DigCompEdu Competence area
Minimum digital skills level of Students
Minimum digital skills level of Educators
Students, teachers, trainers
Students/learners interested in accessing and working with learning materials – they should be able to independently use online browsers and orient themselves how to use the platform.
- Internet connection
- OwnCloud soring space
OwnCloud (just like NextCloud) is an open-source private cloud space allowing for the user to have their own storing space and sharing infrastructure and network. The purpose of having your own cloud is to be able to share all files, materials you need with your colleagues, students, peers, etc. It is a storing space aimed for sharing information, while at the same time providing you the security of having your private storing space and manage your data using applications available on most major operating systems and mobile.
How to do it (step by step)
As a teacher you will need to create your account in OwnCloud and manage the data, the infrastructure, software updates, backups and safety as it is a self-host platform. Hence, a certain level of tech-savviness is required for the optimal use of the cloud.
Upload the files and materials you want to share with your students. One of the major benefits of OwnCloud is that it is a secure online space as it is your private cloud. Hence, as a teacher you may have materials protected by copyright or with sensitive contents, which should not be available on an open source. Sharing these via OwnCloud allows you to control and restrict who and when can access them. For example, the Encryption app allows the user to encrypt and protect the data before sending it to providers such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
You can also share big files, which usually you will not be able to send via email such as videos or high-resolution pictures.
If you want to encourage group work, you can use the tools for real-time chat and simultaneous editing of spreadsheets and documents. Thus, allowing for students to work together and finish the assignments without trying to manage a time where they can all physically meet.
Versioning is another useful feature when it comes to group work, as sometimes changes that are not wanted can be made. OwnCloud automatically saves all old file versions, which facilitates the editing process especially, when a number of people is involved.
- ownCloud Overview, available at: https://reviews.financesonline.com/p/owncloud/
- ownCloud for Education, available at: https://owncloud.com/education/
There is more…
Another storage system that may be useful is NextCloud, actually both have been created by the same person Frank Karlitschek. OwnCloud was the first to be developed, and then its creator left OwnCloud Inc to fork in NextCloud. Currently, it seems that NextCloud is more popular, but both platforms have their own users.
If you want to know more check the following links, and the section for NextCloud.
- FOSDEM, Why I forked my own project and my own company OwnCloud to Nextcloud, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTKvLSnFL6I
- Battle of the Clouds, available at: https://civihosting.com/blog/nextcloud-vs-owncloud/
Both are open—source clouds offering storing space and sharing infrastructure. It is up to the user´s preferences to choose what best suits their needs. It is important to know that using the functions of both platforms is completely free. Fees are to be paid only if the user wants help with supporting the cloud, but these are not necessary for all users nor are they mandatory.
- Roll Out your Own Cloud…Sort of, available at: https://www.danielsellers.com/blog/category/Cloud+Storage
- 6 Creative Uses for ownCloud, available at: https://opensource.com/life/15/12/6-creative-ways-use-owncloud