Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Digital Litter

Where have you been and have you cleared away your rubbish?


As the end of the school year fast approaches for those of us looking forward to summer holidays, a certain amount of frenzy is generated as many endeavour to "clean out" what is no longer useful.


In libraries this may involve, weeding and stocktaking, in offices all over a certain amount of paperwork is re-evaluated and discarded as unnecessary. But what about those digital mountains you have created along the way? Do you have a personal archive policy, do you truly evaluate what is worth keeping for posterity as opposed to what is simply inhabiting server space all over the world? Our digital carbon footprint grows each year as the cost of storage for the personal user disappears, but do we need to retain all these files?

Whilst we focus on teaching students digital literacy and the value of a positive digital  footprint, do we often neglect our own trails of detritus? Do I need bookmarks in 3 online spaces, what about all those cute curation tools I've used to accumulate content over the years? Yes, some of them used to create hotlists for lessons, compile and gather useful URLs, have faded into obscurity. But what about those I dallied with for a year or two but now I rarely revisit?


Time to take responsibility and clear out the litter. How many blog spaces have you played in and how many new tools did you sign up for, visit once or twice then decide it was not suited for your needs? Where is that early video you made that is no longer relevant? As I advise students to clean out their files on the school network, so too am I taking stock of my digital spaces. I'll be deactivating some of those accounts and hopefully clearing out some space both digitally and in my mind.


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