As educators and scholars, we are natural creators. Historically, finding the best place to store our creations, such as lessons, presentations, papers and research was a challenge. The problem of finding physical space had turned into finding sufficient disk, hard drive or server space. The problem was exacerbated with the increasing file size associated with high definition graphics and/or sound and video files. Fortunately, there are now many ways to store our important material in a large place, which is easy to access and searchable. Files can be stored for free or very cheap in the ‘cloud.’ Cloud computing is a metaphor based on utility and consumption of computing resources. It involves deploying groups of remote servers and software networks that allow centralized data storage and online access to computer services or resources. In other words, we can “save” our work to an external server and retrieve it when needed. We can also easily share our work without worrying about file sizes, because we simply share the material by using a link. So, the file actually stays in one place (the cloud) and we direct anyone wishing to access it to its location, where they can view and/or download to their systems.
There are many free systems, which allow us to store our electronic files in the cloud. One popular service is called Dropbox. Dropbox offers you 2 GB of free space and you can secure more free space by having your friends join, or you can pay a monthly fee. ($10/month for 1000 GB). Another storage service is Box, which gives you 10 GB free (so with Dropbox, there is 12 GB free). Google Drive is another option, which in addition to storing files, allows you to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations directly in the cloud and then share or show wherever you have an internet connection. Google Drive gives you 15 GB free. So , in total, there is 27 GB of free storage available to you now.