What is it?
Google Drive (formerly know as Google Docs) is a free online tool for writing, saving and sharing papers, presentations and spreadsheets as well as an online storage tool similar to a flash drive. You can do the same types of tasks as you would with Microsoft Office with the added benefit of it being free and saved automatically online. You will then be able to pick up where you left off on any computer with an internet connection. Type a paper at school, work on it at a coffee shop, finish it at home and then print it at school and never once have to save it to a flash drive or deal with different versions of software.
Another cool feature is that you can easily share projects with others. If you are working on a group project, one member starts it and then “shares” it with the other group members. Then everyone can view, edit and access the project from anywhere. Changes are tracked so if someone goofs it up you can just revert to a previous version. If a member is absent the day you have to print or present it won’t be an issue because everyone in the group can open it. All members will need a Google account, however, in order to share.
Doing a PowerPoint? No problem. Google Drive can be used create slide show presentation or to open PowerPoint presentations previously created. When your presentation is finished and ready to show just open it in Google Drive and run it. Easy and worry free.
Ever have the power go out while working (or someone kick the power strip)? Again, no worries as Google Drive frequently and automatically saves your work. This is simply the best tool for all your school work.
Okay, how do I sign up?
Simple. Go to drive.google.com and create a Google account. You can use any email address you have access to for the account or you can create a gmail account. Once signed up, you will be able to use all the features of Google including Google Drive. After you log in to your Google account, you should have a link on the top left for “Drive”. If not, click the “more” link and open from there.
Please note that you will probably need to verify your account by clicking on a link in an email message sent from Google. Until your account is verified, things you create may not be saved so be sure to verify. This step is not necessary if you create a Gmail account. If you already have Gmail (or previously signed up for a Google account) then you also have Google Drive.
If you have questions or need help ask (or post a comment). Enjoy.