If you work with the same files in multiple places it can be a big hassle.  Now, there are several online file storage and syncing services that will make your files available from just about anywhere.  Cloud storage is gaining popularity and is in high demand.  It seems that everyone wants access to their files from every device they own, at any given time, and from every place they go.  We want to share our files with others, but some files are just too big to send via email and not all devices accept a flash drive.  Now what?  In today’s challenge we are going to look at some great methods to store and share those large files so that you have easy access to them wherever  and whenever you have Internet access.

Dropbox

My personal favorite and the one that is most widely used is Dropbox.  Their motto is “Your Stuff, Anywhere.”  It is a force to be reckoned with in the online file storage world.  You start off with 2GB of free storage just for signing up and can get bonuses for referring friends to sign up.  Dropbox will even deliver your files to you on your Mac, Windows, Linux system, BlackBerry, iOS, or Android device.  This is a great way to store and share those photo files that you want your friends and family to see.  It works just like a folder or drive that you have currently on your computer.

Here is how you do it.  Go to www.dropbox.com and sign up.  You will need a valid email address and create a password.

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Once you have created your account you will receive an email that includes a button to install dropbox on your Mac or PC.

 

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 Once installed you can manage your files via your computer or the web.  The web version will appear like this.

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 From here you can upload files, create new folders, create shared folders, and delete files and folders.  To use on portable devices you will need to download the free app.  It is very user friendly and I highly recommend it.

Box.net

Box.net starts you off with 5GB for free. You can install the Box Sync app to sync your files with the web, and install the mobile apps to get access to your files on your iOS, Android, and Blackberry Devices.  Or you can upload your files to your Box.net account and access them via the Internet.  You can also combine Box’s content management and administrative capabilities with Google Docs’ real-time collaboration tools.  You can create Google Docs and Spreadsheets in Box. You can share with Box so others can view and edit.  You can also edit with Google’s real-time technology in Box

SkyDrive

SkyDrive is integrated with Windows, specifically Windows 8 for desktops and tablets.  It will also work with Mac.  If you use Office 2013, then using SkyDrive as cloud storage for all of your files is a great choice. SkyDrive also has mobile apps for Windows Phone, iOS, and Android, so you can access files on the go, when you have an internet connection. When you sign up you get 7GB of storage and 10 GB if you are a student. Skydrive has been praised for its Microsoft integration, especially with Office, Windows, and its third party app support.

Google Drive

If you are a big user of Google Apps, you probably already know about Google Drive.  They give you a 15GB limit.  It makes sense to use Google Drive for file storage if you love Google Doc/Apps.  It’s available for OS X, Windows, iOS, and Android.

My Big Campus

My Big Campus now has a drive, formerly “your stuff”.  It has an unlimited GB which is very appealing.  They have now set it up where you can add folders, as well as, the labels.  To share with others, you can simply create a bundle and add collaborators.

The Challenge:

Create an account using one of the choices above and upload some files.  Share how you would use cloud file storage or file sharing in the classroom or among your staff and colleagues.

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Jeffrey Tron
I graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in 1993. I got my masters degree in education in 1999 from Indiana Wesleyan University. I taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade at Helfrich Park STEM Academy for 17 years. While there, I was the technology coordinator, student council rep, book coordinator, and I ran the announcements on the television studio. I taught reading, English, mathematics, social studies, science, and health in all three grade levels. In the summer of 2010, I worked for the IDOE to help implement the Indiana Science Initiative. I led several workshops around the state helping teachers integrate notebooking and hands-on science kits in their classrooms. During the 2010-2011 school year, I taught fourth grade science at Fairlawn Elementary School. I am currently an eLearning Coach for an elementary school, two middle schools, and a high school. I love technology and I love teaching and helping teachers. Put the two together and you have my dream job. I am very excited about being an eLearning coach and helping others implement technology into their daily instruction.

50 COMMENTS

  1. I use Dropbox as a storage place for my docs, but mostly for the Promethean Flipcharts I have created to use in my classroom. I shared these with my K team and our district coach on Math Number Sense. This allowed Allana to share them with her other schools throughout the north district. The LA charts were shared cross curricular with the k-2 team to teach GRR to the students. Storage for shared phonics lessons assisted the team in keeping pace with the curriculum maps.

