I am an old user of dropbox. I used it a lot while I studied in advertisement and had documents to show or send to my clients. Two weeks ago, I was introduce to the google drive tools including google docs. I tested it for two weeks. I even changed my official hotmail adress for my new gmail adress. Google is really conquering the world of technologies.
I thought about it for a while and I found a few ways to integrate those tools in teaching English as a second language (ESL). The most common way to use it is to create a classroom google drive where all the students can save their assignments. Moreover, it is possible for the teacher to read them and leave comments in the google doc itself. Then the students can correct their assignments. Everything was done in the same document without using any paper! Another good point in favor of the google drive is that students can share their work with others.
Some students may not like other students peeping on their work. If it is the case and your students are over 13 years old, they can use their own google account. This they can only share their assignments with you.
There are more ways to use it. This website has a lot to offer. I think the best activity that is offered on this website would be the one where students work together on the same google doc. They can write a story by taking turns. The best way to use the document simultaneously would be to use it for a brainstorrm. Every idea is good in a brainstorm. Students can make lists of subjectss at the same time without talking and just pitching ideas. Moreover, you can work on an assignment at school, save it and finish it at home without even using a flashdisk.
If you want to use other google tools, Here‘s a good project.You can ask your students to point places on a google map where they would like to travel or where they’ve been and make a presentation about it. Making them plan a vacation or tell about an old vacation.
Let’s also talk about google translator. It’s not that accurate but if your students don’t feel like looking a word up in the dictionnary, they sure can look it up in only one click.
There are a lot of good reasons to use google drive and other google tools. I did use them for the last couple of weeks and I didn’t find anything really bad about it.