[button link=”https://db.tt/nYOGWr0Z” size=”large”]First Things First: Get a Dropbox Account[/button]
More often than I care to admit, I still come across teachers who aren’t using Dropbox.
To me, that’s the same as saying “Oh, the plumbing in my kitchen has been broken for years, so when I need water to cook, I just haul a pot over to the shower and fill up there.”
FIX. THIS. PROBLEM.
Now I know you’ve got some questions. I’ve got the answers:
What is Dropbox?
Dropbox is a web service that sounds like exactly what it is. Put stuff in the box, take it out later when you need it. The only difference is that this box magically follows you around wherever you go as long as you have access to the internet. The truly beautiful part is that you don’t have to consciously put stuff in the box. If you set things up right, your dropbox is where your documents save to, and that’s where you pick them up later.
Why you need Dropbox:
- Every file you ever made will always be wherever you go.
- You never have to worry about finding your usb flash drive again.
- Once it’s set up, you never have to think about it again.
The list goes on and on, but for today we’re going to stick with the simple stuff.
Get Concrete with Me. How Does Dropbox Help Teachers?
I’m glad you asked! How many different computers do you use on a regular basis? One at home and one at school? That’s if you’re lucky. Some people have their computer and their laptop, depending on where they’re going. Then they might have a computer in their classroom, or a choice of 3-4 different ones available in the teacher’s lounge. Let’s not forget that your smartphone and tablet are computers, too.
The point is, you’re all over the place and it’s easy to forget exactly where you wrote up your lesson plan, or whether you remembered to save your file “PTA-meeting-finalversion-final-final.doc” or just the previous “PTA-meeting-finalversion-final.doc”
So here you go. Dropbox gives you access to:
- Every lesson plan you’ve ever written
- All the supplementary digital materials you might need (videos, pictures, mp3s)
- The ability to share and be shared with – no more students with the excuse that they don’t have the syllabus.
- The class field trip photos that you downloaded at home but the vice principal wants right now.
- etc, etc, etc.
OK, OK, so how do I set it up?
You know I wouldn’t leave you hangin’. Here’s the simple tutorial:
There is, of course, a LOT more we can do with Dropbox, but for now I’d like to encourage you to explore it a little bit on your computer, phone and tablet. Play around and see what you can think of! And for those who are already Old Hats at Dropbox, leave a message in the comments to let us know how you’re using it and what ideas you’ve come up with to increase your productivity!