5 Ways to Use Drop.io in the Classroom

Drop.io is a quick and easy way to share files, including pictures, video, audio, and documents, in real time. The ability to the restrict viewing of a drop, the uploading and/or deleting of files, combined with features like chat, make it a great classroom tool. The price is certainly right for education too: free up to 100 MB per drop, with no limit to the number of drops one can make. There is also no registration required, not for admins or users - just don't forget the name and/or password of your site(s)!

Here are some ideas for using drop.io in the classroom:
  1. Presentations

    Combined with a projector - or better yet, and interactive whiteboard - drop.io is a quick way to present student work when students are using computers. Students can upload their file to a drop created by the teacher either via the web, email, or by using the Drag & Dropio Firefox extension. All files uploaded to a drop can be viewed as soon as they are finished uploading.

    When I teach photography, I have students upload their favorite images to my drop, as they are working. Then when everyone has added at least one picture, I project the drop and have the students talk about their selected image. Students can give feedback during class or can leave a written comment on the drop.io site. An added benefit is that I then have a copy of the students' work. I've had students as young as 4th grade upload to drop.io with no problem.

  2. Homework Collection & Digital Portfolios

    Drops can be password protected so that only an admin can view files. The hidden access feature on drop.io can even enable students to upload to a drop, without knowing the name of the site.  Teachers can then view student work within the drop or download it to their computer.

    Since drops can be password protected on both the admin and guest level (e.g. allowing guests to upload and view, but not change settings), a teacher could create a private drop for each student and comment on student work within the drop. A great way to create a digital portfolio!

  3. Collaboration

    Drop.io allows multiple users to upload files simultaneous and shows changes in real time. Along with the chat and comment features (which can be disabled by an admin, if necessary), drop.io can be used as a collaboration tool for group projects. Watch this video for a demonstration:

  4. Digital Scavenger Hunt/Resource Sharing

    Given the real-time sharing capabilities and the ability to view contents and comments as a stream, drop.io can be used to collect responses to an online scavenger hunt. Students can watch to see what has been found already, in order to avoid duplicates. Students then have access to all the found resources.

  5. Dropbox for Students

    In the least, drop.io can be used by students to transfer/store files. Flash drives are easily lost or corrupted (and can be a haven for viruses, as our high school learned last year), but drop.io can never be forgotten at home.

Other cool drop.io features useful in education: dropcasting (podcasting the contents of your drop), voicemail (leave audio messages on your drop), and Facebook connect (share to a Facebook feed)


  1. Hey Caitlin,

    I just wanted to say thanks for the great write up. We retweeted it.

    : )

    Peter Frasca
    Community Manager, Vox Populi, Education Czar

  2. This sounds great! I am planning on doing a picture and movie unit with my 4th graders so this should be real neat to try. I'll retweet this.


  3. I've also used drop.io for students to record narrations for their videos/digital stories. The free voicemail number drop.io provides is extremely helpful!!


  4. If using drop.io as a classroom drop box, how do create logins for students and ensure that only the teacher can see files submitted by a student?

  5. Dave - let us know how it works for you.

    Jerry - Thanks for the feedback about the voicemail number; I've never tried it myself. I'll keep it in mind for future recording projects.

    Samglikman - To use as a dropbox, I would create a drop.io for each student and assign it a unique guest password. That way, only that student (and you) could access the drop. For collecting files from multiple students, use the hidden access feature: http://drop.io/hiddenaccess.