Most of us have heard of DropBox, the great service that gives you 2 GB of free storage space in the “cloud.” If you do not already have a DropBox account, you can easily sign up for one HERE. Did you also know that DropBox can be a great way to collect students’ digital work? This post will focus on 3 great tools that will make collecting student work a breeze. All three of these services are free (as of this writing) and all are dead simple to use.
Ever wish you could easily receive big files from anyone? Now you can!
Together with Dropbox you can setup an unique upload address with password protection.
DROPitTOme is your one stop solution when an email is just not enough.
Features of Dropitto.me:
- Dead simple to use – create an account, give it permission to access your DropBox, you will then be provided with a custom URL.
- Ability to require an upload password, so only those students with the password can upload files.
- Allows uploads of 75 MBs in size, can be any format
Downsides of Dropitto.me:
- No way to specify an upload folder – all uploads go into a Dropitome folder inside your Dropbox folder
- No way to embed the upload form into class website, blog, or wiki
Create a free account at http://dropitto.me
Ever wish you could email files to your Dropbox? @ralphholzmann did too, so he wrote a web application that does just that. After connecting the app to your dropbox account, the app provides you with a unique email address. Simply ask the kids to add that email address to their contact lists and they can quickly and easily email anything to your Dropbox account.
Features of send to dropbox:
- Incredibly simple to use. Just attach the app to your Dropbox account and you’re set
- Students just have to attach the file they want to send to you and it magically appears in your Dropbox folder, accessible from ANY of your devices
- Ability to specify the folder that the files are saved to. Folders can contain the From address, subject or the date
- Will also automatically unzip archived files for you
- Can be used from an iPad or other tablet device
- The only one I can think of is that not all of our students have an email address
This free service is the most intriguing to me. JotForm is a WYSIWYG form editor in the browser. They have recognized a need for a way to easily upload to DropBox and have created a custom form and setup procedure for DropBox that is just flat out awesome.
Features of JotForm:
- Once connected to your DropBox account, the process is 100% automated – I can use the default form they create for me or I can COMPLETELY customize my form to make it suit my needs.
- Not only do you receive a custom URL for your form, but you receive an embed code as well. This is the only service I’ve seen that allows your students to upload files to your DropBox directly from your class web site, your class blog or your class wiki. That’s cool.
- Can require (on your custom form) student names for each of the uploads. When the student uploads a file, a separate PDF file is uploaded in the background with all of the pertinent information about the upload. This really helps with the organization of your uploaded files.
- Can add Captcha codes to your form to ensure no spammers are uploading junk to your DropBox folder
Downsides of JotForm:
- Customizing the form, although as simple as they can make, is still a bit tricky. It will take a little time to get used to the editor for custom forms.
- No way to specify an upload folder – all uploads go into a JotForm folder inside your Dropbox folder
Create a free DropBox form at http://www.jotform.com/dropbox/
All three services offer a fantastic way to allow your students to send their digital work directly to your Dropbox folder for collection.
If you’re looking for something incredibly quick and simple, DropItTo.me would be the way to go. If you’d like to specify the folder that your files are sent to, then send to dropbox would be your choice. If you would like an embeddable, completely customizable form for your students to upload their work, then JotForm is for you.
send to dropbox