into one central location. Depending on your individual situation there are several ways of doing this.

One way is to physically connect the device to a computer and download the files. Te instructions for doing so will vary by operating system. If you Google “save files from X to Y” you should find a set of instructions fitting your setup. If you don’ feel comfortable doing that your district IT department can help. Tis solution is best in cases where the district owns all of the devices, but can be cumbersome if you have a lot of devices.

Cloud Based Services

A second way of moving files from individual devices to a central location is to use cloud based services. Tere are four major services popular today and a host of others available as well. Using any of the Cloud based services is going to require that you, or your district, set up an account with the provider. For most services this is free. Typically the free storage offered ranges anywhere from 2GB (Drop- box) to 15GB (Google). In the following section I describe several of the more popular Cloud based services. All of them have options for purchasing more storage if you find you need it.

If your district uses Google Classroom you can have stu- dents send the files to your Google Drive from their devices. Your IT department can help you set up a public folder if one is not already established.

Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud based services. In a similar fashion to Google Classroom you can set up shared folders with students, which allows them to upload and/or access files from anywhere. Set up folders for indi- vidual classes to improve organization and easy access.

If your district uses Office365 it is also possible to have a public folder students can send things to you. Depending on the type of student accounts available with your school Office365 subscription, there are several options for file sharing. Sharepoint and OneDrive can be used to set up a public folder. Alternatively you could set up a specific channel using video that lets students upload their perfor- mances.

Apple’s iCloud is an option if you want to manage all your iOS devices. It is possible to set up iCloud Drive on each de- vice so that students can send files directly to a folder from within the app itself. You will need to set up a shared folder with the service prior to asking your students to send files.

Each of these services has it’s own advantages and disad- vantages. You will want to decide for yourself what the


easiest solution is for you based on your situation. I highly recommend setting up a separate account specifically for sharing files with your classroom to avoid cluttering up your personal files. If none of these solutions is viable in your classroom another option would be to have students send files using more traditional methods such as email or through Bluetooth.

Provided students have access to an email account they can send the sound file directly to your school account. Te downside to this method is that most email services have a limit of 25MB per file that can be sent. Longer sound files can easily exceed that limit. A better choice is to share files via Bluetooth. Since files are shared directly from device to device, this avoids the file size limit. Each operating system and device is going to work slightly differently. Android devices use a system called Android Beam, while Apple devices use a system named Airdrop. Windows phone do not have a specific name for this kind of transfer, but they are also capable of sharing files using Bluetooth.

In conclusion there are many different ways of organizing and sharing files your students create. Some will work better than others depending on your specific needs and available resources. You should evaluate what solution best fits your teaching situation and proceed from there. As long as you have a plan before you jump in you should find success!

Ian Boynton is a musician and teacher in the Detroit area. Currently he teaches gener- al music to grades K-5 for Redford Union Schools and both music and technology courses at Madonna University.

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