Using Dropbox as a course management tool

By Michael McLaughlin
October 7th, 2011

Tools such as Dropbox can eliminate the need to use paper when grading assignments.

Today’s classroom teachers are increasingly seeking out simple ways to effectively share information and collect assignments over the internet.  Numerous institutions now encourage the use of course websites organized through larger management systems such as Moodle, Sakai, and Blackboard.

However, with tech-savvy teachers, administrators, and corporations driving the eLearning movement, the typical pen-and-paper teacher is often lost in the dust.  Although powerful, virtual learning environments, course management systems, and online learning centers often prove exceedingly cumbersome and complicated.  The addition of grade book features, attendance modules, and performance tracking only exacerbates the difficulties.  The jargon alone leaves one’s head spinning.

Fortunately a simple, self-contained means of sharing course information over the internet now exists – Dropbox. Of course, for those interested in maintaining the robust features of a full virtual learning environment, Dropbox can easily integrate with Moodle, Sakai, and Blackboard.

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2 Responses to “Using Dropbox as a course management tool”
October 10, 2011

Dropbox is a great tool for sharing files with anyone from anywhere in the world. However, the one thing I don’t like about it is that when two people are working on the same file together, you can lose data. So, if you simply want to store files that doesn’t require simultaneous editing, Dropbox is good. But when several people need to be working on the same file at the same time, Google Docs can be used.

Speaking of which, I did write about how several schools are now using Google Apps in schools to share educational resources with their students ( Just in case anyone is interested to read up on it.

October 22, 2011

Great Post Michael, I would recommend that all students and staff use dropbox for all documents and course work. It has several advantages over moving files on a a USB key, the main being an easily accessible online backup, WITH revision control. If you accidentally delete your essay from dropbox you can still get it back (up to 30 days) . DropBox is also a great tool for students who are working on a group project, images, videos and documents can easily be shared with the whole team. I would recommend staff send out the referral URL and encourage there students to do this to. This will give them more space for FREE!