I honestly didn’t want to make this about tech, but here we go again. Many of our staff and students are either stranded somewhere not wanting to come back or have decided wait things out somewhere.
So the questions about online learning start. Now let’s make it clear. Most people go into online learning voluntarily and well prepared. They sign up to an online learning course. They get instructions on how to use it. They have their technology with them and fully loaded. This is not the case currently.
People have called me paranoid. I’m as untidy on my laptop as I am in my life. Piles of files on my desk and on my desktop both home and work. In fact there are probably more files in my download folder than anywhere else. But one thing I’m careful with is weekly backups. And because I’ve had back-up discs fail on me, I have 5 x 2TB backup discs. Four where I’m living that I back up my laptop to on a revolving basis every Sunday, and one remotely in our Swiss flat. And they go into a fire/flood proof safe when we’re away. And I don’t trust my personal stuff on the cloud. Especially not photos.
It should be absolutely no problem for any member of our school community to get online and have access to their files from anywhere as most of our systems (Moodle, O365, Libguides, Oliver, databases, Overdrive etc) are cloud-based. Plus every student and teacher has access to OneDrive and teachers have access to Sharepoint.
Access doesn’t mean the same as usage
For all sorts of reasons some people don’t use OneDrive / Sharepoint or not consistently or not enough. Heck I’ve just told you I don’t put personal stuff on the cloud. But I do it for work – generally – possibly mainly because I believe I need to set a positive example. I could kick myself. In the last week of school before the CNY break we spent a lot of time creating closure tabs in our Moodle and setting up contingency plans for possible online learning. But like I always say “it’s not about systems, it’s about people”. Probably what we should have said to everyone is – take your laptops with you where-ever you go. Or if you don’t, make sure you’ve backup everything to OneDrive – now – let me help you.
Hindsight is 20-20.
But in the meantime – as one of my friends said to me – “as long as you have books to read you’re ok.”
And I’m working through a huge list at the moment – see my Goodreads tab on the side, and the current book is “Animal Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver.