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Storing Documents in the Cloud

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Showing drives on my computerThere was a time, not so long ago, when teachers would run around school with USB flash drives with all of their work on so that they could access their files on any school computer.

The use of memory sticks is becoming less necessary as more as more people are turning to the cloud to save their ICT files.

Many teachers will already have access to Microsoft Skydrive, and if they haven’t already they can sign up for one at https://login.live.com, choose sign up.

Google recently released Google Drive, to sign up for that go to: https://drive.google.com/ . There is a really useful guide here https://edudemic.com/2012/04/a-must-have-guide-to-google-drive/ explaining why it would be useful in the classroom. Also it could eventually be shipped with all Android phones and tablets so is likely to be very important in the future.

Many teachers already use Dropbox, to sign up for that go to www.dropbox.com. There is also a new service called Dropbox Teams https://www.dropbox.com/teams which offers

  • Share docs, slides, and large files easily with colleagues and clients
  • Collaborate across the hall or around the globe
  • Your files are always available from the secure Dropbox website
  • Dropbox works with Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry
  • Works even when offline. You always have your files, whether or not you have a connection
  • Watch your changes synced instantly across shared folders
  • Easy setup and control
  • Get started in minutes
  • Put Dropbox on a single bill
  • Manage and migrate accounts with admin controls
  • Give plenty of space to everyone on the team

 

The Dropbox teams image

Dropbox Teams

Teachers already using Apple iOS will probably already have signed up for an iCloud see https://www.icloud.com/ “iCloud is so much more than a hard drive in the sky. It makes it quick and effortless to access just about everything on the devices you use every day. iCloud automatically and securely stores your content so it’s always available to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC.”

iCloud image

So now we have four or five choices about where in the cloud we store our resources.  I use the four mentioned above – all for different purposes and do not find any problems at all. The all just appear as folders on my hard drive and I can transfer things to and from them simply by dragging and dropping. Each one offers slightly different opportunities, for example the Google Drive offers collaborative working on Google Docs, Drop box allows me to share folders with anyone or make files public, Sky drive allows me to get files off my master computer from my laptop  and  iCloud puts my presentations straight on to my iPad!  It is interesting to see the following comparison chart if you want to start using a service for your either yourself or the whole school, it may help you decide which to start with, though there is no need to restrict yourself to one!

https://gizmodo.com/5904739/google-drive-icloud-dropbox-and-more-compared-whats-the-best-cloud-option

There is another interesting comparison here https://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/skydrive/compare.

The Skydrive logo image

PC in sync with Laptop

mLearning – get your files on your mobile device

If your school is using iPads or iPod Touches then there is an app for Dropbox see https://www.dropbox.com/iphoneapp but as the operating system is iOS, iCloud would probably be the easiest to access.

There is a way of accessing the new Google Drive on mobile devices even though there is not an app yet – https://www.gottabemobile.com/2012/04/29/how-to-use-google-drive-on-the-ipad/.

There is also a Skydrive app 

which enables users to save and access files.

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