Cloud storage offers you the ability to store your documents in a secure online environment and access them from anywhere with an internet connection. This is an added bonus for teachers, because let’s be honest the work is never finished. By using cloud storage, you now have the ability to access the document you started at school, and finish it from home, the coffee shop, or even a WiFi spot in Disneyland! Not only is this nice for planning, but it is also nice for shared student work and collaboration on documents. No longer do you need an external hard drive or mini USB drive to lose along the way. Also, feel confident that your materials are safe up in the cloud thanks to password protection. Another important part of this conversation involves the Content Management System you are choosing to use. It seems that with so many options, from Edmodo to Blackboard, it is becoming more and more necessary for teachers to use cloud storage so that, if or when needed, they can seamlessly move systems without losing any of their work. With integration from a cloud service into your Content Management System, that time is no longer wasted waiting for documents to upload from your computer. Encouraging your students to do the same will set them up with 21st century, real world, cloud-use skills and allow them to easily share and collaborate with you and their peers. So, what are the next steps now that you are considering using cloud storage? Well, since you are an educator you have many options with some great features, three of which I have highlighted below.
My personal favorite is GoogleDrive. Using a free Google Apps For Education (GAFE) account, you get 30gb of cloud storage for anything from documents and pictures to presentations and videos. This also allows for creation, collaboration and easy sharing. There is an app.
Second in line is Microsoft Sky Drive which offers 25gb with a free Microsoft Partners in Learning account. Although you can control access of documents easily for sharing. There is an app.
Finally, I’d recommend Dropbox which offers you 2gb of free storage and pricing plans to upgrade if needed. (This is now unblocked for teachers in IUSD that have taken the filtering training.) With Dropbox there is no collaboration feature, and merely store and share capability keeping it easy and simple. There is an app.
What cloud are you in? Share in a comment below.