Another must have web tool for administrators is Dropbox. With this tool, I basically have both a virtual briefcase and document library that I can access from any where. I have Dropbox installed on my laptop at work, my personal laptop, and my Droid phone, which means I have access to it from any where. The files I place in it include: working documents, school handbooks, and any other file that I might need at any time. For example, a parent once caught me outside the office with a question about our curriculum. I have an electronic version of our school curriculum guide in my Dropbox. Since I have access to Dropbox on my Droid phone, I pulled up the document, and immediately found what I needed to answer the parent’s question. Add the fact that you can access these documents from a web account as well, and the files can be accessed from any place with a Web connection.
Currently Dropbox basic with 2 GB is free, with the ability to add more space by recommending others to use the product. I currently have a basic account, but as soon as use my free space, I will upgrade to the 50 GB account which is currently priced at $9.99 per month. Here’s the big pluses for using Dropbox.
- Dropbox allows you to sync your files online and across multiple computers automatically. This means that any files I am working on at the office are saved to my Dropbox folder where I have access on any computer either with Internet access or with the Dropbox client program. You can sync files of any type too, which allows me to sync specific program file types. For example, I was recently working on an Xmind map. I saved it to my Dropbox folder, and I continued working on it at home.
- Dropbox allows you to share files with others. You can collaborate on specific documents or presentations through Dropbox. You control who has access to these folders, and you can see their changes to these files immediately. I plan to use Dropbox when our school begins working on our new school improvement plan next spring.
- Dropbox automatically backs up the files online. That means I don’t need to worry about making sure there is a backup of these files. No need to worry about backing them up on a flashdrive. I simply save them to my Dropbox folder, and the software takes care of the rest.
- Dropbox has what it calls “military grade” encryption. That means that I can be fairly confident that the files are safe. Only those I want to have access, do.
- Dropbox has mobile access through the Android, iPhone, iPad, and Blackberry devices. Like I said earlier, you can place those files in a place where you can immediately find them.
This has to be one of the best tools I began using this year. In fact, because of it, I haven’t even picked up a flash drive in a month or so. It’s just too easy to use, and I am positive when I get to the end of my 2 GB storage limit, I’ll purchase the 50 GB storage. This is my second administrator must-have web tool. For more information or to download the software check it out here.