Death to Flash Drives

One of the age old dilemmas of having students create technology-based work and projects is how to save it and access it on different devices at school and at home.  Too often students are bringing (and losing) flash drives, emailing files to themselves using email accounts they can’t access at school, or simply saving on the computer they happen to be using today, but then can’t find it tomorrow when they are using a different computer at school.  If these scenarios make you want to require pen and paper for everything….well, I have good news!

Did you know that all students and staff have FREE access right now, this very minute to a terabyte of online storage?  (That’s a LOT!)  No new accounts or permissions are required!  All you have to do is login to Office 365 (http://login.microsfonline.com) with your email and password and click on the OneDrive link.  This is the same website that students and staff use to access their email via the web.  (Yes, all students have email too!)  You can create folders and upload almost any kind of file.  

Even better…OneDrive isn’t just a virtual flash drive (also known as cloud storage.)  Within OneDrive you can also create or edit Microsoft documents, PowerPoint files, Excel files and more.  Editing can take place right inside the web browser.  Files don’t have to be downloaded and uploaded.  Microsoft doesn’t even have to be installed on the computer (or device) you are using.  You just need to be able to access the internet.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as Office 365 and OneDrive are concerned.  Both you and your students have lots of features available, but being able to dump flash drives and have access to your files wherever you are is certainly a great place to start.  Make your life and your students’ lives easier by taking advantage of this great resource.

Need help to get started?  Your STC is a valuable resource and can help your students learn how to access their account if they don’t already know their email address (login) and password.  If you need more directions, check out my TIPS article from last spring (Free Tools for All Students and Staff…).  The name has changed from SkyDrive Pro to OneDrive Pro, but the logistics are still the same.  There are a couple of how-to documents at the end of that previous article. 

Want some hands on help to get started?  Sign up to attend an Office 365 PD session.  Check the PD menu for trainings coming soon.  More resources are also on their way from the Office of Instructional Technology.  Just let us know if you need help.  Think of the dollars you are saving on lost flash drives.

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