Monday, May 18, 2009

Dropbox

I suspect this is blocked in most schools but I've found it useful, so I thought it was worth passing on: Dropbox. The tagline on the site says "Sync your files online and across computers".


Box o' Receipts
Originally uploaded by Jim Frazier
It's a simple idea. You download a (free) application and then set up a folder on your computer (Macintosh, Windows or Linux). Anything you put in that folder is automagically synchronised with the Dropbox servers and with any computers that you link to your Dropbox account. Will I say that again? Automatic file synchronisation across multiple computers... for free.

To access your Dropbox, you don't even have to install the application. As long as you can access the Internet, you can access your Dropbox through the Dropbox website.

And it's not just a personal service. You can invite collaborators to access shared folders which makes it easy to set up group projects. You can also give read only access to a public folder by sharing a Dropbox URL (for example, here's a photo I took with my cameraphone of the venue for TeachMeet Student Edition).

What's the catch? I can't really see one. With the free account, you are "limited" to 2GB of storage but you can pay a subscription to increase your storage space if you want. I don't know that I would trust it with sensitive documents but for an easy way to synchronise between different machines and different operating systems, it looks great.

Two questions to end with. What do you think of Dropbox and is it blocked in your school?

8 comments:

Em said...

We have been using Dropbox at our school for a couple of months now. It works like a dream and has made file sharing with staff in different locations extremely easy.

Stephen said...

That's a really interesting utility. Thanks.

John said...

Hi David,
I've been using dropbox for a while now, first to share largish files without hassle, casual backup and later to work across several machines. Great app. Not blocked in North Lanarkshire.

caroline said...

Hi,
I'd like to come to the student teachmeet even though I am not a student - is that okay, especially if I say I will do my first presentation, bring a data projector and try and bring some students!

Been to the last two SLF teachmeets but been far too shy to present, was thinking this would be a good one to start with and could maybe talk about teaching int'l ed'n through glow and tell a little about study visit opportunities etc as I don't think enough people know about them.

How does that sound?
Caroline Gibson

Philip Schonken said...

I have been using DropBox for a while now. We have looked at it as a replacement for MyDocuments, but at the moment our proxy server does block it.

Lois Lindemann said...

I've been using Dropbox for a few months now and I think it's fantastic. I quickly outgrew the free version and pay for a 50Gb filespace, but I'm more than happy to pay a few pounds every month for the convenience of this.

I love the way files automatically sync between my personal & school laptops, plus I can get at all my files from just about anywhere - even on my eeePC, without carting portable hard drives around with me.

Dropbox isn't blocked at school (yet!), but since staff laptops are no longer subject to the rather aggressive filtering that we use with the students I can't see that it would be a problem.

Quinn said...

I love dropbox, and only the client is blocked at my school. I am the only one who uses it in my AP computer science class. In the future, I would like to see the ability to add whole folders onto dropbox. This seems to be my only issue with it, and hopefully dropbox will change it.

David said...

Hello Quinn

Thanks for the comment. What do you use it for with your class? Setting homework? Sharing presentations? Or...?