Sunday, July 7, 2013


Dropbox is one of the "storage in the cloud" sites I wrote about in this post. While there are lots of "cloud" options, I really like Dropbox.

Logo from the Dropbox website

  • 2 GB of storage for free when you sign up
  • Earn 250 MG of extra, free storage for yourself and whomever you invite if they sign up using your referral link
  • Free iOS apps for your mobile devices
  • Ability to share folders with other Dropbox users {all members of the folder can view/contribute to the folder}
  • Ability to share links to a single document with non-Dropbox users {they can view and/or download your document}
  • If you install Dropbox on your computer and work from within its folder, Dropbox will save and sync your files instantaneously so you never have to worry about uploading the latest file
  • Ability to pay for more storage {100, 200, or 500 GB} if you ever need it {Prices start at $9.99 a month.}

Ideas for Using Dropbox...

...for yourself: 
  • Reduce paper stacks and clutter by scanning documents and putting them in your Dropbox.
  • Stop e-mailing files to yourself. Stop storing your files on a jump drive that you could misplace at any moment. Stop leaving your files at work and being unable to view/work on them at home. If you upload to Dropbox, your files are on the 'net 24/7 and you can access them from any device that can connect to the Internet or access a data network. {Do this by signing up and then downloading the Dropbox program to your computer.}
  • Upload a shopping list to your Dropbox. Access it from your phone while in the store. Never worry about leaving your list at home again. 
  • Work from home: access all your lesson plans, components, assessments, templates, etc. from your home computer.
  • Upload holiday or vacation photos and share the link with your family -- much more secure and safe than Facebook or a photo-sharing website.  
  • Sync your pictures from your smartphone, iPod Touch, or tablet. Dropbox remembers which pictures it's already uploaded so you only get the latest pictures you've taken... and all your pictures are backed up any time you open the free Dropbox app on your device.
  • Create a folder for each student. Use a copy machine in the workroom to scan and e-mail copies of work, assessments, etc. Send the paper copy home with the student and keep the digital copy for yourself. No paper to organize or keep track of because it's all digital!
...with colleagues:
  • Create "shared" folders with your teammates. Everyone with an invitation can put files into the folder, and all will have access to edit/delete/print/move, etc. {similar to the I:// drive at school}. This is great for sharing lesson plans, lesson plan components, pictures, templates, parent letters, assessments, etc.
  • Send a large file -- that's too big to e-mail -- to your teammate by giving them the documents' link in your Dropbox folder.
...with parents:
  • Create a class newsletter and store it in your Dropbox account. Share the link with parents. They can view the archive of newsletters any time they want. {Similarly, you could set up a folder for all parent communications, and they could view digital versions of notifications sent home in Wednesday folders.}
  • Create folders with class pictures and share the link to the folder with parents. {You could also give parents the ability to add pictures,}
  • Create a folder for each student and share that folder with each student's parents. Let that serve as your virtual file or portfolio on that student for the duration of the year. You can upload pictures/scans of great student work or work to make up when a student is sick. Parents can download their student's work and/or upload communication, such as transportation change notes. At the end of the year, pass the folder on to the parent, and he/she can keep it indefinitely while you free up space in your online storage.
...with students: 
  • Create a folder for each student and either give the students your login information or ask each student to create their own Dropbox account and "share" the folder with them. Use the folder either as a virtual inbox -- students can turn in work here -- or as a virtual portfolio -- students can showcase their progress throughout the year. The best part? Students can keep their Dropbox account and folder after the year is over and take it with them all the way to high school or beyond!
  • Upload documents to your Dropbox and insert a QR code to the file. Instead of printing the document for everyone, print copies of the QR code, have students scan it with an iPad, and allow students to complete paperless work. 
Ready to Get Started?

Click HERE to sign up for Dropbox {That is a referral link, and if you use it, we BOTH get an extra 250 MB of free space!} and get started!


I'm working on a series of video tutorials that will show you how to use Dropbox. Below are the videos I've finished so far:

CISD employees: if you are prompted for a password, put in our school's mascot (plural form).  

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