Why I’m Still Using Dropbox in the Classroom

It’s been a year since I signed up for dropbox and I’m happy to renew my premium subscription, even though it’s costing me $138 US per year. (That’s $99 for 50 GB of space in the cloud and $39 for the “pack rat” unlimited undo history feature.)

dropbox renewal

Right now, I’m using 30 GB of 82.25 GB. Even though I’ve only paid for 50 GB of space, I have a lot of extra free space because of all the people that I refer to dropbox.

free space

Of course, now that dropbox is an integral part of my life (30 GB that is), I’m hooked (and stuck).

Dropbox has a lovely referral program and you can get free space just by inviting your friends, but there are limits and caps.

For example, for every friend that you invite who actually joins and installs dropbox, you get 500 MB to 1 GB of extra free space (depending on if you have a free or paid account.) Your friend gets 500 MB of extra free space (up to a limit of 32 referrals.)

If you use this link to set up your dropbox account, you’ll get 500 MB of extra free space. I won’t get any extra free space because I’m already at the 32 GB limit, so it’s all about you baby.

  • If you have a free dropbox account, you can get up to 18 GB of space (2 GB for free, and 500 MB per referral.)
  • If you have a paid (Pro 50) dropbox account, you can get up to 82 GB of space (50 GB that you paid for, and 1 GB per referral up to 32 referrals.)

Even though I have 32 GB of referrals, if I drop down to the free plan, those 32 referrals drop down to 18 GB of free space. Still impressive, but the reason why I upgraded was because cleaning house was a headache.

Once you run out of space on dropbox, it stops syncing your files. Rather than spending hours constantly trying to keep my files under a certain limit, I’m willing to shell out some money to make my life easier.

You can actually get over 32 GB of free space because you can get bonus space just by doing some simple tasks.

  • You get an extra 250 MB when you create your account just by completing the “getting started” steps.
  • You can get 125 MB just by linking your twitter account and then another 125 MB just by following @dropbox on twitter.
  • If you leave a 90 character feedback message, you can get an 125 MB. Once you give the feedback, this will unlock another option to tweet your feedback message, earning you an extra 125 MB of free space.
  • if you connect your Facebook account, you can get 125 MB as well.
  • In other words, you can get an extra 1 GB of free space, even if you don’t have any friends to get bonus referral space.

(I’m actually at 32.75 GB of bonus space earned because I completed these simple tasks.)

free-space-earned

So, why am I still using dropbox at school and at home? Here are 6 reasons:

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Schedule your tweets to help avoid tweeting mistakes and saying dumb tweets

I know a few teachers who use twitter.

  • Some teachers use twitter to connect professionally with other technologically minded teachers.
  • Other teachers use twitter as a way to update their class websites. They tweet from their phone and they set up their class website so it’s essentially a live feed of their twitter account.

We often tell students to “think before they click” about the possible ramifications of social media. Of course, as teachers, we need to practice what we preach because you can lose your job.

  • Hutch Carpenter posted about how to tweet your way out of a job when a job applicant at Cisco wrote about hating the work and a channel partner advocate for Cisco responded.
  • Carpenter’s post went viral and it’s kind of interesting looking at the traffic graph of his blog. He wrote a retrospective on the Cisco fatty storyand it’s interesting to hear the background and his thoughts:
    • “You tweet things and get positive reactions from those with whom you interact. Or, more likely, a lot of what you tweet gets no reaction…”
    • “I can very easily see someone developing a false sense of privacy in this realm. After all, there are millions of people tweeting…”
    • “Twitter search and the retweet protocol makes anyone’s tweets accessible everywhere. With Twitter, you have to keep your guard up…”

There are even websites dedicated to dumb tweets.

So, how can you avoid tweeting a dumb tweet? By scheduling your tweets so they don’t get sent right away.

  • That way, you can fix any auto correct errors so you don’t end up on this site.
  • It also gives you time to check your message and to think about what you’re tweeting. After all, we live in a world where tweets can cause political scandals, get people fired or arrested.

There are a few twitter clients that will let you schedule your tweets, but I haven’t been able to find one yet that will do it automatically for you. I would love it if you could change a setting so that when you click send, it automatically schedules your tweet 5 minutes later.

Here are two Twitter clients that I use to schedule my tweets.

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How to e-mail MarkBook student reports to improve parent-teacher communication

One of the hardest things to do well as a teacher is to keep parents/guardians regularly informed about how their child is doing.

Many families have a computer at home, and many parents/guardians use e-mail on a regular basis.This means that the tech savvy teacher can use classroom technology to send home electronic updates and progress reports about how the child is doing in their course.

If you keep track of student marks using paper and pencil, or spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel, you should seriously consider using MarkBook software. MarkBook is great because you can print up pretty student reports like this one:

markbook-student-report

Here are two ways to send electronic copies of student marks to the your parents. (In my next post, I’ll show you an even better way to send MarkBook student reports to parents using Google Docs/Google drive.)

This post was dictated using Dragon NaturallySpeaking with the voice recognition software getting 98.3% of the words correct.

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