THING 9 – WORKING IN THE CLOUD
Cloud Computing is working on or sharing files on the Internet, without being restricted to a particular network or computer. It allows for a lot of flexibility in terms of where and when you work, and can greatly facilitate collaboration. Working in the cloud on word processing, spreadsheets or presentation software files is like accessing your cloud-based email, as individuals can access and work on their files from anywhere they have a connection to the Internet, on any device. Two popular cloud computing services are Google Drive and Dropbox.
Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service provided by Google, which enables cloud storage (15GB of free space), file sharing and collaborative editing. You can access Drive if you have a Gmail or Google account, from any smartphone, tablet or computer. You get 15GB free for photos, documents and more. Google Drive also allows easy sharing of files and folders with anyone users want to invite, so you can share and collaborate instantly.
Dropbox is one of the most popular file hosting services that offers cloud storage (2 GB of free space) and file synchronization. Dropbox synchronizes across multiple devices and is accessible through its website and many mobile applications. You can access Dropbox online by visiting the website and logging in, or by downloading the desktop or mobile apps to your computer and devices.
Note that files stored on Google Drive and Dropbox will be on non-academic networks and on American servers, as opposed to on your own hard drive on your own computer. It’s important to consider if there are any restrictions that prevent you from uploading and sharing files like copyright, privacy, ethics and security issues.