Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Oh, just DROP it!

Do you ever have a student who wants to email you something that's so big that it will certainly clog your email box? (I know our institutional mailboxes are laughably small for the 21st century . . I have to clean it out every week!).

There's a FREE service called drop.io that let's your students (or you) drop any file(s) up to 100Mb for free. (You can post more in one drop at a modest price.) Once dropped, the files can be downloaded by anyone to whom you give a "guest" password.

The service allows the "dropper" of the files to permit "guests" to change files, so your students could set the service to permit you to reupload a file to which you've added suggestions, scoring, corrections, etc.

Of course, if you have some cool files that you want me to share with other A&P professors or use on my sites, then this would be an easy way to get the material to me without clogging your email box.

But wait!

There's more!

No, not free Ginsu knives "if you act now." Actually you get a whole bunch of very rich features for FREE with the drop.io service. . . even if you don't act now!

You (or anyone) can be informed of a change/addition/update to your drop by phone, SMS cell phone text message, Twitter, RSS subscription (including iTunes), or whatever.

You can also phone in to your drop and leave a voicemail . . . the message is converted to an mp3 sound file and put into your drop. Now think about that for a minute . . . this could be really crazy.

What if you create a drop for your course this semester. Then you phone in a course announcement ("I'm sick today and class is canceled, please read Kevin Patton's wonderful textbook Chapter 1" or "I forgot to tell you today that the test next week is postponed" or "Today I said 'mucus' but I meant to say 'mucous'"). Then each of your students is notified by a text on their cell phone or by email or whatever they choose that there's something waiting for them at the course drop.

Wait!

It gets crazier:

What if you used drop.io as "the world's simplest way" to produce your own podcasts?

You could post your lectures to the drop! Or you could post a simple explanation of a concept that your students are having difficulty with! Or you could post your dean's own voice telling them that she/he is not going to fire you for giving too much homework!

Why don't you go to this drop that I've set up for you:

http://drop.io/theAPprofessorSample

Guest password: aprocks

I've already got a few things there for you. Go ahead and rig it up (with the links along the right side of the page you land on) to send you a notification of any updates to the drop. Then occasionally I'll update and you (and I) can see how it works for everyone.

FYI, this one is set up only for me to drop things. You can't update the drop. But one could set up a drop that allows others to update the drop.

The drop.io service automatically produces a pdf "business card" or an electronic v-card for your students (or colleagues) to keep so they can find the drop easily any time. Here's the pdf for my sample drop: click here. Here's the v-card for my sample drop: click here.

I've also listed the URL of drop.io at my list of free online services at The A&P Professor website.

1 comment:

Giovanna said...

Hi Professor,

This is Giovanna from Drop.io - Thank you so much for your interest in our service!

We have a variety of new features being released in the coming months, so please stay tuned via: www.drop.io/press.

Good luck with this school year, and please let us know if there is anything further we can do for you or your students.

Best regards,

Giovanna
www.drop.io

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