Thursday, June 07, 2018

Things old persons don't understand -- what happens to all those school Google Docs?

Two of our kids are ending their St Paul Public School careers. Both have a collection of Google Docs.

The school does not seem to provide any mechanism for mass reassignment of document ownership to a personal Google account. From what I can tell the school actually blocks ownership reassignment. (Ownership management is one of the several significant issues with Google’s document sharing infrastructure [1].)

So what do students do with all those documents [2]? Olds like me have no idea. They don’t just let them all evaporate … do they?

(I use CloudPull, one of my favorite macOS apps, to create a local repository. The download process converts Google “docs” to Office files. Of course there’s nothing like this for iOS.)

- fn -

[1] Only owners can truly delete an owned document, and ownership cannot be transferred for non-Google “docs”. I think all own/share privileges are at the document level, but documents may inherit some properties from their folder “container” — but not ownership. Yeah, I don’t understand this. Not sure anyone does :-).
[2] Due to some cognitive disabilities and temperaments my guys can’t answer this question… I guess I should ask my daughter …

Update: of course I just write this and today I get for all my CloudPull accounts: “CloudPull was unable to export your backups”. It turns out CloudPull had lost track of my backup directory. I don’t know why. I relinked in Preferences:Advanced and it worked again. It didn’t write anything to console when that happened. Support was great at helping me fix this.

Update 8/26/2018: I again ran into “CloudPull was unable to export your backups”, this time on my personal (36GB export) gDrive. I cleaned up some other non-active accounts, used Help force reindex, and booted into Recovery mode and ran 1st Aid (it fixed things). Then it worked.

1 comment:

Mary Curtin said...

It's likely that the school, not the students, own copyright for all work produced by students enrolled in their courses. So not giving the kids an export option is the same as not making it possible for them to steal desks, chairs, lockers etc.

It also makes things more difficult for anyone who wants to re-use the same work next year :-)