Sunday, January 13, 2013

Two-way Sharing with the Dropbox App

You're using iPads in the classroom.  Now what?  How do you collect the work they created?

I found Dropbox to be a great two-way sharing tool.  Students can share their work with you, and you can share files you want them to access, too.

According to their website, "Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computersphones and even the Dropbox website."

This is my setup:
  1. I have two Dropbox accounts: one that I use to store all my teaching files (I'll refer to this as my teacher account), and a second one that I use only for my class set of iPads (I'll refer to this as my iPad account).
  2. I create a folder called "iPad Language Arts Folder" from my teacher account and share it with my iPad account.
  3. I create subfolders in this "iPad Language Arts Folder" for each of my classes (i.e. Period A, Period B, etc.)  My students would upload their work to their specific class folder.
  4. I also have subfolders of the unit we're studying (i.e. Short Stories, The Outsiders, etc.)  I usually leave those folders there for students to access all semester.
This setup allows me to easily drop any file I want to share with my students.  What do I share?  They're typically files I create just for my students.
  1. A word document
  2. A presentation file I want them to follow (You can turn off your LCD projector to save your bulb!)
  3. A PDF file
  4. An audio file
  5. A video
  6. Pictures (I take pictures of the participation points they're earning in my class.  I also take a screenshot of their current grades from my computer.  Both are posted anonymously.  You no longer have to post paper grades on your wall for everyone to crowd around.)
What kind of work can your students share with you?  The Dropbox app allows you to import images and videos from the iPad camera roll.  It could be any picture or video they created on the iPad.  It also could be a screenshot of any work they created on an another app.  See my post on "How the iPad Transformed My Classroom in 30 Days" to read about the different apps you can use with iPads.  I also describe in detail how I use Zoodle Comics in my classroom on a different post.  

How do you use the Dropbox app in your classroom?  Please share in the comments section.


  1. Hi Alice! I use Dropbox similarly. I like how you organized it. Trying to get a grant for iPads in the English classroom at my school so I can use it in the same capacity. I will email you with some questions. Great blog!

  2. Hi Daniela,

    Thanks for your comment. That's exciting that you're trying to get iPads for your classroom. My students and I have really enjoyed using them for learning. My students are now creating, communicating, and collaborating in ways never before possible.

    I'll look for your email.