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What is Dropbox?

     Dropbox is a web-based application where users can upload documents, picture, and music.  After adding these items to the digital Dropbox users can access the data from different locations, or even share these files with other people.  This makes sharing and accessing information easier because anyone can access the data from a centralized location on the web, making information accessible any place at any time.  The digital Dropbox alleviates problems with email or other forms of file sharing[1]

     There are several unique aspects of Dropbox, web 2.0 application such as File Sync, File Sharing, Online Backup, Undo and Undelete[1]. These valuable tools allow users to place files such as documents, pictures, or music in a folder that is accessible from any computer that uses this application. It frees the user from e-mailing files, using flash drives, or using unsecure servers.  It also provides users with security from any computer crashes, viruses, or other problems [2].

     The files that are uploaded to Dropbox are accessible through cell phones that utilize the Dropbox application.  When users add files to Dropbox they can open it on any computer or mobile device that has access to the internet.  This allows users to work from any computer without having to worry about transferring files.  Dropbox is accessible through any type of computer regardless of the type of operating system that it uses.  This web 2.0 application is great for college students who may need to work from a family member's computer or a computer on campus [2]

     Digital Dropbox can be used as a backup tool for your computer files.  You can simply upload your most important files to Dropbox to ensure their security in case of computer failure. External hard drives or other forms of computer backup can be expensive but the Dropbox 2.0 application can be an affordable alternative [2].  There are several different Dropbox plans that can be purchased.  The price of these different plans is determined by the size of Dropbox you choose.  The pricing is as follows [3]:



Monthly Cost

Yearly Cost






Pro 50




Pro 100



     Some additional functionalities of Dropbox include syncing, undo, undelete, and a “pack-rat” option.  If a file is being worked on from one computer, the file can be saved and the web 2.0 application will make changes to the file on all synced computers, devices and on so that when the file is accessed from another location it has the updates and changes previously made[4]If a file is deleted and you need to recover that particular file, Dropbox keeps it for 30 days. Dropbox also keeps the history of changes to a file so that you are able to undo changes made to the file within 30 days. For those who prefer to keep all of their files, Dropbox has a "pack-rat" option that keeps files for an unlimited amount of time[5].

     If you are concerned about the security of your files, you have nothing to worry about with Dropbox. They claim to have, in some instances, better protection than even your computer. They use the same techniques as the government and banking institutions to keep your files safe and secure. As long as you have Dropbox, you can relax knowing your files are safe and backed up without expensive hard drives[6].

Refer a friend for extra space! 

Share this great application with all your friends. Not only will it be beneficial to your friend, you can earn extra space as well. For every friend who joins and installs Dropbox, you will both be given 250 MB of bonus space (up to a limit of 8 GB)! Click here to refer a friend today.

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The Purpose of Dropbox  

         Dropbox was created to replace the many hassels of saving files.  The purpose of Dropbox is to make file gathering and sharing easier for users.  With Dropbox there are no more hassels of e-mailing attachments to yourself and others, no need to carry around USB drives; users no longer need to rename files and delete older versions, and lastly, users don't have to spend a lot of money on backup softwares[1].

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The History and Development of Dropbox

Arash Ferdowsi (left) and Drew Houston (right)

Dropbox was released in September of 2008 and developed by Evenflow, Inc., but was founded by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi in 2007.  Dopbox started with a few thousand users and has now grown to over 2 million.  It has seen rapid growth for the past year [7].  Dropbox was orginally funded by Y Combinator, and now is funded by both Y Combinator and Sequoia Capital [8].  Dropbox uses Amazon's S3 storage system to store the files of Dropbox users along with SoftLayer Technologies for their backend infrastructure. Dropbox focuses on synchronization and sharing and uses SSL transfers with AES-256 encryption.  There are some similar companies that do the same type of things that Dropbox does, including:, MozyWualaSugarsync, Jungle Disk, Windows Live MeshZumodrive, Syncplicity, and iCloud [9].

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How to Use Dropbox

     The first step in getting Dropbox is to purchase it from  Here is a helpful video that explains how to download it once you are at the website. There is a free Dropbox account that offers 2 GB of storage. Users may upgrade to 50 GB or 100 GB by paying a monthly or yearly fee. The total amount of storage space of both the free and fee-based accounts may be increased by up to 3 GB for free accounts by increments of .25 GB and 6 GB for fee-based accounts by referring others to the service [9]. Next, you must access the application and upload the files that you are wanting to save to this website.  Here, you can edit your uploaded files.  Once you click 'Save', Dropbox will automatically sync the same file to all computers (and now iPhone!) that you use, instantly.  This allows you to have access to any of your files on any internet accessible device you use.  You can easily share entire folders or photo albums with other users through Dropbox. Simply put the folders you want to share in your Dropbox, and invite people to them. You can also send people links to specific files within your Dropbox [1].

