soxteaching: chem, baseball, stories
I am using a new method of sharing files with my classes, one that changes how digital work can be exchanged between teachers and students. While there are a number of “cloud-based” solutions available, I am implementing the service I think has the best chance of being both powerfully useful as well as easy to use: Dropbox. OK, so accuse me of being a corporate shill and a “faddist” in love with the latest and greatest but this application has changed how I use the Internet.
Every document I have, whether it is personal or professional, is contained in a folder on my desktop on my personal computer. Any file within this folder is automatically backed up to a remote storage drive, somewhere in the cloud (I love using the term “cloud” – cloud, cloud, cloud!) When I make a change, the change is replicated and I never have to worry about losing files.
With this service comes the ability to share designated folders. When I add to the folder, then that change is replicated online. When I change a file, it changes this online. So to those with whom I share the folder, I have given complete access to these files. The benefit is that this is available through a simple web interface.
Yet the real advantage is that these are folders that already folders that I use as opposed to having to deliberately go to an external web site that holds my files. This WordPress blog does not allow such file storage, but even if it did I would always lag because it requires lots of extra steps. This way, the files are there without my extra steps because I would have moved them there as part of readying for class.
The small down side is that students who wish to join this space must sign up for a free account but there is no obligation to do so. Besides, I will always hand out a sheet of paper.
[NOTE: to ask for access to the shared folder please send me an email]