Google Drive Basics
Time 1.6 hrs

Difficulty Beginner
Prerequisites Tools For Learning
Departments Human Technologies
Authors Ross Parker
Groupings Individual
Minimum Year Group None


Google Drive is a vital part of G Suite, facilitating both the creation and editing of collaborative documents and the storage/sharing of files. This unit will offer a brief introduction to getting start with Google Drive.


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5 mins
What Is Google Drive
  • Google Drive is G Suite's file system.
  • Drive has two main functions:
    • Managing and accessing files and folders, both those owned by you, and those shared with you.
    • Creating, storing and managing Google Docs.
      • This can be done through the Docs interface too...but Drive is better.
  • As a collaborative storage solution, Google Drive offers a very powerful alternative to traditional systems such as FTP or local file servers.
5 mins
Accessing Google Drive
Getting Started
  • Once logged into your Google Account use the app grid icon in the top right of the screen to view all apps, and then select Drive:

  • What you should now see is the Google Drive landing page:

10 mins
Start Organised
  • Unless you have used Drive already, you should find that My Drive (the default landing area is empty):

  • In order to get started on an organised footing, let's start by creating a new folder to store the files we are going to create.
    • Click on the blue New button, and select Folder.
    • Call your new folder Free Learning.
    • Press the Create button.
    • When your new folder has been created, double click it to open it.

15 mins
Creating Documents
Different Types For Different Things
  • Now that you are in your new folder, click on the New button and select Google Doc from the drop down menu:

  • This new word processing document will be used to store and share your evidence for this unit.
  • The new document will open in a new tab.
  • Click on the name of the document ("Untitled" by default) and change it to the name of this unit, before pressing the Enter key to save your changes.

  • As well as creating Docs for text, you can create:
    • Sheets - for storing and manipulating data in grids
    • Slides - for creating presentation slide decks
    • Forms - for collecting structured data into a spreadsheet
    • Drawings - for creating simple illustrations and diagrams
  • Depending on additional apps you have installed, you can also create a wide range of other documents and projects.
15 mins
Editing Documents
Very Much The Basics
  • Use your new document to being reflecting on this unit.
  • Using the image below (click for a larger version), and the various editing options highlighted:
    • Use the Title style to make your document title stand out.
    • Use italics to emphasise your name as author.
    • Use bullet points to start a list of things you have learned in this unit:

15 mins
Sharing Documents
Collaboration vs. Privacy
  • As the owner of your new document, you can share it with specified Google Accounts users, offering them the following options:
    • View
    • Comment
    • Edit
  • In addition, you can also make your document available to those without an account, but there are privacy and security implications that should be considered before doing this.
  • To investigate different ways to share, click on the blue Share button in the top right of the Google Docs screen:

  • Use your new found powers to give your mentor for this unit commenting rights to your document.
10 mins
Organising Shared Documents
My Drive
  • As you start using Google Drive, you will find other people begin to share documents and folders with you.
  • You will generally receive email notifications for these shared items, but you can also find them in the Shared With Me section of Drive:

  • You can drag any of these shared documents or folders into My Drive, making them easier to find, and allowing you to integrate them into your own folder structure, making them easier to find.
Organising Your Files
My Drive
  • In Free Learning, you've created a number of different files, including documents and videos.
  • Open the Free Learning folder you created in this unit.
  • Take a moment to add any other Free Learning work into this folder, to keep things organised.
  • Add a screenshot to your Google Doc, showing your files in this folder:

  • If this feels good, then try and create folders for all of your different school subjects.
20 mins
Finishing Up
  • In undertaking this unit you should have created a folder called Free Learning, which should contain a document called Google Drive Basics.
  • This document should have a title, your name and a list of things you learned in this unit.
  • Your document should also contain a screenshot of your Free Learning files in your folder.
  • Copy the URL to this document, and submit it as evidence of your learning in this unit:

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