If you love the Dropbox application, guess what - 

You can work for them too! This is a great oppertunity to be able to work for or with something you truly enjoy. Dropbox is always looking for new employees. In fact, only a few employees are engineers, and they are looking to fill more spots. This is your time to work with Dropbox and be a part of a great online application! The benefits to being a Dropbox employee are as follows:

  • Set your own Dropbox storage quota
  • Free lunches, snacks, coffee, and dinner if you're up late
  • Copetitive salaries
  • Build or buy your dream computer
  • Downtown SF offic
  • Really flexible hours
  • Fifteen days of Paid Time Off (PTO)
  • Paid holidays
  • 401(k)
  • Several health insurance options
  • Vision, dental, and life insurance
  • Musical culture: Complete music studio equipped with drums, P.A., amplifiers, etc...
  • Whiskey Fridays
  • Gaming! Starcraft 2, Rock Band, DDR and Laser Tag in the office

There are many cool uses of Dropbox. There are cool tips and trick you can use Dropbox for whether you are using a Mac OS X, Windows, or Linux. To see all of these tips and tricks click here.

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Dropbox developers introduced Votebox in late 2010. With Votebox, users can now suggest new ideas or changes to Dropbox. Users receive six votes each month that they can apply to the different ideas suggested. The popular ideas will be implemented into Dropbox. To see popular ideas for Dropbox click here.

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Uses of Dropbox In the Classroom

Dropbox can be an excellent tool in the classroom. Dropbox allows files to be easily shared between students and teachers. A collaborative Dropbox could be an effective tool in group projects, for students to easily submit files to the teacher for grading, and for teachers to share files, such as notes and demonstration files with students. Here are some examples that incorporate Dropbox in lesson plans for elementary, secondary, and post secondary levels.

If you would like to see how to share files on Dropbox, click here!

Elementary Lesson Plans 

Books of the Bible Lesson Plan

This lesson plan with help students learn the books of the Bible, along with what subject the books teach.

Microsoft Word


The Magic School Bus Lost in Space Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will help students learn the names of each planet. They will also be able to locate the position of each planet in the solar sytem.

Microsoft Word


Billy the Kid Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will help students look at the life of Billy the Kid in a different perspective, as well as have them look into other students perspectives. 

Microsoft Word


Poetry Classification

Students will classify basic types of poetry based on their general qualities and then pick a type of poem to model and type one of their own.



Math (Order of Numbers)

Microsoft Word

Created by: Emily Johnson

Science (Insects)

Students will be able to identify insects from non-insects and give reasons why.

Microsoft Word

Created by: Aimee Gingerich

Geography (50 states in U.S.)

Microsoft Word

Created by: Natalie Chapel

Poetic Meters



Created by Rebekah Maddack

Poetic Scanning



Created by Rebekah Maddack


Secondary Lesson Plans 

Environmental Science and Statistics (Water Quality)

In this six-day lesson plan, seventh and eighth grade students will explore data analysis within the context of water quality metrics in the Chesapeake Bay.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet

 Created by: Maddy Valle

Precalculus (Functions Focus)

Students will learn and practice finding the zeroes, intercepts, and asymptotes by using graphs and equations.

Microsoft Word

 Created by: Stephanie Williams

Art (Design focus)

Microsoft Word

Created by: Danielle Crowe

U.S. History

Microsoft Word

Created by: Craig McKittrick




Created by: Craig McKittrick

Biology (DNA Mutagens)

Students will learn how different kinds of mutagens affect the structure and sequence of DNA.

Microsoft Word

Created by: Anonymous

Post-Secondary Lesson Plans




Created by: Josh Kaminski

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Uses of Dropbox Outside the Classroom


There are a lot of things that can be done with Dropbox. The newest development from Dropbox is their new iPhone applicaiton.  It has the following capabilities that make it worth getting on iPhones [10]:

  • Access Dropbox on the go - All the content in your Dropbox is available for viewing at any time with the new iPhone application. You can even stream music and movies in your Dropbox straight to your iPhone!
  • Download files for offline viewing – Add files to your ‘Favorites’ allowing them to be accessible at any time.
  • Take photos and videos and sync them to Dropbox – Take a photo from your iPhone, e-mail the public link to a friend all in less than one minute.
  • Share links to files in Dropbox – What? Any file in your Dropbox? Seriously?
  • Photo galleries – Are just like the one's you view online, except through your iPhone!
  • If you would like to see Dropbox in action on an iphone check out this video:

Dropbox is now on Facebook and Twitter. With the use of Facebook and Twitter, teachers and students can now communicate with each other about creative ways to use Dropbox in the classroom.

