Technology Ate My Homework -
Now What Do I Do?Blackboard Works Better than Ever Before... But Occasionally...
who submitted his brilliant paper to his professor, via the discussion board
on Blackboard. He worked on it all night and part of the morning.
Confident he had polished it to a fine sheen... he hit the submit button. The page disappeared, and the little icon turned... and turned... grinding, grinding.
The blank screen finally ground out a horrible message... which of course was nothing... just a blank page, a horrible blank page with nothing on it.
Wait! He cried in great alarm... where is my work? My paper! It just disappeared... I don't have a copy!
To no avail because blackboard has no real heart and can't really hear you. The paper had to be written again. All over again. Again.
Don't let this happen to you!
Technology hasn't caught up with real world reliability needs. You need to know how to protect your hard work from internet system crashes.
After you've been working as an online college student for a while, you learn to save ALL of your work before you hit the 'submit' button. Once you hit the submit button it's too late! You may end up having to do the WHOLE thing over again... so remember... COPY AND SAVE, baby. Copy and save.
Learn to check with your professor to make sure she has received the paper you emailed. Copy and paste that test before you send it over the ether wires -- to possibly disappear in some timeless, airless, unseen crack of the universe. Or maybe Og just eats it.
Here are my best tips for working on discussion boards, email and Blackboard (the most common software program used by online colleges for delivering college courses).
1. When you send an important email -- always CC yourself -- that way you will know it went through the system. If the return email doesn't show up in your inbox -- you know something went wrong.
2. Always copy and save - to your very own harddrive - anything important you post on Blackboard. Blackboard has been having 'issues' ever since it came online. Posts disappear, tests disappear, papers, even students and professors disappear! It's a scary place. Copy and save. Always, copy and save. Beware...! Beware...! oooo
3. Communicate early. If you think something has gone wrong with an email or Blackboard... let your instructor know right away. Online college is fraught with imperative deadlines. The sooner you communicate a problem, the more likely your instructor will believe the problem was really Blackboard, email or 'the system' and not just your... er... procastination problem.