Cloud storage is digital storage space distributed across multiple physical servers and often geographic locations. It is used to store, backup, host, and share digital files between web-enabled devices and other people.
Cloud storage makes it possible to access and share files over the web regardless of location. In addition to storing and sharing digital files, cloud storage services may offer additional features including version control, commenting, and integration with web-based collaboration tools. Unique productivity and educational possibilities can be realized through cloud storage such as:
- Presentations and relevant class material can be quickly downloaded and displayed, mitigating the need for physical storage media
- Document collaboration with peers
- Student-to-student assignment collaboration
- Learning management system file size limits can be circumvented by submitting a shared link to a large assignment file
- Many higher education institutions are making cloud storage available for students, faculty, and staff. Assistance on how to setup, access and use cloud storage can usually be found via the IT help desk or reference documentation specific to your school.
- If institutional cloud storage is not available, there are many hosting services that allow free account creation and storage up to a certain size. Some of these services include Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Drive, and Spideroak. Consult individual services for details on available free storage, sign up process, and usage directions.
- Non-institutional cloud storage may not be compliant with school security policies.
- May run into storage limits, especially with free accounts.
- Shared links may become broken if file is moved or deleted.
“7 Things You Should Know About Cloud Storage and Collaboration.” Educause Learning Initiative. EDUCAUSE, May 2014. Web. 29 June 2016. <https://library.educause.edu/~/media/files/library/2014/5/eli7108-pdf.pdf>.
“Cloud Storage.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 June 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_storage>.
“File Hosting Service.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 June 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_hosting_service>.