Submitted by Dave Gardener, Teacher, UK

Dropbox - www.dropbox.com – is the most popular cloud storage service. Take a look at this video which explains more about it. Or take the text tour.

Key features of Dropbox, therefore are:

  • With Dropbox, your files are always in sync.
  • You can easily share files or entire folders or photo albums.
  • You put the folders you want to share in your Dropbox, and invite people to them
  • With Dropbox, online backup is automatic.
  • Dropbox lets you go back in time to undelete or undo changes to files.
  • By default, you’ll start with 2GB of space, but you can buy more

Once you set it up, you’ll forget it’s there and all your important files will automatically appear on all of your computers.

Get started with Dropbox

Take a look at this Dropbox video here which will show you how to get started. Here are some simple instructions to get started.

  1. Download Dropbox for your computers and install it on each one. Dropbox is available for PC, Mac, Linux and mobile.
  2. When you first run it, it’ll ask you to create an account.
  3. It will also ask you where you want to store your Dropbox folder. The default location is fine. Go through the wizard to finish up installation.
  4. Drag any important documents, folders, or other files into your Dropbox folder.
  5. You’ll see a blue sync “badge” on the file icons while they synct, and a green checkmark when they’re finished.
  6. You can share a file or folder online with others. Right click the file and select Dropbox/Share Link

How to employ Dropbox in the classroom?

You can use Dropbox in a number of ways. Here are several:

  • To store additional copies of hand-outs. Students know to re-download and print on their own here if they missed a hand-out due to an absence or simply lost it (no one ever asks me for another copy).
  • To distribute PowerPoint presentations – most are too large for email.
  • As a way for students to turn in homework assignments. It’s an easy electronic homework drop (compared to email) and will time stamp submissions.

Dropbox can also be a useful tool in managing student projects and presentations. In some classes students use Dropbox to submit the visual components of class presentations, for instance. It’s a huge time saver, as it otherwise takes several minutes for students to log in/out of their school accounts to access presentations. If you don’t have individual accounts, you’ll quickly find ways to let Dropbox help you work around that issue.

Students can use Dropbox on their phones to review handouts (rather than a print-out, ultimately saving paper). Students can also sync their files across multiple computers inside and outside of school.