English teacher in Paris, Todd Burch, writes:

One challenge faced by many teachers is to find a simple way to distribute, receive and exchange documents with students.  Email is too limiting when it comes to managing a large number of documents , and the file size restrictions make sending large documents difficult, if not possible.

An alternative is to make use of an online file storage and collaboration service. Many such services exist; however, from my experience, the best is drop.io

Think of a ”drop” as a place where you drop off things for others to pick up. It is perfect for storing course materials for students, and for any type of group project where students need to collaborate.

On drop.io you can store up to 100 MB for free (more than enough for most uses) without creating an account. Check out the great video on the home page:

Here’s how it works:

1.    Go to http://drop.io

2.    Each time you go to the site, a random url address is generated automatically. In the example above it’s: http://drop.io/thl6r6i. You can change the end to something easier to remember, such as http://drop.io/my_english_class.

3.    Click on ”Select Files” to upload files to your drop.

4.    You can configure your drop.io space by clicking on ”Additional options” just below ”Select Files.”

·         Set a ”Guest Password” to limit access to your drop

·         Choose when you want the drop to expire, i.e. when your drop and the documents, photos, etc. you added to it, will be deleted.

·         Decide whether ”guests” (your students, colleagues, . . .) can add, delete, download or comment on files.

5.    When you’re finished, click on ”Create a Drop.” Your drop will be created. On the new screen you have an option to set an administrator password so that you can change the drop’s settings or receive an email in case you forget your drop address or password.  This is optional, but it’s a good idea.

6.     Communicate your drop url and password (if you created one) to your students and/or colleagues.

7.    When others go to your drop, they simply have to hover their mouse over a file they would like to download to see a menu appear.

That covers the basics. You can actually do a lot more with drop.io, but the best way to discover the other functions is to go the site and play around with it. I suggest you start by creating a sample drop to discover all the possibilities.

Hope you find that useful!

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