Friday, December 5, 2008

How Drop.io Saved My Morning

Those of you that follow me Twitter might know that this week my school as been implementing a new filtering system and as a result, at different times throughout the week, various innocuous websites have been blocked. (I knew this was coming months ago so I moved my classroom blog to Edublogs in the hope that it wouldn't get accidentally filtered). Sometimes these blocks have been intentional and other times they've been unintentional. This morning was a case of unintentional blocking that could have made my morning very stressful if Drop.io didn't exist.

This morning I had a web based activity planned for my US History class comprised of special education students. The activity required them to use three different webpages that have quite long and complex urls. These students generally struggle with accurate transfer of information from one written form to another, particularly when accurate spelling is required. To eliminate some possible frustration for myself and my students, I posted links on the class blog labeled with the in which they needed to be clicked. This was a great plan until I got to school and discovered that my class blog was blocked. Quickly, I sent up a Drop.io page and posted the three links my students would need for the day.

Applications for Education
Drop.io is useful for much more than just posting links. Drop.io can be used to post documents, slide shows, and videos. If you don't want to maintain a blog, setting up a Drop.io page is very simple method for posting resources that your students might need. Last year I used Drop.io to post lecture outlines and grading rubrics.

By the way, if you haven't looked at Drop.io in the last few weeks, the background and layout has changed. The changes make it much more visually appealing and more intuitive to use too.

Here is a short video about how to use Drop.io