While there are many file storage and sharing sites on the web, I have been very impressed with Drop.io. Drop.io allows anyone to store and share media files up to 100MB on a free account. Drop.io also has password protection and you can designate how long files will stay stored on the site ( a year or a day...etc). This is very helpful for students who are dealing with sensitive media that they need to share or move from place to place (especially larger files). Beyond the password protection, Drop.io has mobile sharing options!!!! Therefore students who want to capture and store media on the Internet via their cell phone can do so in a protected Drop.io class or individual account. They can store mobile images, video, or even voicemail recordings. With each account, Drop.io creates a blog. The person who creates the account can decide if the blog will be public, private, or semi-private.
1) Password Protection!
2) No Advertisements!
3) Mobile blog all types of media (image, video, text, and audio recordings)
4) Has it's own blog (which can be password protected).
5) Administrator passwords (teacher can have total control) and lower-level passwords (so students/parents can view data but not change it).
6) Teachers can decide when files are deleted and can have control over publication.
7) RSS feeds with each account
While Drop.io is really a great mobile data storage tool, there are many learning projects that can happen with the aid of Drop.io. Below are a few ideas...feel free to add yours!
Field Trip and outside of school activity documentation!
Immediately I thought of students being able to use their cell phones to document their learning during a field trip. Taking pictures, videos, or a voicemail interview that goes into a private account allows the teacher to make sure that the students were actually "learning" during the field trip. The same could be true of activities that take place outside of school such as journalism students who are capturing news stories in the local community (send the media to the journalism Drop.io account). They could even publish their newspaper with the assistance of the Drop.io blog.
Oral Language Learning
I have mentioned this for other resources too, but I like the voicemail recording feature for oral quizzes. This is because the teacher can set up the account so only the teacher can access the media in the account. Besides quizzes, Drop.io's voice mail recording could be used for practicing oral speeches and language learning.
Local Collaborative Digital Research Papers
Students can document a local biography or local science experiment by going to the "real" locations of the topic (such as visiting the local pond where waste is being dumped, or interviewing and taking pictures of people who lived through a great historical event). The students can immediately send their data from their mobile phones to a private Drop.io site, where they can then use the information in class to put together a digital presentation or blog with their "real world" evidence.
Distance Collaborative Learning
Distance learning projects are easy with the aid of Drop.io. For example, students in a Foreign Language class can do an epals exchange with students in a Spanish speaking country. They can share video, image, or audio feeds of similar cultural topics (such as "a typical American Breakfast" or "a typical school day"), and they can use the private Drop.io blog with their epal to communicate experiences back and forth.
Students can record their i-search project on the public Drop.io blog with their mobile media as "evidence" of their findings.
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