning: Leadership

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