I can see many utilities that Google Drive could have in my Second Language Teaching.
1- Using Google Drive will help me save time and money. Instead of printing all sheets for classroom’s activities or homework, I will make them accessible on Google Drive. Students’ only step to have access to the documents is to get registered to Google Drive, which is free for everyone. Thus, there will be no argumentation like “I lost my sheet!” to escape from a work delivery. “Students in the Cloud – How Google Drive has Nullified Missing Homework Excuses”. Now, every document is available for downloading from every electronic devices at any time. For students, I think it will force them to become more responsible more quickly.
2- Google Drive will be very useful way to monitor cooperative activities. For example, I would create a Google Doc for a specific writing activity, and make students work simultaneously on it. The beauty of that is that they stay to their own and individual computer. Thus, I could create teams and, for each student in the classroom, give one single and specific access to a team’s related document. That way, as a teacher, I could keep my classroom silent, because they only use writing to communicate, but I could also observe the evolution of everyone’s work from my computer. The fact that I won’t walk around the classroom, I won’t disturb them in their task by looking at their work from behind. It should reduce their stress and help them to concentrate on the work. Do they work? Do they all participate equally? Do they follow the rules? Do they have finish the task? Do they have questions?… Google Drive would help me to answer all these questions at once only by looking at their document while they are working on it. I could also use a chatting program to have them write me my questions as they are facing problems. Thus, I really think it could be a very easy way to monitor my students during a writing activity.
3- Google Drive can help me to gather topic’s ideas for a project by creating an online questionary. I would create a form with multiple choice to learn about every student’s interests. It will be fast for me, and it will keep all results confidential from all classmates. I could use the online questionary to have their opinion about anything as I need it throughout the year, and compile the information for further uses.
4- Google Drive is a very good place for documents to be saved. As the program offer 5 GB of storage capacity for every new user, as a teacher, I will never have to worry about the size of my documents, and the quantity that I can download for all my classes and courses. “…Google Drive is far, far, more than just storage. It’s combines free storage and Google Docs into a nearly seamless cloud-based office suite.” I will know that my documents are safe if I have trouble with my computer.
5- Google Drive will be very useful way to monitor students documents. I think that an other important aspect is that students themselves could use Google Drive to download, save and keep all their documents for all their courses. Once a document will be ready to be handed in, students could give access to the right teacher, who receive automatically a notification. As a teacher, it will be an easy way to monitor all students’ documents reception. Following that, I could also correct a first draft directly on the electronic document, send an notification, and wait for the corrected document. That way, I also save paper as I print it only at the end, when the work is totally revised. And as nobody needs to be in class for exchanging documents, this program would help students and I to maximize the working time.
6- This program will help sick students to keep track with every day’s work and assignment. No need to run after the information or in the school, everything will be well identify on Google Drive.
These aspects are just the tip of the iceberg on all the possibilities of utilization we have with Google Drive. It only depends on teachers’ needs and projects. Try it, and please, share your idea!