File-sharing tools serve multiple purposes in the world of education. They allow you to share files of nearly any size with anyone or store them in a cloud drive so you can easily access them wherever you are. They also encourage collaboration, often allowing multiple people to edit a document in real-time.

Even if your computer crashes or your flash drive gets lost, the files you have shared are still accessible, serving as a free source of backup for your most important files. As file sharing tools become more popular, more options are available and you have to choose which one best fits the needs of you and your students. Perhaps one of these seven web tools for file sharing will do the trick.


With Dropbox, you download the application to your computer and start dragging and dropping the files you want to share. Files are then available online, your smartphone or other computers. This tool allows you to create different folders for your files and choose who to share those files with. For example, you could create a folder for handouts and notes and make it accessible for students, store exams in a private folder and have another folder with data and reports you want to share with administrators or other teachers.

Google Docs

Google Docs may be one of the most popular file-sharing programs because it allows users to edit the documents in real-time. Unlike some file-sharing programs also allowing real-time collaboration, it is not limited to text-based documents. With Google Docs, users can share and collaborate on spreadsheets, presentations, drawings and forms, making it an ideal tool for students who need to create a group presentation outside of school or to help teachers collaborate on data analysis.


Pando is your basic file-sharing program, designed for sending large files or sending groups of files at once. Often when teachers attend workshops and conferences, they are encouraged to bring a flash drive to hold a copy of all of the files. Using a resource like Pando can save having to copy those files by offering a link to them instead. It's also a great way to give teachers copies of employee handbooks, standards, curriculum maps and other important documents without loading them down with paper.


Senduit may be one of the simplest file-sharing programs. Simply upload a document 100MB or less and share the private link. You select how long you want the link to work, choosing between 30 minutes and one week.



With YouSendIt, you can access your documents from multiple devices. Similar to Dropbox, you can place documents in folders and choose who to share those folders with. A unique feature is the ability to sign documents, which may be a solution for getting those permission slips signed and returned.


4Shared is simply a virtual cloud drive. Upload your files to your virtual cloud drive and access them from wherever you are. You can share files directly with other 4Shared users or generate a link to allow specific people to view your content. If your students sign up for 4Shared accounts, they can share their papers and projects directly with you. You can also search for files created by others and shared publicly.

Cloud Safe

Cloud Safe is heavy on security, making it a great tool for sharing sensitive documents. Perhaps you need to share confidential documents related to IEPs, medical issues or student records. Cloud Safe allows you securely share those documents, requiring at least two people to approve access to the documents.

This article first appeared on HP’s Teacher Experience Exchange web site.

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