Many educators have a Dropbox account, or they are at least familiar with this cloud-based storage solution, but most haven’t explored how it can be used with students. Yesterday, we had our Jump Rope for Heart day at my school, and my contribution has always been to make a slide show for viewing at the end of the day. However, this year I wanted to crowdsource the picture taking. From my experience, the best pictures always come from students. Their pictures aren’t posed, they’re more natural and candid, and always reveal more about their unique personalities compared to the photos I take. In order to capture these moments in a slide show, I created a new folder in Dropbox, and sent my students an invite. With GAFE accounts, it’s easy for teachers to share links through Gmail. My students accepted the invitation, and since they already had the free Dropbox app installed on their device, they were now ready to start taking photos to upload to the shared Dropbox folder. Over the course of the day, I had well over 100 amazing photos to add to the slide show.
A couple of weeks ago at EdCamp London, I had a great chat with Matt Shchukovsky, a kindergarten teacher from the Toronto area, about how he uses Dropbox to create and share digital portfolios with the parents of his students. He created a Dropbox folder for each student and sent a link to the folder to each child’s parent. Unlike my example above, Matt didn’t grant permission to each parent to add content to the folder, he just shared a link to view the contents of the folder. What a great way for parents to keep tabs on what their child is up to at school and how they are progressing! With his mobile device, all he has to do is take a photo of a student’s work and add it to that student’s folder! Parents will have immediate access to this content. I have employed this same method of sharing content in the Shared Resources section below. Follow Matthew on Twitter: @MattShchukovsky
I would love to hear about how you use Dropbox with your students. Please feel free to leave a comment!