You can share files with students (or vice versa) by granting them access to a folder or sending them a hyperlink to folders or files. With the link enabled, documents and files will appear as a Web view for anyone to click and access. Would-be collaborators beware: Only one user can make changes at a time on a Dropbox file –- another logistical drawback.Continue reading Show less
Dropbox makes all your files accessible from your computers and phone and allows you to share your digital media online. You simply download Dropbox to your computer, and it shows up as a file in your operating system's file management. Saving changes to a file stored in Dropbox works the same as with any other file on your computer. The folders sync automatically, backing up your files to the cloud. As convenient as this sounds, better solutions exist for teachers who want to do away with thumb drives and teach students how to organize, maintain, and share files in the cloud. Dropbox holds promise for busy adults who need easy access to all their digital files, but it promises headaches for teachers aiming to facilitate a cloud solution with a classroom of kids.
Free file storage and sharing is a competitive arena these days, and Dropbox is a solution that doesn't stack up to some of the leaders. Since students need email addresses to create accounts, a teacher would likely need to provide those accounts first. One alternative, Google Apps, provides students with email, cloud storage, and file sharing with only one account. For educators who want file storage and sharing without the additional layer of email, Edmodo provides free unlimited file storage of files 100 MB or less.
You can interface with Dropbox through a Web browser on any machine, so you don't have to download it. When downloaded as a program, it looks and works like a regular folder; the only difference is that it syncs to the cloud. This makes it easy to learn. On the other hand, since it looks so much like other folders, misplacing files is a likely occurrence. Teachers looking to help students organize and share work in the cloud should consider other options carefully before trying Dropbox.
Key Standards Supported
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.