A colleague sent me these graphics this morning; I see they have been doing the rounds via Twitpic this week. They cleverly highlight the key differences between the traditional education most of us would have experienced and the kind of education children growing up in our digital world are experiencing now.
Posts tagged ‘web 2.0’
If there’s one thing the Christchurch earthquakes have taught us, it’s the importance of current backups for all digital data. When was the last time you backed up your desktop computer, laptop or phone? I recently bought a 1TB external hard drive for my laptop at home but am the first to admit that, other than serving as a really large holding space for my music files, I have little faith in its ability to restore everything up in a disaster. Firstly, I’m not as organised at systematically backing up files as I’d like to be and, secondly, there’s no guarantee that a falling object will crush my laptop but miraculously miss my external hard drive located somewhere else in the house.
Derek Wenmoth’s post earlier this year about clouds and silver linings highlighted the value of storing digital data offsite. There are a plethora of cloud-based synchronising services available, many with a substantial amount of free storage as well as options for professional subscriptions. The concept is great: back up important content by sending it into the cloud, or synchronise various digital devices (computers, laptops, mobiles) in one central location. It can also be a good way to share folders and files with others. But what about security and bandwidth issues? Is cloud syncing more of a short or long term solution?
I have been playing with a couple of online synching tools recently. I have long had a partially utilised Dropbox account and have recently come across SugarSync. Here are my general impressions of both.
I have only recently ‘discovered’ SugarSync. So far, it’s looking pretty good to me. The basic, personal service is free and allows around 5GB of storage but with a 25MB limit for public file sharing. That’s important if you’re wanting to share videos. It offers services across a range of platforms and its mobile applications seem more stable than Dropbox. There are multiple ways to increase the free storage limit, including various types of referrals allowing another 500MB each, but I found many of them to be quite gimmicky. It is easy to synchronise multiple folders and files via the Magic Briefcase icon on your desktop (which takes you to the web interface). Security appears to be similar to Dropbox; nothing in the cloud is ever 100% secure.
A more comprehensive comparison between Dropbox and SugarSync can be found here.
I have long been a big fan of delicious or, more specifically, online social bookmarking. Years of travelling or working between various sites and on different computers very quickly allowed me to see the benefit of saving my collection of links in the cloud (backed up, of course) rather than on a local machine. I recently gave a presentation for staff about using online bookmarking. Although it was set in the context of delicious, hopefully the message would be transferable to any other platform. Since 2003, delicious has been my preferred tool of choice but, admittedly, very little seems to have changed or developed within it over the years.
This morning, the Twitterverse was aflutter with news that Yahoo may be shutting down Delicious. Tweeters were aghast; how could Yahoo do this? What would we do now? A quick search for online bookmarking tools turned up this blog post about the five best online bookmarking services. I’ve got to say that this video has made Diigo look incredibly appealing, particularly its ability to highlight and annotate passages of text, rather than whole sites.
I’ve decided to jump on board the Diigo train, probably later than many but hopefully in time to allow me to successfully make the transition from delicious. I’m hoping that my network of users from delicious will also come on board so I can reconnect with them. Apart from joining in with the initial collective outrage at the possibility of delicious being ditched, I’m surprised how quickly I’ve change allegiance to a new platform. I realise there are many others to choose from, and that many people have been using online bookmarking sites other than delicious for a long time, but I’m hoping that Diigo will work for me.
I have begun by exporting my delicious bookmarks into html format. A few weeks ago I decided to split my existing delicious account in two and have one each for personal and professional use. I hadn’t actually begun populating my new account – probably just as well given that I’ll be moving platforms now. However, once I’m up and running, you’ll be able to find me here.