The Google Drive iPad app is not yet all that we might want it to be, but it is definitely moving in the right direction. A recent update included the ability to create and edit spreadsheets, but it also added something equally useful – the ability to upload files from other apps to Google Drive via the “Open in” function. This creates some useful workflow options for teachers who want to assign, receive and grade student work on the iPad.
Here’s how it could work.
1. Using the Drive app, the student creates a folder for assignments and shares it with the teacher (some kind of default naming strategy would be good here: see The Paperless Classroom).
2. The teacher takes all the student folders that are shared with them, and puts them in one class folder (e.g. Math 1st hour) to help stay organized.
3. The student completes the assignment in Pages, Keynote or Numbers and goes to Share and Print > Open in Another App > PDF, and then choose the Google Drive app.
4. The Drive app opens and the student puts the completed assignment in the folder that they shared with the teacher in step 1.
5. When the assignment is due, the teacher uses the Drive app to find their class folder, and then the student folder to find the assignment they want to grade. They open the assignment, and then open it in Notability.
6. In Notability the teacher makes annotations and grades the assignment, then sends it back to Google Drive, and puts it in the student’s folder complete with annotations, comments and so forth.
7. The student accesses the shared folder to see their grade.
Easy, right? It’s really not as complex as it might sound. The teacher could even go one step further and have an Assignments folder in Google Drive that they share with their students. They could upload digital copies of the assignments to this folder, and make it read only (so students cannot add to or delete). Then they could just tell the students that the latest assignment was in the folder.
How could teacher quickly collect all the Google accounts of the students in their class? Make a Google form with “Name” and “Google Account email address”, and get students to fill it in on the first day of class. The results all go to a spreadsheet, so the teacher can copy and paste the email addresses into the folder permissions on Google, and/or create a contact group for that class.