As future ESL teachers we have to face it; the time of storage information solely on USB keys is over. Now it is the time of virtual storage known as either Goggle Drive or iCloud. These applications allow 5GB of free storage for their users. As soon-to-be teachers we should understand the underlying mechanism behind such technology and turn it to our advantage.
One of the most useful characteristic of Google Drive is the fact that students can work from any electronic device quickly accessing the information they required. Basically all you need to have is an Internet connection and an account in order to start storing or obtaining the documents or data posted by the teacher.
According to a specialist on the question, over 61 out of 100 of the top university utilize this device. The same specialist ensures that Google drive has many components that protects its files making sure that the information is safe and easily accesible for all users. Indeed, he proves that Google Drive saves the documents three times but also encourages user to keep a back up version on a USB key. He also refutes gossips that says that Google Drive will ask for users to pay eventually. Finally, he also shows how to turns off the advertisements.
Now that the possible questions and problems are out of the way, how could an ESL teacher make use of Google Drive effectively?
Well from the information I gathered so far, many bloggers say that Google Drive can promote collaborative learning. Teachers should remember that the main focus of the MELS program is for the students to acutally acquire this ability to work effectively in teams. Furthermore, because the students are actively involved in the process of being part of a web community, some specialists also claim that using Internet based storage system can promote more accurate self evaluation or assessment since when they do it there is not the peer presure of answering like the vast majority. Here again the MELS centers its attention to students being able to justly assessing whether they did enough for the task that was at hand.
One problem I realised when it comes to the use of Google Drive is that students that are in elementary school need a signed release from the parents since the account the need to create on Gmail requires user to be 13 years old or older. However after this has been resolved, Google Drive can help create documents or mindmaps that the students can work on collaboratively making it a useful tool even in elementary schools.
Although I have just rencently the potential of Google Drive, the huge potential this online free device has cannot be undermine. However, I will definitely need to research more into it so to understand really how it is regulated and how I could eventually include the tool in my lessons.
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