Schools

Why don’t I use Google Drive Team Drives for the moment?

A few weeks ago, Google added the Team Units to the Drive. The truth is that they looked very good and I immediately tried them. After all this testing time, I have decided not to use them in the centre. In this article I explain the reasons.
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Use G Suite calendars to reserve classrooms and resources

The configuration process is not easy, but once the initial configuration is done, the subsequent use is simple.

Initial configuration


The G Suiet administrator must enter the control panel and access the calendar properties. There you will have the Resources tab where you can create a calendar for a resource. In the example, I have created a calendar for a computer classroom.

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Once created, the administrator is the one who must share it. To do this, you must first find it, a task that will not be easy.

You must access your calendars and select the arrow to the right of Other calendars. And choose the Navigate interesting calendars option:

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Now you must select the More tab and choose Interesting resources for domain name.

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Finally, you will see the list of resource calendars you have created. All you have to do is subscribe. If you do, you’ll already have the calendar added to your calendars, just like a regular calendar. If there are times when the room is already occupied by regular classes, the administrator can add them in the usual way as events are added.

Now it’s time to share it with all the teachers at the school. It must be done in the same way as any other calendar and permission will be given to view all event information.

If teachers are shared with teachers one by one, they will be shown directly on their calendars in the Other calendars section. If it is shared with a Google group, teachers will need to follow the same procedure as the administrator to view it (navigate through the interesting calendars, tab more…), although it is not necessary for teachers to add the calendar in order to reserve resources.

So far the initial configuration.

Use of resource calendars


When a teacher wants to book a classroom, he or she must create an event on his or her calendar, on the day and time when he or she wants to make the reservation.

If you edit the event, on the right side you can choose the Rooms option. If the classroom is free at that time, you can select it and when you save the event will be reserved.

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If the classroom was already booked by another teacher, the classroom would not appear.

As I said, using the calendar is very simple, although teacher training will be necessary. But it’s worth it, because I think it’s important to have the management tools centralized in the same platform. It simplifies things for teachers.

Google apps for education

On more than one occasion I’ve talked to teachers who have argued that it’s best not to complicate things and use equally free Gmail accounts. But even if it takes a little more management work, it’s much better to have your own Google apps. The list is long, but the main advantages are:

  • If you have your own domain, such as institutional name. es, you can configure the DNS so that the emails of all teachers and students are of the type nomalumne@nombreinstituto.es. Setting this up is quite simple and too specific to dedicate an article to it, but if anyone has any doubts I’ll be at your disposal.
  • All students can have access.
  • If a student forgets the password as an administrator, we can restore it in a moment.
  • We are offered the possibility of creating groups: therefore we will be able to send e-mails to a class, to a teaching team…
    Google drive allows you to share documents with the groups we have created. It is therefore very quick to share a document with a class or teaching staff. Sharing with groups has its difficulties, however, because it is not very intuitive. But that will be the reason for another article.
  • If your center has Moodle, you can connect Moodle and Google app fairly easily, and students will only have one user to access both sites. When you log into Moodle, you’ll be redirected to Google ID. Therefore less users and passwords to remember from memory. This will also be the subject of another article later on.
  • As we can be asking for a problem-free increase in users (at least at the moment Google doesn’t put inconveniences), when the students leave the school we can keep the mail to them. So they still have access to all the digital material they’ve created while they were at the institute and we have an easy way to connect with them.
  • Students have a lot of services (Google+, Google Drive, Gmail, Sites…) but always under the supervision of the faculty, who can at any time change the password of an account and log in if a student misuses it.

Therefore, all the centers that have not yet ordered Google apps for Applications, whether they are centers with or without 1×1 digital projects, have paper or digital books, think about asking for it, unless Google starts charging.