by TeachThought Staff
As a 21st century teacher, you probably need to share stuff and have stuff shared with. “Stuff” like pdfs, various word processing documents, video files, and other digital fare. The traditional way to do this has been through emailing, but limits here–including speed, file size, and the relative clunkiness of sharing with large groups–make sharing files through email less than “best practice.”
We started to create a chart that listed the nuanced details of each platform, from storage and sharing limits, FTPing ability, the need to sign up to use, and password-protecting to flexible expiration dates for rights to files–but then we found that Wikipedia had already done this (and then some). So we instead picked our favorite dozen and then ranked them in terms of their flexibility and integration that education technology demands.
Though most of the tools below can share most files (mp3s, .movs, .mp4s, exe, .zip, .doc and .docx files, .pdfs, etc.), we focused more on documents, images, folders and software integration than incredibly detailed features that may make it overkill for your classrooms.
15 Of The Best Ways To Share Large Files
Full-featured cloud and sharing platform with deep integration with the entire Microsoft suite, from Office and PowerPoint to Outlook and more. You click “share,” enter an address or grab a link, and you’re done. You can also embed files into blog posts as well.
Microsoft has come a long way since the “Skydrive” days. OneDrive also seamlessly syncs files to the cloud when you’re not looking (which is great). Ideal for both sending files or daily cloud usage, documents or images, videos or pdfs, and available for every OS.
Drawback? If you don’t use Microsoft Office it’s kind of wasteful, and you only get 7 GB free, though you can get up to 100 GB for free if you watch for promotions. (For example, this.)
2. Google Drive
If you only want to share a simple document and the receiver has a Gmail account, this is an excellent choice. It’s tied to Google’s products, which means Gmail, Google Docs (err, Google…Drive), etc. Perfect for cloud-based word processing. 15 GB free, up to 16 TBs paid. Ideal for both sending files or daily cloud usage, Google Drive put other cloud platforms on notice that narrow utility and high-cost would no longer be enough.
Like OneDrive, seamless backup of files to the cloud as well.
If you want to kick out a pdf or document to your class, you can set up a folder, grant the class access, and be done. Get free storage if you spam your friends to sign up. (Or don’t.)
A powerful sharing client that works across operating systems; interface not as elegant as it could be. Their comparison chart is a bit misleading, but it does highlight SugarSync’s features.
10 GB free, folder sharing, and available across operating systems.
Send files up to 4 GB with nothing to install; idea for sending rather than daily cloud usage.
7. Apple iCloud
5 GB free, up to 50 GB paid. You can also share image “streams,” which other tools here lack. Not a one-stop solution for the 21st-century teacher, but if you’re tied into all things Apple and don’t need fancy features, you could do worse.
More for businesses than teachers, you can still send 250 MB files for free, with 2 GBs of storage. That said, it’s at #11 and not the top for a reason.
More of a sync tool used to keep files the ‘same’ across whichever platforms you choose, it does have the ability to sync certain folders between your work and school computers, for example.
Six More Ways To Send And Share Large Files
If you want to share a video and have a Google account, with the ability to set videos private and share links, this may be a good choice; for video only (obviously)
If you want to share an image, Imgur is a decent choice. It’s heavily-favored by Reddit users and allows for some social elements as well. Obviously, Flickr can be used in a similar way, as can dozens of other platforms.
15 Ways To Share Files With Your Students; 15 Ways To Share Large Files With Your Students