by TeachThought Staff
As a 21st century teacher, you probably need to share stuff, and have stuff shared with. “Stuff” like pdfs, various word processing documents, video files, and other digital fare. The traditional way to do this has been email, but limits here–including speed, file size, and the relative clunkiness of sharing with large groups–make sharing files through email less than “best practice.”
We started to create a chart that listed the nuance details of each platform, from storage and sharing limits, FTPing ability, the need to sign up to use, and password-protecting to flexible expiration dates for rights to files–but then we found that Wikipedia had already done this (and then some). So we instead picked our favorite dozen, and then ranked them in terms of their flexibility and integration that education technology demands.
Though most of the tools below can share most files (mp3s, .movs, .mp4s, exe, .zip, .doc and .docx files, .pdfs, etc.), we focused more on documents, images, folders and software integration than incredibly detailed features that may make it overkill for your classrooms.
12 Ways To Share Files With Your Students
Full-featured cloud and sharing platform with deep integration with the entire Microsoft suite, from Office and PowerPoint to Outlook and more. You click “share,” enter an address or grab a link, and you’re done. You can also embed files into blog posts as well.
Microsoft has come a long way since the “Skydrive” days. OneDrive also seamlessly syncs files to the cloud when you’re not looking (which is great). Ideal for both sending files or daily cloud usage, documents or images, videos or pdfs, and available for every OS.
Drawback? If you don’t use Microsoft Office it’s kind of watseful, and you only get 7 GB free, though you can get up to 100 GB for free if you watch for promotions. (For example, this.)
2. Google Drive
If you only want to share a simple document and the receiver has a Gmail account, this is an excellent choice. It’s tied to Google’s products, which means Gmail, Google Docs (err, Google…Drive), etc. Perfect for cloud-based word processing. 15 GB free, up to 16 TBs paid. Ideal for both sending files or daily cloud usage, Google Drive put other cloud platforms on notice that narrow utility and high-cost would no longer be enough.
Like OneDrive, seamless backup of files to the cloud as well.
If you want to kick out a pdf or document to your class, you can set up a folder, grant the class access, and be done. Get free storage if you spam your friends to sign up. (Or don’t.)
A powerful sharing client that works across operating systems; interface not as elegant as it could be. Their comparison chart is a bit misleading, but it does highlight SugarSync’s features.
10 GB free, folder sharing, and available across operating systems.
Not edtech centered on the surface, but robust beneath, with the ability to track file activity and access. And 50 GB free!
Send files up to 4 GB with nothing to install; idea for sending rather than daily cloud usage.
A decent file-sharing utility for those tied into the Adobe ecology, primarily for documents
9. Apple iCloud
5 GB free, up to 50 GB paid. You can also share image “streams,” which other tools here lack. Not one-stop solution for the 21st century teacher, but if you’re tied into all things Apple and don’t need fancy features, you could do worse.
This isn’t a cloud storage platform–you can only send files. But how about sharing files up to 100 GB for free-no cloud storage, but no registration, no sign-ups, no hassle? Yes.
More for businesses than teachers, you can still send 250 MB files for free, with 2 GBs of storage. That said, it’s at #11 and not the top for a reason.
12. YouTube If you want to share a video and have a Google account, with the ability to set videos private and share links, this may be a good choice; for video only (obviously)
12 Ways To Share Files With Your Students; 12 Ways To Share Large Files With Your Students