OneDrive in the Classroom
OneDrive – Easily share or upload your files to this free online storage
What is OneDrive?
Windows Live OneDrive is part of Microsoft’s Windows Live range of online services. OneDrive is a file storage and sharing service that allows users to upload files to the computing cloud, then access them from a web browser. With a Microsoft account you get 7 GB of storage space for FREE! (Extra storage available for purchase).
With OneDrive you get the following:
- online document editing with built-in Office Web Apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote)
- private/public sharing including photos
- clients include Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, Mac; and Android apps via third parties
- Web access https://onedrive.live.com
Installing an optional desktop app lets you synchronize that storage with the hard drive on your PC where you can manage files using Windows Explorer. Optionally, you can open your OneDrive account with web access and upload the desired file(s). This may be the best option for use with students on a managed network.
Backup, Sync, and Remote Access
The most common use for OneDrive is personal file backup. Keeping your important files in a folder that is continually synchronized with an online storage service gives you a backup security blanket. If your local drive crashes, you can recover those files quickly and easily.
Another benefit is that OneDrive allows you to access files easily from multiple devices. If you have a desktop PC and a notebook, for example, you can start working on a file in your office; any changes you make are synchronized to the online copy. Then head home, grab your notebook and pick up where you left off—as long as you have access to an Internet connection. Since OneDrive allows access from mobile devices, you can even accomplish the same task with a tablet or a mobile phone.
Document Creation and Editing
OneDrive offers the ability to create and edit a variety of document types (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote) directly in a web browser using Web Apps. Online viewing and editing means you don’t need to worry about whether you’ll have the right app installed—if you can open your online file storage location in a browser, you can get your work done.
This feature lets you easily share a file with another person (or a group of people). So if you’re passing around a presentation or a spreadsheet, each member of the team can make changes and add comments.
The ability to set up sharing for specific folders and control access to those folders on a per-user basis makes it easy to share files online with co-workers and your students and/or their parents.
Are you planning an event in your classroom? Maybe it is almost graduation time and you need to confer with a few other teachers in your school. Using OneDrive, you can create a Word document, PowerPoint presentation or even an Excel spreadsheet and share it amongst others. Giving them the option to edit the file will allow them to add comments or even add to the document. You don’t need to worry that all people in the group have the same version of PowerPoint or Word, by using the Web Apps, it is all the same. Even if the browser is different the apps are the same.
At the end of the school year our Grade 7 students put together a presentation for the graduating Grade 8 class following the step-by-step instructions in TechnoTribute. Sometimes the number of Grade 7 students is less than the number of Grade 8’s and students need to collaborate to make sure there is a presentation for every grad. By creating a presentation and sharing it in OneDrive, the document can easily be edited by more than one user. Each student can add their slide and save the changes. The presentation can then be opened in the desktop application once back at school where it can be finished by putting on the final touches.
This is a great way for students to work together when they can’t physically be in the same place. With hockey practice and piano lessons all taking place after school and on weekends, sometimes it is difficult to get groups together to work on a project. This would alleviate that and allow students to do their part when it is convenient.
This is also a great way to provide homework sheets to students that may be absent for extended periods. As long as they have an email address and access to the internet they can view the files and keep up to date.
Photo Uploads and Galleries
Sharing photos in OneDrive is as simple as creating a folder and adding the content. Sharing them out is also quick and easy. Just select the folder that contains the pictures and click Share; add the emails of the desired recipients and you’re good to go.
This would be a great way to share the latest photos of the class field trip or recent school event with parents. (Be sure you have permission from parents to share photos of their children within the school community).