    Google+ is a great tool, due to the fact that all EVSC has an account and you can share any file with them. Team files, spreadsheets, lessons, and flipcharts can be shared with the ease of Google. I have done this as well. I also use the hangouts for sharing teacher information, chats, etc. The groups are a great resource for professional development and teacher PLCs. I have found both easy to use.

    Sharing tools helps me to grow as an educator and creates collaboration.

  2. I can use Dropbox to share information with other counselors; such as small group progress, parent contacts and upcoming testing.

  3. Google Drive is what I use the most. Dropbox is great too, but our student have Google accounts so it is very easy for me to share items with them. I use my shared documents to house my classroom rules and all other organizational materials. We will also be using it to work on a project that we have coming up so that they can all communicate about their progress and concerns.

    I have shown a Google form to a few of our teachers that lets you set up an an assignment tracker inbox via the form so that your actual inbox isn’t cluttered with assignments. I found it in a presentation by Susan Oxnavad. Here is the link in case anyone is interested. bit.ly/12l1dod The teachers that I have shown it to seem to like it.

  4. I already use Dropbox, but I would like to share one of my favorite things about Dropbox. I love Dropbox because you can share folders with other people such as another teacher. My friend and I are both 3rd grade teachers, but we teach in different schools. If we find a project we like, we just share it in our shared folder in Dropbox. We can easily download each others projects to our computers. Through the use of Dropbox, we can share with each other creative ideas and/or projects. I love it!

  5. I have been using Dropbox for several years now. It comes in handy for school when I am in several different rooms and I can have my files sync to those computers. That way I do not need to carry a bulky laptop or keep track of flash drives that I inevitably lose. I have also been trying out Evernote with students and through Dropbox I can put links to files in Evernote. Plus I have all of my personal pictures backed up online. I did need to buy extra storage space, but if you invite and get others to use Dropbox they give you free extra space.

  6. I currently use google drive and my big campus. I upload my PowerPoint presentations to google slides and save them on my google drive and use the link on my big campus. I also use google drive forms as bell ringers to start my class…I call them PCQ’s pre class questions. I love cloud storage!

  7. I use Dropbox for many purposes! My most recent and favorite is setting up the pictures from my ipad and phone to go straight to Dropbox! It is great! We use a lot of pictures to create instructions in our job and this allows us to share our picture files with our assistant or other therapists.

  8. I love dropbox! It is perfect to use for lesson planning, sharing newsletters with colleagues and (my favorite) my curriculum maps. It makes lesson planning a cinch if I have a good idea on the go somewhere, I can quickly slip it into my future plans. I have the files in my “cloud” and I can access them wherever I am.

  9. I am having my students create a video at home of their family. I was just looking for a way for the students to view the videos in class because the file will be too big to send by email. I think this will be perfect. I am having them download the dropbox app on their device and put it in dropbox and share it with me. I hope this works!

  10. My school started using Google docs and the administration has shared several things with the teachers. I had not put any of my file on it until now. I’m not sure why, because many times I have to wait until I get home to get a file off my home computer and visa versa.

  11. Love using dropbox to share with friends who teach elsewhere. Through a shared folder in my dropbox we are able to share things we have created with each other. This has been a timesaver and such an easy way for collaboration.

  12. My main use is with Google Drive because everyone in the EVSC has an account. It is a great way for students to share work with me and of course access from anywhere. I have used quizzes and surveys with Flubaroo as well. I have also used DropBox, but I like Drive better because of student access and other teachers who have access. I have used My Big Campus some for file storage, but not as much as Drive.

  13. Since I created a DropBox and Google Drive accounts last year, my yearbook is now complete run on DropBox and Google Drive. We have 30 staffers and 10 machines, not counting their netbooks. By moving our pages to DropBox, we can move them between computers as they become available and can have multiple staff members working on different pages at the same time. And now I can access pages and stories from home, something I was unable to do before last year. It has been a lifesaver too since we don’t have to worry about a mechanical issue ruining our work by losing pages.

  14. I am a huge fan of Dropbox.com. My teaching partner and I have a shared folder on Dropbox so we can collaborate when integrating our courses and planning units and activities. Because the Shepard Academy is paperless, we push cloud storage to our students, so they never have to worry about a malfunctioning netbook or leaving something “on my computer at home.” With the cloud there is no excuse for not having a file when you need it.

