I work with a lot of teachers, principals and curriculum directors in a lot of schools. Almost all of them are using Google Apps (called G Suite now), and more and more are moving toward adopting an LMS to have a one stop shop for their digital classroom and materials. Many of those schools are moving forward with adopting the Enterprise (paid) version of Schoology, and in my opinion, it’s the best option currently out there!
The biggest question I get now when these schools are thinking about moving over to Schoology is, “does it work with Google Drive and can it share documents like Google Classroom?” And my answer is, “yes and no… yes it integrates with Google Drive, but no Schoology cannot do the copying and sharing permissions like Google Classroom can.” At least, I used to have to tell them no.
In May of 2016, Schoology approved an app called Drive Companion (developed by one of my fellow MTV16 Certified Innovators, Adriaan van der Bergh!) that will manage the copying and sharing of Google Docs from teacher to students, all within Schoology. It is the missing piece for seamless Google Drive and Schoology integration! Currently, Drive Companion can:
- Setup and create folders for each student in Google Drive, with a shortcut directly to each students’ documents in Schoology
- Setup and create a folder in Google Drive for each document/assignment copied to students via Drive Companion, with a shortcut directly to each students’ documents in Schoology
- Copy a template document to each individual student (one for each student)
- Give the entire class access to the same document
- Copy a single template document to each grading group set up for the class in Schoology (one for each group)
- Copy a document to individual students or individual grading groups to differentiate
- Link the document to an existing Schoology Assignment, so students can easily submit (converts document to PDF to submit as Schoology Assignment)
At the time this post was written, Districts do have to have the Enterprise version of Schoology (meaning the paid version, not the free version) to purchase Drive Companion. You purchase Drive Companion “credits,” where one credit is deducted each time a teacher installs Drive Companion with each section/course in Schoology. If your sections are linked in Schoology, you would need one Drive Companion credit for each section. The great thing is that you only pay for what you use, and if all the credits aren’t used at the end of the year, they roll over to the following school year.
For a quick overview of Drive Companion in Schoology, check out the video below.
Since this video was made, you can now use Schoology Grading Groups to distribute documents and distribute documents to individual students or grading groups- great for differentiation! I know Adriaan is very responsive to feature requests he receives in the Schoology Drive Companion User Group.
For a really quick look at how Drive Companion sets up folders inside of Google Drive, watch the video below.
In my opinion, Drive Companion is an absolute must for Schoology and G Suite (I’m still not used to saying that) users!
Have you used Drive Companion? What do you think?
Tech To You Later!