I heard from a fellow teacher in my school this week that IT is going to be banning the use of flashdrives in district computers next year for security purposes.
It makes sense - the ability to boot smaller operating systems like Linux or OS 9 from a thumbdrive, or any game (aside from any malicious file that can be introduced) poses a security risk that twarts all the firewalls and access guidelines the district can proactively employ. Even the most well-meaning, innocent user could unknowingly contract a worm on their home machine and then transfer it to the district server when opening their lesson for the day. 'Nough said; I get the reasons.
The question that came to mind when I breezily shared this with a class yesterday was this: do we even need flashdrives anymore? Certainly as an alternative to floppys, CDs, and ZIP disks the flashdrive was a welcome addition. However, with growing free space on district servers, remote access to shared space from email/IM/news clients like FirstClass, and the recently announced free space for any file in Google docs, are they even necessary?
Could you live without your flashdrive?