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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

7 Ways to Avoid Inbox Overload When Collecting Assignments

Google Docs is my favorite tool for keeping my email inbox free of large file attachments from my students. In fact, after September 30 I don't accept written assignments from my students in any other format. But, I realize that there are some files that aren't perfectly suited to being viewed in Google Docs. For example, it a student has a Keynote file it won't be viewed the same way in Google Docs as it is in Keynote. I also realize that not all of my readers are Google Docs fanatics like me. For those reasons I've compiled this list of good ways to share large files without the need for sending email attachments.

Uploader Box is a free service for sharing large files with your friends and colleagues. To use the service just upload a file from your computer, enter your email address, and enter the email addresses of your intended recipients. Once your file is uploaded, Uploader Box will provide you with two urls. One of the urls is for sharing your file and the other is for deleting your file if you decide you no longer want to share it.

Go Pileus is a simple free service for quickly sharing files. To use Go Pileus just drag a file from your desktop to the Go Pileus page in your browser. Alternatively, you can select upload on Go Pileus to browse for files on your computer. Once your chosen file is uploaded Go Pileus will create a short url for your file. Share that url with the people you want to be able to view and save your file. You can use Go Pileus without creating an account, but your files expire after thirty minutes. Creating an account on Go Pileus will allow your files to be accessible longer.

Minus (Min.us) provides a simple way to share files with anyone. To use Minus just drag a file onto the blank Minus canvas. Once your file is on the canvas Minus will provide you with links to share your file with others. Minus will also generate a HTML code that you can use to embed your file into a blog or website. Those people with whom you share the url for your file can also download your file.


Let's Crate is very easy to use. To use Let's Crate just drag a file from your desktop to the Let's Crate page. Let's Crate then creates a unique url that you can send to others so that they can access your file. The unique url expires after 30 minutes unless you create a free Let's Crate account in which case you can keep files on Let's Crate as long as you need them.

File Dropper is a free and very easy way to share files up to 5GB. To use File Dropper simply upload your file and File Dropper assigns it a unique URL that you can then share with anyone. File Dropper is not nearly as feature-rich as some of the other file hosting and sharing services, but it is free and upload times are fast.

DROPitTOme is a free service that works with Drop Box to allow people to upload files to your Drop Box account without giving them access to the contents of your Drop Box account. For those not familiar with Drop Box it is a service that provides 2GB of free online file storage (by the way, that's way more than the 100mb Drop.io offered). You can access your Drop Box from any computer and most mobile devices. You can also sync it across multiple computers.  Learn more about Drop Box in the video below.



DROPitTOme works by synchronizing with your Drop Box account. After connecting the two services DROPitTOme provides a url that you can give to others to upload files to your Drop Box account. You must specify a password that has to be entered before an upload can take place. Give the url and password to those people you want to be able to upload files to your Drop Box account.




File Stork allows you to collect files in two ways. You can make an individual file request by sending an email to someone. The other way, and the more practical way for teachers, is to create a "stand alone" request which will allow you to post an upload link on your blog or website. Visitors can then use that link to upload a file to your Dropbox where you can view it and download it if you like. File Stork allows you to specify an upload password and allows you to specify which types of files you will allow to be uploaded to your Dropbox. People uploading files to your Dropbox through File Stork do not have access to any of the files in your account.

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