Internet2’s foray into cloud computing will also give campus IT officials access to services from a company called Box, a content sharing platform that educators can use in team projects and research.

Box recently worked with Hunter College in New York to help the school’s rehabilitation research group more easily share files online, instead of constantly eMailing ever-changing documents back and forth between contributors, according to a Box white paper.

Before using the cloud-based Box system, Hunter College researchers had to conduct conference calls when research documents needed to be edited.

The Hunter research team tried sharing the documents on the school’s Blackboard platform, but updated versions of that site didn’t allow researchers to share the online information with people outside the college.

John O’Neill, a professor at Hunter College, called the Box cloud-based system “intuitive” for researchers, adding that the program didn’t have the “bells and whistles” that other file sharing services had, but that the college didn’t need.

“You can’t collaborate if you can’t share files,” O’Neill said in Box’s whitepaper. “You can’t collaborate if you can’t centralize materials somewhere and access them when you’re not together as a group.”

Officials at the Pacific Education Institute (PEI) in Olympia, Wash., used Box to manage the influx of student project submissions and updates from educators.


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