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Teacher Integration with Google Drive

Teacher Integration with Google Drive

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

 

  Idea will be open for vote May 5th, 2015 - August 5th, 2015  Learn more about voting...

 

As we are just beginning the process of working with Canvas, I was surprised that there isn't a seamless integration with Google Drive and Canvas. It would be awesome to have that capability! Because we are a GAFE school and teachers store created files in the cloud, downloading them locally creates a serious problem and extra steps that make uploading files into Canvas tedious and time consuming. Is there anyway this feature can be added?  Thanks!

 

  Comments from Instructure...

Canvas Release: Google Apps LTI

33 Comments
biray
Community Champion

Can you clarify this idea a bit further since there are a few places that Canvas integrates with Google? For example, there's the collaborations​ tool and the ability to embed Google Docs for dynamic Canvas content​ (also see How do I embed a dynamic Google document into the Rich Content Editor?​)

Are you referring to having Google Drive show up in the Content Selector in the Rich Content Editor?

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

Hi Deactivated user​

Can you help clarify so that we can consider this item for moving forward for voting- referring to  @biray ​ questions above.

Thank you.

dhinkel
Community Participant

I can't speak for Kate, but I was surprised while testing as an instructor that I wasn't able to directly add assignment materials from my Google Drive. I am in IT, but do as much testing as I can with a teacher/instructor in mind as we are new to Canvas and haven't started training our staff yet. I know this will be a question that I will be asked repeatedly as the staff that are early adopters are using Google Drive to some extent.

kschatz
Community Member

I did look at the link you attached (thank you!) and think that we can get to our Google Docs that way, but what I was questioning was importing files into Canvas that we can then use as our resources when adding material to the modules. I have not had any formal training yet so I felt like I might be totally lost, but when I was trying to import content to test some things, I hit a dead end when trying to access my google docs (where we now store most everything as our local storage is near capacity). When I sent a question into Canvas, I was told: "In regards to uploading your content from Google Docs unfortunately the only way to upload them into a course would be to download them into the computer from Google Drive then upload them to Canvas. Canvas and Google Docs at this time cannot automatically share files..."  So, that is from where my question originated. I would love to be able to train my teachers in 2 weeks that they can select to "import" files and have their Google Drive as a source from which to pull.  Hope this helps!  Thanks! 

kschatz
Community Member

Please see my above reply=)  Thanks!

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

Thank you Deactivated user​

That helps a lot, and it fits with what I was pretty sure you were looking for.

When building courses, I too felt like it would be nice to see all of my Google Drive Files when I was adding content - similar to the way students see their Google Drive files when they submit an assignment.

corey_jeffers
Community Participant

This is one that is a must for K-12 with so many schools who have gone GAFE and using Chromebooks. I'm awaiting this one anxiously.

david_gundlach
Community Member

This is a critical application for K-12 schools.  The vast majority are using GAFE and using Chromebooks.  Please test with chromebooks as those are the #1 device used by students in schools.

lexi_samorano
Community Participant

My teachers were just asking me about this. This is a must since my district has Chromebooks and is also a GAFE district. It is hard to convince teachers to move away from Google Classroom.

corey_jeffers
Community Participant

 @lexi_samorano  Agreed! It works the speedgrader assessment piece is probably the best way to sell them, but I really wish the distribution end were a little better. I'm not even expecting it to send copies to students like Google Classroom or Doctopus. I just want to be able to access a Google Drive interface from within the Rich Content Editor. Hopefully soon!

sydni_neves
Community Member

This is a must in our GAFE district because we strive to make technology truly integrated so processes become simpler rather than more cumbersome.

kristi_levy
Community Member

The true integration of Google Apps and Google Docs, in particular, is crucial to your work with GAFE districts.

