Friday, February 27, 2009

How My Students Used Drop.io Today

I've written about Drop.io a number of times in the past (here, here, and here) and I continue to find new ways to take advantage of all that Drop.io has to offer. For those readers not familiar with Drop.io, the basic purpose of Drop.io is to provide a simple file, private sharing system. Drop.io gives users the ability to create a page of documents, links, and audio files in a matter of seconds.

Today, I gave one of my classes an assignment about the transcontinental railroad, the settlement of the western United States, and the role that "the old west" played in forming the identity of America. The assignment required students to find 19th century images of the West that they thought symbolized characteristics and stereotypes of the West. After finding the images, the students had to write a short justification for the selection of each image. I could have had the students print each image they found, but our school only has black and white laser printers so the quality of image prints is not good. Here's where Drop.io entered the picture; I had each student (there is only four in this class) create a Drop.io page on which they added links to the images they found. Along with each image link the students had to write a short note justifying the selection of each image.

The students enjoyed creating these digital portfolios and they now have something that they can continue to add to for the rest of the year. Using Drop.io to have students create digital portfolios for this assignment also cuts down on the pile of physical papers that I have to sort through and keep track of over the weekend.