Google Drive and Google Docs

Objectives and Overview

Throughout the course of Maker Foundations, you may be asked, or you may wish, to keep track of certain information in the form of a document. This is likely going to be a Word document and the tool we will commonly use for this is Google Docs. Your DHFTC email address is actually just a Gmail address and with a Gmail account, you will have access to all of Google’s free services, including Google Docs and Google Drive.

In this lesson, we will become quickly acquainted with Google Docs and Google Drive and review the basics of how to use each of these tools.

Lesson Objectives:

  • Understand the basic functions of these tools
  • Become familiar with Google Drive
  • Create and save a document in Google Drive
  • Understand the different upload options in Google Drive

What is Google Drive?

Google Drive is an online document storage service. Storing your documents “in the cloud” means that your documents will be available on the Internet at any time, anywhere. If you have an Internet connection, you will be able to reach your Drive account.

Within Google Drive, you can create all types of documents using Google Docs, such as text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, or forms. After creating a document, you can then easily and quickly share the document with others. This is really going to come in handy when we are working together in groups or when you are working with an instructor to plan a project or get feedback. Google Drive makes is really easy to organize your documents, and that is going to be important as you are working through this program.

What Is Google Docs?

Google Docs is an online word processor that allows you to create and format text documents. Similar to Microsoft Word or Apple Pages, Google Docs can be used for writing and sharing documents. One of the coolest things about Google Docs is collaborative editing, which simply means that two (or more) people can edit the same document at the same time. This feature is great for working on teams or planning projects.

Google Docs is a part of Google Drive and every time you create a new document, it is automatically created in your Drive. You can organize documents in Drive with folders and everything is stored on the Internet so your Drive (and Docs) are accessible from any computer that is connected to the Internet!

Activity: Organizing Files in Google Drive and Creating Docs

Once you have watched the beginning of the video above, watch this short tutorial on how to organize your Google Drive:

These next steps are specific to how DHF organizes our Google Drive for youth programs. This has proven to be an effective method, so consider using this (or a variation of it) even if you’re outside of DHF.

  1. Go to
  2. Log in to Google using your email address and password.
  3. Locate your personal folder by clicking “Shared With Me” and opening the folder called 2020-T1 MW Maker Foundations or 2020-T1 TTh Maker Foundations depending on your cohort
  4. Add the folder labeled with your name to your drive by right-clicking the folder and clicking Add to My Drive.
  5. Navigate to your drive, click on the folder, and create a folder within it titled “1 – Orientation”.
  6. Repeat this process for each of Maker Foundations’ modules.
  7. Create a Google Doc within the Orientation folder entitled “ArtBot Maker’s Reflection”. You can create a Google Doc by clicking on the blue “New” and selecting “Google Doc”.

Why Should I Upload Files?

Uploading files to the drive is the best way to ensure that you’ll be able to access files that you need for projects or files that you’re continuing to work with. For example, while working through the Graphic Design module, you’ll want to make sure to upload your works in progress to Google Drive so that you can keep editing your projects. We’ll cover this more when we get to the Graphic Design module, but make sure you understand how to work with Google Drive before completing this lesson!

Logging Out

This is a really important step! Be sure to always log out of Google Drive/Gmail when you’re done with programs. This is also true for any public computer you log in to.

Otherwise, anyone can access your email and documents if you are left signed in. They wouldn’t even need to know your username and password since you’re already logged in.

Additional Resources