Using Private Cloud File Sharing to Create a Collaborative Environment in the Classroom

Classroom Transporter

The modern classroom is no longer limited to pencils, paper, and textbooks; with students and faculty creating a wealth of digital files scattered across various devices it now requires a new way to keep documents, notes, and projects accessible in or out of the lecture hall. Students need an easy way to collaborate with peers on projects, research data, or syncing reports in real time between group members, and professors need a simple way to collect large assignments or share lecture notes, without leaving assignments, valuable records, or research vulnerable to data loss.

“Cloud services are a very necessary tool, because as faculty members we need an easy way to share files, collect assignments, and compile documents from students,” said Dr. Sarah Karam, an associate professor at Concordia University in Irvine. “Using free public cloud services offers a lot of these conveniences, but it’s not without some drawbacks like when internet access is down or if any data like student records need to be privately maintained.”

Unlike public cloud services that charge monthly use fees or cap file upload sizes, Transporter private cloud appliances put data back into faculty and administration’s control but with the same ease of access and sharing capabilities of popular public cloud services only without any of the security risks. As a private, on-premise solution, it gives IT complete control over location and redundancy of information, while enabling users to privately share documents with anyone and access confidential files from anywhere. It’s both simple and secure to sync and share files and folders with students, other faculty, or administrators in the university, or grant read-only document access through secure shared links that IT can easily monitor and manage.
Already deployed in educational institutions, one Transporter success story comes from Erik Samuelson, a faculty member of Trinity Lutheran College in Everett, Washington. Like most academics, Erik frequently brings work home with him—files for lectures, presentations for his students, and video content—so he paid for a premium Dropbox cloud storage account in order to access his files away from campus. It wasn’t long before Erik hit the free storage limit and that prompted him to seek an alternative solution to remotely access and securely share his files.

“I like the convenience of being able to access my files on my computer, laptop, or iPad, but I did not want to see my monthly payments go up. I also worried that the terms of use could change at any time, and I would find myself scrambling to recover files and move them out of Dropbox. So I started looking for an alternative.”

Transporter gives Erik more than just cost savings by eliminating monthly fees, he also has the complete control that comes from keeping work files such as classroom lectures and multimedia materials and personal files on his own hardware, which didn’t happen when he was storing those files on Dropbox’s public servers. “If I have a copy of a file in my office on the hard drive, and I can sync those to my PC at home and my laptop, that just gives me much more confidence than using a purely cloud-based storage service. Thanks to Transporter, I can keep all my files in the Transporter cloud and access them anytime on my computers and mobile devices without worrying about managing their storage space.”

Transporter can also integrate non-disruptively with existing NAS systems and file servers, so institutions can retain and leverage earlier storage investments to avoid costly and troublesome data migration, unlike cloud solutions that require migrating data or keeping multiple version of files. This capability provides mobile access without needing a VPN, enabling users to access and sync different files located on multiple NAS systems already in your data center.

Transporter is an ideal solution for faculty and administration to share files and remotely access data, and Connected Data also helps higher education institutions take fiscal budgetary and financial requirements into account. Connected Data makes it easy to purchase Transporter business products with the Education Flex Program, offering a special deferred payment plan that is exclusive to verified education organizations and institutions. Payments for the purchase of any Transporter appliance made through August 2015 will be deferred until September 1, 2015.

Want to learn more about deploying Transporter private cloud appliances? Check out our Solution Page to see the benefits over outdated FTP servers, difficult to use VPNs, or pricey and unsecure public cloud services.