When Google Drive first launched, it was seen as just another option for cloud storage. But it has now emerged as one of the most important players in the way that we use our devices and store data. Google Drive is a key element in using many of Google’s SaaS offerings, such as Docs and Sheets. How does it impact the education markets?
Using Google Drive
The great thing about Google Drive is that it can be used on any operating system. Whether a school is using Macbooks, Windows laptops, tablets or Chromebooks, they will be able to access Google Drive with an internet connection. All it requires is a browser, preferably Chrome.
Integration of Google Drive with the SaaS offerings is seamless. It is possible to save photos and use them with Google Photos, documents with Google Docs, spreadsheets with Google Sheets and so on. Files are automatically saved onto the user’s Google Drive account when they are created in those web applications.
The question that many have is what happens when the internet connection goes out. Say a student is working on a file and the internet is not active anymore. Well, an option exists to sync certain files with a device for offline viewing. It means that a file is automatically being saved every few seconds onto the device as it is edited. Even if the internet goes out, the person can keep working on their file. As soon as they have a connection again, it will sync with Drive and be saved in the cloud.
Adding Functionality to Tablets
There is much anticipation about the latest tablet releases from various companies. Samsung has come out with an impressive tablet, while the latest iPad and iPad Pro offerings are very impressive. Even Google has gotten involved with the Pixel Slate, which is a two-in-one device. And we do have the Microsoft Surface product lineup as well.
Tablets are great in an education setting. They are more capable for students who want to take down notes with a digital pen, while also allowing for drawing, editing and regular computer usage. But tablets always had issues when it came to proper productivity of the variety that can be done on a laptop.
Google Drive has changed all that. It is now possible to be very productive on an iPad or an iPad Pro thanks to Drive. Files are easily synced across devices, accessible on the device, saved for offline usage and compatible with Google apps and web apps.
Students who are given iPads can now use Bluetooth keyboards and use Drive along with the various Google apps they need to access. They can use Docs, Sheets and other apps through the store on their device, while they could also go into the browser and use the web app versions.
Helpful for Educators
Drive is also great for educators, as it is possible to collaborate in a more seamless way. Docs and Sheets support real time editing, while you can edit a file on a computer at work and then access it just as easily on your smartphone, tablet or laptop at home.