In Our June, 2017 Issue:

Test Drive Google Drive

by

The dri­ving force behind Google Drive is the idea of “Save Here. Access Any­where.” Any file you save to your Google Drive will be acces­si­ble to you from any device, includ­ing your PC and smartphone .

As a stu­dent, you can use this ser­vice to write and sub­mit papers, projects and reports every semes­ter. Once you save it in Google Drive, you will never lose your work. This fea­ture makes Google Drive a more secure option than stor­ing your papers on USB flash dri­ves that are eas­ily misplaced

If you have a Google or Gmail account, it’s easy to get started with Google Drive. Go to google​.com/​drive and sign in with your Google account.

Every user gets 15 GB of stor­age space, which should be more than enough for all the papers you will write until you graduate.

Google Drive’s most pow­er­ful fea­tures are its online sync­ing, col­lab­o­ra­tion, and soft­ware suite (Google Docs, Sheets and Slides).

Sync Your Files

Google Drive fea­tures an easy-​to-​use file sync­ing tool for lap­top and desk­top computers.

After down­load­ing Google Drive (google​.com/​d​r​i​v​e​/​d​o​w​nload), a spe­cial folder is cre­ated whose con­tents are auto­mat­i­cally synced to your online Google Drive account. You can access, edit, down­load and col­lab­o­rate on those files by log­ging into your Drive account from any device.

Press the blue “NEW” but­ton to cre­ate sub­fold­ers for all of your classes inside your main Google Drive folder. Then upload your papers to the proper folder and they will be auto­mat­i­cally saved and synced to the web.

Work­ing on your papers while they are synced will ensure that you can access your papers even if you leave your USB flash drive or lap­top at home — or, worse, your com­puter breaks

Col­lab­o­rate with Classmates

For your group projects, Google Docs lets your team mem­bers col­lab­o­rate on doc­u­ments in real time. You can see what your class­mates are writ­ing in the group paper, and you can eas­ily edit and make changes.

Since Google Docs is a web-​based ser­vice, you do not need to install any soft­ware on your com­puter. Giv­ing a class pre­sen­ta­tion? Use Google Slides. Track­ing stats on a spread­sheet? Try Google Sheets

Save and Share Freely

Shar­ing files you cre­ate on Google Drive is as sim­ple as send­ing an email. Enter the email address of the recip­i­ent, and then they can view, edit and col­lab­o­rate on that file.

You can attach the files to your emails or inte­grate them into var­i­ous web apps like Slack (a cloud-​based col­lab­o­ra­tion tool). Files can be saved in dif­fer­ent for­mats like Microsoft Word and PDF, which makes it easy to send them to peo­ple who do not use Google Drive

Not the Only Ser­vice Under the Sun

If you do not get the hang of Google Drive, try out Microsoft OneDrive. You’ve prob­a­bly come across OneDrive on Metro State cam­pus computers.

Like Google Drive, OneDrive pro­vides online sync­ing, col­lab­o­rat­ing and 5 GB of stor­age. Also, OneDrive pro­vides online ver­sions of Word, Excel and Pow­er­Point. Office 365 sub­scribers, includ­ing Metro State stu­dents, have access to 1 ter­abyte (1,000 GB) of storage.

For more infor­ma­tion on the advan­tages of Office 365, check out Levi King’s arti­cle from June 2015

The main dif­fer­ence between these two ser­vices is the user inter­face. Google Drive pro­vides a much sim­pler and easier-​to-​use inter­face, which OneDrive lacks.

Due to this, I’ve found many Metro State stu­dents pre­fer using Google Drive. Col­lab­o­rat­ing on a group project through Google Docs was a great expe­ri­ence for me and my team­mates last semes­ter in our ICS 382 Com­puter Secu­rity class. Hav­ing our files and papers synced auto­mat­i­cally was a very handy fea­ture as we mul­ti­tasked on a tight schedule