Dropbox gains momentum in education, empowering the next generation of knowledge workers


Published on March 14, 2019

Dropbox has been growing rapidly in education. Between 2017 and 2018 the number of students, faculty, and administrators enrolled in Dropbox Education has risen almost 50%. This includes new customers and expanded deployments like Cal State Fullerton, University of Florida, and UNC Charlotte that have joined our expanding family of innovative educational institutions.

We’re also excited to announce new partnerships with leading education apps that will improve the daily experience of students, faculty, and researchers on campuses around the world. They’ll have access to Klaxoon, Pronto, and WeVideo along with our existing Dropbox education partners Blackboard, Canvas, and Turnitin. The integration of these new tools furthers our goal of providing education customers with a unified home for all their content and collaboration.

“Educators understand that for the next generation of knowledge workers, learning how to work together is a core competence,” says Dropbox Education Lead, Marshall Kurtz. “Bringing Dropbox together with learning management systems and applications that boost student engagement helps schools prepare students to succeed in the workforce of tomorrow.”

And our education customers are using more apps with Dropbox to fulfill this mission. We’ve seen a more than 50% increase in linking one or more third-party apps among individual users and a 30+% increase among teams. These new product capabilities will make sharing assignments, giving feedback, working on group projects, and learning together even easier.

Klaxoon is an innovative suite of applications that improves teamwork efficiency. Instructors at top-ranked institutions in Europe and the US are increasing student engagement with its polls, word clouds, and other interactive tools. Users can bring Dropbox content into collaborative activities like Brainstorm, Challenge, and Quiz. “The techniques that foster smart teamwork and lively meetings in businesses also makes Klaxoon a great solution for students looking to build efficient collaborative practices,” says Klaxoon CEO, Matthieu Beucher.

WeVideo is an easy-to-use video creation and digital learning platform that also straddles the line between next-generation business communication tool and highly motivating educational experience for students at every grade level. Users can upload media files from Dropbox to the video editor, as well as export their finished videos directly to Dropbox. “We want students to collaborate more openly and effectively, and have a chance to learn at the deepest levels,“ says Dr. Nathan Lang-Raad, Chief Education Officer of WeVideo. “WeVideo promotes meaningful learning and self-exploration that expands beyond the walls of the classroom.”

Pronto also prepares students for the world beyond the classroom, with a unified real time communication app for teachers, students, and administrators. Now they can access Dropbox content directly from within Pronto. “By bringing mobile-first video conferencing, messaging, file sharing, and task management together for higher education, we’re building highly-connected communities around learning,” says Shane Bills of Pronto.

These new integrations will be available today to all Dropbox users.

The common denominator in all of these new ways of learning is shared and secure access to content, which is where Dropbox comes in. Of the more than 2.5B files education customers added in 2018, almost 30% of them were to shared folders. Shared content and app integrations boost active learning and reduce tedious administrative labor, creating a better educational environment for everyone. We’re continuing to expand our partnerships, giving everyone the ability to use whatever tools they’d like to teach and learn—no team is locked into a single ecosystem. Here’s how some of our participating schools are using Dropbox to design more enlightened ways of learning:

“With Dropbox, our community has a tool to help get work done,” says Amir Dabirian, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer of Cal State Fullerton. “Professors have a central place for lecture materials and assignments and students can work together on a project and easily share with a professor via a file request.”

At the University of Florida, more than 6,000 users are connected with Dropbox across over 100 facilities statewide. “From talking to our IT directors, our professors, and our staff, we could see users were accomplishing a lot of great work on Dropbox that wouldn’t necessarily translate to another tool,” said CIO Elias Eldayrie. “Making the choice to deploy Dropbox allowed all that work to continue, uninterrupted, in the most secure way possible.”

Researchers at UNC Charlotte share a proprietary motion tracking application with biologists around the world using Dropbox. In return for access to the tracker, biologists studying everything from social insects to cancer cells, share their videos and data to improve the underlying algorithm. The UNCC research team uses Dropbox Paper to plan out every step of the project, brainstorming, compiling past research, and using the LaTeX formatting option to display formulas and equations properly.

As we write in a companion post, “learning how to learn is is one of most valuable skills students can bring into the workplace.” At Dropbox, we’re proud to be part of all these ways schools are making education more engaging, inclusive, and (we hope) fun.