Using Dropbox as a Teaching Tool

Dropbox Logo

You are a teacher; you are tired that your students keep “losing” and “forgetting” their assignments. Say “Hello” to Dropbox! Let me tell you that if you are in the previously mentioned situation, Dropbox has become your BEST friend.

First of all, what is Dropbox? Dropbox is a free and easy-to-use online tool. It has been invented to store Word files, PowerPoint presentations, Excel Spreadsheets, and more (watch this video to know more about Dropbox itself). The minimal storage capacity of a Dropbox account is 2 Go. I have used it for years and have not overcome the minimal storage capacity. For people who would like to have a greater storage capacity, here are a few simple and mostly free ways to acquire more of it.

As previously mentioned, Dropbox is quite simple to use. The way it works is that the user has to create an account. Once this is done, he/she can create any desired number of folders to organize his/her files. When ready, the user can click on the Upload icon and choose any type of file/picture to upload. When needed, a document can be downloaded and modified by the user. In order to save the changes on Dropbox, the modified document has to be uploaded again. Moreover, it is possible to install Dropbox software on your computer so that you remain connected for an extended period of time. It makes the uploading process faster because one simply has to drag a file saved on his/her computer’s hard disk and drop it on the Dropbox icon rather than accessing the Dropbox website to do so.

Here is a list of benefits linked to the use of Dropbox.

Of course, Dropbox has a few disadvantages, which, in my opinion, are minor. One issue that I have personally encountered when using Dropbox is that it is not possible to upload an entire folder at once to the account. One has to upload each file separately. It can take a great deal of time when you have an extensive load of files to upload. Moreover, only folders can be shared. In addition to that, one absolutely has to create a “shared folder” in order to share information with his/her contacts. No file can be shared unless placed in a shared folder. The inconvenience comes from the fact that even if one wants to share just one file, he/she has to create a folder.

In my opinion, teachers should start using Dropbox because of all its benefits, the most important being that it is free. A teacher can have his/her students carry out a long-term project and require that they use Dropbox to save their work progression. Also, if the teacher is added to a shared file, he/she can monitor the students progression as they carry out the project and give them feedback. I think that by showing students how to use Dropbox can reduce the students’ use of excuses such as “I have forgotten my USB key at home; I cannot work on my assignment”, because they can access it everywhere. As stated in this article, Dropbox can provide an alternative for the submission of assignments if a teacher shares a Dropbox folder with each of his/her students. Dropbox provides a timestamp when uploading files. It would then be easy to verify who submitted his/her assignment on time.

Why not using Dropbox? “Some of Dropbox‘s 100 million-plus users worldwide are students and teachers (see here).”

Eager to use Dropbox? Watch a demonstration.

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