Super Stuff on Sticks!

If you are a mobile computer user, bouncing from machine to machine all day long, then you know how difficult it is to plan for productivity.  Sure, you can use the cloud to store things, but aren’t you tired of using two or three different browsers?  Having to hunt your favorite sites down?  Worrying about browser caches and wiping your passwords? (if you’re not worried about that last bit, then you should be!)

Try a stick.  There are so many ways to customize a relatively cheap USB thumb drive (or stick) and make it your very own.  Your favorite computing environment can travel with you and help you be more productive… or have more fun!

My original stick experience came with a 1G USB drive and PortableApps.com.  They have a variety of popular programs that have been “shrunk” in file size to easily fit on a flash drive.  This site came in handy when helping others to create their own drives in workshops and for promotional purposes.

On of my favorite edubloggers, Alec Couros, was inspired to liberate the teachers in a locked-down school with a little “freedom stick…” how inspiring!  Another edublogger, Ira Socol, did a similar thing when he helped Michigan educators develop their own version of freedom sticks.

Want to have more fun with younger computer users? Use Sugar on a Stick!   Sugar is a specially designed computing environment aimed at young users, with a graphical interface and the ability to learn the Python programming language to alter and build on the environment itself.  With games, web surfing, activities, group interaction, and other appealing factors, Sugar is a great choice for a stick!

Worried about censorship?  Put together your own Chinese Wall.  You can use the Tor system on a stick to prevent others from filtering your internet access or tracking your movements.  There are many reasons to surf anonymously, privacy concerns among them.  Sticks can set you free in this way as well.

Do you have your own favorite stick tips?  Share in the comments!

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