Other Cloud Services

Additional Resources

Login to My Apps


Drive and Docs with Cardinal Cloud at SUNY Plattsburgh

Cardinal Cloud Drive is a great tool to manage your files, access them anywhere, and share them easily and painlessly. We have a few tips and tricks for sharing and managing your files in the Cardinal Cloud.

Drive and Docs Resources

Tips and Tricks

The information below displays basic drive usage and how to email large files (with attachment sizes that are too big to email as an attachment). Additionally, there is information on sharing with your class and installing the Drive Client to sync from your drive to your computer.



The following tips and tutorials display how to use the Drive interface to easily navigate and share files. It also displays how to attach files to emails that are larger than 25mb (the current attachment filesize limit).

  • Logging into Drive you will see all your uploaded/synced files in "My Drive".

  • The "Recent" options shows all recently opened or used files.

  • The "Shared with Me" option will show files that others explicitly shared with you.

  • Clicking on a document, such as this PDF, will by default bring up the Google Drive Reader view.

  • Clicking open in the bottom right corner brings me to the full document view in Drive.

  • This document was shared with me, but it was only shared so I can view... the owner did not give me full permissions and so if I click "Share" in the top right I can request that others are given access, but the owner has to approve them first.

  • Also in the top right there is a "Commnents" button that I can add comments about this document. If I am collaborating on a document that I have editing privileges to I can also add in-line comments by highlighting text and choosing comment.

  • The file menu has various options, including downloading the PDF document directly to my computer.

  • In the full Document view I can also choose to create a new document. This option is on the main page too. Document, Presentation, and Spreadsheets are compatible with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel respectively.

  • I made a new document named "Testing" and when I select it I have more buttons show up on the top bar... I can share it, delete it, add it to a folder, or edit it.

  • Clicking the share option I can invite individual people using the bar at the bottom by entering their email address, or I can click "Change" to edit the overall access of the document.

  • Chaning the visibility is simple. Private means only people I specifically grant access to can acess the document. Only people at SUNY Plattsburgh with the link means its not publicly searchable, but if they were provided the link by ANYBODY then it can be accessed. Lastly, the global SUNY Plattsburgh setting means there is no special link, the document can be accessed by anybody at SUNY Plattsburgh.

  • Typing in an email in the address bar will auto-complete from the SUNY Plattsburgh Directory.

  • After clicking on the person I want to share the document with I have the option to notify them via email that I have shared something with them. This document will also show up in the "Shared with Me" box for that user as well.

  • I can also upload documents using the web interface. I choose the upload icon and click "Files..." in this instance.

  • In the browser window that opens I find the Microsoft Word document I want to upload.

  • The upload process is displayed to me and it lets me know that "Conversion" is on by default, meaning this document will be converted to a Google Document so I can edit it right in the Drive interface.

  • "Upload complete" displays when the upload is finished and "Coverted" displays once the conversion process is also completed. It is now in my document list and can be edited and shared.

  • Drive is automatically used when you try to attach an item to an email in Cardinal Cloud Email. You will see this message indicating it is too large and recommends using Drive.

  • The next window lets me drag the files I want to attach or simply click "Select files from your computer" button.

  • I chose a ZIP file that I wanted to send a colleague, then I clicked Upload.

  • Once the upload is finished it is automatically attached to the email I tried to add the attachment to. When I click send the user will get a link to that file that only they can access.


Sharing a Google Document with Your Class

Because Google Drive makes it possible for you to allow designated individuals to comment on and/or edit shared document(s), the system has some practical implications for instruction, enabling a type of collaborative work. An entire class might be set to the task of annotating an assigned reading or editing and constructing a file.

This page provides an example of how you can set up an annotation assignment, taking you through the steps from the initial creation of the document in Google Drive, through the process of sharing the document, and ending with the archiving the document once the assignment is over, and removing the course group once the course is over.

Creating the Document in Google Drive

Before sharing a document with your class for annotating or commenting, you'll probably want to ensure that the file you're sharing is not the only copy of the document that you have--otherwise you'll have difficulty using a version of the file for any subsequent assignments. Towards this end, it's a good idea to keep master files of your teaching materials in one or more separate folders. Then, when you want to share any of these materials, you would create a copy of one of the master files and share that copy instead of the original.

Your first step, then, would be to create a folder in Google to hold those master files:

A click on the new folder icon in Google Drive prompts you to give a name to the folder you want created

Clicking on the Create button creates the folder in your Google Drive space.

Clicking on the title of the folder lets you add content to the folder (or, if you like, additional folders--a separate folder for each course you teach is a practical way to organize your content).

To add a file to a specific folder, click on the folder to select it, and then click on the Create button or the Upload button (marked with the upward pointing arrow) to create a new file or upload a file that you already have on your computer.

