This week, I’m providing tips for how to prepare for the New Year–that pesky end-of-year technology maintenance. Sure, you should do it once a month if you’re active on your computer, but AT LEAST do it yearly.
This one’s from Tech Tips for Writers, an occasional post over on my Writer Blog, WordDreams, on overcoming Tech Dread. I cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment. I’ll cover your Tech Dread in a future Tip.
Q: I’ve had some virus problems and it reminds me that I need to back-up my computer for the new year. I have all of my writing [aka, classwork, student grades, lesson plans] on there–what if I lost it? What’s the easiest way?
A: There are many ways–and I use all of them because I am truly paranoid about losing my work. Here are some ideas:
- use a back-up service like Carbonite. They automatically and continuously backup to the cloud so even if you forget to do this, they don’t. Even better, you can access your work from anywhere with an internet connection. I love that.
- email copies of your most important writing to yourself. For WIP [and lesson plans, schedules, scope and sequence], I do it constantly. Every day. If you use Gmail, you can email up to 20 mb. If your file is larger than that (which some of mine are–and my RTFs definitely are–just upload them to the Google Drive associated with your Gmail.
- Use Windows Backup function. Here’s what you do:
- Click the start button.
- Go to Control Panel
- Select ‘Backup and Restore
- Select ‘Backup Now’
From there, select a drive with sufficient space, and start. Be forewarned: If you have a lot of data, it takes a while. You can work on your computer while it’s backing up; it’ll just be slower.
A note: This is the same location you’ll go to restore from back-up if you have a problem.
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. She is webmaster for six blogs, CSG Master Teacher, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.