How to Use A Drop Box

How much do you use your computer for? How much do we expect our future students to use a computer for? With this push toward technology soon, students will be doing everything using some type of electronic device. However, what happens if students do not have access to a printer? Or, how can you receive all of their work and have it organized? Have you ever heard of a Drop Box?

I’ve never heard of a drop box until the other week when my mom asked me how to use it. She works for a company that has many different stores and they are starting to share documents with a communal drop box. Then, I was at a meeting and they announced we would be using a drop box to share documents as well. So, needless to say, I decided I needed to research this “drop box” idea that everyone was talking about. After researching it, I learned that a drop box is a tool that can be used to transfer documents from one device to another. For example, if I save something on my computer and put it in my drop box, I will also have it on my iPhone or iPad without having to do anything else! You can also share files with others using dropbox! There are different programs to use. The one I will discuss in this blog post is DropItToMe. Overall, this is pretty convenient if you ask me.You can share anything from Word documents to photos.

Here’s how you go about getting your own drop box! Go to dropbox.com and set up an account. Then download the application and you should have a dropbox icon on your computer (Windows users it may appear on your desk top or at the bottom on the toolbar, while Mac users it would appear on the toolbar at the top). When you click on the box, a drop down menu will appear. From there, you can choose what to do.There are options such as opening your DropBox folder or searching your preferences. Here is what the blue box should look like:

This is what the drop box icon should look like when it appears on your screen.

To save a document to your DropBox is simple. When you are done with your document click Save As, then under Places click Dropbox. Once you click that, it will go to your Dropbox and you are good to go! If you have further questions, here is a great tutorial

However, I will give you a warning, if you want to edit something, be sure to edit it within dropbox. For example, if you have a document saved to drop box, open it in drop box then edit it. That edited version will be what you will see when you open the document on any of your devises. However, if you save it to your computer, it will not update. The drop box does not know that other files on your computer exist. So, to save time, always edit your information by opening your document within drop box.

But how can you use it in your classroom? There are a few ways to use this tool in your classroom but one main way is to have students turn in work via DROPitTOme.comThis is a website that allows people to send one person documents. All of these documents will go to a single drop box making it easy to collect things. This is a perfect tool for you to use to collect documents that your students create. With the push toward technology, this could be a very convenient tool for you as well as your students. We’ve all had printer trouble or waited to the last minute to print something only to realize the printer is out of ink. Well, by asking students to send your their documents via DropBox, those problems will not be an issue. To get started go to DROPitTOme.com and create an account. Drop It To Me will not reveal any personal information. Once you create an account you will be given a link. This link will be http://www.dropitto.me/yourusername. This is the link that you will give to students. Whenever they submit their work, they will go to that link. Then, provide an “Upload Password” for your students to use that you will set up. Be sure to make this different from your personal password. Then you will come to a page that looks like this:

This is the page that your students will see when they send you a document.

Students should then choose “Choose File”, select their file, then click “Upload”. Then, you should receive an email notification (if you registered with an email address). It’s as simple as that! However, if you have another further questions, Richard Byrne’s Blog is a great tool. This blog provides helpful hints for those who are just getting started. The particular post I received most of my information is Try DROPitTOme to Collect Assignments ONline. There are many ways to use a drop box in your everyday life as well as in your classroom. Try it out to see if you like it, it’s simple enough to figure out!

Now, knowing what you know about dropbox, what are other ways you can use it in your classroom? Do you think that this would be an effective tool for students?

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16 Responses to How to Use A Drop Box

  1. Alex H. says:

    With all the talk recently about how great the cloud is and how you can transfer files or anything else instantly through the cloud, I think that this is a great alternative to that. Especially for Apple products, which charge $25 to use the full capabilities of the cloud. My family has a network set up at home and we’ve always used a drop box to share files between the computers in the house. This is better though, because it doesn’t require a shared network.

