September 4, 2008


This year, I'll have a new challenge which I didn't face last year: I'll be floating around to different classrooms throughout the day. In fact, there are SIX separate locations from which I will need to work: the computer lab at the middle school; at the high school: a computer lab, a classroom, the school store, and the staff office; and I'll need to work from home. This has caused some pain already. "Where did I leave that DECA book again? Is it at home or in the school store? And I remember that the Sales syllabus is up in the classroom."

When I'm working, I need access to ALL of my materials. Worse, there are FOUR separate computer systems I need to use: my home computer (laptop; at least it's portable), the middle school Mac network, the high school Mac network, and the high school PC network. None of these systems are connected to each other. If I save a file onto the PC network, I can't open it on the Mac just down the hall. Last year, I had two computer systems that had to be synchronized. They were both PCs, and even that was quite challenging. Now, I have four separate systems, combining Macs and PC. This will be a huge challenge. It already is.

Luckily, the software on all of these systems is the same standard version of Microsoft Office. Files I create on PCs are readable on the Macs, and vice versa. I came up with two possible solutions to this problem. The first solution is to use a Flash drive as my primary storage device and carry it with me at all times. I'll make periodic backup copies of it at school and at home as needed. This is what I'm doing for now. The second solution is to find an online storage service that I can access from anywhere. Microsoft Mesh is one possible emerging technology, but it is not yet Mac friendly. A disadvantage of this solution is that online file systems can be quite slow. But I know that there is some good software which integrates nicely with both Windows and Mac operating systems. The software simply adds another drive letter to your computer, and that drive automatically goes to the online storage. The only drawback to that is that you need to install additional software onto your computer, but it might be worth looking into.

Do you have any organizational tricks for working from more than one location?

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