Teaching Tip Tuesdays – USB Drives

Here’s a great tip for helping your students in the computer lab.

Go to the surplus store and pick up some cheap USB thumb drives. The above drives only cost me $4.00 a piece. You can’t really beat that.

Label the thumb drives and keep them in your classroom.

I can’t tell you how many times my students have saved something on a school computer only to have it not be there on the next visit to the lab.

I know I’m paranoid when I am working on something and always save my work in two places. I save it to the hard drive and to a thumb drive. This is just good practice. That is why I like that I am teaching this practice to my students.

USB drives

  • teach the importance of backing up work
  • make the work portable so students can finish up work later from a different computer
  • give the students a digital portfolio of their work over the year

I think this is a brilliant idea and I wish I could take credit for it, but I can’t. I borrowed this trick from a fellow teacher at my school.

3 Comments on Teaching Tip Tuesdays – USB Drives

  1. Anonymous // December 8, 2009 at 8:49 pm //

    Hi Chase:

    I had to do this last year with my Gr. 7 class. It did help at the school – because sometimes the server would wipe all the kids' files.

    What I found was that some of the USB's aren't recognized on the home computers (I got them from Tiger Direct – same make and model but different home computers) and due to the virus issues, some parents did not want them used at home… OK – fair enough!

    Our school has now gone "wireless". We have more problems getting onto the internet and staying connected. We often lose the internet signal mid-lesson. Although I want to use technology, I'm tired of planning back-ups for every lesson I use technology with.

    What are other people finding?

  2. Hi Anonymous,

    I think as teachers we need to think on our feet. I have often had to write something on the blackboard that I have wanted the kids to see online. If the Internet isn't working when I need it, I try to improvise so the lesson still gets taught or I can just delay it for a while.

    I have only had one USB drive that wouldn't work on certain computers. Even when the auto-run doesn't show up, you can often still access the drive by opening a file in MS Word. Just one of my tricks, hope it helps.

  3. Well the post have interesting points. I think most of the student have usb with them. It is needed to teach them about data crash possibilities and situations, how to combat the this type of situation etc etc. The awareness must be given about basic concepts.
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