Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dropbox: A Delight...

It is possible that in the corridors and teacher's rooms you have heard teachers talk about an application that has saved their lives and is one of the hottest things since sliced bread. You might have wondered what they are talking about, heard something about a box and how easy it was to drop computer files into it. Why would that be such a wonder? Well, it is. If you are someone who works on documents on different computers, if you are someone who has to send documents (all kinds of them) to a number of receivers or if you have to keep the same document on a number of computers, then Dropbox is your very best friend. So what does Dropbox do? It basically synchronizes your documents on different computers. In other words, the moment I "drop" a file into the dropbox folder on my  computer at work, it will appear in the dropbox folder at home. The best part is that it will be the same file. All the changes I make on any file in the dropbox folder will appear in all my dropbox folders. It is also possible to access your folder on any computer. You just have to log on to www.dropbox.com and you will have access to all of your files. This is how my online dropbox folder looks like:

 This is how my dropbox folder on my computer looks like:
As you can see their contents are the same. 

Who can use it? 

1. Material Production: Everybody who works on material for the classroom knows how much of a pain it is to have 10 different versions of the same document in your E-mail inbox. Sometimes you are totally confused which one was the one you were actually working on. With dropbox you don't even have to carry a flashdrive anymore. Just drag and drop your file into your dropbox folder and keep on working on the same file at home. They will be synchronized.

2. EdTechs: If you are an EdTech and need to transfer your files (word, powerpoint, pictures, etc) on a number of computers in a lab or laptops, then you can use dropbox. Just download dropbox into the computers/laptops and every time the computers/laptops connect to the Internet your files will synchronize. No running around labs or corridors to transfer files with a flashdrive.

3. Coordinators/teachers:  Coordinators/teachers who need to send large multimedia files to their teachers will find it very useful. E-mail attachments have a size limit, even Gmail has a 10 MB limit. An offline version of a Prezi presentation is about 17 MB. Sometimes a Powerpoint presentation can be more than 10 MB due to the use of multimedia files such as videos or pictures. So, what you can do is make those files available in your dropbox public folder and share the link with your teachers. They do not even have to have a dropbox account. All they have to do is click the link you have send them and download will start automatically.
Teachers can use it to share documents with students or make students use it for their assignments. It definitely helps to get rid of all the 1st, 2nd, 3rd drafts of assignments in your inbox.
These are just some of the opportunities that Dropbox can offer to teachers and administrators. I am sure there are many other ways to use it. It is really easy to get an account (just your email and a password) and they offer you 2.5 GB, which is actually a lot of space, for free. Please comment if you use it in another way or if you have suggestions.
Have fun.


rina said...

Dear Hakan,
Dropbox is really a wonder box! I have been using it for a month now and I get all my documents sent from Hüseyin Bey at the momen he drops it in our dropboxes. Both on my computer at home and on my netbook at school. When I prepare something at home I just drop it there and the next day I have the same document on my netbook at school. I do not have to e-mail or anything!
I love my dropbox!
Sara Rina Eskenazi

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