Today’s technology/tools/what I’m using today!

This morning I noted in my Google+ stream a comment that Mac OS X Lion is launching tomorrow (US time).
I thought perhaps I should make sure my backup was current before the new OS was released. This got me thinking about what I would lose if I upgraded and something went wrong. This then got me thinking about the “tools” I use in my everyday online life.

I realised that I wouldn’t lose much. I do weekly backups so anything created since the previous backup would be lost (hence a great reason to backup before you do a major update/upgrade).

However, one of the big reasons I wouldn’t lose much is my use of dropbox. I have a paid account with them which means I have 50+GB of space in the cloud where my stuff resides. I have a default ‘documents folder’ in the dropbox so anything I create using computer based software is automatically saved there; I use it to save all my bits and pieces for school – I have several years of resources there; all my IWB files are in the dropbox; in short anything that’s a document of any kind is in my dropbox. I have alias icons on my desktop so I can drop various other files/items into specific folders too.

The other big reason I wouldn’t lose much is cloud computing. It’s interesting to hear people starting to use the term and ask me things like “have you heard about the new big thing called cloud computing?” when I’ve been cloud computing for years now.

Google docs is the ultimate (for me) form of cloud computing. Within docs you can create documents, spreadsheets, drawings, forms,  and presentations. All of these can be embedded into websites for others to view (or kept private just for you or shared with a few other people).

I also like the collaborative ability in docs – an example would be the notes I took last Friday at a teacher only day with James Nottingham – I then shared the notes with friends of mine who I knew were attending various workshops with him while he’s here in New Zealand. They are adding to my notes and we will end up with a great set of notes – far better than if we had handwritten them into our notebooks (paper or electronic).

Here in NZ we have a government funded Mahara distro called MyPortfolio – I’m beginning to aggregate my professional content together – I’m able to import existing content through rss feeds which is very helpful. Once again this content is all online which makes it a lot more safe than if it was just on my computer. (Imagine losing your CV!)

As I type this up in a Google Doc I’m also doing a bunch of other various jobs around the house – I can just walk away knowing my work is saved – I can even come back to it on another device if I so wish. Even with my iPhone on the run. Who wouldn’t like this tech? (The last 2 sentences were indeed typed on the iPhone!)

Other tools I use are Blogger and wikispaces. These are just the tools I use for me – I have other cloud tools that I use with my classroom – but that’s another story!

My essential tool summary – aka what I couldn’t live without

  1. Dropbox – http://www.dropbox.com
  2. Google docs – http://docs.google.com
  3. Wikispaces – http://wikispaces.com
  4. Blogger – http://www.blogger.com
  5. MyPortfolio – http://myportfolio.school.nz/