Dropbox also has a blog. Here you can check out how other people have used Dropbox in creative ways. To see how other people have experienced Dropbox and post your own experiences click here.

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Business and Industry

The opportunities Dropbox presents for business and industry are very resourceful. Within many companies exists a costly network that synchronizes all of the computers in a building. In order to cut back on costs, a company could use Dropbox as a network server to collaborate everyone in the company. Its low cost could save some companies quite some money. The actual uses of Dropbox within business and industry would be very similar to those of networks and email. The biggest benefit would be from being able to access files from any computer within the company. Unlike company networks, Dropbox would enable you to access files from your work onto a personal computer at home. This accessibility would be very beneficial to employees who must travel often as well.

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Global Perspective

Global opportunities within Dropbox are similar to emailing on the internet. It allows users that have access to the internet from anywhere in the world to communicate with files, pictures, and music among other things. It is much more convenient to use Dropbox when trying to synchronize files than email. With Dropbox, you can add, delete, or edit files which is then instantaneously accessible from anywhere with internet. For example, if you have a group project that involves international partners, then it would be much simpler to set up a Dropbox account than trying to email files back and forth. Another example of how useful Dropbox can be globally is through sharing pictures with family or friends that may be in a different country.

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Showcase Documents


Publisher Document

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[1] (2009). Dropbox - Tour. Retrieved from on 10/27/09.

[2]  (2009). Dropbox-Tour. Retrieved from on 10/29/09.

[3]  (2009). Dropbox - Dropbox. Retrieved from on Nov. 1, 2009.

[4]  (2009). Dropbox-Tour. Retrieved from on Oct. 30, 2009. 

[5]  (2009).Dropbox-Tour. Retrieved from on Oct. 30, 2009.

[6]  (2009). How secure is Dropbox: Dropbox. Retrieved from on Nov. 1, 2009.

[7]  (2009).  The Dropbox Blog.  Retrieved from on Nov. 1, 2009.

[8]  (2009). About Dropbox. Retrieved from on Oct. 30, 2009.

[9]  (2009).  The Dropbox Blog.  Retrieved from on Nov. 1, 2009. 

[10]  (2009).  The Dropbox Blog.  Retrieved from on Nov. 4, 2009. 

All images are courtesy of Dropbox and copyrighted to them.

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Group Roles and Responsibilities

Research on Dropbox


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  1. Unknown User (enjohnso)

    Hi my name is Emily Johnson.  I am a sophomore majoring in Mathematical Education with a minor in Psychology.

  2. Unknown User (agingeri)

    Hello this is Aimee Gingerich. I am a secondary math ed major with a minor is spanish.

  3. Unknown User (agingeri)

    I can't figure out how to post my research, so if you don't see mine, it's because I can't figure out how to do it. I've looked at all the tutorials and have tried to do what they say, but still can't get it. I emailed Linda my research and hopefully that will go towards our research. If someone could help me, I would really appreciate it.

  4. Unknown User (alvarad0)

    Dropbox is a very neat and interesting web tool. It can be used in many different ways within the classroom. It’s a file sharing tool, and the thing that makes it so easy is that it’s free on the internet. Another useful thing about it, is that it can be an extra hard drive for you. If you save stuff or put documents on Dropbox and then break your computer, you won’t lose your work. In the classroom you can set up all kinds of assignments that require the students to get on Dropbox and upload their work. By having the students put their work on this site, they can all view each other’s work and be ready to discuss the topic in class. This site gave a good description of Dropbox and they made it seem real easy to use. And using Dropbox is very simple, all you have to do is upload a document to it and allow others to view it and you’re done. Dropbox is a very useful internet tool and it can used in the classroom to excel students learning.

  5. Unknown User (kwoodhea)

    Dropbox has many useful purposes. As a teacher, you could post assignments to the drop box that students could access at a later date for completion. This cuts down on the amount of paper printed and handed out. It would also allow for parental access to the assignments so they can help their student at home. Students could upload their assignments and the teacher could grade them from any vice they choose...iPad, iPhone, personal computer, or laptop. The students would then be able to go back to the dropbox to view their graded assignments. Another advantage of Dropbox is that students can post collaborative work to the Dropbox, make comments on the work, and even edit the work. This eliminates the need for student's to travel to individual houses to complete a group assignment. Dropbox could also be used for extra-curricular groups that need to keep financial information available for many people to view. As one person enters appropriate data the file is saved and can be access by another member of the group who must enter stuent information. The files never need to be emailed back and forth and you are garanteed to beentering the information on the most up-to-date spreadsheet.