darms
Community Member

I will follow up with the hundreds/thousands of Canvas users who find it very hard to believe such a basic feature isn't available in an otherwise polished platform. While there are certainly work arounds (e.g. embed Google Doc, Slide Show, etc. using HTML), generating a sharing link, etc., all seem unreasonable and completely unnecessary. What about all of the other types of files and media teachers store in their Google Drive, such as PDF's, images, and videos? What is even more strange is that it's almost as if Canvas is deliberately not making the Google Drive file directory option available. For example, they've made Dropbox and Box available as Apps, that provide similar functionality to what everyone on the forums is wanting through Google Drive. It's very simple: When teachers are creating content and go to 'My Files', they want to be able to access their Google Drive file directory/folder set. Again, this is an EXTREMELY common feature in almost every other web-based user interface. Other Learning Management Systems have this options available - the Schoology integration is seamless: https://goo.gl/Oav5M1. Regardless of the motives behind not adding this functionality, Canvas management/developers need to realize the overwhelming majority of K-12 districts have either implemented Google Drive or are in the process of implementing Google Drive.... they need to be able to quickly access their files from within the Canvas UI, and not resort to using work-arounds.

jward
Instructure
Instructure

First, I think having this integration would be great; I voted this up. I see the Dropbox button in the Rich Content Editor and think about how nice it would be to have a Google button there, too (or some similar integration.)

I worked with a GAFE district who was also using for a few years and while this came up once in a while, nearly every teacher was happy with what they could accomplish with their Google tools and the Canvas RCE. The beauty of Canvas is that it is customizable to meet your needs. You can make anything a button to a link and embed things everywhere. The sharing permissions in a managed Google account are much more complex than Dropbox (share with others with the link, share inside or outside of the institution, embed, playback settings, etc.) Having two tabs open, one with Canvas and one with Google Drive, never felt like a workaround. I prep my document and share it how I like, then click over to Canvas and post it anywere (pages, quizzes, announcements, discussions, etc.)

Cool stuff you can embed on any page: documents, presentations, drawings, hangouts on air (mobile field trips anyone?)

Cool stuff you can embed/link to a module: Everyone collaborating in the same document together or students can download a template, make a copy, and use it for their own original work.

I agree that deeper integration with Google Drive would be nice. I also think Canvas + Google is a win because both are so easy to use.

corey_jeffers
Community Participant

Agreed,  @darms ​! I wonder if there is any way to use that new Google Classroom API to make something more possible. This would be an incredible combination for teachers and students!

kristi_levy
Community Member

1000 Likes!

dianepbh
Community Participant

​wholeheartedly agreed

dianepbh
Community Participant

​The lack of seamless integration goes against the basic philosophy of "simplicity" for all end users- which include the teachers. Hopefully this will be addressed withi the next few months.

gtognetti
Community Member

I'm also seeing an issue on the assignment turn in side of this Google integration (or lack of). Seems a bit convoluted from a student standpoint (having to add the URL to the submission link in Canvas), and then the teacher cannot see (apparently) the document directly in Canvas. They have to click a link which opens up the Google doc, so now they're off the page where they can assign points. Also looks like Canvas is putting up a 'fake' log in page to Google Apps that does... nothing. Finally, the message at top of page indicates that they have snapshotted the original Google doc so you can see a 'before' view of the doc - good if you want to see what was done for HW at start of class, for instance. But, the message is wrong. It is just taking you to the current Google Doc, from either of the links provided.

As others have noted, having to link or embed Google Drive items into assignments seems more complicated than need be. This is a big issue for us. We're a GAFE and Canvas school and this is problematic for sure. Teachers want ease of use and this is not. Add in the problem I noted above - 'weird' results in grade submission, and it adds up to a poor match and extra work for teachers.

corey_jeffers
Community Participant

​Right on  @gtognetti ​! This ability to turn in URL submissions and have them fully functional in the speedgrader was a major reason we purchased Canvas to use starting this fall. The function was taken away sometime in July during a production update. So far, it is the worst update I have seen from Canvas. I am really hoping they see what a tremendous problem this is for many teachers.