Sharing for Teachers: When to use Google or SharingTree?

The expectations placed on teachers are increasing quickly, and I’m not sure any of us can meet them by ourselves. Eddie and I built SharingTree.net to help teachers share, collaborate, and inspire each other. Not just the teachers you see in video meetings but also teachers from around the WORLD. In this article, we show ways to share your curriculum using Google and SharingTree and the benefits of each service.

Sharing options provided by Google and SharingTree

1. Provides a URL

This is the most basic function for both services, and they both offer similar capabilities.  

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Google Drive

To share any file or folder in your Google Drive you can follow this three-step process.

Step 1 – Right click and select ‘Share’ on file or folder

Step 2.  Select your sharing options. For public sharing choose ‘Anyone with the link’ and ‘Viewer’.

Step 3.  Copy the link and share.

SharingTree

Sharing a file on Sharingtree requires the following:

  1. Go to SharingTree.net, select ‘Add a leaf’, then select the file to share in your Google Drive.  You must be signed in share.
  2. Add tags, a description and choose copyright type
  3. Copy the link for for your Leaf and share anywhere.  We call shared content Leaves.

SharingTree allows you to share ANY file in your Google Drive through our website, SharingTree.net.  Just click the  ‘Add a leaf’ button shown below.  

Using ‘Add a leaf’  to share files on SharingTree

To use ‘Add a leaf’ you must be signed in, find/select the file in your Google Drive, complete the tagging process, and then copy the URL.   See the short video below on this process.  

The last step once a leaf is published it to copy the link (from URL or share icon) and use your link as normal on FB, Twitter, email, etc.

Two ways to copy link for shared content (Leaf or Group)

2-6. These steps take some extra time for publishers but it protects your files and allows users to easily find them.  

Here our service starts to show its benefits over Google Drive. It will take about 1 minute to share your content on SharingTree since you are adding tags and a description.

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Google Drive

Google does not provide these options, with the exception that Google does generate preview images for Slides and Drawing files.

SharingTree

The major benefits for items 2-6 are the following:

1. No more File -> Make a copy for users accessing your shared file or trying to find copied files in your Google Drive. All shared files are added to your Google Drive when you ‘Open’ a Leaf or Group. For a Group we transfer all the files to a folder in your Google Drive so you can easily find and edit them.

2. Users can search the WEB or SharingTree.net to find your content.  If you have ever tried to search for ‘Google Docs’ you know it is an uphill battle.  The option to share a Google file with ‘Anyone with the link’ provides limited ways for people to find your file on the web.  

3. SharingTree provides a permanent backup of all your Open/Purchased/Published files. SharingTree protects your files by making a separate copy and never sharing them from your Google drive.  

If you have ever clicked an older link and seen Google’s “Page not found” message, it just means the file is not shared anymore.  This error can happen for many reasons, but as teachers, we should not consider our district Gmail accounts as permanent.  If you ever switch jobs, then all of your files may not switch with you unless you share them using SharingTree!

Google “Page not found” error message

You can also go SharingTree.net Account section (☰) and Get/Open any of the content you have opened, purchased, or published.  I find it faster to go to SharingTree to locate my final version of shared files than my personal Google Drive. Publishers can also revise their shared content to an updated version at any time.

Go to Account to Opened/Purchased or Published leaves and groups

Once you are in Account -> Leaves -> Purchased you can see all leaves you have opened or purchased and ‘View‘ or ‘Get the leaf‘ again.

7-8. And here is where SharingTree really differentiates itself from Google or any other lesson sharing site.  

Once you share your original content in a format that can be remixed, other users can COLLABORATE on that content and share their modified version on SharingTree.net. We have two FAQ articles titled ‘What is a Collab?’ and ‘Publishing Content: Copyrighted, Collaborative or Creative Commons?’ that discuss collabs. I’ll give a quick overview below.pasted image 0 5

Google Drive

Nope.

SharingTree

These services are only provided by SharingTree.net for FREE content with a ‘remix’ license type. Remix licenses include SharingTree’s ‘Collaborative’ license (like a CC-BY-NC-SA but with redistribution through SharingTree.net only) and Creative Commons licenses without ND (no derivatives).  

Examples of a ‘Collab’ could be a user translating the original file to a different language, adapting the content from secondary to elementary, or switching the format from Google Docs to Slides or Forms. We hope we have piqued your interest and try ‘Add a leaf’ or  ‘Add a collab’ today!

Links to related FAQ Articles

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