Collecting student assignments and files.

This year my colleagues and I want to collect some student assignments and files online. Students will upload their work to a dropbox that I create for various assignments. We don’t want to use student emails, or have to install anything on computers, or install, configure or run a learning  management system.

We also want it to be free.

After  investigating several options, including Google docs, MS Skydrive,  and various online file storage solutions,   I have found a simple method that seems like it will fit those requirements.

 

Here are the steps:

1) Students click a link on my class blog / website and are presented with a file upload form.

2) Students upload their file(s).

3) I collect the uploaded files from my free online storage account.

 

The two free services that I am using are Dropbox and FileStork.

Dropbox provides me with 2GB of free file storage. With this amount, I cant’ really accept many large multimedia files, but I figure it should be good for student docs, presentations and other small digital files.

FileStork provides the upload link, the upload form, and sends the student’s  files to my Dropbox account.  FileStork caps the maximum file upload size to 75 MB. Again, no big movie files can be uploaded, but I  can work with that. I can require students to enter a password before uploading files.

 

I am looking forward to freeing myself  from the limitations of the local school fileserver or expecting students to carry flashdrives.

 

I put together a  step-by-step tutorial with screenshots that I am sharing with my colleagues.

Have a look: 

collecting student files

 

Anybody have any other methods that work well for them that they can recommend?

 

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Steve,
This sounds great. I, however, am a Google freak. My older kids have Gmail accounts and can share their work with me without having to attach them to emails. Also, I don't have to download file after file. The younger ones still email their small files from their Gaggle accounts. It is limited, but that's fine for their needs. I've found that these plans are even easier than our in-house dropbox on the desktops. I can grade from anywhere, any time.

I am an avid gmail user and I like google sites. I teach elementary school computer class and  I have to get signed permissions for the kids to have email accounts and that's an issue I have to weigh very carefully.  I know that a great deal of my students have many forms of email, facebook, twitter, youtube accounts and more, but I am cautious about the teacher / student interaction dynamic there.

 

When you say your kids have gmail accounts and can share work with you, I assume you mean through google docs and sharing?

Yes. It's so handy. On the due date, I open it up and grade it ... ready or not. This has been a wonderful lesson to them about hitting deadlines.

 

The elementary kids are too young for Google, unless your district gets in on Google Apps for Ed. We're trying to get our district to move on this right now. It's like running through jello.

This school year we have created individual network accounts for students in our junior-senior high school.  I have recently received a couple of legitimate requests from teachers regarding shared file storage for students in their classes.  I have a limited tech staff and budget.  I'm not really interested in housing student files on our servers.  I want to take things a step further and provide online file storage so faculty and staff have access to there files from any computer with an Internet connection.  I'm trying to look at the "Big Picture" here.  I want to provide maximum features and functionality without it being overly confusing.

 

I have been planning on providing Google Apps accounts for faculty and students, minus the email functionality.  My district isn't prepared to provide email accounts to students.  I like Google Apps because it provides word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation tools to students at no cost.  It also provides file storage.  However, I'm concerned about the limited amount of storage space available.  We have some jounalism, digital arts, and engineering classes that can generate very large files.

 

Taking things another step, I thought it would be useful to find a way to provide large amounts of online file storage for those specialized classes.  Due to the limited tech staff, the solution has to have little overhead involved in setting up access.

 

I have been considering a network attached storage device for these particular classes to use.  Many now have web access capabilities.  Another option I'm considering is a service that not only provides unlimited files storage, but also drop boxes for teachers, message boards, blogs, calendars, etc.  Services I'm looking at are from SchoolWebLockers.com and eBackpack.com .  Both are similar services that cost $1 per user per year.

 

I'm just curious to see if anyone else has explored online file storage for faculty and students.  Has anyone used SchoolWebLockers.com or eBackpack.com?

 

I appreciate any input that folks can provide.

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