As the server wheel of death spins endlessly on the computer screen, SchoolTown struggling to load, the student’s heart rate begins to increase at the thought, “I’ll never get my homework finished at this rate!” However, SchoolTown is no longer a troubling and tortuous time waster now that the school district has switched to the faster and more modern Google Drive.
“Students came through the computer lab getting about a fifteen minute overview on what is Google Drive and how they can use it and how teachers are using it this year and we chose to use Google drive for many reasons, one being that you can access Google Drive anytime, anywhere, on any device,” instructional technology coordinator Donna Lusby said. “Students then will always have whatever they need at their fingertips. The other beauty of Google Drive is every student has a folder in their Google Drive of their classes and teachers now can put stuff in the folders and then students can get whatever they need out of the folders in Google Drive.”
Google Drive is accessed through a Google account and every student is supplied an email and password. The Drive can be accessed anywhere and even includes Google Documents, which is like a Word document, but can be shared with students’ peers and their supervisors without the fear of losing something due to a computer problem.
“I think Google documents are really cool because they save automatically,” freshman Lindsay Haden said.
However, for some that used SchoolTown constantly, the change to Google is a little strange.
“It’s a different process and a new system always takes a little bit of getting used to,” AP world history teacher Kevin Finn said. “I haven’t used Google Drive as much, I haven’t gotten everything I need to on there, but when SchoolTown worked it was good, it just didn’t work a lot of the time. I’m hoping that Google works all the time and then it will be much better than SchoolTown.”
SchoolTown presented students with many obstacles in the process of using the site, including slow loading, site crashes, and documents that simply wouldn’t download.
“We just found that Google Drive was a little bit easier to use [with] the fact that students could use it on any device anywhere,” Lusby said. “Even though SchoolTown was web based Google provides more of a collaborative piece for the students and the teachers.”
The school hopes the move to Google Drive further supports students’ academic studies and provides them with efficient tools to succeed.
“I think once everybody gets into the groove [it will be very efficient] and it’s a mind shift,” library aide Sandi Petty said. “I think it’s a great program but it is a mind shift because we are so used to flash drives and printing stuff out on that, but I like it. I’m excited for it.”