Dropbox Organization Tips for Teachers and the Paperless Classroom

Dropbox is an essential for me. I like apps that link with Dropbox in every way and it is an essential part of my paperless routine with my students. Here are some tips for how I make my room as paperless as possible and how no students can delete files.

Dropbox is an essential for me. I like apps that link with Dropbox in every way and it is an essential part of my paperless routine with my students. This past Sunday at #txeduchat I was asked some specific questions about how I use Dropbox to take my classroom as paperless as possible, so I thought I'd make it my app of the week and teach you some things that might be helpful.

Dropbox Organization Tips Video

 

Organization Tips for Dropbox

  • You don't have to set up all folders to sync with every computer. For example, I don't want my personal book writing activities or accounting system syncing with school computers.
  • You can earn free space so many ways, by inviting others, even by signing up your class for the  Hour of Code (which is a great thing to do anyway.)
  • Learn how to move photos from your phone to Dropbox but don't set up automatic photo sync unless you have the pro version of Dropbox.
  • Create a folder in dropbox (particularly if you're not a pro user) called z-harddrive. I put a z in front of it to automatically put it at the end of my list. Once a month, I take all the files that are in there and put them on the hard drive and out of dropbox.
  • Create a file @junkdrawer where you download everything from the net and set all of your browsers to download to that folder. Then, when you need something you downloaded on one computer, it is there — or if you need space you can quickly clear the downloads folder for all of your machines with one delete. (Based on the file organization methods of Gina Trapani formerly of Lifehacker.)
  • Remember that you CAN get back files students delete – I will show you how to fix that at the end of the tutorial. Show deleted files is an awesome tip.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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19 comments

Eliza Bivins-Fink November 17, 2013 - 4:08 pm

Hi Again! I really like the idea of a paperless classroom and have some questions. Do you have students upload assignments to your Dropbox or is this for you to organize your documents? If you have students use it, have you encountered situations in which students don’t use it because they don’t have internet access at home? Also, can you tell me why you choose to use dropbox instead of Google Docs? Err, Drive? Thanks!

coolcatteacher November 17, 2013 - 6:44 pm

Hi Eliza
If you watch the video, you’ll see that I use it with my students and also why I chose dropbox (you can’t upload video to Google Drive). It is all in the video – not sure if you can see the video b/c some schools block Youtube but it is all there.

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Eliza Bivins-Fink November 17, 2013 - 6:57 pm

Ahhh, I was just too quick to comment, I saw a 9 minute video and decided to save it for later! I’m such a jerk, sorry for all the questions!

coolcatteacher November 17, 2013 - 7:15 pm

No, Eliza — you’re not a jerk. I’m happy you asked it! When people see your comment, they’ll go back and watch the video. Never hesitate to ask a question – I’m here to help and answer them. But yes, 9 minutes takes a second – I’ll work to keep those as short as I can. ;-)

– – – – – – –
*Vicki A. Davis*
co-founder flatclassroomproject.net
– – – – – – –
BLOG http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com
SPEAKING https://www.coolcatteacher.com/speaking.html
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::This email is off the record (blogs and tweets too) unless we agree otherwise.::

Dan Crowley December 8, 2013 - 8:34 pm

You can upload video to google drive. I am wondering if there are any other reasons that you chose dropbox over google drive to create a paperless classroom.

Twilts November 17, 2013 - 6:41 pm

Wow this seems like a great tool that can be used for secondary grades. Do you have your students continually working on the computer or do you also use this for homework so they can use it at home for submitting that work as well?

coolcatteacher November 17, 2013 - 6:46 pm

I wish that my students all had internet access at home but many do not. Also, I rarely give homework. If I do, it is often on Google Docs or on the wiki where they turn that in. Plus, I use Dropbox mostly for my assignments that are on epaper and many don’t have it set up to print that way at home. I live in a rural area and not everyone has access. That said, I’m sure you could use for homework, although I’ve heard many like apps like Backpack for security reasons.

– – – – – – –
*Vicki A. Davis*
co-founder flatclassroomproject.net
– – – – – – –
BLOG http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com
SPEAKING https://www.coolcatteacher.com/speaking.html
TWITTER @coolcatteacher
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::This email is off the record (blogs and tweets too) unless we agree otherwise.::

Brad Sparks November 18, 2013 - 2:20 pm

Hi Vicki,

For teachers looking to collect digital documents from their students, they may want to take a look at my web application, SubmitBox (https://getsubmitbox.com). SubmitBox is like dropitto.me, but with a lot more features added specifically for teachers. It lets teachers easily collect and organize students’ documents. It also makes a paperless assignment workflow super simple. Students do not need a Dropbox account to use SubmitBox.

There are currently a few hundred teachers and a few thousand students using the application while it’s still in beta. If anyone is interested in checking it out, they can go to https://getsubmitbox.com. There’s also a video there (a bit dated now) that shows how useful the app can be.

Brad Sparks
Founder – SubmitBox

coolcatteacher November 18, 2013 - 3:41 pm

Thanks for sharing, Brad. Looks interesting.

– – – – – – –
*Vicki A. Davis*
co-founder flatclassroomproject.net
– – – – – – –
BLOG http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com
SPEAKING https://www.coolcatteacher.com/speaking.html
TWITTER @coolcatteacher
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GOOGLE PLUS https://plus.google.com/u/0/115916382183421477315/posts TUMBLR vickidavis.me
BOOKS http://www.coolcatteacher.com
::This email is off the record (blogs and tweets too) unless we agree otherwise.::

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