Collaborating in the cloud

This resource will explain the cloud, and identify some of the benefits and risks of using the cloud to store files.

What is the "cloud"?

The "cloud" is a metaphor that refers to storing and accessing information and programs using the Internet instead of in the hard drive of your computer or device.

What is "cloud computing"?

Cloud computing uses the Internet as the communication medium to provide you with services and other on-demand computing resources. It gives you the opportunity to use services and resources connected to the Internet at your own convenience - anywhere, anytime.

These services are provided by cloud services vendors often at little to no cost. You likely use cloud computing everyday, for example when uploading photos to social media or saving documents in Dropbox.

Watch this video and reflect on the benefits and risks of storing files in the cloud.


Cloud-based tools for storage and collaboration

Cloud-based tools can help you stay organised and complete group tasks. You can store your assignments, notes, and personal files like photos and videos in the cloud, meaning that it can be accessed anywhere there is an Internet connection, on nearly any device.

Examples of cloud based tools for storage include Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive and OneDrive. You can also give other people permission to access and edit your files in real-time.

Managing file permissions in the cloud

It is important to control how people can use the data you share. Cloud services allow you to create folders to help you manage your stored files, you control who can access them, and what type of access, this is called 'permissions'.

Types of access include: 'read only' or 'full rights'. You can give permission for someone to access a file in one of your folders, without giving permission to the contents of the entire folder.

To change permissions in a cloud service right click (or long click on Mac) on the file or folder to bring up the permissions options.


OneDrive is a cloud-based service that let's you save and share files while synchronising them across your devices. These files can be accessed via the client or in a web browser.

OneDrive is a part of the Office 365 suite of applications. As a UOW student, you can access Office 365 for free using your UOWmail log-in.

Watch this video to learn how to store, share and collaborate using OneDrive.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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