Creating a New File

A click on the Create button allows you to select which sort of file you'd like to build.

All of these file types can be shared with others for editing/annotation. As an example, we'll use a Document file, with the objective of making a course assignment of annotating the file. A click on Document introduces a word-processor-like interface into which we can type (or paste) the document's text. At the top of the screen, a click on the words "Untitled document" allows us to give the document a name.

For our annotation example, we'll be putting up the text of Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener," so that will become our document name. Subsequently, we'll copy the text from the Project Gutenberg archive and paste it into the document (along with an attribution).

You'll notice, when you type (or paste) into any Google Drive document, that your changes to the text are saved immediately, so you don't need to worry about saving a file again and again as you work. Once you've finished writing (or editing) your document, you can simply close the browser window in which the document is being edited.

Uploading a File

If you already have a file on your computer that you'd like to share with your students for an annotation or editing exercise, you can choose the Upload option (instead of the Create option) to bring your file into Google Drive.

A click on the Upload button and then the Files... option gives you a view of the files on your computer.

Find the file you'd like to upload and select the Open button. You'll then be met with the following prompt:

In order to allow others to edit or annotate your uploaded file, you'll have to select the first option ("Convert documents..."); in order to ensure that you see this prompt in the future, you'll also want to select the last option ("Confirm settings..."). A click on the Start upload button uploads (and, in this case, converts) your file to the Google Drive document format. You'll see a progress window like the following.

This process can be repeated (up to the point where you reach your 30GB limit...) to upload other course files.

NOTE: Not all files will convert to Google Drive's format(s). Large files may resist conversion and draw an error from Google Drive, but smaller files generally work.

Sharing a file for annotation or editing

Once your file exists as a Google Drive document, it can be shared with your class. Again, you should probably not share your original file--you'll want that for subsequent re-use--so you'll want to make a copy of it. For the sake of keeping your various classes distinct, you might want to create a folder for any class that will have access to shared Google Drive documents, and then you can move copies of the desired files into the folder.

To create a copy of a document, select it and from the More menu, select the Make a Copy option.

This will produce a copy of the file. At this point you can deselect the original file, select the copy, and from the More menu select the Move to... option.

You'll be presented with a view of your Google Drive folders: select the destination folder and click the Move button.

The copy of the file will then be moved to the folder specified and you will no longer see it in your master files folder.

If you navigate to the folder into which you moved the copy, you'll find it there. Right clicking on the file name will let you select the Rename option and allow you to remove the default "Copy of..." title that was added when you duplicated the file.

Once you've renamed the file, you can share it with your class. Because you'll want to share the file specifically with students in your class (and not generically, via a 'secret' URL), your next step is to generate the course list so you can create a contact group in Google.

Generating a Contact Group from a Moodle Site

In your Moodle course site, the Course Manager block (the same one you'd use to add a roster from Banner to your Moodle site) has a Download Site Roster link that lets you generate a Google-ready contact list that includes all individuals on the site's roster.

A click on the Download Site Roster link will create a contact group file, prompting you to save it to your computer.

In Internet Explorer, the download cue will look like this:

You'll want the Save option to save the file to your computer.

In Firefox, the download prompt will look like this:

You'll want the Save File option before clicking the OK button.

Once you've saved the file to your computer, you can upload it to Google.

Uploaidng your Course Contact Group to Google

Log into your Google account (via email.plattsburgh.edu). From your mail screen, navigate to your Contacts by clicking on Mail heading and then on the Contacts link.

On your Contacts page, click on the Import Contacts option.

The Import contacts window will appear. In this window, you'll select the Browse button to find the course site roster file you generated earlier.

Once you've selected the file, a click on the Import button transfers the contact list to Google. You'll then see your new contact group appear with the title Imported followed by the date and, parenthetically, the number of names on the imported list.

You'll also see, when you click on the list, a note indicating that the contacts were imported but not yet merged.

You'll want to click the Find & merge duplicates link to resolve duplicate entries in the address book. This process allows you to ensure that you don't end up with multiple entries for the same individual.

Once you've completed that step, you can rename your group. First click on the More/Rename group link.

This raises the renaming window. Give your contact group a name (the name of the course/site plus the semester and year) is practical.

Your contact group will now appear with that name under your contacts menu on the left side of the screen.

Sharing a Google Document with your Contact Group

In you Google Drive space, put a checkmark beside the file (or files) you'd like to share with the individuals in your contact group, and then click on the Share icon:

In the Invite people field, start typing the name of your contact group, and then select it when it appears in the autocomplete listing below the field.

Then specify in the adjoining dropdown list the level of permission you would like your students to have.

Allowing the entire class to edit transforms your document into something rather like a WIKI: you'll be able to track changes made by individuals and multiple users will be able to edit the file simultaneously.

