Storing files used to be a straightforward thing then cloud computing came along and changed everything. There are now dozens of ways to store files and have them available for sharing with staff. This article goes through 3 ways.
Back in the 1990s, a school server was the only way to guarantee files could be shared in the school. This often included sharing software in the form of large CD-servers with loads of CD-ROM drives packed with whatever software the school was using. File sharing was done on networked drives and staff could access them from computers set up on this network. It was a cumbersome enough job. Not much has really changed with the server and many schools no longer bother with one. However, for schools that do, the same process applies except these days there are ways to access the networked drives remotely. It takes quite a bit of expertise to do this though.
Network Attached Storage is similar to the server in that it is a machine which needs to be connected through a network. The NAS is simply a big hard drive and it remains switched on all the time. Connecting up is similar enough to a server and some NAS systems allow users to connect to it remotely, again requiring a little bit of expertise. If a school has a lot of multimedia, I would recommend this solution for sharing videos, music and other files like this. I probably wouldn’t use it for sharing policies or any documents.
There are probably hundreds of cloud storage solutions out there today. Dropbox is probably the best known where users can easily share an online drive and share files. However, there are loads of different solutions. My favourite for a school is Drive by Google if the school is hooked up to G Suite for Education. The great thing about this is that you can create policies on Google Drive using Google Docs and anyone in the school can edit them even at the same time. After the policy is written, it can be shared with everyone in the school or even made public. My school uses this for almost all of our policies and we find it great. Dropbox is probably a good solution if you are trying to share files with specific people rather than the whole school.
Last Update: March 28, 2018