  15. I started using dropbox after I heard about it at the eRevolution this past July. I used to use a flashdrive to work at school and home. Now I just have everything on dropbox. It makes working at home so much easier.

  16. I personally like SkyDrive. Three years ago I was traveling from room to room and had to use a flash drive, if i forgot the drive, I had to send a student to get it or go on without it. Last year I changed subjects and was getting frustrated that I work with Microsoft offline and Google Docs online. Things didn’t seem to line up.

    I found SkyDrive and now I can work offline and the files are automatically uploaded the next time I connect to the internet. I have my home, netbook, and school desktop all connected.

    I like this over Google Drive because my class uses Office in class and my formatting stays the same as theirs.

    As for working with others, I am currently working with another teacher in Colorado and we are using Drive to keep our students’ data aligned. We started off with an excel file since we were working off line and sending it back and forth. As the program developed, we needed a more real time way of keeping the file up to date. We are getting ready to change students and I am going to extend the use of drive to maintain our students’ data.

    I have a Dropbox account, but I haven’t used it since I created it.

  17. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Dropbox! I can’t remember if it was at ICE or ERev where I heard about this a couple of years ago but I don’t know how I got along without it. Oh wait I didn’t! I was always the person leaving my flash drive or not remembering where it was or even worse losing it. Now I just download my information to my Dropbox and it is there for me. This was an easy program to get my staff onboard with. Now we are trying to move to My Big Campus or Google Drive. I haven’t made the total switch yet but like the unlimited storage on Google Drive. I like many am a pack rat and want to keep all my documents for fear that one day I may need it. Cloud storage allows us to do that but I am always running out of space on Dropbox so I will have to make the switch soon. Long live the Cloud!

  18. I currently use Dropbox and Google Drive. Google Drive allows me to share documents, forms, etc between other administrators in our diocese. My next move is to help my own staff to become comfortable with Google Drive so that I can share documents and have collaboration on forms, etc. I can see this as particularly useful with students when working on writing pieces for editing purposes. I love that Dropbox allows access to files anywhere, as does Google, but I particularly like that my formatting stays consistent. This is a great way for student work to be accessed at anytime anywhere….no more I forgot my flash drive!

  19. My previous comment is not showing up. I have no idea what is wrong but I am more than happy to talk more about dropbox.

    It is one of the biggest tools in my arsenal. I could not do my job effectively if I did not have my dropbox with me. I am able to keep all my files updated and safe. Being able to go from home, office, classroom, office, home, etc. with the same file is PHENOMENAL!!

    Easy to keep track of resources, worksheet, lesson plans, activities, projects, etc. Anything and everything school related I keep on dropbox. I also use it to share resources between my fellow subject teachers.

    Here is a sample:
    High School Geometry – https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kbp9kgwbqu132it/-KFnYaWv8u

    It is phenomenal! Definitely give it a try!

  20. We had been using Dropbox but switched over to using Google Docs. Dropbox was causing some problems when certain updates occurred and since the majority of staff were already using Google Drive, we just made the switch to Docs. The limited exposure I had using Dropbox seemed to work well for its intended purpose which allowed students to submit homework assignments electronically and to access documents created by other students/faculty. As someone else noted, it allows collaboration on projects and files can be shared easily. After a rough start, we’re currently using My Big Campus for our middle school students. Last year, some teachers were using Edmodo and others were using Moodle so the middle school team agreed to try My Big Campus this year. I think the jury’s still out on that program.

  21. I use Google Docs and Dropbox frequently. I really like Dropbox, but I do not feel it offers enough free storage. I appreciate these other options as I am always looking for free, useful ways to store my files and back up my documents in a secure fashion. I did not realize that My Big Campus had unlimited storage. I am going to play around with it a little more. Thank you for the useful tips!

    • I use the cloud storage to store useful documents with others and to have access to it when I am not on my lap top.

  22. I use dropbox and google drive. I absolutely love it. I do not have to carry a computer or laptop back and forth, everything just lives in the cloud. I use the share feature of a google doc to share docs such as agendas for committee meetings, behavior plan and notes regarding students, lists for clubs for the homeroom teacher to know who is signed up for my clubs.

  23. Our staff uses Google Drive to share documents and have access to various forms. We also use this to collaborate with one another on ongoing projects, etc. I personally use Dropbox all the time as I work on things both at school and at home. I also use dropbox to save documents students are working on on the ipad so that their work can be continued at home.

