Using Google Drive
Category: Google Apps
All Concordia University faculty and staff have a drive on Google, which is a repository to store files. To login to your drive, go to http://drive.google.com/ and login to your Concordia University of Edmonton Google account.
Google Drive can store a multitude of different file types. In addition to standard Windows and Office files, it also includes support for web-based documents, spreadsheets, and presentations (formerly known as Google Docs).
In addition to the web interface linked above, Google also provides Google Drive as a Windows application. This enables you (and others) to have a local copy of the files in your Drive folder which will automatically stay synchronized with the master copy online. When changes are made to any file or folder, the change is replicated to all other copies. This application has been pre-installed on all Concordia University of Edmonton systems.
Google provides the option of sharing documents and folders within Google Drive with others inside and outside of Concordia University of Edmonton. This can allow multiple people to collaborate on and share documents. In order to provide a robust and manageable method of using these services, IT Services has provided some recommendations around this functionality. Before detailing the recommendations, here are some preliminary facts around Google Drive.
- Google Drive supports creating and sharing of individual files (documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more) or the creating and sharing of entire folders which can contain many files.
- There are two primary levels of access available when sharing folders and files with others: “View” and “Edit”.
- Files and folders also have owners. That ownership is held by individual accounts, not groups. Ownership can be given to another individual (by the current owner), but it cannot be taken (from the current owner) even if the two people have equivalent levels of access in every other respect. For example, Joe creates a Google Drive folder and gives Betty full access to it. Because he created it, Joe is the initial owner. If it is decided that it would be best if Betty was the owner of that folder, Joe can give Betty ownership, but she cannot claim ownership without Joe (the current owner) providing it.
- When a former staff/faculty member’s account is deactivated, their files continue to be available. However, if that account is deleted, the files and folders they own are also deleted.
IT Services recommendations around using Google Drive:
- Organize your data into folders and share those folders (instead of individual files). This will simplify the sharing configuration (you only have to share one item). When a new file is added, it inherits the sharing of the parent folder.
- Sharing folders with ‘groups’ of users rather than individuals is possible, if there is a mailing list already created for that group of users. If you chose to share with a group, you must to choose to “Notify people via email” otherwise they will not see the new file/folder they have access to.
- When a staff/faculty member is leaving, it is recommended that file and folder ownership is transferred to another individual before departure.
- There may still be times when it is preferrable to use regular Concordia University of Edmonton file shares. Ensure that if you move files to Google Drive, it is first discussed with other stakeholders, such as other staff or faculty who edit or use those files.
You can always contact IT Services for further information about accessing your drive and related issues.
Additionally, here is a helpful resource from Google: