How to Select the Perfect Cloud Storage Solution for Students
By Jane Sandwood, Freelance Writer
As a hard working teacher, it is vital that your students have access to all their work. Imagine your students spending weeks on an end of term essay and then having their computer break down?
They may have backed it up on an external hard drive or USB sticks, but these can also break or go missing – along with all of their hard work. Cloud storage offers the perfect solution. You and your students can access the cloud from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection, making it impossible to lose important files. But with so many services out there, how do you choose the right one?
Here are the three main criteria you should take into account.
- Cost Let’s be honest, most students don’t have a lot of money to spend. Fortunately, cloud storage is becoming increasingly cheap. There are some free trials out there, but these are usually for a limited amount of time and won’t offer more than 50GB of storage space. Most will offer somewhere between 2GB and 15GB, which is unlikely to be enough for all your work. However, these free trials allow you to get used to using the service and determine if it is able to do what you require. KnowHow is typically one of the cheapest and can be paid yearly, while a service such as Mozy will cost considerably more. Ensure you don’t buy more space than you need as this will waste money. You can always upgrade if you need to.
- Storage Space Some cloud storage services will provide a certain amount of space for free. Others will offer better deals if you choose to purchase more space. Have a look at the files on your computer and how much space they currently take up. If you are doing a course in video editing or graphic design, you’ll need much more storage space than if your only files are Word documents.
- Features The cloud isn’t only for storing files. There can be other useful features that you may wish to take into account. For example, one of the best cloud services for collaboration is SugarSync. This is perfect for students who will be doing a lot of group projects because it allows multiple users to view and edit files online.
Some services provide more functionality but can be difficult to use. You may prefer something with fewer features but is easy to navigate. The options can be overwhelming, so it helps to decide on criteria that are perfect for your needs and quickly start ruling out the cloud storage services that aren’t right.
Teach n’ Kids Learn (TKL) is proud to offer the following online courses for teachers and schools who are looking to integrate technology successfully into their classroom instruction. Here are three recommendations that we can make from our catalog of online courses:
- 21st Century Learning and the 4Cs; Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity (Grades K-12)
- Blended Learning: Fostering College and Career Readiness
- Getting Started with a STEM Classroom, Grades K-12