Permanence and student data

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  jonny goldstein 

We’ve been digging deep into the idea of digital footprint and permanence this week while blogging.

Some of our discussions have revolved around what photos are always going to be there, what comments will stay, how can we delete things we don’t want?  There is a wonder about what will happen if someone impersonates another person, how can we delete that data.  I’ve been stressing this idea that some things are very, very hard to delete.

And then…

One of my students left, he had been collaborating with other students on a slide show, and his googleapps account was deleted by us.  All of his information and work was gone… wild, no longer any access for those people who had been collaborating with him.

I’ve done the google admin test, and I thought ownership was transferred over to someone else, obviously I was wrong.

Licensed for reuse – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Bots

We’ve learned a lot as a tech group this week about google docs about permanence.  We’ve “lost” some files that were really placed somewhere else by an author.  We’ve had some hiccups with organization of our drives, but we had never really lost anything before.

Now our plan is to make a accounts which aren’t linked to humans.  For me this is hilarious because I’ve been talking to students about their blogs and how most of the traffic that comes to them is from non-humans.  They wonder about why people would do this, and now I have a very relevant reason for doing this, keeping our googledocs around.  For group projects we are now going to transfer ownership to nonhumans if someone is going to leave.  That way all of their joint accounts will go with them., making it easy to keep our projects safe.

I love the idea of Google Take Out which can keep our data ours, but I’m glad we now have a strategy for keeping shared data safe.

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