Dropbox moves into EdTech with Uni Syd agreement


The University of Sydney has signed a deal to provide students and staff with “wall-to-wall” access to Dropbox, in a move that sees the technology company formally push into the EdTech space.

The multi-million dollar deal aims to support multidisciplinary research and collaboration both internally and externally of the university and drive opportunities for global commercial engagement, providing different levels of access to its 67,000 researchers, staff and students.

“We want Dropbox to be a key tool that supports flexible learning, enabling people to learn and study where they want, when they want and how they want, both on and off campus,” ANZ Dropbox country manager Tony Ward said.

The deal is the first formal steps the tech company, which specialises in cloud-based storage and sharing, has taken into the education sector after research identified that it already had significant informal use globally both within academia and business.

“Globally we already have an extensive footprint in the education sector with thousands of education and research institutions already using Dropbox,” he said.

“These education institutions use Dropbox in some capacity within certain faculties or campuses, staff only or students only, but this is the first deployment of Dropbox across an entire university community.”

University of Sydney chief information officer Mike Day said the decision to implement Dropbox came during a review of the institution’s technology requirements.

“Technology and digital innovation is key to the unique learning experience offered at the University of Sydney,” he said.

“As our staff undertake multidisciplinary research, they increasingly need to coordinate with different areas of the University.”

Speaking with The PIE News, Day said the implementation of Dropbox, which will launch for students in the first semester of 2018, also provided opportunities outside of research collaboration.

“We’ve found it very easy to integrate, for example, into our learning management system… [but] we still have work to do to integrate fully into many of our other systems,” he said, adding that eventually it would also be used in record keeping.

While a first for Dropbox, Ward added that there were plans to sign other arrangements with institutions and increase the company’s edtech offerings.

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