Skip to main content

Using Google Drive with staff and students simultaneously

Lots of schools have switched to using Google Drive as their way to store files, share files with colleagues and collaborate on documents. As an admin tool, it's excellent.

Many schools also use Google Drive with their students - to share resources, give out and receive homework for example.

But is there ever a cross over? Is there a scenario whereby staff admin and student resource distribution are blurred together? Of course there is, or at least with Google Drive, there is the potential to do so. Many Google Drive users can be a little hesitant when giving out admin rights to a folder, and rightly so. Whenever you are giving lots of people edit access to a folder you always run the risk of someone making a mistake, moving files out of folders, or not completely knowing what they are doing. What makes Google Drive an excellent tool is that you can share files and folders with many people, but differentiate who has what access rights.

In the video below, we use the following scenario:
A school wants to create a folder full of GSCE revision material for this year's Y11 - so that students have access to lesson resources, slideshows, videos, revision guides etc whilst they are revising for their exams, that they can access out of school. The folder is created, and link sharing is turned on - but crucially, anyone with the link can view only. This therefore means that everything within this folder - be it individual files or sub-folders - inherits this view only access right and becomes view only, i.e people with the link can't edit or move things. This link is then the link that is given to students - be it via Google Classroom, Show My Homework, Class Dojo, or whatever digital communication the school uses. Within that folder, subject specific sub-folders are created (Maths, English, History etc) and these are still view only for anyone with the link. However (and here's where the admin cross over comes into it), each sub-folder can then be shared with specific teachers, and crucially, they are given admin rights. With admin rights, the teachers can add their files and lesson materials into their subject's sub-folder. They only have editing rights to their subject's sub-folder, so Maths teachers can only add to the Maths folder, English teachers to English folder and so on.

So within one folder, students can view everything and have access to all the materials, but can't edit anything; but teachers have edit access to specific folders so that they can fill them with their GCSE revision materials to aid revision.

In a few simple steps, we have created a revision folder for students to access and staff to contribute to. Everyone has a small piece of the puzzle so to speak, but collectively this adds to a much bigger and more efficient, effective resource for students to be able to access outside of school.

To see how we did it in more detail, you can watch the video here

To see more of our training videos, including how to set up Google Drive,  Google Classroom, Yammer and accessing our ebook library, see all of our training videos here (DRET log in required) or for more information please get in touch with the eLearning team.


Popular posts from this blog

OneNote and Google Drive in Harmony

Many of our staff use OneNote well and happily, as well as being a great place to keep everything for a topic in one place presented visually and annotated (in many ways better than with a specialist interactive board app) it is useful to share what you have had on the big screen with your class with a single link.

Most also use Google Drive as the main place they keep all their files to collaborate, share resources and work on them from anywhere.

When word reached us that Brendan Brannigan from Bringhurst Primary School had combined the two and now works on his OneNote files at home and school using Google Drive we asked to make a guide for colleagues - this video (also available on, login required) is the result.

I must admit, after watching it I had a "why on earth hadn't I thought of this?" moment - there is absolutely nothing wrong with OneDrive which is where OneNote prefers to live, but it is one more thing to worry about.

Now all I have to do is work out…

So External Hard Drives and Pen Drives are going to be banned...

We've taken the decision to ban external hard drives and pen-drives from all Trust computers and from all of our premises with effect from 1st January 2018. From that date they just won't work when you plug them into one of our computers. This article hopefully points the way for how to continue to work successfully without that trusted friend. This could inconvenience people - people that use them and me*

Every school still has one or two people that carry everything to and from work every day on that external disc they bought four or five years ago - I know of one colleague who has more than ten year's material on there, and another that lost everything when the drive failed and they had no backup. The ban comes from a security review where these devices were identified as one of our highest risks because:

From a data protection point of view, we know people know not to put any kind of personal or confidential data onto one, but there is always the risk of human error.The…

Guest blog post - Pixi Maths

We recently started a new Spring cohort of our Challenge for eLearning CPD course with colleagues from the Corby area, including the author of Pixi Maths, Danielle Moosajee.
As a plenary activity for the first session, we used and demo'd Plickers - 'a simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices.' It's a great tool which we've blogged about before, and here are Danielle's thoughts on it after using it class post-training:

I left the first Challenge 4 eLearning session full of biscuits and inspired! In a way, it was a shame that the Easter break fell so shortly afterwards as I was keen to try out some of the things we’d been introduced to.
A couple of years ago, a colleague had shown me the Plickers app. Students each receive a QR code with 4 orientations (A, B, C and D) and they hold their cards up to be scanned by an iPad in answer to a multiple choice question. Previously, I had laminated these …