School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]> on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 4:24 PM -0400 wrote:
Big nail, Lucie. Fun stuff!
Here's my take. It's easy to to try to institutionalize personal technology. Pulling it off is another matter. I think creating ownership is key. There's no amount of storage an institution could provide that won't be soaked up if folks are not part of the process.
Hearing that those folks have nearly 10,000 pics to crank on a server in one semester is a perfect example. That may be a discussion of quality vs quantity.
Here's where we've landed. Might help. Might not.
Admins: 2 terabytes of space. Profiles... essentially as backup. Currently using 1.2gb total.
Faculty and students: 8 terabyte raid 5 array. Mirrored for fault tolerance. That's raid 50 I think... whatever. Currently using about 3.1 terabytes of 8. Fast. Works great.
Faculty: 62 laptops doing incremental time machine backups to the server. Easy.
Work locally. Do not open large files to edit of the server.
Guidelines for adults:
a. Use Google Apps (email, docs and sites), blogs and wikis when you can.
b. Getdropbox.com. We've had great results with this.
c. Personal storage folder on a server.
d. Backup in places you see fit.
I push crazy stuff... vid to chop, gobs of pics etc for classes to jang on to a "sandbox." More on that below.
a. web: Google Docs (mail, docs and sites specifically), blogs, wikis etc. Don't forget that Apps offers up over 300gb of space for free.
b. getdropbox.com (once again... we're finding that it works very well)
c. Class Sandbox (explained below)
d. Personal storage folder on a server.
e. A class folder (volume) to place all finished assignment / project work.
Videos and picture archives should be local and backed up on DVDs.
1st: Folks are encouraged to work locally... to use the workstation power. Don't open large files and work off the server. Save a project locally in the Docs folder under your name and copy thee project you are working on to a backup option yourself.
Workstations have been moved away from roaming profiles. Local logins, wide open. Good imaging. No "install this for me" etc. Connect to resources on the web or storage as you need it. Learn to disconnect from drives you mount or suffer the consequences. Huge server and network load reduction. Faster file access. Work locally if systems fail. No lengthy login or logout delays. Love it.
The "sandbox" in this lab is a one terabyte drive off a mac desktop workstation. One login name, one password. No kidding. Folders by class and then by student or project. Projects in motion and/or junk space. Three years running, no troubles. It's used as a backup of resources for current projects only. Live work stays on the workstations and students back up to this sandbox as they see fit. Their responsibility. A few choose to copy things to their personal storage rather than the sandbox route. Usually folks go the personal storage route to save a version or two as large projects near completion. I empty the drive for the most part at the end of each class, semester or year as needed. Preach personal responsibility all along the way. Only a few have left work on the
desktop of the local computer and lost it over four years. If they didn't back it up, well, it's a sobering experience.
On this sandbox approach, the video production lab has a mac server, an old g5, with 2 terabytes of space on external drives / raid 5 style. Working very decently. Primarily used to house vid clip backup, project edits and as an iTunes server. The server has three accounts on it. One for general class use, and two admin accounts. Likely we'll "upgrade" the vid lab server to a first gen imac, 2gb of ram soon.
Finished project work gets archived on a server volume for the class.Projects are archived for peers. That folder is backed up daily. Everyone has the same rights to the folder. Full creative read, write, blah, blah.
Project archiving guidelines:
a. Journal, syllabus and presentation in PDF format.
b. Examples of project work
c. Limited up to 20 examples: Pics. JPGs or GIF format.
Videos produced for project work are not archived on the server. Each project references a CD or DVD copy by date/dvd title/fileName and we put them in a cabinet. Easy. Will be moving them to the library eventually. Librarians love that archiving stuff.
For work folks want to take final projects or work in progress with them we also provide writable cds and DVDs. Refined work rather than bulk. I usually go through about 40 disks per year.
General work and labs:
Workstations are essentially terminals running webconverger. Working as great as Labs can. Never enough slots, etc. We push all work in these labs online: Google Docs and Sites, blogs, wikis, etc.
Large files aka finished vids, music etc we archive on dvd. Only the stuff we are going to share with future classes/peers or that folks want to take with them.
We push school photos to Picasa. If memory serves after after barely one half cup of coffee... i think we pay $250 for one terabyte of space per year. Multiple folks have the rights to post. Easy. We post a ton of school photos. Working great.
So, we push the web. Push folks to backup and archive their own stuff. We're seeing less need for institutional storage year to year. So far.
Laptops. Make people responsible for their own stuff. Push work online. Drastically reduce local storage. Provide simple, sandbox style NAS or shared hd solutions for big demand work that networks traditionally can't handle anyway. Move online as much as possible. That's where we're headed.
Good ol' evolution.
Folks chimed in about portfolios,. I'm not a fan. I haven't seen many that are used well. No offense meant at all. I'd love to hear about examples folks really do feel work well.
Almost all I've seen examples that are far too large and have no clearly defined, practical goal.
Haven't met many high school Seniors who really have any use for things they wrote in ninth grade.
I don't know of any colleges or employers for that matter who readily look at comprehensive high school portfolios.
Most academic portfolios lack organization.They are far too large, too comprehensive for Faculty to sit and read through to evaluate to see the scope of work for incoming students. Read through 120 comprehensive portfolios for students you'll have next semester? Good luck. I don't think 'best practice' portfolio scopes work either because of sliding time frames aka the five page essay it took all semester to refine as a representation of "writing skill.
There's one exception route we work here actively where folks applying for art schools/ video production schools and /or internships. We help students develop a good share of extensive packets on this front. That's where the project archive, cd/dvd archive comes in handy. Not everyone needs a portfolio. Those that eventually find they do can create one.
Reading that the kindergarten folks had nearly 10,000 pictures in one semester to crank on a server... I'd tell them no. If they want to use 10,000 pics or 1000 terabytes of video... make it local via the sandbox approach or dvd archives. Then talk budgets. They'll learn to pair it down once they are involved in the process. That's when you get folks onto thinking quality vs quantity or what they can push or get off the web for free.
Again, might help, might not. On to that second cup of coffee. Adam
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