Why Google Drive is the Perfect Tool for Homeschool Students
Homeschooling and online schooling families want flexibility. They want the freedom to work when they want, where they want, without being tied to a desk in a classroom. One tool that can help provide that flexibility is Google Drive. Drive is a cloud-based tool for creating, storing, and sharing files. It gives you the freedom to bring your files anywhere, no matter what device you’re using.
Here are six reasons Google Drive is an awesome tool for homeschoolers and online school students.
Access your documents anywhere
Your files no longer live only on your home computer’s hard drive. Now they’re on your phone, your tablet, the library computer, or anywhere you are. Google Drive takes the place of gadgets like thumb drives which can easily break or get lost, and which aren’t compatible with mobile devices.
Share and collaborate with others in real time
Working on a group project? No need to email files back and forth. Group members can all work on the same document, with their contributions and comments visible in real time and saved automatically. Or, classmates can instantly share different documents with one another with the click of a button. Large attachments, different document versions, and incompatible editing programs or file types are no longer a problem. Students can also share their work with their teacher or parent for editing and review, without emailing or printing, making it simple to view in-line comments and edit their work.
One feature perfect for online teachers and students is the Voice Comment App. This app allows users to leave recorded voice comments on Google documents. Say you write an essay and share it with your teacher. With Voice Comments enabled, she can record her feedback as a message attached to the document, giving advice, editing suggestions, and comments. It’s faster and more personal for you and for your teacher!
Use Google Drive offline
No internet connection? You can still use Google Drive. The desktop and mobile apps allow you to edit documents offline and automatically sync and update when you do have access to the internet. Drop a document into your PC’s folder, edit it later on your smartphone, and print it out from your home computer. It’s quick and seamless.
Considering it’s from the kind of search engines, it’s no surprise that Google Drive includes a robust search feature. No need to remember file names or folder locations. Just type a few words from the document you’re looking for and Google Drive will bring it up for you. This works even on Word documents and PDFs you’ve uploaded.
Compatible with multiple programs
Google Drive gives you options to create, open, and save more than 30 kinds of files, including text documents, presentations, spreadsheets, videos, and images – even if you don’t have the program on your computer. Google Drive’s productivity apps, including Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets do most of the same things as the Microsoft Office suite of programs (Word, Powerpoint, Excel), but for free.
Never lose anything
Things happen. Hard drives crash, laptops get dropped, and phones discover they can’t swim. With your files saved to the cloud, no matter what happens to your device, your important stuff is safe and accessible.
While Google Drive is an incredibly useful tool for students, especially those in high school or college, it is also perfect for teachers and homeschool parents, for many of the same reasons. Google Drive is available for free with a Google account and is easy to set up. Your Google account comes with 15GB of space to start, with the option to pay for more space. For the average student, the free account is likely more than enough, though if you want to use Google Drive to back up everything on your computer, you might need more.
If you’re just getting started with Google Drive, or want to learn more about some of its little known features, check out these tips.
Ashley MacQuarrie began writing professionally more than ten years ago and has covered education, technology, current events, pop culture, and other topics. A former homeschooler, she studied English and Film & New Media, graduating with a bachelor's degree from San Diego State University. Ashley has classroom experience working with children who have autism and other special needs. She has also tutored students from kindergarten through college and taught English to teens and adults at a language school in London.