Yes you read that correctly. Teach+Technology = Teachnology. It’s not a novel word. Been posted around the internet thousands of times by now I’m sure. But the word represents such a strong meaning to those dedicated teachers in the world in search of ways to enhance not so much teaching as learning! After all, the objective of all great teachers is to ensure their students become engaged in the process of learning, and stand tall on the shoulders of the educational system!
To date, there have been many tempting “one size fits all” technology-based solutions thrown at the ever-increasing issue of crowding classrooms and shrinking budgets. The problem with many of these gadgets isn’t so much that the technology doesn’t work as promised, but that it’s mostly addressing the symptom of a deeper rooted issue. Sure smart boards and laptops and virtual classrooms should be embraced in the world of education. Fact is, technologies such as these must be utilized in effort to resonate with the younger generations who’ve in essence been spoon fed the multi-media experience (radio, tv, internet, movies, gaming, chat, texting, etc) by the time they reach grade school. But educators realize quickly that technology alone can not teach our children how to become the giants we will need them to be in order to preserve the freedoms and powers of our nation. Additionally, educators are faced with the challenge to empower leaders of tomorrow and all the while finding fewer hours and the day and smaller dollar amounts in the budget.
Enter the flash drive. Not an answer to everything, but surely a tool that is rapidly taking root in classrooms across America thanks to its low cost and ability to mobilize, digitize and equalize access to education.
IT minds in schools across America are teaming up with teachers to present intelligent flash drive solutions aimed at decreasing the digital divide in the classroom, decreasing the per student cost of deploying information (textbooks, handouts, policy manuals) and enhancing the overall student experience.
With the youth already looking to flash drives to store and share pictures, music, videos and about any digital content they create, the marriage of flash drives with educational objectives makes “cents”. In fact, some schools are using school branded flash drives as a proven fund raiser. They preload the flash drives with school calendars, classroom resource information and even Postsecondary-based materials (scholarship info, grants, campus reviews, etc) and then offer them for sale to students and parents. To date, the approach has helped raise money needed for additional technologies like computer labs.
Cari Wagner, Solutions Director for CFgear.com, says, “A lot of the demand we’re experiencing is born from the teacher. It’s the teachers that take note of student trends. And what they’re seeing is more and more students passing around flash drives like the older generation passed around notes!” To date, CFgear.com has helped deliver flash drive solutions to K-12 schools and college campuses across the United States.
Because flash drives are offer rewritable functionality, teachers can assign homework on school-issued drives and students can then work on the assignment “digitally,” later handing in the flash drive for the teacher to check. This reduces the time spent deciphering illegible work as well as offers the student and teacher an organized flow of information.