What is OneDrive?

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Surrey teachers and students now have access to OneDrive which is part of the Office365 for Education suite. OneDrive is very similar to Dropbox or Google Drive and allows you to back-up your files in the cloud, ie. on a server (in our case, this is in Canada which makes OneDrive appropriate for student documents). This means that no matter where you are or what device you are using, you can always access your files.

OneDrive through office.com using your @surreyschools credentials has 1 TB of storage (thats 1000 GB) and is available for free for all staff and students. It is a great option for backing up your work-related documents.

Here are some ways that teachers may be saving their documents and the associated pitfalls:

  • USB Drive – prone to data corruption, physical damage or loss
  • Network Drive (H: drive) – 10 GB limit, only accessible from work
  • Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive personal – free accounts don’t give you much space, paid accounts cost a subscription fee.

OneDrive addresses many of these issues and I would encourage teachers to start using it to back up their documents.

How to Use OneDrive

Go to office.com and log in with your @surreyschools.ca credentials (same as email login)

Choose OneDrive from the list of Apps

You should see your list of files and folders. Near the top of the OneDrive window you will see 4 options:

1. The “New” menu allows you to create folders and files directly into OneDrive.

2. The Upload menu gives you the option to upload single files or folders. The folder option is fantastic for backing things up as it maintains your folder organization and structure. I did a test and uploaded a folder containing files and folders 3 levels deep and it uploaded everything without a hitch.

Note: On a computer, you can also click an drag a file or folder into the OneDrive window to start the upload

3. Flow allows you to set up custom commands to integrate other services. For instance, when you upload a file to Instagram it will also upload it to OneDrive. Or save all GMail attachments to a OneDrive folder. I haven’t played with this yet.

4. Sync allows you to create a OneDrive folder on your computer which will sync with the server. This saves you from having to access OneDrive through the website and it would allow OneDrive to function as any other folder on your computer (very convenient). However, you need to make sure you actually have the space to accommodate OneDrive keeping in mind that it has up to 1 TB of storage!

I also don’t recommend setting this up on a district computer unless you are the only user. Syncing files may take up lots of file space.

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