The Problem we face currently...
Obviously, every school/district is going to be different on data management and sharing. For the school I am currently in, we primarily use Google Drive for document creation and cloud storage. This is GREAT because we utilize all of the incredible tools and advantages of G-Suite for Education. However, when a teacher decides that their time is ending at our school, so begins the chaos. The teacher would have to share documents and change ownership of each document to the person that is coming into the position following their departure.
Google Team Drive for the Win!
Google Team Drive is a second drive connected to user accounts that belongs to the organisation, not the individual. Accessible by all who are given permission, when documents, folders and files are moved into the Team Drive, it no longer belongs to the owner, but rather to the team drive and the organization.
What this means for us is that we don't require teachers leaving to go through the tedious work of transferring ownership of each document to the next individual that will be taking their spot.
What this also means is that now the curriculum for departments and grade level teams are in an equal playing field. If you have one person on the team who is the "builder", they can create and automatically give access to the team members without going through the process.
Team Drive Offers Easier File Transfer
So far, what we are learning is good... and bad, but that is a part of learning, sometimes you have to skin your knees before you can complete the course! Unfortunately, the ability to transfer entire folders from a personal Google Drive into a Team Drive doesn't exist...yet. But there is hope! AND you have the ability to highlight EVERYTHING inside a folder and move it all at once.
What we are also learning is that our school's mentality on curriculum development and storage is changing. People are hesitant initially to share their documents/ideas in a "team drive" because they are afraid of sharing... so let me point you to my next section.
Team Drive Organizes the Sharing Mess
I find it utterly confusing to sit with teachers who are hesitant, even "hell bent" on not sharing resources, information, and ideas.
But it happens.
The reality is that sharing is happening whether we like it or not and Team Drive allows for a more seamless, organised sharing. No longer will you "lose a file" in your shared folder. No longer will you worry about making sure you have added everyone onto the document. Creating and storing documents in the team drive is an automatic access for the teams. No formal sharing needed.
That being said, you can still share documents with others outside your team.
If you have a worksheet that you want students to copy/fill out using Google Classroom, you can still share that doc from your Team Drive. Everything works the same, except the original home of the document and the owner. So be at ease good people you are just shifting the foundation of the document from your drive to the team.
Team Drive Opens Opportunities for Change
What we are experiencing here is growing pains and change in the right direction. Team Drive is opening doors to challenge teachers on their ideals of change. Team Drive is providing opportunities for faculty who are leaving to share their resources with those that are coming in their place. It is also causing very valuable conversations about resource storage and relevance. There is a significant amount of files and folders that are being archived or deleted because they have not been in use for so many years.
Team Drive is going to be a great fit for this school. It will take time, but in the end (with some additional abilities from GSuite) it will be an efficient and effective organizational system of sharing information.
Taylor currently serves as a Coordinator of Innovative Learning for a mid-sized school district in Texas. He is a speaker, writer, and coach for all who are in conflict with the status quo.