A strange new weather phenomenon? Not likely. So what is The Cloud?


The YouTube video above, is a higher education perspective but has many points relevant to the secondary (and even Primary) schooling context.

The Cloud is simply another term for the internet. It is used to describe data and information that is accessed and stored via the internet. A common example that most people know well is web based email such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail. You access the software for the email via the internet, the messages you send and receive are stored in The Cloud (ie on the internet).

More and more services and apps are being offered in The Cloud. There are many advantages to cloud computing the least of which is the access to your data from multiple devices and locations. This is enabled through the simple fact that your data is hosted in The Cloud and is accessible wherever you have a wireless connection and hence an internet connection.

Combining cloud based applications and data storage with Web 2.0 enables students to collaborate, create and manage their information more and more easily.

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Google drive is a great way to both store your documents or files AND to collaborate. People can work on the same document, at the same time, from different locations - easily!

You can also manage your entire drive from your desktop by installing the Google Drive application. To get it, head to and select "Download Google Drive" in the left sidebar. After a short installation process, a "Google Drive" folder will be added to your desktop. That folder is synced with your Google Drive, so any changes you make to it will be reflected in the Web interface, and vice versa (as long as you're connected to the Internet).

  • Documents are free. Google gives you 5GB of free storage space, but any docs you create within Drive don't count against your storage. Documents of other formats (eg. Microsoft Word) do count and will only be able to be viewed and not edited via Google Drive.
  • Upload up to 30 types of files. Photoshop, movies, photos -- you name it. Google Drive supports the storage and viewing of all the popular file types. So, you can upload a movie to your Drive and play it back within your browser, no matter where you are.
  • Share files, folders, or your entire Drive. Have a document you want to share? Or a home video stored on your drive? Simply right-click a file or folder, select "Share...," and choose your sharing option. To give someone access to your entire drive, click the button with the person and a plus sign at the top.
  • Collaborate on videos, photos, and more. The collaboration feature from Google Docs is now available for any type of file. For example, if you upload a video to Drive and share it with someone else, you'll be able to discuss that video with the comment tool.
  • Install third-party apps. Third-party developers have created apps that work seamlessly with Google Drive. Pixlr lets you edit uploaded photos, HelloFax lets you send free faxes, and DocuSign lets you sign official documents, all within Google Drive. To get these apps and more, head to Google Drive > Settings > Manage apps > Get more apps.

Cloud computing is a recent technological innovation that has changed the way students and professionals manage their files. In short, cloud storage allows users to store and access files from a web database rather than a traditional hard-drive. The main advantage to cloud storage is that you can access your files from any computer with an internet connection. Traditionally, users could only access files from their hard drive. This is a great tool for students because they can access their documents from anywhere! Meaning, they can work on a report at home, send it to the cloud, and can continue working on their assignment in school or while on the bus. Pretty awesome and efficient! Google Drive is just one of the cloud applications available for no cost, or low cost, to users of the internet.

Before you use Google Drive, you must sign up __here__ .
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When you initially setup Drive, any Google Docs associated with your email address will automatically be synched to your Google Drive account. This is convenient for people who previously to use Google Docs.

After your Google Doc files are synched (if you have any), you will be brought to the Google Drive screen. Here you can see all the files, folders and documents associated with your drive. A nifty feature of Google Drive is the ability to download it to your computer. To do this, simply click on “download Google Drive”. By doing this, you download all of your Google Drive files to your computer. It also allows you to place a Google Drive folder on your desktop where you can upload files to your Drive account by dragging the files from your hard drive to the folder.

The folder is automatically synched to your account. This is the Google Drive folder on your desktop. Drag your file to the folder and poof! Its uploaded to the cloud automatically. Pretty cool, right?

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Now that you’ve signed up and perhaps downloaded Google Drive, it’s time to start uploading files. I recommend that you set up different folders for your various files. For example, having separate folders for photos, music, and school. To do this, click on the ‘create’ button on the left hand side and scroll to ‘folder’. After you click on ‘folder’, you will be prompted to name your folder.

When you have created and named your folders, its time to upload some files! Click on the ‘upload’ button which is to the right of the ‘create’ button. You can choose to upload files or folders to your account (you need Google Chrome or an add-in to upload whole folders) from your computer.

You can share your Google Drive folders with other people by selecting the folder, clicking on the down icon to the right of the folder name and selecting share. This is very useful for group work!
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Moving your files from one folder to another is also a snap. Find the file you want to move and click on the box next to the file (to the left of the star). You will then see an option to share, organize, or move to trash. Click on the Organize option. From there, just select where you’d like to move your file.

Creating a Google document and saving it to Drive is also super easy! Click on the ‘create’ icon which is visible on Drive at all times and select document type.

You will then be brought to Google Documents. After you create your document, click the grey folder icon on the top left (to the right of the star) and choose which folder you’d like to save it to! It’s that easy!

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Google Drive is an awesome tool for organizing and managing your files. This is especially useful for students and professionals because they can literally access and edit their files from anywhere and they can collaborate with ease - no more problems with “so-and-so has all our files and they are away today”.

Drive’s seamless integration with other Google applications, like Docs and __Google Play__, makes this cloud storage a must-have. Still unsure of what cloud storage is and how it can help you? Here’s Google’s explanation!


Google Drive is currently available for Mac and Windows, as well as Android devices. Google has reported that Drive will be available for the iPhone and iPad soon.

Modified by L.Barnard from and Online [Accessed 10-10-12]

This document can be found, in full format, at


Let's collaborate!

Unit 1 Business