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How to Backup Your Classroom and Teaching Data for Free

Updated on August 18, 2012

We've all been there.

Our computer in the classroom is on the "fritz".

When this happens, your data could be on the "fritz" too.

Teachers, your data is way too important to leave to the whims of the tech fates. Back it up!

You need a free online backup service and an external hard disk so that you can recover data from your classroom desktop pc.

I highly recommend backing up your data on hard media like a portable hard drive or through some sort of other data replication means like burned dvds/cds.

In addition, there are many great free sites that offer online backup service. Having a remote backup is essential to any techie teacher.

In my classroom, I use both hard media and four online backups services: Evernote, Adrive, Windows Live Skydrive, and Google Docs.

Why so many locations? When backup is the task, redundant copies of data (data replication over data replication) is best. Preferably these redundant copies exist in different locations for added security in disaster recovery moments.

Some services do this already. Evernote is a good example, as it has sync features. Your data exists on their server and on any computer you sync the data to using their free application.

Take this hub to heart techie teacher! I cannot emphasize enough how many problems could be avoided by backing up your data digitally with internet backup and with external hard drive backup.

Safeguards are Important

Windows Live-Skydrive

  • 25 gbs of free internet backup space.
  • Access to Office Web Apps, which includes the online 2010 versions of Excel, Powerpoint, Onenote, and Word.
  • Perfect for documents and photo online backup.
  • Great sharing and document collaboration tools.
  • Not a good place to backup videos (unless they are small).
  • Very fast uploads.
  • Requires a Windows Live ID, which is fast and easy to create. You can even use your school email address if you prefer instead of creating a new Hotmail address.
  • Sign up here.


  • 50gbs of free remote backup online.
  • Look and feel of a regular pc desktop file manager (folders, tree styling).
  • Great for long term storage of anything under 2gbs (upload limit per file).
  • There is enough space for "disk to disk" data replication- aka, internal pc desktop hard drive or external hard drive to online hard drive.
  • I store my videos here, as well as backups of documents and images.
  • Sign up here.


  • Evernote is perfect for documents.
  • You have a monthly allowance of traffic in the megabytes, but I almost never reach it unless I try to sync images or too many large PDFs.
  • I use Evernote to track the daily agenda posted on my projector screen, discipline reports, curriculum, etc.
  • It uses tags instead of folders, much like Gmail.
  • It can act as a hub for all your documents in one place.
  • You can use Evernote on your Ipod, Blackberry, Mac, PC, Ipad, Window's Mobile, etc. etc. Versatile is clearly one of their mottoes.
  • Download their free application and sync all your docs from school to home and vice-versa. The good news is that if you do not have access to their application, there is always the online account in "the cloud". 
  • Sign up here.

Google Docs

  • Good for documents.
  • Recently improved uploading features.
  • Edit documents in Google Apps, which now includes a Sketch application.
  • Strong collaboration features.
  • Depending on your school, you may have specialized Google Apps available for your company on your school's server.
  • Sign up here.

Don't Let This Happen to Your Data


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    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 7 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks for the reviews on internal and external locations to store materials. I try to back up my materials for my classes, especially lengthy term papers! It's great to read about online resources!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Wonder tips. I use everything i can get my hands on to help with the class. Rated up and useful.