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Back in a Flash: How USBs are securing access to OER in the North

Technology continues to develop around us, giving us new ways to exchange information. But what about when you travel places where not everything is at the latest and greatest stages? Or if you get somewhere and discover the online connections are fickle and unreliable? What do you do when you want to share information?

Post by Carolee Clyne, Open Education Advisor, Regional Representative

One handy tool is a USB drive, also known as a flash drive. If you are working in locations where there are connection issues, it is always a good plan to keep key files on a flash drive. A recent recipient of the Award for Excellence in Open Education, Brad Bell, reminds us of this simple but tried and true solution to rural and travelling work.

I first encountered the business card–sized USB a few years ago and found it to be a fabulous size to tuck into my wallet and handy to have if the connection is not secure or stable. Encrypting the flash drive helps secure the information, and a flash drive makes for simple transfer of data between most devices. This usability, along with information printed on the business card exterior, makes it easy to leave valuable contact information on a functional device.

As these are handy tools to travel with when going between locations — even if it’s just across town — it looks even better if your own message is on the device cover. Currently, there is a pilot project in operation trialling USB business cards with a condensed version of BCcampus’ open educational resources links and tips printed on the exterior.

Look for these limited edition units to appear in the hands of Northern and Interior post-secondary educators exploring OER.

Up close image of front of  open educations usb business card with symbols
Front of USB business card
Upclose shot of back of USB card with Guidelines for an Open Education Resource outlined
Back of USB business card

For more information on this project contact Carolee Clyne or Ross McKerlich.

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