Day Five



How Leaders use Google Drive for Collaboration

Explore and apply a variety of digital
learning tools to enhance your
professional learning and
digital leadership skills!

1 Cor 12:4-6
“There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
and there are varieties of activities, but it is the
same God who activates all of them in everyone.

Learning focus

To explore how school leaders can use virtual spaces like Google Drive to create a collaborative culture for inquiry, learning and sharing with others inside and outside the school community

Introducing the challenge

Over the past few challenges you have learned how to use social media tools like Twitter and Twitter Moments to curate and share your professional learning with others.  In the next two challenges we look at how school leaders use virtual or online spaces like Google Drive to collaborate, co-learn, and curate information and much more. We begin by introducing Google Drive as a collaborative online space and invite you to connect and explore its main features including some of the apps that are part of the G Suite. In the next challenge, we focus our attention on a specific app called “Google Forms,” and explore how it can be used for school and leadership applications. 

Whether you are new or experienced in the use of Google Drive or other online spaces, we encourage you to look at virtual learning spaces through the lens of a school leader.    Think about how virtual learning is transforming the way we learn and collaborate as  educators and school leaders. How can virtual learning spaces enhance your role as a connected leader and model the kind of teaching and learning you want to see in your classroom and school community? Consider how you might apply these tools as part of PQP collaborative sharing and leadership inquiries.    

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 9.56.30 AMWhile many boards have introduced different virtual learning spaces in their school communities, GSuite is recognized globally as a versatile online platform that can be used as a  personal, professional or educational learning space. Check out the “Resource Links” menu in the the connect2innovate website and select the link called “Google Drive and Suite.” This section includes suggested links, videos and information about Google Drive and sample leadership applications for using various apps such as such as docs, sheets, slides, forms, and hangouts as part of Google’s Gsuite. 

PQP Curriculum Connections
● Creating a mindset of shared leadership
● Developing a shared responsibility and vision

The Ontario Catholic Leadership Framework
● Developing Organization to Support Desired Practices
● Improving the Instructional Practice

ISTE Standards for Administrators
● Digital Age Learning Culture
● Excellence in Professional Practice

Doing the challenge

“Digital leadership is about working smarter, not harder.
Google tools enhance the work you’re already doing as a school leader.”
– Eric Sheninger

To start this challenge, look and reflect (#PQP10) on some of the suggested articles and video below.  Share some questions, ideas and resources for using Google as a virtual learning platform. 

7 ways to become a digital leader with Google Apps – Eric Sheninger
Using Google as a Virtual Space to Foster Collaborative  Inquiry – Maureen Asselin
Teachers and Principals Talk about Google Docs – Youtube Video 

If you are new to Google Drive and Google Apps, we invite you to begin exploring some of possibilities of using a virtual space like Google Drive to enhance your own professional learning and collaboration as a school leader. Setting up a google account will provide you with your own personal google drive (15GB of free online space) and access to google apps.

chromeTo begin, we recommend that you check first to see that you have access to  Google’s Chrome Browser as it provides a more seamless way to access Google online tools and working environment.  If not, use this link to guide the installation of the Chrome Browser for your device.

Open your Chrome Browser and follow the instructions on this link to set  up your google account. Google gives you the option of setting up  your account using your current email address or by setting up a new gmail account. Once you have set up your account, you can access your free Google Drive and Google Apps by selecting the dotted icon on the top right corner off the Chrome browser. 


View this video first as a starting point to become familiar with the main features of your Google Docs Drive. Progress at a pace that is comfortable for you and explore one of the Google Apps in your Google Drive: Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc. How might you use this app to collaborate and co-learn with others in your current practice?

If you are familiar with Google Drive and Google apps, extend your learning with one of the suggestions below: 

  • Investigate a google app of interest to you to learn how it may enhance your professional practice as a school leader 
  • View this video to learn how to use Twitter Curator into your Google Docs document. Go to this link to download this feature (it will be located in you Add-On Menu in Google Docs)
  • View this video to learn how to use Screencastify and Google Slides for digital storytelling or for doing an individual or collaborative presentations
  • Explore the Teacher Tech Series on Google and Other Digital Tools 

Use your class reflection sheets to share your learning and reflections. Here are some suggested questions to guide your thinking: How are virtual spaces like Google Drive impacting your practice and learning as a school leader? What do you see as your next steps for using virtual spaces as a school leader? 

Sample Reflections from PQP Candidates 

Bright Ideas

“I watched the video on how school communities are using google tools to collaborate and co-learn together as well as, I explored “Kath Schrock’s Guide to Everything” about using google tools. I found these tools very useful and effective especially in creating those shared-relationships in learning within the local and global level. For example, using google docs within the classroom allows students to work on projects/assignments and have students learn from each other. Moreover, teachers can check student work and provide feedback to students on one document and assess the growth of the students. Moreover, students are able to use google docs and access their work at any time of the day and at any place where they can have access to the web.  Furthermore, with colleagues, using google docs would be a great way to develop lesson plans or other valuable sources that will generate effective teaching practice.  As an administrator, these google apps are a great way to have information accessible to all in the community and develop those shared-relationships with staff, students and parents within the community.  I will continue to use google apps in my professional learning.” – C. Femia, 2016

Beyond the challenge…



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