Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Enhance Reflective Practice with http://drop.io.

Part of my job involves taking administrators and others on visits to innovative schools to conduct learning walks. During the visits we look at classrooms and have the opportunity to speak with students and staff about the work they are doing. Following the visit we debrief to reflect upon what we saw and discuss what we learned that might be useful in our own environments. Most innovative educators I work with find these to be valuable experiences.

What is usually lacking in these visits is the capturing of reflections of those present. Following the event we may send a survey to participants, but the return rate is often dismal and the capturing of all participants reflections is often not effective since capturing while participating in the conversation can prove difficult. I turned to my Twitter and Facebook network to find a solution to this problem. I wanted to find a way that I could provide participants with an email address that they could instantly send reflections to via their Blackberry or other handheld device. I wanted these reflections to go to one local collection area so that during the debrief we could see all participants reflections which we could discuss, build upon, and share with one another and with the school.

I found a great tool for this called http://drop.io. The way it works is I give everyone my drop i.o email address: SchoolVisits@drop.io. They email their reflections to that email as they have them. Then any of us can simply go to my page which is http://drop.io/SchoolVisits. If you want to try this yourself email me at SchoolVisits@drop.io with a school visit reflection question you like to use, then find your answer at http://drop.io/SchoolVisits.

Thanks to Shea Smith for the below Tweet in response to my search for a tool that has this function.
Shea Smithsheasmith@InnovativeEdu Would http://drop.io work? It's free & comes with an email address for posts.


  1. Glad I could help. I'm a huge fan of drop.io, conference.io, and even start.io. I've used this in the computer lab (classroom) before, but using it for Professional Development is truly innovative!

  2. Shea, thanks for sharing how you use this tool. I had a particular purpose for using it for school learning walks. I'd love to hear more via a comment and perhaps a guest post about how you are using these tools.

  3. I would be honored to share more. I'll draft an overview of how I've used drop.io with my high school students, and send it to you via email.

  4. Shea,

    Thanks for the write up!

    We've seen a ton of educators using drop.io for collaboration between themselves and their students and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

    If you have any questions or suggestions, we'd definitely love to hear them.

    All the best,
    Peter Frasca
    Vox Populi - Community Manager

  5. You've opened your drop up to a ton of spam by putting the URL and the email address on a public website. I deleted a lot of spam for you tonight. You can add a word to your email address so that people can't guess it, i.e. schoolvisits.secretword@drop.io. I'd only give that email address to people I trust. I definitely wouldn't post it on a public web site.

    Also, if you are going to publicly share the URL you might want to consider restricting guest access. I only deleted SPAM, but a less benevolent person might delete files you want to keep.

    I'm a drop.io fan, and found your blog doing a Google search looking for interesting ways that others were using it.