Some Thoughts on Google Docs vs. One Drive

To grow is to change and to have grown much is to have changed much.  

This past year, my teaching partner, Chantelle Davies, and I began to explore the use of Google Drive,  The reason for this was the purchase of Chromebooks by our school.  When we first learned that Chromebooks did not have hard drives to save documents, we were uncertain how the students would use this tool.  Would they all need flash drives?  Would we use one flash drive and share?  Then we discovered Google Drive.  This tool was new to both of us, so to learn more about it we decided to spend a day at an in-service and learn the basics.  After exploring and learning about Google Drive, we would need to share all our new found knowledge with the students.  As the year came to an end we learned that our school board is introducing Office 365 which includes One Drive.  The question we are now faced with is, do we change to One Drive or continue using Google Drive? 

Overall, Google Drive and One Drive offer similar tools for students to use in class.  Both allow for collaboration: meaning students can work on a single document at various locations at the same time.  Both systems also let the users share work by inviting people or making it open to anyone with a link.  Another feather offered by each system is the auto save.  This is a great feature as many students often forget to save and have to restart their work.   Finally, Google Drive and One Drive offer similar tools for students to work with. 

Click for photo source.

Click for photo source.
Power Point
Spread Sheet
Excel Survey
 For more information about Google Drive and One Drive follow the links:

So the question remains, do we change systems or not?  When we introduced Google Drive to the students, there was a learning curve involved.  It was a new format and layout that many of the students were not familiar with.  We also had to teach the children how to share and submit documents.  When I explored One Drive, the first thing I discovered was the familiarity of the format.  Our students, may be more comfortable using One Drive because it looks and acts like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, which is already on our school computers.  When comparing the tow formats, I find the Google DRive apps have fewer options that One Drive.  This is not necessarily a bad feature as fewer features make may make it easier for students to navigate through the tools.  One drive seems to have a few more features and can be lined to Microsoft Office, giving the user full use of all features offered in programs such as Word and PowerPoint. In the end, the decision of which format to use in the classroom will come down to our comfort level and what is best for student learning and collaborations.  

On a final note, one feature that does stand out is OneNote.  This is a tool that allows the user to easily gather, organize and share information.  The tool makes it easy to add a quick not or photo,  I could see using this tool to gather student work and to make quick observational notes about student work.  OneNote gives the user the ability to create a book which is then divided into sections and then pages.  I explored the tool a quickly created a page with images and and sample comments.  To see the sample click the link: Module 1  and then click the tab on the left labelled Module 1.  I plan to further explore this tool and consider how to use it to for assessment.  

This post is only a brief overview of Google Drive and One Drive.  Chantelle and I were wondering what features you like about Google Drive or One Driven when using them in the classroom?  Do you have a preference?

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I think many people at our district #HWDSB and beyond would appreciate your thoughts here. You give a concise description about both these tools allowing the users to see the benefits and drawbacks of each. I have become a strong advocate for OneNote and plan to use this resource in my program next year. Thanks for sharing.