Tech Tools for the Everyday Teacher

To the cloud

By now many of us have seen the commercials with the slogan – to the cloud. So what is cloud computing.  Over the last many months I have had an idea of what cloud computing is, but I didn’t know how you could use it deliberately.

So what is it?

In the past people have kept their files safely packed away on personal hard drives (on their own computers).  This way they could access their own information whenever they needed it.  In this day-in-age, though, many of us require something more because of four (easy to see) reasons – I’m sure there are others as well.

  • We don’t have enough hard drive space to hold all of the information and media we want to hold on our computers
  • We need to access our information anywhere in the world
  • We want to access our information/data/media at any time we want
  • We want to share our information/data/media with anyone at any time.

Cloud computing allows for people to accomplish this goal.  If you think of all of the web-based storage systems we have right now – email, google accounts, yahoo accounts, facebook accounts.. or others – much of our information is wherever we need it to be.

That being said – there are more deliberate ways of allowing for your information/data/media to be placed in the web – where you can access it anytime.  Let me give you a few examples:

a. Pogoplug – This is a website that offers you a space to store files.

It is free

It offers 2 Terra-bytes of storage

It is so easy to use – just click and drag into the Pogoplug folder created in windows explorer after you have download the program

It is safe and secure

b.  Dropbox – Dropbox is also a website that offers space to store files

It too is free

It offers 2 Giga bytes of storage

Also very easy to use.

c. Google Docs – Set up a google account and you have access to Google Documents/Google Spreadsheets…

Hopefully this can help those of you who need access to your information anywhere and everywhere.  Some of you may be wondering how this could be helpful to educators.  First of all – these resources can allow educators to back up their files easily so they won’t lose work from year to year.  Secondly – it would allow for a whole school to place their resources on a network – accessible by everyone.  Thirdly – this may be one way of having homework electronically available to students who are absent or who need a copy at home.

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