Oh Noes! The #ds106 site is down!

Broken Technology Sux

Doesn’t it just suck when technology doesn’t work — particularly when it’s the Web site for your online class the night that all your work is due?

Luckily, you have an awesome instructor who will just give you a couple days of extension, right? WRONG! If you’re waiting until the last minute to do your work and the ds106 site goes down, there will be no extensions. I know, I know. That’s so unfair. But, fear not, while I still expect ds106 students to get their work done on-time, I will provide a few useful tips for making sure a site outage doesn’t completely ruin your chances of being successful.

  1. Save a local copy of assignments! Weekly ds106 assignments come out on Monday. As soon as they’re out, why not save a local copy of that page or copy and paste the assignment into a local document? That way, if for any reason, you can’t get to the site, you’ll still know what you need to do.
  2. Subscribe to more RSS feeds! If you subscribe to the ds106 RSS feed and the Daily Create RSS feed, than Google Reader can be your friend! All of the posts from the feed are archived in Reader from the time you subscribe. That way, even if you can’t get to the site, you can still read the content!
  3. Post anyway! So let’s say it’s Sunday night. You’ve got all your work done, but you can’t get to the Assignments site to figure out what tags you need to use for your work. POST IT ANYWAY! You can always go back later and add the tags. Late work is unacceptable. But work that is (temporarily) missing tags, is fine.
  4. Check out the Google cache. You may not know this, but most of the time when Google indexes a Web site (to make it available for searching), it also saves a cache (or backup) on its server. You can try and find it.
  5. Use your network. The ds106 community can be your friend, if you’ll let it be. If you’re really desperate, try tweeting a message (using #ds106) asking for assignment details, tags, etc. Someone might just know the answer to your question.
  6. Don’t do nothing, ever. Look, we know it sucks when the course site goes down. We’re doing everything we can to avoid these outages. But, the fact of the matter is, sometimes technology goes wonky. That doesn’t mean you can check out and simply blame the outage for your missed work. Assignments are posted for an entire week — make use of that WHOLE WEEK and plan ahead.  If nothing else, post whatever you have done and update it as soon as the site is back up.

What other advice would you give #ds106 students (or anyone students who are dependent on the Web for course information) when technology fails?