(This is Part 2 of a 2-part survey of the various cloud storage tools you can utilize in the classroom. For Part 1, looking at Dropbox, Box and Copy, click here.)
Some cloud storage tools have evolved beyond offering storage on their own. The advantage of using the same tool to create your media as you use to store it is obvious, and has contributed to the success of such tools in the last few years – especially Drive.
Media-creation functionality adds a significant dimension for assessing which of these you’d prefer to use. Additionally, here at UNE we have accounts with both Microsoft and Google which should also be considered.
Google Drive is the most established of the tools covered here. OWL is utilizing Drive more and more within the courses we help design, and we find it incredibly useful as both a cloud storage and a media (documents, slideshows, spreadsheets, etc.) creation tool. Perhaps the greatest advantage of using Drive, though, is that UNE’s account with Drive gives each employee unlimited storage, highly customizable permissions (sharing media with only those in possession of @UNE accounts, for instance). All that, and the document/spreadsheet/slideshow editors are quite powerful.
OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage tool, and it is integrated into a cloud variant of the Microsoft Office Suite called Office Online. If Microsoft Office is the only media creation suite you want to use, then this is something to consider. However, UNE’s contract with Microsoft only includes Outlook and Calendar for UNE employees, so using the others would be costly (to you) and the majority of your coworkers will not be able to collaborate with you (one of the major selling points of cloud-based media creation tools) unless they themselves opt into a personal Office Online plan. To make matters even more complicated, I’m not sure it’s possible to add licenses to your existing UNE account. You would likely have to create a personal one in order to use these tools, and that gets messy quick.
iCloud is Apple’s foray into cloud storage and cloud-based media creation tools; as you can see in the image above, however, the media creation tools are still in Beta. UNE has no license with iCloud, so there are no company-connected benefits to using the Apple option. However, if you really prefer to use Pages and Keynote, then this is also available. Just keep in mind: beta.