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Too many USB flash drives? Donate them

There are quite a few things you can do with an old USB flash drive. But you may have not have thought about donating them to your local school.

Like I said, it was quite the collection. Kent German/CNET

Among their many talents, USB flash drives have revolutionized the press kit. Now when I go to trade shows like CES or Mobile World Congress, I can just pick up a tiny flash drive with a company's announcements rather than lugging around a bunch of heavy folders. The result is lots of saved paper and less strain on my back.

Of course, the downside of this development is that I've wound up with quite a collection of USB drives that I've used only once. And after cleaning out my office a few weeks ago, I found I had no less than 60 flash drives of various sizes.

Since I didn't want to throw them away or leave them around to collect dust, I started thinking about ways they could put to good use. Ed Rhee already offered six cool things to do with a spare USB flash drive, but even pursuing each of those angles would still leave me with way more devices than I need. That's when a friend from college offered a solution.

My friend is a middle school teacher in the Los Angeles area. He said that many of his students lack fast Internet access or they aren't able to send electronic files between home and school. For those kids, USB drives are a great way to deliver homework to school and turn it in on time.

That solution was ideal to me so I packed up most of my thumbdrives and sent them south (deleting the files first, of course). Hopefully this school year, a USB flash drive from Nokia, Verizon Wireless, or Samsung will make a student's studying a little easier. So if you're drowning in your own flash drive collection, check with our local teachers. They may be able to use them.