How difficult is it to make a backup?

Sunday, December 19th, 2010 | security, technology

So many people don’t make backups – and lose their valuable data when a mishap occurs – that one would think it is a complex task.  Not so!  It is possibly one of the easiest things you have to learn to do.

Since your computer or laptop acts as a hub for your classroom technology all the data is stored in its memory – the data projector, interactive whiteboard, scanner, printer and all other devices you use draw their data from the computer. That means you only have to backup the data on the computer and the functioning of all other devices will be safe.

By the way, the word backup is used both as a noun and a verb: you backup the data when you copy it and in the process you create a backup.

Different backup strategies exist, but for a classroom the simplest one suffices.  If your computer is linked to the network of the school, enquire how often backups are made, and whether the data you create will be included in the general backup.  If this is not the case, then ask your technology supplier or a technical person at the school, how to do a backup.

The backup procedure is simple – you just make a copy – and this can be done on any secondary storage device, such as a memory stick.  This stick must then be stored in a safe place – not in the same bag where you keep your computer!  For safety sake, some people make two copies and keep them in different places.

The important thing about backups is that they must be done regularly.  Some people make a backup once a week.  If you don’t do a lot of data creation, a weekly backup may be sufficient.  But bear in mind that if you should lose data, all work since the last backup will be lost.  If you decide to do a backup of your entire system once a week, but you are working on a very important document, you may want to make a special interim copy of that document so that, if the worst comes to the worst, you at least have an up to date copy of that piece of work. 

When you get into a car, putting on a safety belt is not optional.  The same is true of backups – they are mandatory.  The day you’re taking a chance may be the day you really need the protection.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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2 Comments to How difficult is it to make a backup?

Mrs. Hutchinson
Sunday, 19 December, 2010

During the last year, our principal has sent us a email the first of each month. She reminds us to backup our computers. Of course, no music or pictures are to be backed up to the school server. That is where an external hard drive comes in handy.

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