How can I use tools “in the cloud” to easily manage and deliver feedback to my students?
For some reason, the concept of using cloud storage has always made me paranoid. Perhaps it is the lack of permanence. Although, if I were to truly look at technology for what it is, anything digital lacks permanence. My valuable data is one power surge away from oblivion. So really, if I trust my computer, the concept of a cloud should not intimidate me.
I have used Dropbox before for a class last summer—and I marveled at its convenience. My teacher would receive my assignment from anywhere, and there was no necessity of exchange of paper, nor did I have to worry about her receiving my work. It was just there, ready to be accessed. Dropbox was private and gave me control over who I would share my work with.
Dropbox also became helpful when my faithful computer did inevitably crash. I was still able to commandeer my husband’s computer, yet still access that particular project. My other projects were not as fortunate, and I had to wait as an angel dressed as a computer tech rescued my data and ushered it to a back-up hard drive.
The opportunities give with such a system would be astounding, especially with students who are working on formal writing. NO MORE STACKS OF PAPER! I could simply read on the computer and type in notes with a different font color and it’s waiting there for the student to reassess! Edits could come right back and I wouldn’t have to worry about the papers being lost in the shuffle from school to home and back again! Also, for work collaboration after school hours, this would be a very useful tool.
The best benefit to cloud technology is that it’s just there! You can access it from just about anywhere that has internet and with just about any device. The flexibility creates a less restrictive environment. I will get over my paranoia and begin utilizing this great tool.