Tag Archives: collaboration

app talk: Dropbox – flexible sharing and collaboration for the tablet, phone, laptop or desktop

logotype-vflFbF9pYPlanning to work collaboratively with other students, faculty, or staff? Want a method to quickly and easily share materials from your tablet or phone?

Consider Dropbox, a storage and file sharing service that is “freemium” – free to use for basic/casual users. Premium users can pay for additional storage.

I have found Dropbox more than an auxiliary to Google Drive (formerly Google Docs).

Google Drive remains superior for online editing and creation of documents among a group, but for merely sharing files among a large group of people – quickly – or staggered group editing on computers in native programs (like Word and Excel) Dropbox is very helpful. I’ve used the tool to plan events and share a Excel workbook.

I’ve shared audio-visual scripts and storyboards, graphics and Powerpoint presentations, academic papers, and grant applications. I can more easily share MP3 audio files with people I’ve recorded, without the need to use a public drive. I’ve shared photographs, MP3s and PDFs.

With the last two, keep in mind that sharing copyrighted items – such as music MP3s or journal article PDFs – can open you up to copyright violation issues, unless you have permission from the copyright owner, or are the copyright owner.

Now, it certainly helps if your friends, family and colleagues are also using Dropbox, but you can also share without them joining the service, by creating a direct link you can send to anyone.

You can also track the changes you’ve made to files in the “Events” folder. This may be helpful if you opt to edit a document on Word and Excel, and upload periodically to share with an audience – a method that works best if each editor/reader/creator staggers their access turn by turn.

Like Google Drive, one of Dropbox’s best qualities is its flexibility. You can download Dropbox to your home computer, and make a folder shareable there. You’ll be able to login and remotely browse those files using Firefox or Chrome from another desktop or computer, but also browse and download the files to your phone or tablet through the Dropbox app. This Dropbox app can also save specific, favorite files that you can access offline on your phone or tablet.  I can’t tell you how much time it’s saved me, to be able to call up a specific file within seconds on my phone or tablet, no matter how far I am from home.

Dropbox can also be set up to automatically import your photos or other files, once you plug in your Android, iPhone or tablet. This can be a drawback if you have large files or an extraordinary number of photos.

Still, you’ll find that Dropbox can considerably improve the productivity you experience while using your tablet or phone for work and play.


tech tips: Simplify with OneNote

Are you looking for the panacea of tools to keep you organized?  Do you carry a notebook, have stickies all over your desk, an handwritten to-do list, an overflowing inbox, a plethora of Outlook tasks?  Have you tried collaborating by sending documents back & forth through email?  Yikes!

If you’ve never used MS OneNote, or have tried it in the past, I encourage you to revisit it.  OneNote comes with the MS Office suite.  OneNote can be used to organize your life, your projects, meeting agendas & minutes, research, classroom materials, and more. In fact, I’m drafting this blog post in OneNote.

In OneNote 2010, you can even access and share your notes from *anywhere*.  You can share notes with others who don’t even have OneNote on their computers.  You can also link notes to Outlook Tasks.  You can learn about OneNote through Atomic Learning video tutorials.

All faculty, staff, and students have access to Atomic Learning through the Blackboard Tools module.   If you aren’t often in Blackboard and would like to access the videos directly through the main site or links below,  feel free to contact me at x7286 or by email for the Atomic Learning San Jac username & password (which is different from your network or Blackboard username and password). You will only need to authenticate once to access multiple videos during a browser session. NOTE: Some videos are accessible without logging in, but the majority of them do require you to authenticate (log in).

Following is a list of short Atomic Learning videos to help acquaint you with OneNote 2010 and get you organized. (Note: This is only a subset of the 55 videos available  on this topic.)

TIP: If you want the videos to open in a different tab, hold down the CTRL key as you click on the link.

Jump in and simplify your life!
OneNote 2010 Training

A. Understanding OneNote

B. Getting Started with OneNote