Especially when I’m tutoring via Skype instead of using my usual online platform with a collaborative whiteboard, I love using Google Drive. Here are a few reasons why!
- Most obviously, Google Drive allows my student and me to collaboratively edit documents. I’ve used them to create worksheets that my student will complete during a session, to compile a list of helpful resources, and to work with students on study guides. This allows us to build a document together while we are having a session!
- Docs is more sophisticated than some people realize. You can insert equations, images (from Drive, URL, or your computer), charts, tables, links, and (my favorite) custom drawings and diagrams made using the Google Draw tool. I make special diagrams to illustrate important concepts and import them right into the document. It’s wonderful! Formatting is very easy, so you can quickly make an outline or rearrange text and images.
- It’s not just about documents. Google Drive also has Sheets and Slides, which are for spreadsheets and presentations, respectively. Just like Docs, these enable collaborative projects. All three allow for joint editing and have a very nice comment feature, so I can leave my students comments about their work, which can later be marked as resolved. Likewise, students can leave me comments regarding topics they are confused about.
- It’s free! All you need is a Google/Gmail account. This is an incredible resource for education, and Google recognizes this – many of my students’ schools now use Google Classroom, which has even more functionality.
I’ve really been enjoying Google Drive, and I look forward to discovering more of its features that I can use to help my students learn.