Most Desired Features
At yesterday’s meeting of the #100percentdigital faculty-staff learning community, we explored solutions for collaborating with documents, files, and folders. We began by asking the question, “What matters the most to you when collaborating or sharing documents?” Our answers present a nice feature list to use when evaluating tools that support such collaboration. They fall into three major categories: access, sharing, and collaboration.
- Being able to access documents and files anywhere and everywhere
- Ability to do everything online
- Something that allows you to preview online
- Ability to search across online document storage
- Version control, including ability to rewind and go back to a previous version
- Ability to reuse content.
- Having a system that makes it easy to share via links that works
- Security in sharing documents and transparency about who has access and the ability to make comments
- Online collaboration
- Real-time editing with groups
- Chatter around the document and comments on the document but also live chat
We also discussed the challenges of such digital workflow. One of the biggest may just be that not everyone is as digital as you are. At other times you don’t have access to the internet so online content is unavailable. We also realized that tool choice comes down to personal working style. Unfortunately, there isn’t one perfect app that fits your unique working style combinations of apps aren’t largely interoperable. You may also have to use a less desirable app to accommodate others in your working group. Finally, these technologies are only as good as the user’s personal organization system. For example, I’ve developed a system of naming folders with a due date prefix, e.g., 20141112-100percentdigital would be a good folder name for an event on November 12. Developing a consistent personal system is important, but may be complicated when you begin collaborating with other users.
Here Comes Box
Our discussion also focused largely on box, which is now available to all St. Edward’s university users. To sign up, visit: http://think.stedwards.edu/computerhelp/box
- Here are some tips that we shared:
- Every user gets 50 GB and group account folders or folders shared from others won’t count against that total.
- Students can keep their Box account after they graduate.
- You can set up a folder for submissions with a form that can be placed online on a blog or website
- You can also set up an email so that any attachments sent to that email automatically get added to the folder.
- Box has versioning so you can see who edited and all the versions — at least for Word.
- You can set date ranges on folder access to prevent students from uploading a new version after a due date.
- You can tag files in Box
We’ll add teaching with Box to the list of potential topics for this group in spring 2015. If you have any other topic suggestions, please let us know!