Dropbox is ranked by many educators as their number one digital tool for improving productivity and simply making life a whole lot easier. While cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud and others provide safe and secure online space, they are also extremely useful services for enhancing collaboration and sharing.
Pricing: Free / $10 per month
Compatibility: Desktop / Web / Mobile
Access: Email signup
A Quick Look
Dropbox is one of the simplest cloud storage solutions and is renowned for its ease of use and ability to ‘just work’. Dropbox has also recently reduced its pricing substantially, giving users 1TB of space for just $10 per month. Depending on how much storage you require, the free offering is also good value at 2GB with the ability to increase by recommending the service to friends or colleagues.
With recent high profile cloud storage concerns, it is also worth noting that all files stored online by Dropbox are encrypted and are kept in secure storage servers across several data centers.
1. Shared lesson plans and resources
Dropbox is being used in many schools as a shared repository for all sorts of documents, resources and lesson plans. The huge benefit here is that files are in one location that is accessible to all. This removes the problem of different versions getting mixed up, files getting lost or thrown away and of course, it makes all documents available on any device type (desktop, web and mobile).
2. Location for students to access files
Blogs, websites and learning management systems are used regularly by teachers to direct students to files and resources they need for learning or assignments. Dropbox is an excellent alternative to these sites as security and privacy can be easily managed, files can be synced and kept up to date easily and the whole experience of uploading and downloading is simplified hugely.
3. Location for students to submit files
Not only can Dropbox be used to simplify the delivery of files to students, the process can also work extremely well in reverse. By creating a shared folder for your students, they can simply upload their own work or files for you to access. This solves issues of emails not delivering, memory sticks failing and even the threat of hungry dogs eating homework.
4. Add files to Dropbox via email
One neat and useful add-on to Dropbox is the ability to transfer files to your Dropbox folder using email. This means that all you have to do is attach files in email and send them to your own unique Dropbox email address, and your files will magically appear in your Dropbox folder.
5. File backup and saved version
By default, Dropbox saves a history of all deleted and earlier versions of files for 30 days. This means that any files you delete by accident or unintentionally overwrite can be brought back to life in the blink of an eye. This is extremely useful if you are collaborating with colleagues or students and provides a level of comfort that any changes can be reversed in an emergency.
Links and Next Steps
- Dropbox Organization Tips for Teachers and the Paperless Classroom
- Student dropbox set up – Video (6.5 min)
- Dropbox In The Classroom: 4 Great Uses – Ideas for getting more out of Dropbox
- Dropbox: A Superb Classroom Tool – Walkthrough by PLP
- Apps in the Classroom – Advanced Dropbox for Teachers
- Dropbox in Education – Video (7 min)
- Seven Downloads and Extensions to Make Dropbox Even More Awesome
- Send to Dropbox – Email files to dropbox add-on