One of the many reasons I enjoy working at a university is the opportunity to learn from my students—especially in the area of technology. Our student IT interns are raving about Dropbox, a file synchronization software that lets people simultaneously save their files locally and on Dropbox’s server. It’s instant back up. Dropbox’s file sharing feature could also be useful for group projects.
Yes, yes, I know…Many of us already use the “Save As” feature to back up our work to a network drive or flash drive, and the really conscientious among us daily or weekly back up our work to an external hard drive, but how many of us have had this conversation:
STUDENT: I did my homework, but my computer crashed last night, and I lost everything on my hard drive.
INSTRUCTOR: That’s awful! Good thing you backed up your work, eh?
STUDENT: Backup? Ummm…..
I know that many times I, too, will not take the time to back up my work and have been extremely fortunate that the technology gods continue to smile on me. I need a better plan, and I think my students do, too. Automatic backup might just be the solution.
Dropbox can be used with Windows, Mac, Linux, and mobile platforms, and the free version should be sufficient for most students; additional storage is available for a fee. Is Dropbox for you? Check it out at Dropbox.