Making "The Switch" Pt. 1 | How to Download/Transfer Your Google Drive

I’ve always been a GSuite user. Even now, I’m typing the draft of this blog on Google Docs :D. However, this past spring, I got a new job at Avon High School, in Avon, Indiana, and now, I’m being forced to learn a whole new system: Microsoft. I’m affectionately calling moving from GSuite to Microsoft: “The Switch”, hence the title of this series.

Let me be clear from the outset: I love GoogleEdu. It’s been my creative engine for nearly five years: I’ve created hundreds of Hyperslide lessons, co-wrote Don’t Ditch That Tech on it, and more. But I’m also really excited to discover what’s possible with Microsoft Edu. I’m excited to learn about things what I don’t know. 

Also, I’m not sure where this blog will go or what this blog will turn into, but I’m guessing it will contain a blend of personal reflection and a whole lot of tips, tricks, and other creative ideas. I’m sure it will begin to take on some kind of organic shape as time goes on.


Let’s delve into the first problem I’ve encountered making “The Switch”: transferring data.

There’s a big question that I think hides under the radar of a lot of educators: if you create material on your schools’ email account or server, do you still own it as intellectual property? I’ve asked several teachers about what they think, and typically I get a mix of everything from “No, it’s mine”, to “I’m not sure”. I asked my prior school’s tech integrationist, and he said that it’s likely for many teachers that their current school owns their data, even if the teacher created it. 

This really scared me-- I’ve poured my heart and soul into five years of lesson plans, activities, and materials (I rarely shop TpT)--and I didn’t want to lose everything I had made. So I started looking to see how I could preserve my data and download it for future use.

Here’s what I attempted: 

1. Sharing my Old Google Folders with another Google Account. However, if you look at the “DCUSH” folder I made, Google has simply made a “shortcut” to that folder that is stored in another account. Not sure if this shortcut would stay permanently and my files would get deleted on the back end, so I went on to option number 2.

 

2. Copying a folder in a new GSuite account after the “share”. Yeah, this doesn't really solve the problem, either. You can see that I get the same shortcut icon, which leaves me in the same predicament as before, with the data still stored on my old school account. Theoretically, I could go into every folder and individually share and copy every item, but this would take a super long time. So then came option #3 after some digging.


3. Google Takeout (the Google → Google version)
No, this isn’t what you think it is: food. Google Takeout is a really unknown app that allows you to copy your entire. This version of it lets you copy a Google Drive into another Google Drive, as long as both accounts are under an admin that’s a Google Suite for Edu account. Obviously, this works well for teachers who are switching between schools that are Google affiliated, but not so much in my case. 

 

4. What ultimately worked for me: Google Takeout (Exporting version)  
Google Takeout also has a hard download option, and you can even set the format it exports in. In my case, I went in and selectively chose which parts of my Google account I wanted to export (which was mostly Drive files). One drawback to this option that I discovered was that your files come ready-to-download in archives of 2GB each, which means I’ll need to go into these archives later and combine, reorganize, and delete things.


I hope exploring these options has helped! Let me know your thoughts or ideas if you have another workaround!
--Nate


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