I've been hearing about Dropbox for years, and last night I decided it was time to check it out. I'm glad I did.
It took me about 7 or 8 minutes to download the install file, run it, and enter my information so an account could be set up. I copied a file into the Dropbox folder, and then read this “Quick Start” doc, which helped me realize that the files in my Dropbox where now also available to me from any Internet-connected computer if I logged onto Dropbox.com. I was quickly getting a true appreciation of what it means to use cloud computing for online data storage (Dropbox is a leading provider).
Next, I logged onto another computer in my house and logged into Dropbox to see what I could do. I could see and access the document that I had dragged into the Dropbox folder on the first computer, and I could upload a new document there, which I did. I then went back to the original computer and the new file was there too!
The whole idea apparently is that the Dropbox folder is synched across the web. You can actually install Dropbox on other computers and have a local Dropbox folder on them, and all of these can synch up. Even better, you can choose to share files with others, as each file that you drag into the Public folder will get its own unique URL. On top of that, you can create file folders that you share just with other specific Dropbox users. The possibilities for easy, inexpensive file sharing apps like Dropbox seem tremendous.
We are looking for an easy way for our Library staff to distribute docs that they scan for remote users, without having to email them (some or just too big). Dropbox looks like an easy solution for this (users don't need credentials to access the file, just the URL). Once the file is retrieved, it can be deleted (learn more about the security of the application here).
As for the cost, you get a 2 GB Dropbox account for free! Much larger storage is available for pretty reasonable fees:
- 2 GB for free
- 50 GB for $9.99 per month
- 100 GB for $19.99 per month
If you haven't tried Dropbox yet, give it a shot. If you have, and you've used in the educational setting, we hope you'll comment and tell us about it. Thanks!
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Announcing EmergingEdTech’s 2011 Free Education Technology Resources eBook
Free Productivity Resources for Educators
Tutorial – 5 Fun Free Photo And Image Editing Applications For The Classroom