Monday, October 29, 2012

Tech Tips: Dropbox

Tech Tips
Issue 3

This Tech Tip is one my all time favorite add-ons to any computer, phone, tablet, or iPad.  Dropbox is perhaps the most used application by many teachers including myself.  It replaces your “Documents” on your computer and allows syncing to any device.  I have not used a flash/usb drive in over 2 years since I started using Dropbox.   This is a great for working on files at school, home, and anywhere.  Best of all it is FREE and easy to use!  

Works On Your PC/Mac or iPad
All you have to do is download a program to your computer (and any device you want to sync files with) and log into or create an account.  You will then put all your documents that you usually store in your Documents folder into your newly created Dropbox folder located on your desktop.  This will now be your saving location for all files.

Instantly Sync Files
When you install and log into Dropbox on another computer all the files will automatically sync. In other words, whatever is in your Dropbox folder at home will also be in your Dropbox folder at school, on your laptop, or any other computer you have Dropbox installed (I sync 4 computers, 1 phone, 1 tablet, and my iPad).  Every change I make to a file at school will also be made on the documents on the other devices.

What Does This Mean For You?
As teachers we all work at school and home.  If you are like I was before Dropbox you have a flash/usb drive that you work off of or are constantly emailing files from home to school to work on.  With Dropbox here is how simple life is.  Let’s say you start a newsletter at school and realize there is no way to finish it.  You close out like normal and shut down your computer.  You drive home and turn on your home computer.  You open your Dropbox folder and there is the newsletter you started.  You finish from where you left off and save it as normal.  The next day at school you open the Dropbox folder on your school computer and “ta-da” there is the finished newsletter all ready to print.  In addition to the convenience of auto syncing and accessing files from anywhere, Dropbox acts as a web based back up location.  You can also set up “shared Grade Level Folders” to work as teams. 

With the free account you get 2 GB of free storage, but you will get more if accepting referrals and giving referrals.  Get a referral from me or another Dropbox user and get an additional 500 MB of free space!

If you are interested in using Dropbox, let me know and I will help you with the set up/install.

As always, if you have any questions or need help, feel free to stop by, call, or email me.  I am here to help you!

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