Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Magic of Dropbox

Dropbox is a technology infused teacher's magic wand.  I wonder if the Dropbox people know how much their resource is being used by teachers.  Here's my top 10:

1. Putting photos onto student iPads
2. Putting music/videos onto student iPads
3. Taking documents/files from my home computer and accessing them from my school computer
4. Storing and sharing lesson plans for the year with my principal
5. Teachers sharing folders to collaborate both in the classroom and in PD
6. Storing videos and sharing via QR code links (or direct download to parents!)
7. Storing documents to share with random teachers via download links on FB, Twitter, etc.
8. Transferring scanned images to make Explain Everything Presentations or Educreations Lessons
9. Accessing documents on any device (iPhone, iPad, Computer)
10. Free storage!

Tech Specs: I have each iPad set up with an individual account.  I did that for two reasons.  First, I wanted to be able to share certain folders with certain iPads (not blanket) and I didn't want everyone having access to my personal Dropbox.  Secondly, I wanted the free storage upgrades with every referral to an iPad!  (I have 9.2GB for free and I'm using 71% of it right now!!) 

My students know how to go into the Dropbox App and I tell them which folder to look in for the particular project.  Here are some of my projects so far:

1. Students access video clips and compare film score for Theme and Variations
2. Students access pictures/video to create a Music Video in Explain Everything
3. Students teach themselves rhythm patterns with video example as reference
4. Students access BINGO card pictures for rhythm notation review
5. Students save projects in Dropbox for simple teacher review

By far the easiest way for me to get files to the iPads (without going through the iPad cart in the other building) is Dropbox.  Students as young as 2nd Grade have been very successful following directions to utilize the app and my assessment of projects is much simpler accessing all their files from my iPad instead of from 10 individual iPads.

The How To:  If each iPad has a unique email, you can set up individual Dropbox account.  (Use the referral program through your personal account if you want free storage!)  Make sure you sign into each account on the iPads so your students don't have to later.  In your personal Dropbox account, create folders and share them with the iPads you want to.  Then start sharing!  You'll have to train your students how to navigate the folders but experience tells me students are so quick to pick up new apps and aren't afraid to try!

Happy Sharing!

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