Use Google Drive…and here’s why.


Today I had an instructor call and ask for help. A student of her’s was in a jam. The USB drive he had his final project on was corrupt and the paper was gone. Luckily, she had printed out a hardcopy of his paper, but he still needed to do edits on the assignment. I was able to help out by scanning the hardcopy using Acrobat Pro’s “Scan to PDF” option that uses OCR which made it possible to copy and past the text into word so he could edit it. It wasn’t perfect, but with a bit of reformatting, it will save the student a lot of time.

So where does Google Drive fit in? Google drive, previously Google Docs is a cloud based storage system offered by Google for FREE. You get 5gig of space and can buy more if needed. I began using Google Drive after I misplaced, OK, lost a new USB drive with a lot of work on it. I said never again, and transfered all my work over to Drive.

For example, all my teaching and work documents are stored on my Google Drive. That means I can access them from any computer with a internet connection and also link them to Angel or share them across the web. I even store many of my freelance graphic design projects in my Google Drive. This way it is backed up in the cloud and I can work on it anywhere.

Eight Good Reasons for Instructors and Students to Us Google Drive

  1. Always have your files with you
  2. No more corrupt or lost USB drives
  3. No more compatibility issues (.doc, .docx, etc.)
  4. Work collaboratively and share documents with Angel, the web, and students
  5. You can still export and download google docs as PDF or Word files
  6. Work on your docs from any computer with internet access
  7. Have a safe secondary backup of your docs, loose a HD, not your data
  8. Because the cloud is the future of computing

What is Google Drive

Fantastic Google Drive Resource


Google Drive Is Here


Google Drive has finally be released. Didn’t know it was even coming, that could be because you aren’t glued to your computer like I am. 🙂

So what is Google Drive. It’s Goggle getting into cloud storage. With Google Drive you get 5 gig of space in the Googlesphere (is that a word) and can upload whatever you want using it as a hardrive in space, then share it and work collaboratively if you choose. Drive is also tied to your Google Docs account, in fact, it  actually replaces Google Docs. All your files will remain but now instead of being stored in Google Docs, its called Google Drive.

But the cool thing is, like with DropBox, you can syn all your Google Drive content on multiple machine by loading the Google Drive Application to your computer. This is great news. Say you need to edit a paper but do not have internet access…just head over to your Google Drive folder on your computer, and all your files are right there. Edit away, and then when you have internet access again, Google Drive will sync all versions of the file automatically.

So why use Drive and not just stick with DropBox or whoever you are using for cloud storage? One really powerful feature of Google Drive is that it employs Google Search when you are looking for something in your Google Drive. So you could search for a name and it will look through the files, the text in the files, or the names of the files. Very cool. Another reason I am thinking of migrating to Google Drive is that its a Google product. I work in what was Google Docs a lot, so this would allow me to move even more towards all my work and much of my personal content being in the cloud. Extra space is also cheap. For 30 bucks a year you can bump your account to 25gig, and in doing so Google gives you an additional 25gig for your mail account. As someone who gets a lot of large emails and is now using 30% of there Gmail storage, that’s another big draw. Lastly, this is Google. When someone with that much power enters a market things change, storage gets cheaper, more functions are delivered, and Google has the juice to do it.

The people over at Edumedic have one of the best how-to posts I’ve seen about Google Drive so far. Take a look for more info. 

Are you planning to use Google Drive, or switch from DropBox to Drive?

A Cleaner YouTube – Browser Plug-in


A Cleaner YouTube is a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. After you have installed the plug-in it allows you to display YouTube videos without any of the “related videos,” comments, or display advertising. You can also conduct searches through YouTube and A Cleaner YouTube will continue to block the “related videos,” comments, suggested videos, or advertisements. See the image below from the Cleaner YouTube site..

Application in Your Classroom

Many times when I do a search for a video some pretty inappropriate videos pop up in the “related videos” area and many times students can see very inappropriate comments directly under the video. This small plug-in fixes this problem.

YouTube Page Without A Cleaner Youtube Installed

YouTube Page With A Cleaner Youtube Installed

Google Currents – All in one news app, very cool


Google has rolled out Google Currents, a centralized location for Android and iOS users to get all their news and social media and the cool thing is 150 publishers have already signed up to display their wares. As of today Google Currents carries over 150 publishers, including Cool Hunting, MacLife, Forbes, Slate, CNET, Fast Company, Huffington Post, and PBS.

Users can flip their way though Currents stylish interface and find great full length articles from publishers that are currently on-board with Google Currents. But Currents doesn’t stop at print articles, publisher also include audio and video content that make using Currents a dynamic experience.

Another interesting option is Currents “Trending” function. As Currents is pulling in all these different news and entertainment stories it is analyzing them. It is trying to determine any trends that are forming in stories. When you hit the trending button it groups stories that Google sees as fitting a trend, or are hot, for that particular section of news. For example, while writing this, I pressed trends, and under the Trends-Technology heading I see the following headlines:

  • Apple rushing to finalize apps for iPad3 announcement
  • Tesla takes wraps off “falconwinged” Model X SUV
  • Google is Testing Wireless Entertainment Device
  • Window 8 bundled Metro apps reveled

This is a great app for anyone who likes to stay up on news and events from many different areas of interest. The interface is very cool and easy to use and the addition of multimedia content is great.


In a blog post, Google said:

Ready for consumers
We’ve worked with more than 150 publishing partners to offer full-length articles from more than 180 editions including CNET, AllThingsD, Forbes, Saveur, PBS, Huffington Post, Fast Company and more. Content is optimized for smartphones and tablets, allowing you to intuitively navigate between words, pictures and video on large and small screens alike, even if you’re offline

To get started, simply download the app and choose the publications you want to subscribe to for free. You can also add RSS, video and photo feeds, public Google+ streams and Google Reader subscriptions you’re already following. In addition to consuming your favorite media, you can also use the trending tab to discover related content that matches your tastes.

We strive to give you beautiful and simple ways to experience all the content the web has to offer, such as sharing photos on Google+, watching YouTube videos and discovering books, movies and music from Android Market. Today we’re expanding our content offering with the introduction of Google Currents, a new application for Android devices, iPads and iPhones that lets you explore online magazines and other content with the swipe of a finger.