If you’ve spent any time cruising ’round this blog, you’d know that I’m all about making my teaching life as easy as possible and saving time wherever possible so that I can write more books and do more blogging.
That’s not to say that I don’t spend a ridiculous amount of time doing prep: I do and if I’ve never taught a class before, I’ll put in hours and hours and hours getting ready for it. As everybody probably should.
But, I do like to save time whenever I can and using Google Drive is one way that I do it.
The moral of this whole story is that you really shouldn’t spend your time doing things you don’t really have to. Keep reading to learn more!
Love the Student Access to all your Teaching Resources
You know some teachers that are always getting emails, phone calls and texts from their students about A, B, or C about this or that? I try to avoid this if at all possible by using the power of the Internet. It’s a massive time-saver.
Here’s what I do.
In order to make my life easy and happy, I use Google Drive to make all my PowerPoints, worksheets, syllabus, etc.
Then, I put them all into a folder which I make public and share so that the students can have access to all the class materials outside of class. I have the students follow me on Twitter, so it’s really easy to share the specific link to each individual thing as well as the big folder.
Of course, don’t put the tests in there! I’ll organize it into folders kind of like this:
Smart Choice 1 Shared
Smart Choice 1 Private
The students will get access to anything that I put into that shared folder.
What about the School Intranet?
Okay, now I know that most schools have their own system of some kind for putting lectures or whatever up online. I’m never used this beyond the basics like putting my syllabus and contact information online.
First of all, it’s generally all in Korean and I’m not fluent in it so it takes way more time than it should. Secondly, it usually requires uploading each individual thing, whereas for Google Drive, I can just move something into the shared folder.
Finally, I’m using Google Drive to write all my lesson plans and make my PPTs, so why not just use the same system for all things? Makes sense to me.
The most useful email you’ll get each week:
Other Benefits To Using Google Drive for Teaching ESL
1. Students don’t have to print off stuff. Neither do you! Simply put it up as a PowerPoint and give students the link. I do this for…everything and tell my students that I’m a tree-hugger. It’s not totally untrue, but my real motivation is that I hate fighting the old-school photocopier that never works at my university.
2. Everything is in one place and easy to print off in minutes. At my university, we have to make these portfolios for each class for government regulations or some such thing. Other teachers have been known to take days doing this. Me? Maybe 30 minutes per class for a worst-case scenario. It’s often more like 10-15. I just sit down at the printer, go to the class folder and power-through it.
3. If a student misses class, they can catch up really easily. In fact, I have to deal with precisely no requests related to making sure a student gets a handout or PPT for one reason or another (missed class/lost it, etc.)
4. It’s extremely easy to revamp my materials a wee bit if I have to teach the class or book again and it can really save a lot of time on prep.
5. Epic computer fail? No problem! Google Drive is web-based.
6. Epic thumb drive fail? No problem! Google Drive is web-based
7. Epic Internet fail? No problem! I have the Google Drive app on my phone and my students can just go to Twitter, get the link to that week’s PPT and follow along on their phones.
Seriously, my teacher-readers.
Make your life easy.
Trust me–you won’t regret switching to something like Google Drive for, well, basically everything.
How to Use Google Drive to Collaborate with English Learners
Live in South Korea and need even more tips for making your life awesome?
Okay, so now that you’ve got this awesome tip to save yourself a ton of time with lesson planning, student communication and a ton of other stuff by using Google Drive, you’ll probably want to make your life as amazing as possible too, right?
Then you’ll need to check out this book on Amazon. It’s available in both digital and print formats, and you can easily read it on any device just by downloading the free Kindle reading app.
Have your Say about using Google Drive in the Classroom!
What do you think about using Google Drive for teaching English? Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.
Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other teachers, like yourself save a ton of time when planning their English classes.