USB Memory Sticks: How They Are Useful for Students and Teachers

By: Pamela Lund
High school and college students often work on different computers daily to complete assignments. And high school teachers and college professors are demanding more and more professional presentations from their pupils. Many students use USB flash drives to store their work and teachers are increasingly accepting assignments submitted on USB flash drives. Why are USB flash drives (also called USB memory sticks and USB thumb drives) becoming popular for academic purposes?For Students:First, students can create personalized USB drives that copy their desktop applications and preferences from their personal computer. When they plug in their personalized flash drive, they can run programs using their settings, utilities, browser, etc. This is obviously a handy feature for students who may work on their own computer, in the computer lab, on a coffeehouse computer, and on their parents’ computer all in one week. Plus, many smaller, more portable computers do not come with a DVD device, but all computers have USB ports.Second, though DVDs are less expensive, USB flash drives offer more features that are student-friendly. USB flash drives are much harder to damage. Their case protects them from damage with normal usage, unlike DVDs that require special handling to keep from accidentally rendering data stored on them unreadable.

You can drop USB memory sticks without damaging the data stored. Leaving them on the hot dash of your car may warp the case, but usually does not damage the memory. Some USB pens have even survived being washed and dried in Consumer Reports’ independent lab testing. Students can carry their personalized USB drives in their pockets, backpacks, or purses with little risk.Third, USB flash drives are rewriteable many more times and can hold much more data than DVDs. Since a student is usually modifying data daily, this rewrite-ability can be a benefit that overrides the cost difference. Another potential cost-override difference is the sheer memory available now on USB flash drives. Today, you can purchase 32GB USB flash drives for less than two-hundred dollars. A 32GB USB flash drive has more memory than some computers and 64GB USB flash drives are also now available.For Teachers and Professors:Teachers and professors like USB flash drives for many of the same reasons students do: durability, reliability, and memory size. They also like the versatility USB flash drives offer.Assignments are increasingly becoming multimedia presentations. When students submit these assignments on a personalized flash drive, they can include supporting PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheets, databases, Flash Media, narration, web links, research, and more along with their main assignment. This allows the teacher to assess their pupils on much more than their paper-writing abilities, which in turn, gives the students more accurate feedback.Teachers and professors are also benefitting from the portability of personalized USB drive assignments. In class, they can transfer each student’s work onto their own USB memory stick, then return the students’ memory sticks immediately. Even if the teacher or professor takes all of the USB flash drives home, they can carry all of their students’ assignments in their briefcase or attaché. Compare this to carrying home reams of paper each time a major assignment is due. Not only is it easier on the back, but it is obviously easier on the environment as well.Students and teachers alike are becoming fans of customized USB flash drives. They offer unparalleled portability, storage capacity, and reliability. As their price continues to dropFree Reprint Articles, USB flash drives are sure to find their way onto more campuses and into more classrooms.

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