12 Effective Ways To Use Google Drive In Education

Are you a Google Drive / Google Docs fan? Do you take notes, compose papers, construct spreadsheets, and build presentations in real-time on the web while collaborating with others? I’m not necessarily promoting Google Drive; just merely pointing out a few of the powerful ways the free tool can help you save time and keep you better organized.

I’ve had a post about how to effectively use Google Drive in education on the back burner for several months. It’s been sitting as a ‘draft’ and is now finally ready for primetime. That’s because I stumbled across a fabulous new visual guide put together by Susan Oxnevad on Glogster. In the graphic, she showcases a dozen different ways to easily and effectively integrate Google Drive into your classroom.

Google Drive In Education: A Couple Recommendations

From building a self-grading quiz (yep, it can do that) to simply reducing the amount of paper used in your classroom, there are plenty of reasons to start considering using Google Drive for your classroom needs. Personally, I’d recommend using it as a useful tool for project-based learning where students can collaborate in real-time, hold chats, and even finalize a project from different locations. The Android and iOS apps let students (and teachers) do this from virtually anywhere. In fact, you can literally do it anywhere considering there is an ‘offline mode’ for Google Drive so you don’t even need a web connection to keep your online collaboration document or project humming along.

The other big way I’d recommend trying out Google Drive would be for mind maps. You can create mind maps using a presentation in Google Drive and work on it with others at the same time. Imagine having an assignment involve creating a mind map about a particular topic (the Civil War, for example) and having students aim to finish the map by the end of the school day. Students can collaborate, research, and complete their project with ease. What a world we live in, eh?

Google Drive is also compatible with Microsoft Office products so fear not. You can download your project as any format – from open formats to Microsoft-based formats. Great for all types of classrooms!

google docs for learning


  1. Casey York

    September 17, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Google drive is great and I use it with my classes almost daily on our iPads. It’s a shame, however, that there is no spell check for the mobile app. A simple feature that really should be included by now.

    • CoachB

      September 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Perfect for Office 365 and SkyDrive without having to be concerned with file compatibility and formatting issues with Google Doc’s. Having offline access to documents is also a huge plus….

      • Lorne

        October 19, 2013 at 10:05 pm

        Not nearly the collaborative possibilities of Google Docs.

  2. James

    September 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    And now Google has given the world Quickoffice for free, which integrates with Google Drive and allows you to edit Microsoft documents and keeps them in their original format.

  3. Oz Ramos

    September 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    One of the overlooked features of Google Drive is that it actually keeps revisions of each save, so not only can you undo the mistake you made just now, but you can undo a huge mistake you did yesterday…on a completely different computer!

    Revisions especially come in handy when working in group essays online.

  4. Cat Boyd

    October 26, 2013 at 11:44 am

    There is NO presentation feature on iPads. We use Hiaku Deck