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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Try Box for Sharing Collections of Files With Password Protection

Last week I started teaching three online courses. I'll be teaching four in June and July. All of the courses feature live webinars accompanied by some handouts. Of course, not everyone can make it to all of the live webinars so I record them and upload them to private folders on Box.com.

You might wonder why I use Box.com and not Google Drive. It's simple, Google Drive doesn't give me the access controls and usage statistics that I need for an online course. Box lets me password protect folders and make folders available only by email invitation. Those who I invite can use any email address that they like, they don't have to use Gmail as they would if I tried to share the files through a Gmail-based Google Classroom. Box also lets me see how many times a file has been accessed by those I've invited.

When I publish handouts like this one about making videos on Chromebooks, I use Box to host and display the PDF in my blog. I do that because the Box.com document viewer looks and functions much better than Google Drive does when it comes to large PDFs. In fact, A Complete Guide to Using Blogger In School is a such a large file that Google Drive won't display a preview of it, it just displays a download link.

Don't get me wrong, I still love Google Drive. But I can also recognize when it's not the right tool for the job.