It has been a while since I did a #MyFavFriday post, but I have to share this because it has been making my life so much easier this school year.
Dropbox. Yes, that service. I know, so many other people have written about it in the past, and so have I, but this year I made the move to put 100% of my teaching files* into dropbox and I haven’t looked back.
All dropbox is, is a small program on your machine that monitors a particular folder, named “Dropbox”. Anything in that folder is synced with the web portal and any other computer that is signed in. It is a folder, nothing more. If you can save a file in “My Documents” you can use dropbox. Just save it to “Dropbox/Algebra 1” instead of “My Documents/Algebra 1”.
These are some of the things I no longer have to carry around with me when I leave and return to school because of dropbox.
- power cords
That just removed 7 lbs from my backpack, and turned my motorcycle commute into a much more pleasant experience. In fact, I only take my backpack home when I have to take dead tree materials home or to school.
But that is not all I use it for. I have dropbox installed on 6 different computers. 2 at school, 4 at home. Dropbox allows me to streamline my workflow and be more efficient. Let me explain.
At school, one computer is in the front of the room attached to an LCD projector and a smartpanel, the second computer is at the back of the room at my desk. I will work on a document for class at my desk, and immediately upon saving it will be updated on the front computer. This means I can pull something out of my email at the back of the room, walk to the front, and show it to the class. I can have software installed on the back computer, do a screen shot and save, then show. No flash drives, no futzing with anything.
At home, I have it on all my computers. When I am working on a project at school, I can save the document and go home. When I arrive home, boot my computer, and my full project is sitting there ready for me. It is on all my computers, even the old clunker that I boot once a week. That old clunker downloads and syncs all the files, so I have a weekly backup of everything.
My wife also has dropbox, and we have a shared folder between us. That allows us to connect our dropboxes and have files shared between our computers. We now have 1 shared, encrypted password file instead of 2.
If you want dropbox and don’t have it yet, you get 2 Gigs of storage for free. If you sign up with this link you get and extra 500 megs and I get an extra 500 megs for free. Because of that I have 13.4 Gigs of free storage right now.
When you include picture uploading automatically (through the smartphone app) which saves you from needing to connect your phone to your computer or emailing the pics, the accessibility of dropbox on the internet through the web portal, and the seamless syncing of the docs, it is a win win win for teachers.
If you are on the fence, do it. It takes the process of managing your files and turns it into a non-entity.