I've been thinking about cloud technology over the past few weeks and thought I would share a few great reasons why educators should consider making the move into the cloud.
Back It Up
This is the third time I am writing this post. Yes, the third time. I normally type up a post and keep it in the cloud to cut, paste and post. I was trying the Blogger app on my phone and saved this post twice with the intent of going back to it for edits. For whatever reason, the posts were blank. Twice. #Idiot
By keeping documents in the cloud, they will safely sit in a folder waiting to be edited and shared when I want. They will not vanish into the ether or be whisked away by gremlins. If all of my devices were to become sentient and run away, my documents would be safe and secure in the cloud to be accessed by whatever devices were available.
Kids are germ factories. I don't say that to be mean, but kids are pretty gross. By utilizing the cloud, students will no longer have to submit germ-laden assignments for the teacher to thumb through. Documents can be shared into folders, accessed by students and re-submitted into a return folder. A healthy teacher is a happy teacher.
Sharing Is Caring
We are living in a world where collaboration is essential. Utilizing the cloud allows for sharing in a way that was never possible before. Groups can edit documents and share quickly and easily. As we strive to show students the value of collaboration, it's important to practice what we preach.
I'm involved in multiple group documents at any given moment. Cloud storage allowed a group of strangers to plan edcamp Detroit last year, and it is helping bring the 2012 version together. This approach to creation has made the process so much stronger.
After school I am no longer tethered to my email account, sharing file after file of my epic lesson plans. As we know, size matters when it comes to email. If the file is too large, you can't send it. The cloud helps solve that problem.
While there are size restraints on some cloud storage options, most offer reasonable rates for larger storage. Sharing one link with a colleague can allow them access to all of my files. They can pick and choose the documents they want throughout the year without the extra step of making email requests. It makes sharing easier for you and your friends.
Tree Huggers Smile
Going paperless sounds very trendy. Saving trees makes everyone feel good, but only if there are no disruptions in the workflow. Utilizing the cloud allows you to stop printing and start sharing. When documents available in one place can be accessed from anywhere, there's no need to print things out for the office or school. Students can have access to any information a teacher wants without worrying about losing handouts.
The amount of time you will save by not being at the copier will simply blow your mind. I'm talking triple rainbow mind blowing. This half of the year alone, I have saved hours that I used to spend waiting for things to copy or fixing jams left by others. This time has been used to plan and tweak projects as well as work 1:1 with students. It has been one of the best parts of going paperless.
These are just a few of my reasons for making the move to the cloud. It is still an evolving field with new ways to use it. Keep an eye out for the cloud system that best suits you. Until then, keep your head in the clouds.