  2. Kendall C says:

    This seems like a really cool tool if you frequently are going from computer to computer doing work (most teachers), or just want to have online place to keep the files you access frequently. If they’re important files, a drop box could be useful as well so the work doesn’t get lost in case of computer malfunctions. I could see this being used in my classroom to avoid getting lots of emails with attachments of work (they can easily get lost, deleted, or confused for someone else’s work) and also to avoid getting stacks of papers for assignments that I want to check for completion or won’t really be editing and reading thoroughly (final drafts of assignments, outlines or brainstorming pages for essays, etc.). If students didn’t want to create their own usernames and passwords, there could be one class “identity” for the site. This would cut down on their personal information being multiple places on the web as well. I thought that you could just use drop boxed on Blackboard, Moodle, or other academic sites, but it’s cool that you can have dropboxes for personal use as well! Cool, useful find!

  3. Anna H. says:

    While online submission tends to scare me (I’ve had some problems with the options available on Moodle and Blackboard), I really like this concept, and your post has definitely opened me up to a lot of the benefits of using Dropboxes. I really like the idea of using it with students, and the fact that students have to upload files rather than have the ability to type directly into the website eliminates the risk of losing material with time-outs. Dropbox eliminating excessive paper (the weight alone is ridiculous!) and risk of lost pages, etc., makes it even more appealing! I feel that Dropbox sounds like a great tool that can be utilized in the classroom, and I am definitely interested in learning more about it!

  4. Allie W. says:

    I think this is an incredibly useful tool for teachers. In a time when we are trying to become more environmentally friendly, this could be a great way to eliminate paper. Teachers could easily read and grade papers and typed assignments through Dropbox. I agree with Kendall in saying that email can be complicated as they are often accidentally deleted and who wants to go through their mailbox to find 30 emails from different students with papers attached. It makes a lot more sense to have them all placed into one spot. I will definitely utilize this as a teacher!

  5. Hilary S. says:

    Sydney, this is a great post! Thank you so much for telling us how Dropbox works. I’ve also heard a lot about Dropbox, but never really learned how to use one. I definitely plan on using Dropbox, especially to transfer files between my mac and iPhone. So often I find myself e-mailing things to myself, but if I saved it to a Dropbox I could easily access it somewhere else! How is Dropbox different from saving it to a Google Doc or something?

  6. Meagan W. says:

    I am so excited to try this tool, Sydney! I have heard of Dropbox before but have never tried it out. Now I am really curious! This beats emailing work to yourself so you can have it on multiple devices and allows you to access information on the go. I get paranoid when writing a paper on the school computer that it wont attach to an email and will get deleted when I log off but Dropbox will allow me to do my work on different computers without the worry of it being lost. As a teacher, this will be a great homework deposit site. One of my teachers have us use Moodle to submit our papers which is very similar to this. Dropbox can be used in my future classroom for students to access homework assignment/rubrics, submit papers, or other work without having to print. This is similar to Google Docs but is great for the younger students who wouldn’t have their own gmail accounts. Great post, I’m sure I will try this tool out at a teacher!

  7. Kyle W. says:

    I’m new to the idea of DropBox as well, and I’m really excited to learn more about it! I downloaded the program to my computer and my iPad, but I’ve yet to use it! I helped a friend the other day whose computer was messing up, and I showed her how to download DropBox and save her files on it so that she wouldn’t lose data if her computer ended up crashing. I think this is such a great way to use the technology. I hadn’t thought about the teaching implications, but I like the idea of having students turn things in via a dropbox-type technology, to save paper and avoid clogging email. Thanks for the tip about editing within dropbox to save the new file–I hadn’t thought of that before!

  8. Christiana C. says:

    Just like you, DropBox is something that I had heard of, but knew very little about. I love the idea of it though! I don’t have a printer in my dorm, so every time I have to print things I have to walk to the library. I wish all my classes that are heavy in writing would use DropBox because it would save me a lot of time AND it would be way better for the environment. I also love the idea of DropBox because I often don’t want to bring my laptop to class because it is heavy and sometimes distracting to me. With DropBox, I can still access all the documents that may have originally only been on my laptop and edit or print them on whichever computer I’m on. Based on my own experiences as a student, I am definitely going to use this tool in my classroom. With DropBox students can avoid all the annoying printer problems, and get their work all to one place in a much more environment-friendly manner.

