I’m working on a pretty intensive project with one of my classes this semester. In support of a Flipped Classroom partnership with a local school district, my students are creating instructional videos that will be used with several 4th and 6th Grade classrooms. My students used a whole host of different applications to develop their instructional videos and the students eventually saved them online so that they could be viewed by district students. The challenge, however, was we also wanted to provide offline versions of the videos. With the socioeconomic make-up of schools, we wondered whether all of the students would be able to access videos placed online. Some families may not have Internet capability. Others may not have computers. We worried that our Flip Project might marginalize some of these students and we brainstormed ways to avoid this. Ultimately, the district decided that it would make laptops available for students to take home if they needed them and that it would store offline videos on DVDs and flash drives for students who didn’t have home Internet access. My students just needed to provide the offline videos.
Creating offline versions was easy for my students. Many were able to just save files using the video editors they were using. Delivering them to our district partners, however, proved a little more challenging. While the final offline versions weren’t gigantic in size, the University email service wouldn’t allow them to be attached to email. Our learning management system would not support their sharing, either. While I could dump all of the files onto a single flash drive and hand deliver them to the partner schools, I wondered whether there might be a technical solution. After some thought, I decided that DropBox would be the ideal tool for this but didn’t want to send DropBox requests to all of the students in my class. That’s when I came upon DropItToMe.
DropItToMe is a site that allows you to create a password-protected space for students (or others) to upload files directly to your DropBox account. Of course you’ll need a DropBox account before you set up your DropItToMe space, but the process after that is pretty easy. First, create an account with DropItToMe and authorize it to access your DropBox account. If you’re worried about security, DropItToMe doesn’t actually have access to your DropBox files. The authorization process just gives DropItToMe the ability to upload files. Which made the Flip Project uploading simple. I shared the link to my DropItToMe page, gave my students a unique password and then shared their files with me. I was then able to share the files from my DropBox account with the technology coordinator at our partner district.
DropItToMe is a free service and is really easy to use. The only real hangup is that the upload process is limited to 75 Mb. One of the projects in my class exceeded this limit but the rest were able to upload the files easily using DropItToMe. Almost any file type can be uploaded through DropItToMe which makes it the perfect solution for sharing videos, pictures or documents across classes of students.