WeCollaborate.com is built on the Ning.com platform, and one of the apps that can be added is for the Box.net service.  Box.net has a free/personal plan that allows up to 5GB of storage.  So, I added this feature and am interested in seeing how it works for you.

Hover your mouse over "Members" and click on "Repositories."  I think Box.net will allow you to sign up, and then be able to create folders and save files there.  What I don't know is if you can make a folder "public" so others can access it--I'm not sure if Box.net handles that, or if there would be any way to display that folder here. 

Experiment and let me know!

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  • OK, I have been working with Box,net for a few days now and I think I am getting the hang of how it all works and how it can be useful here at We Collaborate.

    Sign up for your free file storage account. You get a very generous 5GB in the free level. Once yo get signed up, you can get the embed code and embed it in your profile page here at WeCollaborate and share wbds or other files much like the LearnCentral's portfolio system.

    Some neat features -

    • If you like someone's resources, you can sign up for their Box RSS feed. This will give you a convenient way to know when they add new content. 
    • Adding files is drag and drop if you are using a browser with HTML5 capability - Safari, Chrome, and Firefox should all have it. I used Firefox successfully.
    • If you want to embed a specific file, folder, or your whole Box net on any site that will let you do html, you can do it.
    • If you are using Moodle 2.x, Box is one of the built in repositories. You can easily access your Box account anytime you are using Moodle's tools that would ask for a file.
    • You can set a file,folder, or your whole Box up to be open for collaboration (I haven't yet tried that), make it read only (file can be downloaded, in other words), or set it to private.

    I have added a few hundred of my files to my Box already. Just go to my profile page here at WeCollaborate to take a look at how mine is set up. I have just barely scratched the surface of the resources I have that I want to share, so be forewarned that if you RSS feed it right away, there will be a lot still going in. I am hoping that this weekend I can get what I want all in there of what I have already made and then can add to it as I continue to make more stuff.

    What you will find in my Box -

    I don't pull stuff from the net and just make collections. What you find in my collection is all stuff that I created with the exception of the sound effects files. I know the sound effects a teacher would likely need (particularly a science teacher) and having them all in one place saves the hours and hours of internet searching that I had to do to find copyright friendly sounds that were useful. Be sure to check the copyright list in that folder for any attributions and license specifics you will need for CC-BY and CC-BY-NC sounds.

    Custom-made wbds are available as well as my graphics files in case you want to customize the graphics in them. I use Adobe Illustrator to create my graphics. If you have that program or another vector-based software that can open .ai files, feel free to change the original graphics to suite your needs. You will find the Illustrator files in the asset folder associated with the wbd file (same level in the folder).Modt of the wbd files will have a png file so that you can preview what the wbd will look like. That will give you an idea of if it will be useful for you.

    You will also find my Captivate and Flash files in my Box - both the final swf and the source fla and cptx files. As with the wbds, the Illustrator files are in the assets folder if you want to customize them. I only have a few of these in place at the moment, but I should have more of them in place over the weekend.

    Topics - I have taught so many subjects at so many levels that I have a wide spread of resources to get in my BOX. I have taught kindergarten phonics and math all the way up through physics, chemistry and advanced math. You stand a good chance of finding something useful once I get my full library in there.

    I hope that after you see how Box will let you share, you jump in too and make what you have created available for others.

    I am thinking that a large collaborative space with all of us contributing to a central Box repository is possible to. We just need to jump in and give it a try to figure it all out as far as setting it up.

    • Oh Wow! I just discovered tht Box is even able to generate a preview of Illustrator files (.ai file extensions). I don't think I have ever seen that anywhere on the net before other than maybe at the Adobe forums. Too cool!

  • OK, maybe the prompts for e-mail addresses isn't a permission type of thing, but it is more of an announcement sort of thing. For setting your folder with write as well as read permissions, I would suspect that one would take setting up an e-mail permission system and that too is probably a part of the way it works.

    One thing that I will really like about the box.net is that you can organize your wbds that you want to share into folders. If you have a lot of them that can make a big difference in making individual ones easy to find. LearnCentral didn't have that. It may be a good idea to have an announcement thread if we don't have a central repository. People can go to that thread to describe the new addition or to invite people to sign up for their box RSS feed. Putting some links to Box tutorials in the leading post might be a good idea too.

  • Hi Steve,

    I was going to try to add some of the Whiteboard Warehouse .wbd files here, but when I hover my mouse over "Members" in the left panel nothing happens.  Am I missing something?

    • So, I just checked the page that is supposed to have (and previously had) the link to Box.net, but I'm getting an error message.  When I go to Ning's app page, the box.net links don't resolve...  Was it working yesterday for you?  I hope it's just a tech glitch today, and not a long-term problem!

    • It's the "Members" in the top menu.  When you put your mouse over it, you don't see the sub-menus?

  • OK, I actually think this is going to work!  I went to the repositories page once I had the free Box.net account, and from there I created a folder.  Now, I can create as many folders as I want, but I used the link to go to box.net, and clicked on "share" to share the folder, took the embed code, and placed that code in the text box on my profile page her on the network.  You can see the results here:  http://www.wecollaborate.com/profile/SteveHargadon
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