(Wicked moving cloud image compliments of Wikimedia Commons via Jorge Barrios)
At the very beginning of the semester, I remember looking at the syllabus for this class and seeing “The Cloud” listed for this week and wondering, “What the heck is the cloud? Am I in over my head, taking this class?”
It is debatable, whether I’m in over my head. As for the cloud, I finally got my answer this week.
The cloud is a reference to the “open, remote, access online” idea that has really blossomed in the past few years. In class, we discussed the possibility of even not purchasing office software (whatever brand it may be) and using the free/low charge “cloud.”
That could be nice. Lord knows I forked over some money to buy MS Office 2007 years ago. That would have saved me money if it were in the cloud.
Or would it? Now that I’m deeper in my academic career, Powerpoint and Word don’t quite cut it. I need creative programs like Photoshop and frankly, there’s nothing like it. In my Photoshop class, we watch tutorials produced by Adobe, and the creators are able to point out all kinds of subtle but large differences between the different versions of Photoshop. Certain tweaks and alterations are only available through Photoshop. Freeware just doesn’t cut it.
Now, if I lost use of my laptop, could I get by for two weeks using the cloud? Absolutely. Nice challenge, really. But it wouldn’t be easy. I count on access to my computer to get to the internet, and it has all my passwords stored.
This is probably a good time to consider the benefits of the cloud…I don’t want to be in a pickle one day with a crashed computer and no access to files!
I do finally have a Dropbox account where I can store all my “back and forth” files in the cloud. (“Back and forth”= school files which I work on at school and at home.) All I can think is, “Where were all these programs when I was in high school and badly needed them?” It can save me the hassle of emailing big files to people to proofread: just go to Dropbox, look at my essay, and no problem…it’s all there…
All in all, Dropbox looks amazing to me, and I’m excited to keep using it. And I know I will never go all “cloud,” but for school projects, I will make lots of use of Dropbox. No more needing a flash drive or forgetting my laptop- everything I need will be right there!