Monday, 9 July 2012

About Skydrive: a cloud-based file storage system

SKYDRIVE is a cloud-based file storage system. If you have a Hotmail account or an MSN account, you already have access to this tool. Users can store digital photos, documents, etc. there. No matter what happens to the PC, those files will be safe there.  

Instead of sending attached files to students, teachers can share  files. In this way, they can avoid any inconveniences that may appear if the students' computers do not have the same word processor. With SKYDRIVE students and teachers can go to any computer, log into their SKYDRIVE account and do their work with ease since everything they type is on an external server.  Once their work is uploaded, teachers and students can share their files. There are different sharing options, but I will mention just two:

  • "view": this means that if you share your file using this option, the visitor can only read it.

  • "edit" means that people may edit the document but they cannot share it with others. This is a difference with google docs.

SKYDRIVE files are embedabble in blogs and wikis. 
Your SKYDRIVE files will look like this in blogger:  

It is not advisable to use SKYDRIVE in computers with slow Internet conection because the document may crash if more than one person is editing it at the same time. Important: SKYDRIVE does not save documents automatically. The user must save the file before closing it or he/she may lose all the changes :(

Possible Uses:
- If teachers are planning to make students visit different websites to carry out an ESL activity, they can insert the links to the correponding text in the file. This will be time saving because students will not have to type the website adresses.
- Students may get familiar with collaborative writing. Teachers may ask students to form groups of 2, 3 or 4 people. Each group will be supposed to edit a word file on a given task.

Suggested activities
Beginner level: Dictate the following text to students : Mr. Harris is a businessman. At the moment, he is driving. He is taking his wife to work and his two kids to school. Today he is wearing black shoes, grey trousers, a white shirt, a blue tie and a black jacket. Tonight he is going to a football match with his friends.

Activity: ask Ss. to rewrite the paragraph but now starting the text with “Mrs Harris” and make all the necessary changes.

Intermediate level :Collaborative Writing- (Adapted  from New Total English Intermediate Flexi Course Book 2 page. 83) a) Students are supposed to write a short article about a city or place they know well, recommending things a visitor should do using expressions learned in this unit: One of the best places to visit is..... You mustn`t miss....... I f you enjoy..., you will love... One or two images may be used for illustrating the article.