  24. My school system started using Google for everything this year. At first, I wasn’t on board with things, because we saved everything into a shared folder last year and it was extremely convenient. However, I have found that Google is wonderful! The students can work on an assignment in class and not have to worry about saving it to a flash drive, which always ends up getting lost at some point during the year. I have found that using Google Drive to write a shared story is absolutely amazing! The students are able to write a story with people in another part of the room without talking.

    Also, my principal is big into sharing items through Google Drive. He sends us everything we need before our staff meetings and we bring our Chromebooks to the meetings. It is nice to be able to have things in advance, so that we know what we are going to discuss.

    Finally, I used My Big Campus quite a bit last year, but I find myself moving away from it this year. I still have pages on there for the students to access, but Google Drive is something that is easier to use.

  25. I am currently using google drive more and more to save for access at a late date (with or without internet connection). One thing I really like that I have done in drive is a conferences that I am attending with multiple people we make a 1 doc that all of us type our notes in so it’s not only my 5 sessions but everyone’s sessions. I wish more people were like most of us on the 30 Day and were connected a bit better so we could share through the cloud instead of needing a paper copy or interrupting. I hope I can get more digital soon!!!

  26. We have definitely focused more on Google Drive as a school corporation this year. All teachers and students have accounts. I’ve worked with several teachers to get collaborative assignments going in their rooms. Students are always wowed whenever they open a document and can see their partners typing at the same time. I’ve started a PD sheet for me to keep track of attendance at any trainings I offer. It is so easy to share those with the principals of each building so they can see who has been trained. I also love the surveys that you can create in Google Drive. They are such a nice tool for me to use to find out what teachers need. The results are then saved right in my drive and can be accessed anywhere/anytime. The accessibility is a MUST when you travel from school to school like I do.

    I’m getting ready to download Dropbox, though, and try it out…I like the idea of saving my pictures there.

  27. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Dropbox! It saved me once when my teacher computer wasn’t booting up and I moved to another classroom to teach the lesson. I pulled up dropbox.com and my files were right there! I love how easy it is to use. I do wish there was more space, but I’m too cheap to buy it. If anyone reads this and would like to sign up for dropbox, before you sign up, send me an email ([email protected]) with the email address you’d like to use for the account and I’ll recommend you….so we both get extra space :)

  28. I use My Big Campus and Google Drive on a daily basis. I create my weekly lesson plans in Google Drive and then share them/link them to My Big Campus, so that my students’ parents can see them. I also create unit bundles in My Big Campus. In My Big Campus, I can pull videos, documents, and text from the My Big Campus library to add to my bundles. I can also branch the bundles of other educators that have shared their bundles into my own. It is an absolute wealth of useful curriculum and ideas. I was very hesitant about using it at first, but now that I have the hang of it, I’m amazed at the possibilities! I would recommend it to any educator!

  29. We use Google Drive at our school to share information. However, Dropbox makes information more easily accessible on some devices, such as iPhones and iPads.

    As students use a variety of devices between home and school, we can support them by having options such as Dropbox. Since these programs work in similar ways, students can easily navigate them with little instruction.

    If teachers use Dropbox for students to submit homework, they can use the “date modified” stamp to note when work was completed. Students can no longer say “I put it on your desk” or “I gave it to you in the hall” in an effort to argue that their work is not late.

    • Google Drive and Dropbox are both awesome. As you said, in some cases, Dropbox is easier to access on some devices. If you are a Google doc user, then Google drive is the way to go.

  30. I primarly use Google Drive to store all my “stuff.” I recently add the “Save to Google Drive” Chrome Extention. It’s great! It allows me to save sites, links and screen shots directly to my Google Drive. I can then easily store it in a folder, or share with others.

    I also use Dropbox for my personal pics to free up storage on my phone.

  31. I use Dropbox a lot and LOVE it’s versatility. I can use it on my computer at home, school, iPad & Android phone. I really appreciate the fact that I can add a file from any of my designated devices and access that file whenever and whoever I am.

    I also use My Big Campus’s drive with Dropbox from home and school to create or tweet Bundles for my students. This online access has proven very useful. For example, I have been out sick from school…but with the help of Dropbox & My Big Campus, classes can go on and with very little paper involved. Homework assignments, tutorials, videos are posted. Students can send a private message tome or post a discussion, create a page related to a current class topic, etc. Students get very quick feedback when they need help.

