Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas and campus technology

Thanksgiving is over and we only a few weeks to go until final exams and Christmas break. This is the time of year that goes by faster than any other. It will be over in a blink of an eye.

Time to look back and think about the semester which is drawing to a close. Of course you could have studied more and procrastinated less. Think for just a moment about what technology or tech tools might have helped a bit. Memory (not your memory) is often something that students wish they had a bit more of. This can be memory for your laptop or walk around memory (flash drives). We are seeing that students have a great deal more to save every semester. In the old days we saved paper copies of research papers, but now its video, audio, power point presentations and lots of other things. A flash drive can be a very cheap way to meet this need. You can now by 32 gigabytes of storage for less that $80 ( for $79). This could equate to 32,000 photos or even more pages of text. This is probably more than you need. You can buy 8GB of storage for about $18 ( These can be a great stocking stuffer.

Don't forget about a back up copy. Often students save their work on their computer or flash drive, but don't think about a back up. Remember that these little drive and just little and fragiledevices made of plastic and metal. They can be erased or lost or destroyed in many different ways. You are probably better off buying 2-3 small flash drives that one large capacity drive. More copies is better.

If you are a big time saver of video or audio files you might also want to buy a 1 terabyte external drive ( for $184). These drives are also cheap and can store years worth of work. You can also configure them to back up your entire laptop on a regular interval (once or twice a week).

Memory is a great asset for any student, or anyone else. Next time we'll talk about personal printers. They may cost a few dollars, and I know I hate to buy toner cartridges, but it's nice to have a decent printer on a cold night when you don't want to walk to the computer lab just to get your paper printed for free.