  9. Riley K says:

    I have heard of a DropBox before but never really understood what it was or how to use it. After reading your post I realized how helpful and useful DropBoxes can be for not just yourself but for anyone included in the DropBox. Sharing new information through this new technology seemingly makes everything easier and way more simpler than before. And, the fact that it transfers the data to your iPhone or other devices makes it that much cooler. I especially like the tool DROPitTOme.com, as a future teacher. This allows people to send only one person documents. It is way easier to collect things when it just goes into one DropBox. If my students create something and need to hand it in to me this is a much simpler method of doing that instead of having to print it out, e-mail it to me or upload it at school.

  10. Kaitlin L. says:

    This sounds like a very interesting application. I have heard of dropboxes before, but they never really caught my fancy. Even after reading this blog, I can see the usefulness of a dropbox, but I still don’t see myself using it. I am a big fan of my flash drive, which I can get very cheaply, and i find very easy to use. The one part of DropBox that I think I might use is as a way for students to submit assignments digitally. I remember that none of my teachers in school would accept digital work, and it always bugged me, so I don’t plan to be like that with my kids (though I will likely still print out hard copies for grading).

  11. Patrick C says:

    Sydney this is a great post. I am not that familiar to dropbox like you were. I think that this is a great tool that will greatly benefit teachers and students in the future. I can see this being an easy way for students to turn in assignments and a great way for teachers to share material with students. This tool seems to be great and I can definitely see myself using it when I am a teacher. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Maddy R. says:

    Sydney, great post! I have been using drop box for the past year and I think it is a very great and handy tool. I am a lifeguard at the pool here, and we use Drop Box as a way to access our schedules. I especially like in your post how you talked about ways we can use it in the classroom. I never thought of using Drop Box with my students, but after reading your post I realized that it would a great way to collect documents from them. Although as math teacher, I probably will not be having my students writing essays, but I can have them put their projects and mathcasts on drop box so that I can collect them in all one place. It is a great way to keep teachers organized. Another way teachers can use them is to post Syllabus’s, homework schedules, and project requirements on there rather than printing a lot of copies and wasting paper and ink. It is a very helpful and environmental friendly tool.

  13. Katie R. says:

    Before reading your post I had no idea what Drop Box was, but now I am very aware of it and I look forward to using it! It seems like a great way to be more friendly towards the earth and I am glad that people are using this tool to watch out for all the paper we waste! As a student, this tool would make my life just a little bit easier because I wouldn’t have to walk to the library and print all my work out, instead I could just “Drop Box” it! I really hope that more classes here at Elon sign up for this because it would be a very useful tool. When we are teachers, we can rest assure that our students will have a variety of notes to look at in order for them to study for quizzes and tests. Thanks for the great post!

    • B. Taylor says:

      Katie – remember classes don’t need to sign up for DropBox, and it doesn’t need to be installed in labs. If you sign up, you can go to the DropBox website and login from any computer to retrieve your stuff. Professors at Elon have other ways of accepting electronic submissions (Blackboard, Moodle) and so will likely stick with those, but the DROPitTOme tool in combination with DropBox sounds great for teachers like yourselves who might be in a school setting where such a system is not in place.

  14. Rebecca S. says:

    Sydney, I have heard of professors using Drop Box before, however I have never had a professor that uses one, so I was a little bit confused about what they were. Your blog post did a great job of explaining them! I also thought the tutorial you posted was very helpful. My printer in my room is almost always out of ink and I don’t buy more very often because it is so expensive! This often poses problems when I need to print a paper out late at night and don’t want to walk to the library to use the printers there. A Drop Box would be a perfect solution! As a teacher, this seems like a much more organized system than having students email their assignments to you. Also, since it saves paper I think this tool will become more widely used in the effort to be sustainable.

  15. Anna K. says:

    Sydney, I use dropbox all the time to share music with my friends, but before reading your post I had never even thought about using it for the classroom! Like Katie said, this would be a great way to create a “greener” classroom and not waste so much paper. One drawback to dropbox is the limited space (mine is currently full), but I do not actually think you would run into that problem if you are only sharing documents. Dropbox is a very cool tool for backing up your computer and making sure all your documents are safe, it could also be helpful for sharing documents but I am not sure that it so much better than google docs or just emailing your teacher. Overall, very good description of dropbox!

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