You'll Flip Over Our Enhanced Google Drive App
One great thing about being an educator in 2014 is the wide array of tools you have at your disposal. There are services for content curation, graphic novel design, game development, splicing quiz questions with videos, and pretty much any other digital tool you could dream up.
The only thing better than having all of these tools at your fingertips is when they work together effectively. After all, most (if not all) of you use multiple technologies in any given day. That's why we're always working to improve how Schoology integrates with other services.
The most recent success on this front is our improved Google Drive integration. It's now easier than ever to leverage the full power of your Google content.
But before we dive into the details, let's start from square one.
Quick Recap: What is the Google Drive App and How Do I Get It?
Our Google Drive app is a free application that you can install right in your Schoology Resources. It is available both on the web and on our mobile apps.
Simply put, it makes all of your Google docs, forms, spreadsheets, drawings, and presentations accessible from within Schoology. This integration allows you to open a "live" window right into Google Drive, so any edits you make in Google are carried over to Schoology's Resources and vice versa.
To install the app, select your Resources dropdown menu, choose Apps, click Install Apps (if not prompted automatically), and choose Google Drive.
Once you sign in to your Drive account, you'll have direct access to your external resources from your Schoology Courses, Groups, and Resources.
You can learn more about how to install and use our Google Drive app in the Help Center.
How is it Enhanced Now?
You now have the ability to "import" or share links to your Google content from within Schoology. This allows you, your peers, and your students to easily access the live Google content from anywhere in the Schoology platform, and you don't even have to adjust your Google Share settings!
Imagine, if you will, creating a Google Presentation on American history, importing a link into your American History course, and also adding one to your History Department group. While you continue to refine your presentation from within Google Drive, your peers can make grammar edits and fact check it from within the Schoology group.
Fast forward to presentation day. When you show your students this presentation via your Schoology course, it is automatically the most updated version. No extra work is necessary.
This is just one of the many ways you can utilize this new feature. You'll no doubt find the ways that work best for you. But before you do, you need to know the two basic workflows:
1. How to Push Google Content to Courses and Resource Collections from Schoology Resources
2. How to Pull Google Content Straight Into Your Courses
Note: You can import both Links and Private Links. Importing Links automatically allows others who can access the link to View, Edit, and Save the content. Importing a Private Link means that only you can access the content.
What's the Difference Between Copies and Links?
Both copies and links have their benefits. Using copies ensures that your master content in Google Drive always stays the same. Some educators also prefer that their students submit copies as assignments, because the students can't change their work once it's turned in.
Using links, however, keeps your content live, meaning it will always reflect the most recent updates. Links allow you to use Google content in all your courses and change it on a whim with minimal effort. They also give you the ability to have any number of students or faculty collaborate on a single project!
One thing to keep in mind is that these links, by default, open in a new browser tab. If you prefer them to be accessible from within Schoology, you'll need to edit the link and select the "Inline Link" advanced option, like below.
So What Does This Mean for Me?
Our enhanced Google Drive integration is meant for one thing: helping you get the most out of your Google content in Schoology. Many of you do already by posting links, embedding presentations, and much more. We've just taken out some of the steps to help you do what you want to faster.
For example, let's say you want your students in three different course sections to record their biology lab data in a single Google Spreadsheet. Below are two different workflows that accomplish the same goal.
On the left are the steps for copying a link from Google and using it in Schoology. On the right are the steps for importing links via our Google Drive app. You decide which is better.
Linking via the Google Drive App
A simple decision, right? We're confident that you are going to love this enhancement, if not for any other reason than saving tons of time. As always, we're interested in your feedback, so go try our enhanced Google Drive App and let us know what you think. Comment below or reach out on Twitter (@Schoology).