Portable storage devices include things like CDs, DVDs, and USB flash drives. These are the portable storage units that plug into the USB drive in your computer. Sometimes they are called “memory sticks”, a patented name used by Sony. Portable storage devices are an excellent way to access training because they are very portable. You can put a CD, DVD or USB flash drive into almost any computer and read an article, complete an assignment, watch a video or listen to a recorded presentation. The amount of information that is available on each device is limited by its capacity. As technology has evolved, portable devices have become smaller but capable of holding ever-increasing amounts of data.
The cost of portable storage devices has decreased over the years, making them a cost-efficient way to distribute and access training. Portable storage devices are also environmentally friendly, potentially saving a significant amount of paper. For example, you can store an entire text book or curriculum or a series of documents on a device rather than printing it out. An entire semester's worth of reading material could be distributed to students using portable storage devices rather than having everyone buy print copies.
Portable storage devices can be used to give someone an entire training workshop or course, or they can be used to supplement other training. For example, some colleges provide new employees with a CD for Workplace Health and Safety Training. The CD includes text, video and self-marking quizzes to help the employee prepare for WHMIS certification.
Literacy agencies could provide resources to literacy practitioners, tutors, and learners by putting it onto a CD, DVD or a USB flash drive Agencies could also put their board orientation manual onto a portable storage device to give to new board members rather than giving them a large binder. If you have to give a presentation about your literacy agency to a community group or other stakeholders, you can load the presentation onto a DVD or CD and just insert it into any computer. You can also provide copies of the presentation by giving it out on CD to participants.
Technology in Action
The Ontario Native Literacy Coalition has produced a CD and hard copy manual for family literacy training called “Completing the Circle”. This new resource includes sessions on speaking and listening skills, talking with children, and families as teams. Be sure to check it out: www.onlc.ca/newsfull.php?NewsID=29.
Additional Resources about Portable Storage Devices
To learn more about USB flash drives, you can visit Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_flash_drive.
Jennifer M. DeFeo has written an informative article called “Portable Storage Devices” for PC Magazine. This article focuses on USB flash drives: www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1789824,00.asp.