Allowing the entire class to add comments lets you perform useful annotation exercises, with students elaborating upon or asking questions about particular parts of the document.

Note: you should probably not select the Can view option, since if all you want is for students to view a document, you could save both yourself and them some time by posting the document directly to your Moodle site.

Finally, your last step is to commit your settings and (optionally) notify the group with whom you've shared the document that the document is available to them. A checkmark in the Notify people via email field ensures that members of the group will be notified; a click on the Share & Save button commits your sharing settings.

Stopping the sharing

At some moment you’ll want to freeze the state of a document that you had shared--because you’ll want to grade it or preserve a record of it as part of your course records. And your students will, at some point, want your shared document to disappear from their screens. How you end the sharing is dependent in part on the type of assignment that you were having your students pursue: if the assignment was to have the class work on editing a file as a group, then you should follow Option 1, below, because you’ll want to preserve the document’s editing history; if the assignment was to have the students annotate a document by adding comments, you can select either Option 1, 2 or 3.

Option 1: Remove the share permission

This is the only way to ensure that you’ll preserve the editing history of a document (the information which shows you which of your students made which changes). It also preserves any comments that were added. To remove the share permissions, put a checkmark beside the filename in your Google Drive view, click the Share button, and then remove, one at a time, the edit/comment permissions for each user.

Option 2: Save the file to your computer

If you wish to preserve only the comments that have been made in the text and the final edit state of the text (without revision history), you can download the file to your computer. Open the document in Google and then, from the File menu select Download as/Microsoft Word (.docx).

The Word file that you get as a result of this process will retain all comments.

Google document comment

Word document comment

Once you have downloaded the file, you can delete it from your Google drive space to remove all assigned sharing.

Option 3: Pull the file directly into your Moodle course site

If you want to preserve the student comments in a document along with your other student records in Moodle, the process for pulling a document into Moodle provides a convenient way of doing so: enter the Moodle course site in which you’d like to have the document appear, ensure that editing is turned on in the site, and from the Add an Activity or Resource menu select the File option.

As with any file addition in Moodle, you need to provide a title and (optionally) a description, but when it comes time to selecting the file, rather than picking the Upload a file option as you would to upload a file from your computer, you can select the Google Docs option to bring your file directly from your Google Docs repository. If you are not already signed into Google, you may be prompted to sign in. Once you’re logged in, you’ll see a listing of your documents with an ".rtf" extension. Once you select the file, it will be transferred into your Moodle course site.

If you have finished with the file in Google, you may then delete it from your Google drive space to remove all assigned sharing.

Note: files brought into Moodle this way are copies of the files in Google, not links to the files in Google. Changes made to the source file after the import process will not be reflected in the static copy that has been imported into Moodle.

Removing the Contact Group (at the end of the Semester)

Once you no longer need the course-based contact group, it’s a good idea to delete the group. If you want the names on that group to remain in your contact list, the process is as easy as clicking on the title of the group and selecting the Delete group option from the More menu.

If, on the other hand, you’d rather not have the students in the course group remain in your contact list, you should begin by deleting all members of the group before deleting the group itself. To do so, click on the group, and then click the All option in the first dropdown list to select all names in the group.

Before actually running the delete command, you’ll want to quickly scan the list and de-select any names that are attached to other groups in your contact list. (The group affiliations of contacts appear to the right of the names.) Once you’ve ensured that all selected names have no other affiliations in your contacts, select the Delete contacts option from the More menu.

Then you can delete the group itself via the Delete group option.

The Google Drive client can be using to automatically sync a folder of files on your computer with Drive. All the files in the "Google Drive" folder will be accessible both on your computer and in the Drive web interface; they will also be available on any other computer you install the Drive client on. This will keep all your files in sync across multiple computers.

  • Download the Google Drive client for Windows or Mac here
  • After installing the Google Drive client I need to sign in to my user account. I enter my full Plattsburgh.edu email address and password. Note the Google Drive icon in the taskbar, this remains here from now on indicating my files are kept in sync. If I ever want to easily open the "Google Drive" folder I can click this icon and choose "Open Google Drive folder" or any of the other helpful options in that menu.

  • I get notified that I need to login via Plattsburgh.edu and then I get the default Plattsburgh.edu login page that I enter my NetID/username and password.

  • I click next to continue setting it up. The client notifies me that a "Google Drive" folder is created on my computer.

  • The last screen I simply click "Sync" without changing any other settings. Clicking on my profile name under the Start Menu I will now see the "Google Drive" folder.


Contact Information

For more information about technology at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Computing Systems and Desktop Support — Helpdesk
Phone: (518) 564-4433
Toll-Free Phone: 1-800-787-8773
Email: [email protected]

Regular Semester Hours
8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Summer Hours
8 a.m.–4 p.m.