Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New Dropbox Feature: File Request

If you're not using an LMS, it can be a challenge to find a way for students to submit documents to you online. In the past, I've used Dropbox teamed up with Drop It To Me to let kids submit work. That works just fine, but Dropbox just launched a feature called file request that takes out the middle man. 

Here's an overview:

The notice I received when I logged onto my DB account online

Dropbox's explanation

I decided to give it a try. If you choose to use it, here's how it will look {I just clicked "create file request" on the screen above}:

Type the name of what you're requesting. For teachers, this may be the name of an assignment or a unit. I just wrote "test." Dropbox then creates a new folder for you, based on the name of whatever you're requesting {although you can change the file destination if you want}. Notice that once the files are turned in, you are the only one who can see them!

Type in older kids' e-mail addresses to send them the link directly from Dropbox. For younger students, I'd copy the link above and shorten it or turn it into a QR code.
That's it! I actually just e-mailed the link to myself to see what that prompt would look like... Here's the e-mail I got:

When I clicked "upload files" in the e-mail, I was taken to a page like this. I would assume this is the page someone would see if you just sent the link -- not an e-mail -- but I haven't tested it to be sure.

From here, the recipient just needs to click the blue "choose files" button, and a pop-up of files from their computer appears. After uploading, the file appears in your folder, and no one but you can see it unless you choose to share the folder. 

Ideas for Using Dropbox's File Request Feature in Education:
  1. Students can submit digital assignments to their teacher.
  2. Parents can submit pictures from class parties, field trips, etc to the teacher. 
  3. Parents can submit permission slips and/or notes {about transportation, tutoring, etc.} to the teacher.
  4. Teachers can submit paperwork to administrators. 

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