Technology transforms a classroom, helping students acquire the digital skills they need for future careers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, technology became even more important, as it suddenly became a “lifeline for the continuation of learning,” according to McKinsey. Now, as more students and teachers return to in-person schooling, the same technologies that helped students learn at home are also coming back to the classroom.

According to a May 2021 EdWeek study, 59% of teachers reported having one device for every student. While this is a welcome advancement, this new paradigm introduces additional challenges with technology in the classroom.

Here are five challenges students and teachers face with technology in the classroom and how solid state drives (SSDs) can alleviate these pain points.

1. Technology misuse and breakage

During the pandemic, schools struggled to ensure students had the right device for remote education. Many of those students (and their devices) are now back in the classroom, with more technology to come. The American Rescue Plan, with its $122 million in funding for services and programs, promises to close any technology gaps, according to the U.S. Department of Education. However, when you have a group of 20 or more second graders in a room with several laptops, desktops and tablets, invariably, something’s going to get dropped, bumped or broken that result in high repair and maintenance costs.

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With a reliable technology solution like SSDs, schools can worry less about potential device breakage in the classroom, largely due to SSD’s architecture, which has no moving parts. Simply put, fewer moving parts mean it’s much harder to damage the device, and the chances of failure significantly decrease. The likelihood of damaging a device if a student drops it or knocks it around as students travel to and from school also decreases considerably.

2. Uncharged devices

In the past, teachers required students to come to school prepared with notebooks, pencils and paper. In today’s digital age, that list has grown to include a fully charged device. However, it’s easy for anyone to forget to charge their device, and there’s going to be instances where students come to class with their devices uncharged or undercharged.

SSDs are a technology solution that can help limit the number of times required to charge a device. In comparison to hard disk drives (HDDs), SSDs require significantly less energy. By replacing an HDD with an SSD, schools can extend the battery life of a student’s laptop, for example, by about 30 to 45 minutes, according to Tom’s Hardware.

3. Lag time

When a teacher asks students to open their books, there are a few seconds of waiting as they take their books out of their desks and find the right page. When a teacher asks students to take out and turn on their laptops or tablets, there’s a good chance that the wait will be even longer — especially if the device has to access a traditional HDD.

An HDD features a spinning disk that stores data and an actuator arm that moves back and forth to read and write data. It takes time for the HDD’s controller to hunt for application data, read it and make it actionable. Even the fastest spinning drives still have this issue.

With SSDs, data is stored on flash memory that can be instantly accessed, which drastically reduces lag time. In fact, SSDs significantly outperform HDDs when it comes to lag and overall speed. While traditional HDDs spin between 5,400 and 7,200 RPM to locate and retrieve data, SSDs can do it almost instantaneously.

4. Unreliable devices

Most technology is relatively reliable, but in the classroom, teachers and students can’t always afford downtime. Traditional HDDs are more likely to experience failures due to manufacturing defects and overall wear and tear. Like everything with moving parts, the more times an HDD reads data, the closer it comes to its average time to failure.

As mentioned earlier, because SSDs don’t require any moving parts, the chances of these storage devices experiencing mechanical failures drop significantly.

5. Heavy weight

The average laptop weighs between two and eight pounds, which can still be quite heavy for a younger student. A tablet, while much lighter, might still be bulky enough to weigh them down. Requiring a K-12 student to lug a laptop or tablet back and forth between their home and school not only puts the device at risk for damage but can also put added physical stress on the student.

Students aren’t required to tote their laptops or tablets to school if they can easily grab a small portable SSD drive that weighs a few ounces and can fit in the palm of their hand. The difference can make it much easier for students to get to and from school without any extra weight.

All in all, SSDs provide a viable solution for portable data storage and transfer that is faster, more reliable and lighter. SSDs tick all of these boxes.

Want to learn more about how SSDs can help solve the challenges that teachers face in the classroom? Read about how Samsung’s SSDs improve computer performance in education.

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Karen Stealey

Karen J. Stealey is a veteran business, health, lifestyle and technology journalist with a wide range of publishing experience. Her tech and business work has appeared in Forbes, BusinessWeek Online, Adweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, MyBusiness Magazine, Government Computer News, Workforce Management, CFO, Crain's New York and Crain's BtoB.

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