29 April 2013

Collaborate and create documents together - with google drive, desktop edition.

Logo for google apps. No idea who owns this image sorry.
3 Questions:
  • Are you using google docs? (aka google drive)
  • Have you noticed that you can now access your google drive files and folders via your desktop?
  • Have you noticed that you can share any kind of file via this cloud system now, not just google documents?
Google drive is now a lot like dropbox - a place to share files and folders with people in different locations. You get 5gb of storage space, and you can access and manage the filing system via your local file manager*. 

[*eg: Windows Explorer on windows, or Finder on mac.]

Most people are better at managing file systems via their own file manager rather than via a web app - making new folders, moving files from one location to another. Why upload via a web page, when you can copy/paste from one desktop folder to another.

Once you store files in the google drive space, you can share them with other people, either to view or to edit. It doesn't have to be a google doc. You can also publish documents on the web. For example, here's an intro to google drive (desktop edition), a PDF file stored in my own google drive area.

Updated, Dec13: [Download a copy here.]

4th question: is there enough info in this document to get started? What's missing?

Oh wait, I know what's missing. How could this be useful for education? 

Please respond to any of the questions in this post via the comments area below. Thanks so much,

Michael Chalk

PS: I have updated this document to mention that you can allow people different editing rights (thanks Jill for that feedback). 


  1. Great pdf resource and blog post, Michael. Thanks.

    I think you need to differentiate between Sharing (Can Edit) and Sharing (Can View). I use the latter to post notes for students in the class blog (like you have embedded the pdf in this blog post).

    But the Computer class is going to 'have a go' at editing a simple Google doc by adding their email addresses to a shared list (accessible via the link and editable by anyone with the link) - just to give them an experience of collaborative authoring. Problem is, most don't have Google ID/gmail.

    Publishing to the web: is this the way to allow people to edit who don't have a Google ID/ gmail account?

  2. Thanks Jill, much appreciated!

    Good feedback.. I'll add in something about levels of sharing.

    It is an issue, you're right, when students don't have a google ID. But you've come up with a good way to enable students to collaborate without one. [Make the document editable by anyone with the link.]