Dropbox – A useful tool for online file backup & file sharing

With the number of faculty carrying around flash drives, it’s important to be aware of alternative services that can backup your files online.  Dropbox is a secure online file backup service that allots you 2gb of freespace and up to 100gb of space if you choose to pay for the service. 

As an online file backup service Dropbox is great because it can be accessed through any web browser, via the account you create, or an application that runs on numerous platforms including: iPhone, iPad, Android, Linux, Windows, and Mac.  This means you will be able to backup files from pretty much computer or electronic device. 

Dropbox also allows you to upload any file type and there is no size limit on the files you upload.  You can even have Dropbox sync directly to specific folders on your computer.  In addition to the sync feature, Dropbox allows you to create shared folders and invite users to access or upload files to them. 

Overall, if you have been looking for a way to avoid carrying around a flash drive or backup your files Dropbox may be a useful tool for you.

Internet Detective – Web Research Tutorial

Recently, Scott Kodai, CSU, Chico Distributed Learning Technologies Manager, gave us in TLP a heads up about Internet Detective, a new web research tutorial. I found Internet Detective [ http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/detective/brief.html ] to provide basic, clearly-worded advice to entering university students. The information about how to most effectively use online resources is broken down into the following categories:
* What’s the Story? – understand the advanced Internet skills required for university and college work.
* The Good the Bad and the Ugly – see why information quality is an issue on the web, especially for academic research. Learn how to avoid time wasting on Internet searching, scams and hoaxes.
* Detective Work – get hints and tips that help to critically evaluate the information you find on the Internet.
* Get On the Case – try out your Internet Detective skills with these practical exercises.
* Keep the Right Side of the Law – be warned about plagiarism, copyright and citation.

The site originates in the United Kingdom university system, but the basic information and advice regarding online research is applicable to any student research projects. I would suggest using it as a web link in any entry-level class that requires research and proper citation of sources.