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Student Data Storage - Needs and Methods

Students are increasingly required to produce and accumulate digital work. Many students become frustrated when they are unable to access their documents either at home, or at school. Their frustration increases when they come back at the beginning of the school year only to find that the all of the previous year's work has been deleted. What is student data storage? Is it needed? What options are available for students?






Data Storage Needs


Students need to be able to access documents and projects which they have created for school. Students are creating documents of various file types:
  • .doc for word processing/ research papers
  • .ppt for powerpoints
  • iMovie projects and compressed files for digital storytelling (English & French classes) and Video Production class
  • .htm for student portfolios (webpages)
  • audio files for podcasting
The amount of memory needed for the store of these files varies according to the requirements of the school, but it's not unrealistic for them to need up to 1GB or more.

Data Storage Methods



Network Based Storage


Many school districts provide their students with space on the school's webserver or network. Students can login using a unique user name and password. Students are able to save electronic documents and projects. This type of store is convenient for students while at school, but students may not be able to access their documents from other locations. Also, the school may impose restrictions on the storage capacity. Many districts also periodically purge the document servers.

Internet Based Storage


Internet based storage solutions can be very convenient for students. Students can access their work from any computer with internet access. This enables the student to begin work in one location and continue to work from another. The student does not need to worry about losing a CD or flash drive. The amount of memory available for this type of storage varies according to the provider.

Students may run into problems with this type of storage if the school’s filtering program blocks access to the site. Also, depending on the site that is chosen there may be a fee for the use of the space.

The following is a partial list of Internet based storage providers:

  • external image logo.gif 1GB free of any types of file, private and/or public options, tagging and sharing too.

  • external image logoMediaMax50.gif 25 GB free storage but the file structure does not work consistently on either Mac or PC. While you can upload 25 GB, you are limited to download 1 GB per month.

  • external image members_logo1.gif1 GB of free storage, nice interface with list and icon views. Private or public sharing free. Post to blog and send to friend options. Works smooth on PC. Claims to work with Macs OSX.


Other providers that store data as a secondary service:
  • tii.gif allows for storage of research papers (.doc) from year to year, both teachers and students can access by class, school subscription required, used for originality (plagiarism) check

  • banner.JPG - allows for storage of files usually for the duration of the course, expensive school subscription required, used as course management system (essential in site evacuations)

Portable Storage



  • Optical Disc Storage (CD-RW, DVD-RW)

    Some schools provide students with a CD or DVD and the students burn their files onto the CD or DVD from their student server folder. This is typcially done at the end of the year.
  • USB Memory:

    Flash drives allow for very portable storage - they are small and rewritable. The largest at the moment is 8 GB but this will only increase. USB or Firewire External Hard drive is another option for storage. For major multimedia productions, there will be plenty of room. Keydrive

References



Arrington, Michael. "The Online Storage Gang," TechCrunch. 31 January, 2006.

"Computer Storage," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 24 Oct 2006, 16:29 UTC.

"Data Storage Device," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 25 Oct 2006, 15:35 UTC.

Digital file management in the Classroom. Educational Broadcasting Corporation, Inc. 2002.

Dowling, Laura J. Using Electronic Portfolios: A Description and Analysis for Implementation in SIGNET Classes at Woodbridge Middle School, Virginia. Walden University, 12 May 2000.