I spend hours on the computer. Most of my work is computer generated. My computer "desktop" is neat and my digital files are also well organized. I am in and out of software programs and mess around all the time with digital 2.0 tools. Even though I have successfully and eagerly gone digital, my office is still a relic from the 90s.
I intend to change this.
Stage One: Use Online Reference Materials.
I have already completed this objective. I cleared all of the reference materials off my desk. Anything that I couldn't find online, I scanned and organized in a digital file. That was relatively painless. Many of the reference books and government publications are more up-to-date online anyway. I will now use colourful digital schedules and calendars with reminders. Though it is comforting to have a healthy variety of glossy educational catalogues to flip through, that space is now clear and I will continue to order online.
Stage Two: Scan All Binders to Compliment Online Documentation.
This one is a little more complicated. Though I have fairly good computer records, I have many well organized binders from before we went digital. There was a decade of change in the style of record keeping from the early 2000s until now. Four or five years of my transitional records are duplicated because they are both paper and digital. I have made a new "digital file cabinet" and am organizing all of the computer records along with scans of all my paper records. It helps to have a photocopier that quickly scans large amounts of paper into a single PDF file for storage. As you can see by the picture below, fourteen years of meeting minutes can take up a lot of space. I am currently working through these binders by dividing the paper into years and scanning them for my digital records. I am half way though this goal. I have tossed out more than fifteen binders of school records already. I am pleased to say that I can now display another few family pictures.When I add another plant, my office will be a little more pleasant.
This process has brought up some interesting questions:
Which type of digital file will be still accessible to me twelve years from now when I want to access them?
What backup plan do I have in case of computer failure, power outage or fire?
What is the best way to display connections between related groups of files?
How secure is the cloud and which files do I need to store there for access on all my devices?
Stage Three: Clear Out the Filing Cabinet.
Ha! That will be a doozy! This might be the subject of my next blog.
If you would like to teach a teacher, I'm listening. Any recommendations or comments would be appreciated.