Technology Tips and Best Practices

  • What to back up when your machine is going to be re-imaged:
    Most importantly, please don’t try to back up "everything" (like your entire hard drive)—there is not enough room on the servers to accommodate that much data.  Here are the important items you’ll want:

    • Your My Documents folder:  things like Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, etc. should be copied to your personal server space (U: or H: drive) if you’re not already saving everything there (see section on Where Should I Be Saving My Work?).  However, picture, music, video and ZIP files should NOT be saved to the server due to their potentially enormous size.  Static (unchanging) files such as these are better saved to a CD, DVD, or on a flash drive.
    • Your desktop:  the desktop is easily overlooked as a “storage” space, but a typical place where lots of work can end up.  Files should be copied/saved using the same practices as your personal work, but only work that you have created—shortcuts and programs should not be copied.
    • Your Internet favorites:  Internet favorites for the major browsers are backed up automatically every time you log on. However, please make sure that this is properly working by browsing to your U: drive and making sure the FavBackup folder exists and contains files. If not, please contact the Tech staff for resolution.

    End of the School Year Clean Up and Shut Down: 
    Before the Tech team bids you goodbye each summer, these items will help us serve you better:

    • Erase unnecessary emails and empty your “Deleted Items” folder (if you have one) to clear space on the email server; this will allow us to do annual maintenance more easily.
    • Backup and remove personal files that you are no longer using from your server space (the U: drive at the schools, or the H: drive at the Board Office). This especially includes pictures, music files, iTunes, movie files, ZIP files, and executable programs. Personal items may be removed from the server if more space is needed, so please make sure you back them up.
    • Please copy your important files from your computer hard drive (in My Computer or on your desktop) to CD or USB stick.
    • Please unplug all your computer’s cables from the wall and place them on top of your desk. This includes power (or power strip), Internet, video, etc. Leaving them attached to the computer, but disconnected from the wall, will make the summer cleanup and maintenance activities go much faster for us.
    • Teachers' passwords will not need to be changed over the summer in order to allow you to work in Moodle and other related applications. However, your password will be reset and you will be required to input a new one during the last week of August. Ask your building secretary or call the Tech Office if you need assistance.
    • DO NOT MOVE ANY COMPUTER EQUIPMENT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES,this includes printers. Please contact the tech department if you have questions regarding a move or reassignment.  Each device is assigned a location, moving equpment will make our inventory database inaccurate.

    Where Should I Be Saving My Work?
    For the most part, the safest place to save your work is your personal space on the district file servers (mapped as your U: drive), since they are backed up on a regular basis and have much better recovery ability than a desktop computer. However, due to file sizes and limitations in storage space, please consider the following best practices:

    • Work-related files you've created in programs like Microsoft Office should be saved to your U: drive.
    • Picture, music and movie files used for presentations and current projects should be saved to your U: drive; however, since they can be extremely large, completed projects and presentations should be saved to a flash drive or burned to CD-ROM and removed from the server.
    • Pictures and movies saved as mementos should also be burned to CD or saved to a flash drive.
    • Music files used for personal listening (iTunes) should be saved to the local hard drive of your computer (C:).
    • Static lesson presentations for Interactive White Boards can be burned to CD-ROM/flash drive.

    Manual Backup of your Internet Favorites: 
    How this is done will depend on which Internet browser you use:

    • Internet Explorer:  Follow the directions below to show Hidden Files; then copy the c:\documents and settings [“users” in Windows 7]\[your name]\Favorites folder and save it to your U: drive
    • Mozilla Firefox:  Follow the directions below to show Hidden Files; then copy c:\documents and settings [“users” in Windows 7]\[your name]\Application Data [AppData in Win7]\ Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile folder>and save it to your U: drive
    • Google Chrome:  click on the customization icon | Bookmarks | Bookmark Manager; on the Organize menu click “Export Bookmarks to HTML file…” and save it to your U: drive
    • Safari:  Follow the directions below to show Hidden Files; then copy c:\documents and settings [“users” in Windows 7]\[your name]\ Application Data [AppData in Win7]\Roaming\Apple Computer\Bookmarks.plist and save it to your U: drive
      To show Hidden files, open Windows Explorer and choose Tools | Folder | Options | View (tab) | Show hidden files and folders