Ask a Tech-Savvy Teacher: Student Dropboxes in Google Drive


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I had a wonderful time a few weeks back in Eureka, Montana for their GoogleFest!  I met so many great teachers and Google users and I was very inspired to continue looking for ways to integrate more Google tools into my program’s workflow.

I did receive a great question during a workshop sectional from a Columbia Falls teacher that is worth discussing in detail.  She uses Google Drive documents in her middle school language arts curriculum to create a back-and-forth workflow between her and students.  She currently has students share each document with her directly using the Drive sharing settings.  This works, but, is creating a massive number of documents in her main folder, creating an organizational headache.  She asked… “what can I do to make this less chaotic?”

There are a number of ways you could approach this, but, my suggestion was to set up a share folder with each student and have them drop in their assignments when complete.  Depending on the tech-savvy of your students, you could either set this up yourself, or have students set up the folder and share back with you.

Option 1: YOU Create Dropboxes for Your Students

Creating dropboxes for your students is easy, but, will take a little setup.  Essentially, you are going to create a folder for each student and share each folder with your student directly.  When a student drops a file and/or assignment into that folder, it will be shared back with you automatically.  Nifty, huh?

Step 1: Create the folder

Step 1

Pro tip: To help keep this process organized, you can nest these folders by period and/or subject.  In this case, I have created a folder called “Period 1,” and then “Student, Sally – English I Share” for my English I class for Sally student:

Nested Folders

Step 2: Share the folder

Start by right-clicking the folder, then:

Step2

 Enter the student’s email address and allow “can edit.”

Share

 

Press send!

At this point, the student will be able to log into their account and see the folder under “Shared with me:”

Step 4

 

Now, all a student has to do is drag-and-drop documents into that shared folder and they will be automatically shared with the teacher with editing rights!  No additional sharing is required.

This option is best if your students are new to Google Drive or if you don’t mind investing an hour or so of time to make it “just work” for your students.

Option 2: Your Students Create a Dropbox FOR YOU

The other option is to have your students create a dropbox and share it with you.  You will have less ability to decide on naming conventions, etc., but, it means you can accomplish this with a quick 10-minute lesson to start a class and then some time to clean up and organize.

That’s it!

There are other ways to accomplish the sharing tasks and if you have a preferred method, hit us up in the comments below.

Happy cloud computing! 🙂

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