Students must back up!

“Do you regularly back up your school laptop?” 

When I ask this question of students, the answer is invariably they have no idea.  In most cases after further investigation, they are often just saving files to the desktop or to a drive on their laptop.

If you are one of those students, or you have a child, who is saving work to their desktop or laptop, it is so important that you or they, look at options to back up their work ASAP.  The last thing they want is to loose any of their work.  Many students say this won’t happen to me but believe me it can and does happen!  If their laptop died or was damaged, they would lose not only their valuable work but also the time they have spent getting the document to the stage it was at.  There would be nothing worse that losing a major assignment that they have spent hours on or their study/revision notes.  Don’t let this happen – please take action today!

Parents, please have a discussion with your children about backing up as a matter of priority.  Even if they say they are backing up it can also be useful to get them to show you.  My son told me some time ago that he was backing up his device when in fact after further investigation he actually wasn’t.

It is good to see that some schools have backing up protocol in place but for many others they seem to leave this responsibility to students and don’t necessarily provide any instruction around it.  Hence why many students actually don’t even think about it until it is too late.

Backing up is a must for students - here's a portable hard drive that can be usedThe backing up process does not need to be difficult.  If you are not sure what to do, then I ask that you seek the necessary advice, or even get your child to liaise with the school’s IT department for options.  There are many cloud based options available these days and many of them are free including Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, amongst others.  You could also look to having a portable hard drive or even using a USB drive to save documents on.

Once it is decided what back up solution will be used, it can then be useful to test the back up from time to time to ensure it actually works.  There is no point backing up if you are not 100% confident it is actually doing what it is meant to be.  It is also very useful to know what the process or procedure would be, should you need to, if your child is ever in a situation when they needed to restore something.  Usually if this occurs they are in panic mode and want something ASAP.

Please don’t leave it too late, as when a computer dies, it is unlikely they will be able to recover anything and if they did they would be in the minority and lucky!  Please look into backing up now and finding a solution that works for them (and you as you don’t want your child all upset and stressed)!

This is a very minor component that I focus on as part of working 1:1 with students in my Student Success Program – for more details please get in touch.