App Name: Dropbox (Free)
Contributor(s): Christopher Mong
Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. After you install Dropbox on your computer, any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, your iPhone and iPad and even the Dropbox website! With the Dropbox app, you can take everything that matters to you on the go.
Dropbox is a file storage and syncing solution that allows you to easily access files from just about any device in the world with an interenet connection. In order to start using the service, you will need to create an account at dropbox.com. With your free account, you receive 2 GB of cloud storage which you can increase by a) paying monthly fees or b) referring other users to Dropbox. Dropbox had tried to make themselves accessible from just about every device with iOS and Android apps, as well as web-based accessibility through any web browser. Users can also install an application on their desktop computer that will create a "Dropbox" folder. The ease of using Dropbox is magnified with this desktop software, as that folder is automatically synced with the cloud (so files are uploaded/downloaded automatically).
In terms of educational use, Dropbox is one of the easiest ways to transfer content onto your mobile device. Through the Dropbox app on the iPad, for example, I can download readings, presentations, and other class files and send them to other apps on my device. It is very easy, for example, to create a presentation on my desktop, place it in Dropbox, then access it on my iPad for classroom use. Dropbox is also a great place where students can save work for their personal use instead of emailing it back and forth. Folders in an individual's account can be shared with users specified by the account owner, making Dropbox a convenient place to store and access group work.
Tips and Tricks
- This is a biggie ... Dropbox is not FERPA compliant and should not be used to store confidential student data such as grades.
- If you create a Dropbox using a .edu account, you earn bonus space for referrals (500 Mb).
- Dropbox supports file versioning. This means that if you update a file in Dropbox, the new file will be visible, but the older version will still be saved and accessible via the web version of Dropbox if you needed to retrieve it for some reason.