Wednesday, June 1, 2011

If you don't back up

Today I've been helping a teacher who has inexplicably lost all her first semester grades for two of the classes she teaches.  (Obviously a problem since year-end grades won't have meaning if they don't include grades for the whole year.) 
The problem reminded me about how dependent we all are on our technology - and how wrenching it is when we don't have backups.
Many of us now routinely use online gradebooks.  I remember paper gradebooks and bubbling in forms so that report cards could be printed - we do not want to go back there.
But if we're going to use technology, we need to make backups for those terrible times when the technology does us dirt.  Remember that there are only two kinds of computer users - those who've lost data, and those who haven't lost it... yet. 
I print down my gradebooks at least every quarter.  Also, I post grades from the gradebook to the private progress reports that parents can see online.  Both of these are good sources of backups if my gradebook gets corrupted and the vendor doesn't have the backup that they should - which happens more often than bears thinking about, including today. 
The more you have in the cloud, the more likely it is that you will lose important information.  Please make your own backups.  Don't let this happen to you.

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