Monday, 9 October 2017

Ditch the memory stick - a teacher's perspective

After Christmas, external storage devices will cease to work on our school systems - here's some thoughts on moving to cloud storage from Mr Brannigan at Bringhurst Primary School in Leicestershire:

Goodbye memory stick, hello Google Drive

Twelve. That's the number of memory sticks I’ve gone through in 7 years.

When I started my teacher training, lecturers used to joke about memory sticks - “It’s got my life’s work on it”. It wasn’t until I started gathering resources after resources; worksheets that covered every lesson and topic; and countless assessment evidence and test results that I started to sit up and take notice to what those lecturers were saying. This thing really IS my life!

Each memory stick earned its place on the same keyring as my car keys. As I used up the memory in one, another, with a much bigger storage capacity, took its place. Then I bought memory sticks with complicated encryption keys and fancy LED lights. But what became latest accessory quickly challenged the top spot against my phone. What would happen if I lost it? Or if I left it in school? Or it got damaged or corrupted?

We’ve all had that sinking feeling when one of these situations happen. I’ve had it all. I began the arduous task of daily backups of the memory stick to my school computer and home computer and I backed up those backups!!! For years I searched for an easier way to backup my data. Then I attended the Star Classroom training and Guy, Ben and Yasmin had the solution. Google Drive.

Initially, I was very skeptical. I had tried the Google Apps before and found them useful but I wasn’t sure it was the solution to replace my memory stick. The similarities between teachers and their memory sticks and Gollum and his ring were increasing. I dived into the deep end and downloaded the Google Drive app which placed a Google Drive folder on my class computer. I did the same to my computer at home and I was amazed by the simplicity of syncing the folder, ensuring that each was up-to-date. I would type my planning at the weekend, come in on Monday and turn on my computer, and in seconds my work from Sunday was there on the Google Drive folder on the class computer. As I was working on a document and clicked save, again the Google Drive app whirled into life and synced my changes straight away. When I was travelling on the train and my headteacher needed a document sent to her, I could do it through the Google Drive app on my phone in a few clicks.

Since January I haven’t touched a memory stick and I haven’t missed it one bit! So good riddance memory sticks and hello simplicity!

Our thanks to Mr Brannigan for sharing his thoughts. If you or your team would like more information on moving over to Google Drive and the benefits it brings, or any other type of eLearning training, then please get in touch with the eLearning Team. If you have a login then you can view all of our training videos, including Google Drive, at

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