I just finished my semester long internship at Melville Comprehensive School this past winter. I can safely say time management was an issue for most interns and one of my most utilized technology tools was dropbox. I used dropbox exclusively for syncing files (lesson plans, unit plans, resources found on the internet). In order for this blog post to be more useful for teachers, I have done some research and playing around in the past few weeks, trying to figure out what else one could do with this program. Here is a list of the most helpful things dropbox can provide:
#1 Syncing Folders
Dropbox is essentially a platform where you can backup all your folders online so it can be viewed from any computer or device (I have dropbox on my cellphone, work computer, and laptop). Gone are the days when you forget a sheet at home and have to “wing it” to get through the day. Simply upload folders on dropbox and access them from any computer. I would say this feature alone saved me many headaches from the whirlwind of internship. Students can also sync folders and do assignments so they can access them on school and home computers.
#2 Going Green
Dropbox will help make your classroom paperless because the program allows you to share documents with others. Students would be able to access documents (PPT, hand-outs, syllabus) you put in the shared folder. **Please keep in mind that sharing a folder also allows students to add, edit and delete content** My understanding is that there is no option to change this privilege. Students having the capability to add content can be good because you can create folders that allow students to hand in assignments paperless.
Dropbox allows you to organize your content in an efficient way. You will have way less paper if students add finished work to folders that you create. In addition, you are allowed to create as many folders as you want. Some of the folders I have right now are: Internship, Lesson Plans, and University of Regina. This gives me quick and easy access to the content I create or find.
Student: “Woooahhhh, man… you, like, know how to use dropbox?” Even something as simple as dropbox can help student engagement for the classroom. The majority of kids are all about technology these days and showing you can embrace these changes may help students feel engaged. Dropbox creates an online community for the classroom, where sharing and collaboration are encouraged.
#5 Formative Assessments
Some students do not like asking questions in class when they do not understand something. Dropbox can be used to create a shared file allowing students to ask questions anonymously. Teachers can adapt their instruction, based on these questions, to ensure students gain a better understanding of the content and do not fall behind.
Vicki Davis posted a great video on youtube that shows educators organization tips for integrating dropbox into the classroom: