Monday, October 17, 2011

4 Uses of Dropbox for Teachers and Administrators

Every so often someone comes along with one of those tech ideas that rise above other tech ideas. Dropbox is one of those ideas. Dropbox has become a regular part of my routine as school principal. I continue to find ways to stretch its uses. Here’s five good ways to use this cloud storage tool as a teacher and administrator.
  • Set up a faculty-staff forms and documents filing cabinet. Using Dropbox’s ability to share folders, create a folder entitled Faculty-Staff Forms & Docs. In that folder place all those school-wide forms everyone keeps asking you to send them copies of. For example, place the District Mileage Form, Textbook Request Form, and all those other forms you use as a school. Then, share that folder with your school’s entire faculty and staff. If they need a Discipline form, they can download from the Dropbox filing cabinet. Best of all, when it’s time to update a form. Just update the copy in the Faculty-Staff Forms & Docs Dropbox folder. No need to update drafts on a web site or worry about someone downloading and using an old form.
  • Use a Dropbox folder to collect bragging documents and items about your school. Create a folder and call it something like “Brag File” or some other name. When you encounter a document or item that shows your school in a positive light, dump it in the Brag File. Then, when you feel a need to brag to superiors, share the file  folder with them.
  • Let Dropbox be your portable file cabinet. I save every single document of substance I create in my Dropbox folders. For example, if I create an official letter to send to a parent, I save it in my Dropbox. If I have investigation notes I want to access anywhere, I put them in my Dropbox. Dropbox has become a cloud filing cabinet that follows me everywhere. This is extremely useful when a question arises about a letter sent or an investigation done. All I need do is find the file in my Dropbox.
  • Use Dropbox as a collection box for lesson plans and other teaching ideas for staff. I don’t usually ask my teachers to provide me with lesson plans, but if I did, why not have them dump them into a shared folder in Dropbox? Better yet, let that folder become the place where teachers dump teaching ideas and resources for all to share. It can be a resource collection in the clouds!
I am sure there are many other ways to take advantage of Dropbox’s capabilities. With iPad and Android apps your Dropbox literally does follow you everywhere. Perhaps the time has come when you can judge a school administrator’s commitment to 21st century education by the size of the file cabinet they keep in their office. Sorry, but mine is in the clouds!

1 comment:

  1. My lesson plans are on Dropbox already! I'm just not sure they'd make much sense to anyone but me. I think we still use Google Docs more for actual collaboration, though.