Box is a Good Option for Storing, Sharing and Embedding Files!

The ether is getting a little crowded with the rapidly increasing number of clouds where you can keep your digital stuff. I’ve used three of the biggest players, and I’ve been more than satisfied with DropBox, Google Drive and Box. Lately, while creating my new website, UDL Resource, I’ve been more inclined to use Box. That’s because it works so well for embedding files on my web pages, and for allowing visitors to my site to download files and folders.

My free Box account gives me 50 GB of storage in the cloud, and I have access to it on my iPad and Android tablets, as well as on my computer. Not only do I have access to my files, sharing those files for any reason at all is extremely convenient.

Perhaps best of all, I can embed PowerPoint presentations, or almost any other kind of file, wherever I wish to. I used to be a big fan of embedit.in, and I used it quite often to embed files on blogs and wikis. Since Box has taken over embedit.in, I get the same service, only better. You can check out three files I’ve embedded on this page at UDL Resource–the graphic image of the UDL guidelines and the two PowerPoint presentations at the bottom of the page.

Another way I find Box useful, is for sharing large files and folders. I’ve just included a 50 MB folder on my new website, and this resource can be downloaded by anyone who visits the site–on this page at UDL Resource, under ‘PowerTalk’.

Now if someone could only help Apple to get over its hangup with displaying content embedded with flash…

Side by Side iPad App Splits Screen for Online Research, Note-Taking and More

For many reasons, it can be helpful to view multiple “windows” simultaneously on a single screen. A learner may wish to see more than one source of information while taking notes. Or, someone might want to have a Twitter client or Facebook account open to share what’s being learned and written about. All of this is possible, and more, on the 10 inch iPad screen.

Side by Side is a remarkable free app. With Side by Side, you can split the iPad screen into as many as four windows that can be positioned and sized as needed. These windows can be used to view multiple websites, PDF’s or MS Word files. Or, any of the windows may be used for note-taking text editors. Text can be copied into a text editor from other open windows. Text-to-speech is available in any of the windows via Speak Selection.

Side by Side has its own browser for opening websites. PDF’s and text files can be opened into Side by Side from DropBox or from email attachments. Notes written in Side by Side can be emailed, saved into DropBox or opened into other apps on the iPad.

The image below gives an idea of what is possible with Side by Side. I suspect that there are countless learners who would benefit greatly by using this app in a great many learning activities.

There is a Side by Side Pro version of this app available for $1.99. I have purchased and installed the Pro version, but I have found the free version to be more than adequate.

Math on an iPad with Free Equation Editor in Cloudon

I’ve invested considerable time, and spent quite a bit of money, investigating options for doing equations and other math on an iPad. Three apps I’ve looked at offer potential: MathBot ($4.99) full version; Formula ($3.99); MathPad ($4.99 full version). Any of these might work well for a motivated post-secondary learner, but may be problematic for middle school or high school students, where so many learners need an alternative to pencil and paper for their math work.

To my great delight, this weekend I stumbled on a good solution for anyone who needs to do math on an iPad. I was investigating an app I thought to be unrelated.

Cloudon is a FREE app that provides 3 MS Office programs–Word, Excel, PowerPoint–on the iPad! These programs are completely functional! You can create and edit Word, PowerPoint or Excel documents, not just view them. Even better, the user interface is almost identical to the computer version. All you need to make it happen, once the app is installed, is a (free) DropBox account. Cloudon is so powerful, and the potential so great, that I intend write another more detailed post about it.

For now, I want readers to know that the Cloudon version of MS Word makes it just as easy to use Word’s equation editor on an iPad as on a computer. Because buttons and icons are smaller on an iPad, some users may prefer to use a stylus with it. (I wrote about Word’s equation editor HERE a year ago, and HERE three years ago.)

Here’s how you get to the equation editor in MS Word on Cloudon.

1. Open Cloudon and click on the icon identified below.

2. Select ‘Microsoft Word’.

3. Give your file a name and create it by clicking the ‘New’ button.

4. Open the ‘Text & Symbols’ menu.



5. Click on ‘Equation’ to open the equation editor ribbon.

6. There are 11 palettes of symbols, and these are opened as illustrated with a partial view of the palette for bracket symbols.

7. Here’s an example of an equation written with the editor. This image also shows the keyboard. It is noteworthy that this keyboard includes arrow keys because these are essential to the equation editor.