By Emilisa Lopez
At Science Leadership Academy, there is one thing all teachers tell their students: back up your stuff.
Backing up work has always been an issue in SLA because it turns out that computers are not always your best friend. At the beginning of the year, the teachers make sure to remind the students to back up their stuff to prevent disasters later on in the path.
Some common issues with the computers are that they can crash, and their programs can unexpectedly close out due to an error in the system.
Senior Johnathan Neris sadly found that out the hard way. “I have lost a benchmark a couple of days before it was due and had to do it over again since I didn’t back it up. My computer decided to crash.”
Teachers are usually lenient to allowing extra time because of this dilemma, but there are ways Neris learned how to prevent this for the future.
“I put things on my flash drive! I made a folder with all my classes in it and it helps me stay organized and save my important work.”
But Neris learned his lesson and offers his advice to backing up important work. “Buy a flash drive or use Drop Box! Buy a good flash drive and always save your work even if you don’t think anything is going to happen to your laptop because you never know.”
However, some teachers have had similar issues. Our Physics teacher Roz Echols had a bad experience a couple of years ago.
“Halfway through the second year of teaching my computer crashed,” she explained. “I lost all of my grad school documents, lesson plans and hundreds of important photos.”
Ms. Echols tried to recover the files, and even went to the Apple store for tech assistance, where she received the same advice she now passes on to students today. “Apple told me to back up my stuff… it was too late for that.”
She is a cautionary tale of computers malfunction offering two key points of advice: “One: don’t get emotionally attached and two: If it’s important, back it up.”
Since starting to do so and taking her own advice, backing up things have helped her out in the end. “My computer stopped working again but the grade reports were on Drop Box.” She also uses an external hard drive and time machine.
The key piece of advice that people in the position of Neris and Ms. Echols give is simple, though: “buy an external hard drive and use it.”
Why don’t more people listen? Unfortunately, students don’t expect computers to actually malfunction until it happens to them.