How I Use It
Currently I am using Dropbox to collaborate with colleagues in Europe, Africa and Asia with whom I am developing a digital Academic English curriculum for Chinese high school students (accessed from android devices) preparing for university in English-speaking countries. A shared and well-organized folder system has enabled us to develop a virtual library of learning modules containing lesson plans, e-books, Powerpoints, and related audio and video files. In the absence of a learning management system, students use Dropbox to submit homework and download learning materials from the virtual library. Dropbox has also brought the simplicity of the Kindle ebook download to media files, especially video, that cannot be effectively sent by email or streamed in all but the most robust wifi connected classrooms.
Dropbox brings the benefits of content storage, organization and sharing to a multi-platform learning environment, especially one in which students use tablets and teachers use laptops or desktops. Dropbox is uniquely beneficial in environments where internet access is intermittent or bandwidth is limited. Cloud to device synching requires wifi, but once synched, content can be accessed (and created) offline. Best of all, Dropbox is reliably accessible globally - even from within China. From a pedagogical standpoint, Dropbox's no-nonsense emphasis on productivity and organization is an ideal way to help high school students develop the mature digital habits expected in the 21st century workplace. I would not recommend Dropbox for primary and middle school students, or for classrooms where students are all using the same devices which in turn are integrated into a cloud-based classroom management system.