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What is Dropbox and how can I use it during course development?
Posted by on 16 February 2012 02:29 PM

Note: These instructions are for CGCE faculty teaching online or hybrid courses—not CGCE students.

Dropbox logo

Dropbox is a file hosting service that uses cloud storage to store and share files and folders using file synchronization. The Dropbox application installed on your computer will automatically sync to the Dropbox website and any other computer(s) or devices (i.e. iPhone, iPad, etc.) linked to your account as soon as it notices a change in your Dropbox folder.  

Once your files are synced, you can access them directly from each devices where Dropbox is installed and linked to. For example, say you saved a document in the Dropbox folder on your desktop computer at work and wanted to access it on your laptop at home. Simply start up your laptop and allow Dropbox to sync. As soon as it's finished syncing, the document you were working on at the office is right there on your laptop. You can pick up where you left off. It is the easiest way to make sure your files are up-to-date and accessible anywhere. No matter which computer or device you use, the files will appear the same, or synced, wherever you go.

  • There is no sync button or need to set up any custom settings. Dropbox does this automatically for you.
  • Dropbox offers both free and paid services. Dropbox provides 2 GB of free online storage.  
  • Dropbox makes sharing files and folders easy. We recommend using Dropbox to store and share your voice-over lectures files with your Instructional Designer (ID). After you've finished recording your lectures in Camtasia (or other software), you can share the folder containing all of your course's lectures with your ID. Your ID will then accept your invitation to the folder, and download and publish all of your lectures. 
  • To learn more, visit http://www.dropbox.com/tour

Click on one of the following links for more information:


How to Install the Dropbox on Your Computer (PC or Mac)

  1. Go to: https://www.dropbox.com
  2. Click on Download Dropbox.
  3. Run the installer. Follow the on-screen instructions to install.
  4. Select “I don't have a Dropbox account” and click Continue.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to create an account. Click Continue.
  6. Select “2GB Free.” Click Continue.
  7. Select “Typical” under Settings. Click Install.
  8. You can go through the Dropbox Tour (optional). Click Continue to go through the Tour or click Skip Tour.
  9. A shortcut to your Dropbox will appear on your Desktop.

How to Add Files to Your Dropbox Folder

When you install the Dropbox desktop application, it creates a new folder on your computer. It works like any other folder on your hard drive, except everything in your Dropbox folder automatically syncs to the web and to any other computer with Dropbox installed.

It's easy. Move your files into your Dropbox by dragging and dropping them into your Dropbox folder. That's it. The files you dropped in will automatically be backed up online and synced to your other computers. You don't have to do anything. You can even save files directly to your Dropbox folder from any application.


How to Tell When Dropbox is Syncing

Dropbox overlays icons over the files and folders in your Dropbox and over the Dropbox icon on your system tray or menu bar.

For instance, you’ll know when syncing is complete when the Dropbox status indicator changes from a rotating blue sync marker to a white check mark on a green circle. The check mark indicates your Dropbox is fully synced.

Mac: 

Syncing icons

PC:

PC Syncing icons


How to Organize Your Dropbox Folder on Your Computer (PC or Mac)

We recommend keeping your Dropbox folder on your computer organized. You can create folders and subfolders as you would in any other folder on your computer. See the example below.

Example Folder Structure: 

  • Dropbox
    • EDAM27733 (folder)
      • Handouts (folder)
        • Rubrics (folder)
          • MA1_Rubric.docx
          • MA2_Rubric.docx
        • Articles (folder)
      • Lectures (folder)
        • Lecture1 (folder)
          • Lecture1.pptx
          • Lecture1_pptx (audio folder)
        • Lecture2 (folder)
          • Lecture2.pptx
          • Lecture2_pptx (audio folder)
      • Syllabus (folder)
      • Overviews (folder)

How to Share Folders in Your Dropbox with Your Instructional Designer

We recommend using Dropbox to store and share your voice-over lectures files with your Instructional Designer (ID). After you've finished recording your lectures in Camtasia (or other software), you can share the folder containing all of your course's lectures with your ID. Your ID will then accept your invitation to the folder, and download and publish all of your lectures. 

To share a folder in your Dropbox, do the following:

  1. Open your Dropbox folder on your computer.
  2. Control-click (right-click) on the folder you want to share. This displays a drop-down menu.
  3. Select Dropbox > Share This Folder… This will bring you to the Sharing page on the Dropbox website.
    • Note: You may be prompted to login to your Dropbox account.
  4. Enter the Rowan email address of your assigned ID.
  5. Add a personal message (optional) and click Share Folder.
  6. Your ID will notified via email that you've shared a folder in your Dropbox. Your ID will have to accept the invitation to access the files. 

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