I had two reminders recently – as if reminders were necessary – of the importance of not taking technology for granted.
The first occasion was when I went along to a venue to make sure that my equipment works with theirs. I've been commissioned to do some training over the summer, and as it's not my usual type of (education) client I thought I ought to be safe than sorry.
I'm glad I did. I discovered that they don't have any cables with which to connect my laptop to their TV. I suggested that perhaps I could upload my slides to SlideShare and run my presentation from the web, but the person I spoke to wasn't sure if it was a smart TV.
Technical support is provided, but is kind of absent. I'm not really sure of what's going on there. The person I spoke to is therefore a sort of unofficial technical support person because he knows more than anyone else!
He offered to lend me his own cables. However, I thought I should buy my own anyway, partly in case he is off ill, but mainly because it seems more professional somehow.
The second occasion (related to the first, as we shall see), occurred a few days later. I backup the files on my desktop computer every time I finish using it, but I'm not so assiduous when it comes to backing up my laptop. This is partly because I tend to save my files on iCloud, Apple's cloud service. Unfortunately, the laptop refused to charge up, and I discovered to my horror that the Keynote presentation I'd spent a morning preparing for the aforementioned training was trapped in the laptop.
No, I hadn't saved it to iCloud.
After trying various potential solutions for the laptop's refusal to charge, to no avail, I bought a new lead and charger. I then spent 24 hours working out when I'd have the time to redo all the work represented in my presentation, should the problem prove to be more serious than a broken charger.
Fortunately, when I plugged the new charger into the laptop in the Apple store in which I'd collected it, that wonderful orange light came on and I was able to breathe again.
The first thing I did was to save the presentation to iCloud.
The second thing I did was email it to myself as a PowerPoint presentation.
One does not like to tempt Providence.
The third thing I did was treat myself to a coffee, as I felt I deserved it!
This article was first published in Digital Education, my free newsletter. For more information, please go to the newsletters page.