Organizing a digital binder

Supporting student organization with Google Drive

In your paperless classroom, Google Drive is your students' new binder.

This is great for a few reasons:

  • files are accessible from any device anywhere (not just on the desktop of the computer in the library lab...wait, which computer was it?)
  • no more forgetting to bring work home (or back to school the next day)
  • facilitates collaboration between students working on a task together (remember when we had to physically go to a friend's house, and then watch each other take turns adding parts to a group assignment?)
  • instantly search & find a file (hopefully not named Untitled Document)

But an unorganized Drive is the electronic equivalent of 100 crumpled papers at the bottom of a backpack. So take a little time to coach your students on how to effectively organize their Drive. Here are a few simple but critical steps to actively teach digital organization skills to students with executive functioning needs:

  1. Create folders for each subject
    • This is the equivalent of dividers in a physical binder
    • Create subfolders to organize files within each subject
    • Every file will end up in a folder- no homeless files
  2. Colour code each subject
    • Students will quickly learn to associate a subject with its colour
    • This is important for visual learners, especially students with autism and learning disabilities
    • You can differentiate between strands or units of a subject by colour-coding with different shades of that subject's colour
  3. Name files accurately
    • File name should be short yet tell you exactly what the file contains
    • Descriptive names will help you find files using Search bar in Drive
    • Good: Stages of Mitosis Labelled Diagram Bad: science sheet 4 mr. p