Google Drive and Google Docs

by Tom Rudolph
copyright 2013

This is an excerpt from the course "Teaching Music in The Cloud"
offered by Vandercook College of Music

Think of Google Drive as a place to store and create files and folders that you can access from any computer, tablet or smartphone that is connected to the internet. Your files are safely stored in Google Drive in the Cloud.

Google Account

You sign up for a free Google account using any email address. It does not have to be a Gmail address. To sign up go to:

Once you have a Google account, you can then start to use Google Drive and Google Docs.

  1. Sign in to your Google account

  2. Go to Google Drive:

  3. Install Google Drive on your computer or mobile device.

Now you have 5 gigabytes of free space to store your files. When your Google Drive grows, you get another 25 GB of space or more starting at $2.49 per month You can also access Google Drive from your smartphone or tablet.

 TIP: You can also access your Google Documents off line for times when you are not connected to the internet. For the steps, go to

Sharing Documents

With cloud apps such as DropBox and Google Drive, you don’t have to email attachments to your colleagues and students. You can share your files, folders and presentations with anyone by sharing a web link.

You can use Google Drive to store all file types, including documents, presentations, music, photos, and videos. You can open many file types right in your browser, including PDFs, Microsoft Office files, high-definition video, and many image file types, even if you don't have the corresponding program installed on your computer.

Google Drive automatically keeps everything up to date, so you can make edits and access the latest version from anywhere, regardless of where you are.

Google Drive provides many ways to view, find, and sort your files. It includes powerful search options—even the ability to search for text in pictures—to help you quickly find what you're looking for.

For more information consult:


Importing Files

With Google Docs, you can import and upload just about any file format to your Google Drive. This can be a handy way to store your presentation and other files so you can access them from and device connected to the internet.

TIP: You can also access Google Drive from your Tablet and SmartPhone. Just download the Google Drive app and then access all of your documents from the device. Google Drive has apps for most tablets and smartphones.

Sharing Files

Once a file is uploaded to your Google Drive you can share it with others. For example, if you create a back to school night presentation you can then email the link to your presentation to the parents who could not attend. Or you could copy the link to your school website.

TIP: You can have multiple Google Drive accounts open at one time using Google Chrome. Check out the steps at: 


Video 1.2 Uploading with GoogleDocs

(Click the icon in the lower left of the window to make it full screen)

Video 1.3 Sharing Files with Google Drive

(Click the icon in the lower left of the window to make it full screen)

Google Docs: Creating Surveys and Forms


Another creative option for managing the submission of documents is to use Google Forms to collect the needed information. The form does not take the place of sharing the documents, but instead helps you as a teacher to manage the shared assignments. Here’s how it works:


Teacher makes a form:


Students submit their assignment information:


Teacher uses form to manage submitted assignments:


Music Template

You can use pre-made templates that Google makes available. To search for templates go to:

There is an excellent Music Form available that you can use and modify for your personal needs.


Video 5.5 Creating and Sharing Forms with Google Docs