How I Use It
For my AP Literature class, I am in the habit of finding poetry on YouTube read by pronounced British actors, including Alan Rickman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Steven Fry, Daniel Radcliffe, and the like. Additionally, I extract Shakespearean soliloquies performed by actors like Kenneth Branagh as Iago (from Othello) or Ian McKellen as Macbeth (from the play of the same name) for use in the classroom. Such videos get my students utterly engaged in the close reading of a text. None of this could be possible without the use of Dropbox to manage larger files that I can pull up on my computers with ease.
Our school uses a Barracuda filter that blocks our access to a number of different websites that have validity in the classroom, especially YouTube. Often times, I discover completely usable and engaging videos on the site with great aspirations to use them in my instruction. Unfortunately, the aforementioned filter denies me access to such great videos on our school's server. This is where Dropbox comes into play.
Using a video converter, by which I can convert a YouTube link into a playable format (i.e. Quicktime or Windows Media Player), I save the video file to my computer. Because the file is commonly too large to send via email, Dropbox does all the work for me. By processing the video file through Dropbox, I can choose to (a) stream the video on my classroom's Smartboard through the Dropbox app or (b) download the video file for use on my computer at school.
For students who produce PowerPoint presentations or large video files that are much too large to send via email, they can use Dropbox in much the same manner. All the app requires is an email account and password for its use.