The Devil in the Details – September 20, 2016


Teaching requires organization. Period. Without organization, it can be difficult to be an effective teacher. Personally, I have lost student work many times. I usually give the student full credit if I remember that they turned it in. I nearly always find it a few days later, placed with the wrong period’s work or accidentally scooped up with my personal papers on my desk.

Online resources are great, but how to keep track of them all? I use Symbaloo. My webmix can be found here: My Symbaloo. But recently, it has been difficult to keep track of downloads, browser-specific bookmarks, and files. I have multiple devices for work now, and multiple Google Drives to contend with. Thank goodness for the search function.

(Speaking of Google, I found out that you can very easily print student responses from a Google Form into a spreadsheet – just go under “responses” and there is an option to place the answers into a Google Sheet. Presto! It printed out nicely as well.)

I have no answers for you right now about how to solve this problem, as I am currently struggling with all of the different locations of multiple items myself. All I can say is that if you are just starting, be sure you have a reliable and consistent system of filing items and maybe put everything on Google Drive or Symbaloo?

A few things to think about that maybe are too improbable to even consider, but I’ve mentioned before my lack of trust in technology. I just figure that the possibility of a catastrophic meltdown is inevitable. Maybe an EMP, maybe the collapse of civilization, maybe one day the possibility of war or civil strife — the point is, what if our data is lost? I try backing up my items, but they are also backed up digitally, so how will that help? Let’s hope the collapse of civilization doesn’t affect the “cloud.”

I try not to submit to conspiracy theories or “prepper” mentality, but I also hesitate just a little bit about Google having access to my life – my maps, my calendar, my email, my photos, my phone, my contacts, my children, my work documents, my personal documents…doesn’t it seem like there could be some possibility of abuse there? I’m sure people whose documents and correspondence were published by Wikileaks didn’t expect their information to be compromised, either.

Anyway, I have transitioned to nearly all-digital record-keeping and was discussing with a colleague about the possibility of server failure and realized that I do need to at least keep print-outs of information at regular intervals, just in case.


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