Online options for taking your data with you


With greater access to educational resources online, learning will become a lifelong dedication for the majority of people. Sebastian Thrun, the founder of online course provider Udacity, describes the future of learning as akin to a “toothbrush technology”, one which you will pick up, twice a day for five minutes and not just confined to the walls of the educational institution.

If you’re a graduating student you need to think about the data that you have amassed and the resources you have created whilst at University, as it’s likely that you may want to reference it in learning contexts later in life. You may already be in the process of creating a portfolio of work developed during your studies, or thinking about setting up your online portfolio, so it’s important to take a backup of files that may be held on University machines or in Learning Space and also any data that your institution has amassed about you as a learner.

First up, you’ll need to backup your files. Online/Cloud storage solutions are offered by a lot of the companies you’d associate with the web, like Google and Apple, but if you’re concerned about privacy and long term availability (and a bit more technologically confident) you could set up your owncloud. Here a list of some cloud storage options  and the benefits of each.

In terms of backing up your data in Learning Space, such as forum posts, you might copy and paste the text/images into a Google Doc, which will immediately be available within your associated online storage. If you’re doing this through owncloud or backing up to a physical hard drive, you might look at pasting into a document that uses the Open Document Format or .odf extension as this is likely to be compatible with most ‘Office’ software in the future.

If you’re in the process of developing a portfolio, there are a range of online options that will allow you to upload images and text and display these publicly. Each one will have it’s merits and you might look to see which is popular within your area of professional practice. For example, Tumblr is widely adopted by the art community and WordPress by writers. Ultimately, it’s your decision so choose what best fits your workflow, but it’s advisable to pick an option that allows you to export your work, or at least keep an alternative backup so that you can remain flexible as the technology changes.

The two lists associated with this post are public and collaborative, so please add any more tools that you are aware of to:

Cloud backup/storage


Blogs/portfolio Services for staff and students