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Digital Files

Digital Files

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Author: Sophia Tutorial
Description:

Explain the different types of digital assets on your computer and understand the need to be organized.

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what's covered
In this lesson you will learn more about what a digital asset is and the different types of files that are considered digital assets. You will explore the importance of having strong technology skills and a system in place to manage your digital assets. You will better understand how a system like this can improve your productivity. Specifically, this lesson will cover:
  1. Digital Assets
    1. Types
    2. Files
  2. Data Management Plans

1. Digital Assets

1a. Types
Common Digital Assets

Digital assets are individual files of digital content. You are probably very familiar with many of these. Types of digital asset files include:

  • Text documents: These are things like Word Docs, Google Docs or Spreadsheets. They often have extensions like doc, txt, xls
  • Images: These are photos, drawing or other graphics. They often have extensions like jpeg, png, gif
  • Audio: These are assets you can listen to, but they do not have a visual component. They often have extensions like mp3, wav
  • Video: These are visual assets you can see. They may or may not have audio and they often have extensions like mp4, wmv
Think about how many times per day you interact with one of the assets listed above. You might have Word documents and Spreadsheets for work. Maybe you like to listen to a lot of different music so you have all your song (audio) files on your phone for easy access. No matter where or how you use these assets, each one is an individual file on your device.

did you know
A file with an .unknown extension is a Windows file that does not have a file association. It may have an .unknown extension to serve as a placeholder for the file's correct extension.

term to know

Digital Assets
Individual files of digital content.
1b. Files
A file is a unit of digital data that has an individual name. An example would be MyResume.doc. Note the name of the file (MyResume) and the extension (.doc) indicating this is a text file. You may have saved files on your device so you can reference them later or share them with other individuals. Devices like phones will often show you recently used files for easy access. By using software programs, you can open, read, change, save, and close a computer file. Computer files may be reopened, modified, and copied as many times as needed.

No matter where you have important files, it is critical that you have a system of organization that allows you to access what you need, when you need it. You will review strategies for naming and organization in a later lesson.

term to know

File
A unit of digital data that has an individual name.

2. Data Management Plans

You’ve already learned tools you can use to maximize your productivity at home, work, and school. You’ve practiced time-blocking and making your own calendar. So how do you ensure you are also productive when it comes to locating important documents or other files? The more data and documents you create, the more essential it is to be able to quickly find those documents in the future.

When it comes to both your personal and your work files, a data management plan is key to ensuring you are effective and productive. For example, your employer may ask you to collaborate with colleagues. You may need to be able to do any of the following:

  • Locate and open files other people on your team have created
  • Create and store files for yourself and/or others on the team
  • Update existing files to create new versions
Whether at work or at home, a plan and system can help you manage your time and productivity. Some important things to keep in mind are:

  • Will you organize files by name? Date? Version?
  • Be consistent! Once you select an organization method, stick with it to avoid wasted time and confusion.
  • If others will access the files, consider what might make the most sense to them. Be logical.
There are other considerations, like storage capacity, that are also critical when you are determining your data management plan. In later lessons you will explore ideas and best practices for any data management plan. For now, understand the importance of a plan like this whether at home or at work.

Productivity: Skill Reflect
Reflect on your current data management plan. Do you have one? Can you easily locate files you need when you need them? Have you ever been frustrated scrolling through pictures on your phone to find one you want to share with family or friends?

term to know
Data Management Plan
A system for storing and organizing your digital assets.

summary
In this lesson, you learned what a digital asset is and how these are stored on your devices as files. You also learned there are a variety of types of assets and that each unit of data is a file. You also gained an understanding of a data management plan and how it can help you be more productive both at work and at home. You also considered why employers want employees who understand the importance of a plan like this and can implement a logical plan. Strong technology skills will allow you to develop the plan that works best for you given the circumstances.

On to file storage!

Terms to Know
Data Management Plan

A system for storing and organizing your digital assets.

Digital Assets

Individual files of digital content.

File

A unit of digital data that has an individual name.