Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on August 16th, 2015

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Back to School shopping with a tech twist. 10 tech gadgets that made our list.

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It's Back to School time. No longer does that just mean purchasing new shoes, cute outfits and stocking up on paper and pencils. Nope, today for kids from Kindergarten thru Grad School the school supplies lists have gotten much more tech savvy.

Take a minute to think about your child's school supply list. I am sure you had the standard issue, crayons, paper, notebooks, binders, pens, and pencils. Now let's go beyond that. Today, many of those lists contain items like headphones and flash drives or high end graphing calculators. Then there are the items on your child's or perhaps your own wish list. Typically speaking, these items are tech gadgets. Let's take a minute to discuss the best tech gadgets for Back to School.

1. Earbuds. Today, many students are using iPads and computers at school in varying classes. Typically these types of assignments or activities require students to listen to the lesson.  Schools are requesting children have their own earbuds or headphones for hygiene purposes. No need to break the bank on these for younger kids, you can typically find $5 sets at local stores. But, if you're a high school or college student, you may be more in the market for noise canceling headphones. If this is the case and you keep them with you versus leaving them at school it's probably a good idea to invest in a quality pair. Consumer Reports rates several makes and models of noise canceling headphones ranging from Bose to Beats and beyond.

2. USB Flash Drives. Students today are completing more and more assignments digitally than ever before. Gone are the days of printing out papers to turn into your instructor. Today teachers are embracing Google Drive to share assignments and offer editing on rough drafts as well as to monitor student progress.  Amazon offers a list of it's best selling Flash Drives here.

3. Portable chargers. In the connected world, we live in, today's students are always on their devices. In study halls today, students are using laptops and tablets versus textbooks to study and complete assignments. Don't let your student be caught with no battery. Digital Trends provides a list of the best portable chargers.

4. Cloud storage. How about getting your student a subscription to Google Drive or Dropbox to make accessing assignments easier.

5. Smartpens. Perhaps you are a student that requires a lot of note taking. If this is the case put the Live Scribe 3 Smartpen to work with your iPad or iPhone.

6. Laptop. Depending on your needs and budget there are a plethora of options available. You can go with a Google Chromebook or perhaps if you have a higher budget an Apple Macbook.

7. Notebook computer lock. Working in the library or study hall and need to get up to take a quick break or speak to someone? Don't rush about and pack up all your things or fret that someone will swipe your new laptop. Utilize the Kingston Combo Saver Portable Notebook Computer Lock.

8. Smart backpack. Luging around all these digital tech gadgets requires a quality bag. Even better, one that has charging capabilities and GPS technology is even better to help maintain battery life and know the whereabouts of your gear.

9. GPS tracking. For today's parents of young students knowing your child's location can offer you piece of mind. From the moment they leave to head to the bus stop until they walk back in your front door after school has the assurance that you can track them with the ease of a small tracking device like the Trax.

10. E-readers and tablets. Students today are doing more reading digitally as schools are embracing online textbooks. With today's e-readers you can easily take notes and highlight text or if you're in that honors English class you can also annotate to your heart's content. Obvious choices are Amazon's Kindle or perhaps Apple's iPad.

Well, there you have 10 tech gadgets for Back to School that may or may not have been on your student's list but that could offer plenty of assistance this school year. What items made your list? What did I miss? I have three students and I am always interested in items that might make life easier. Do you have a product to recommend, feel free to share it!