Dropbox

Handy cloud storage and document sharing

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 60 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense

Grades

8–12

Subjects & Skills

Character & SEL, Communication & Collaboration

Great for

Productivity

Price: Free
Platforms: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Windows, Web

Pros: Users can access files from any device or computer and can easily share with others.

Cons: Simpler solutions exist for file storage and sharing, and many offer more free space than Dropbox.

Bottom Line: Dropbox can make work and life in the digital world more efficient, but it may not be the best cloud-based solution for kids.

Teachers interested in getting students set up with cloud-based storage should consider all options. Students might take to Dropbox, but a product like Edmodo offers unlimited storage within an educational space kids already access on a daily basis (if you're using it). Still, this tool can help organize your life. Students can create shared folders with documents for groups to work on collaboratively and can turn in projects or papers to an assigned folder. One feature allows you to see deleted files, which can help mitigate accidental deletions or mistaken corrections. It also serves as a storage system for syllabi, notes to parents, assignments sheets, or rubrics for students, and files can be accessed at home, at school, on tablets, and on phones.

Dropbox is a cloud-based storage system that allows users to upload and access files from multiple devices. Files that are too large to be emailed transfer without a problem. Documents can be shared with anyone by emailing them a link.

After creating a free account with Dropbox, you can upload files -- including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, text, PDFs, music, video, and images -- and access them from other computers or a mobile device (or multiple devices). You can share files, folders, and links to documents with anyone, even people without a Dropbox account. Your files can be shared and edited by people who do have Dropbox accounts, and you can "star" certain files to make them available offline for review. Deleted documents can be recovered, giving data some security when multiple participants are working on a document. Dropbox is available on both Android and iOS devices and on Kindle Fire and Blackberry.

Dropbox can introduce students to cloud-based file storage, which has become a common way to organize electronic documents in schools and the workplace. However, many learning-management systems offer file-storage solutions that are easier to use and more integrated with classroom work and communications. Still, it's a versatile tool for inside and outside the classroom.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating
Engagement

The interface may be challenging for kids, making it a less attractive option for cloud-based storage and file sharing. But once they get the hang of it, students might appreciate this organizational tool.

Pedagogy

As a productivity and collaboration tool, Dropbox helps kids learn how cloud-based storage works across devices. Kids can also develop basic organizational skills to serve them in future academic and job-related settings.

Support

Dropbox is easy to use, and the developer offers video tutorials as well as ideas for use on its website.

Common Sense reviewer
Amanda B.
Amanda B. Teacher

Community Rating

Great for file sharing

My take is pretty much the same as how I use it. It is another way to do what Google Classroom can do, but works better for me because I have iPads and Notability. Without Notability, it would not be nearly as useful.

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Profile information must be shared for social interactions.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Unclear whether personal information are shared for third-party marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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