    Our school is trying to promote the students to use Google Drive. It has been a slow change. However, students that do use Google Drive do report fewer documents being lost than previous storage attempts. Google Drive has some other great features too…word document, presentation design, and some tools for teachers such as designing online quizzes that can be automatically graded. Very nice tool!

  32. Sorry for the sloppy comment. I was busy and did not realize I sent it. I use Google Drive at school the same way tiffraetodd does. The kids seem to like it and I like the organization of their files.

  33. I have been using Drop Box for a while now for school and home. I would often forget to email a document to myself from home to school so Drop Box has solved that problem for me. I can access items anywhere. We have also set each student up at our school with Google Drive. This way they can type and edit documents from any where , home or school. It is nice to be able to edit their writing and send it back to them or comment as well. This is our first year with this so we are all learning.
    We have been using MBC for the past year now. Again, a great tool so students can access assignments from home or school, share files and media with them in case they are absent. They can also look back at lessons, enhance a lesson with videos. etc.

  34. I use Dropbox for my own personal use. I have all of my pictures download on it. We use Google Drive at school. You can send assignments, tests, and personal emails to the children. You can even set it up to grade the multiple choice tests for you. You can also send notes and messages to other teachers at one time. Numerous people can work on one project at one time too. I am getting ready to implement My big Campus very soon at our school

  35. My English classes at South Spencer use Google Drive to upload and save their papers. This way they can access them from home or a library computer if they don’t want to use their ipad to type the paper. This is grweat because the ipads can be a challenge when typing a long paper. I personally would rather use a traditional computer. Having the cloud to save means that the students can no longer claim to not have access to their paper or even claim they don’t have a computer or Internet at home because they could always get free access at the library or a friend’s house. It just opens a few more doors for students to be able to get their work completed. I think it is a great tool. It also allows me to access my work from anywhere via my phone! I wish I had this years ago especially in college!

  36. At my school we are big users of google drive. All of our students have accounts along with all of our teachers. In the classroom all the students have created folders for each of their classes. Inside of each subject folder they have created a shared folder with that specific teachers. This shared folder (we call it their name folder) acts as their turn in box. Once they have a finished project ready to turn in they drop it into their name folder and it is turned in to their teacher. The teachers might also create a folder for the whole class to see if he/she wants to drop files in for all the students to see. You can also upload pictures and other files into the google drive. Some files will not convert well but you can always download them into the file they originated in as long as you have the original program on your computer.

  37. I’ve personally used Google Drive, Skydrive, and Dropbox. Google Drive is by far my favorite. I use it as a link between my home laptop and my work computer, so they both have the exact same documents and files.

    We use Drive and Docs at Bosse to edit documents in real time. For example, we are about to run a contest among first and second period classes, and the teachers are inputting all the data on Google Docs.

    In the classroom, I use Drive for my students’ bellringers. We do sets of five bellringers, and the students use their Drive accounts to create, store, and share the documents. I also use it for storing students’ projects and assignments in case their netbooks crash. I always encourage students to upload (or even create) important files using Drive.

  38. I use Dropbox and Google Drive all the time! I love having files anywhere, anytime. When I’m asked what a schedule is or need to transfer something from one computer to another, it’s wonderful to access these. It’s also nice because they are accessible from iPhones too. I’m able to create files and share them with others too.

  39. With staff I currently use Dropbox for file sharing. I currently have a TECH help folder with administrators, a Music Docs folder with the music teachers and several other topical folders shared with specific individuals. We developed our music curriculum using dropbox as the portal for sharing the document. Eliminating the email and paper copies solved a lot of headaches and confusion. We are about to embark on a Google Drive journey with Teachers and Students. It is my vision that students will create work in Drive and share it with their teachers. Teachers can then annotate and provide feedback. We also hold meetings while using a Google Drive Document. Everyone is providing input. But even more so, if a teacher cannot attend the meeting, they can go back and see exactly what was discussed!

    I have also used My Big Campus with my online class as well as in professional development. Bundles are an excellent way to provide a collection of documents and multimedia. The students stash those bundles and watch them at home without Internet! Incredible! While teachers are still getting their feet wet, I have been pushing bundles there way as a follow up to meetings. My goal is to started “Flipped Professional Development.” I cannot imagine how much we would get done!

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