Easy classroom file sharing with box.net

Box logo (Blue background)Box is an easy to use file sharing service that I use to share files in my courses and for my projects. Files can be shared from your desktop computer or mobile device. Box also includes collaboration tools so others can contribute to your shared folders. The Box service is located at http://www.box.net.

After you sign up for the free account, you are ready to start uploading and sharing your files. You have 5 gigs of storage with the free account. Paid accounts give you more storage, security and branding options. A complete list of features can be found at http://www.box.net/features/complete_list.

Using the Box interface for adding files is simple…just drag-and-drop from your desktop to the browser window. Some mobile apps have Box support built-in so files can be saved directly to folders in your Box account.

BoxNetDropBox


You can create folders in Box to organize your files. I created a folder for each course I teach and added files relevant to the course such as the course syllabus and project files. I also use box to share files from my own projects. You can utilize drag-and-drop to organize your files and folders within the Box interface.

boxNetFolderList

Here is a view from the Box iPhone app.

mobileBox

Box displays the URL of the selected folder or file in the Box interface. Just copy the link and paste it into an email to allow others access to your folders or files. Of course, they only have access to files that you have marked for public consumption.

BoxNetShareLink

Box also gives you an embed code to insert a Box widget into your learning management system (LMS) or website. A group of folders or single folder can be shared in this way. This saves me a lot of time managing files since the files are dynamically updated where ever the widget is located. I no longer have to upload files to my web server and edit the web page to include the links nor do I have to access my LMS and manage my file links. Using the Box interface, I can easily rename, add, update and delete files.

BoxNet Links

If you have a mobile app that supports Box then you can update files that the app supports. For example, if I need to update a Word document, I can edit the document with an app on my mobile device, save the document and it is instantly updated on my website and LMS.

Here is an example of what a Box widget looks like. The student or user simply clicks on the file they want to download. Students can also use Box to share files for group projects and assignments.

BoxNetWidget

What others are saying about Box: (from http://www1.epinions.com/pr-Online_Stores_Services-Box_net/display_~reviews)

Ease of Use, Support, Cost: All Excellent

by lwjkjr , Oct 19 ’05

I choose box.net after looking at other similar online storage because it seemed their web site was simple and so it would probably be simple to use their online storage. I was right. Extremely user friendly is the word for using online storage at …

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Easy inexpensive online storage with hardly any flaws!

by sando883 , Mar 31 ’07

The Why: The reason why I was looking for online storage initially is mainly because I have had my computer crash on me before and all that Gateway customer service was able to do for me was to reformat my harddrive, which meant losing all of the …

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Very easy-to-use and cheap, but not as good as other services for me

by havarti , Aug 24 ’09

Box.net is easy to use and is a great tool for me to store files online and share them with my clients.  They have a simple interface, but just wish it didn’t look like Windows XP.  I liked that you can upload many files at once to save time …

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Post your comments about Box or how I use it below.

Copyright 2011, Johnny Jarrell

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