“Back to school” means a whole new lifestyle for your school-age kids for the next 9 months of the year, affecting everything from the time they wake up in the morning to spending time on homework each night to meeting and interacting with new friends.

No one should attempt to make this transition underprepared! And in today’s educational environment, everyone from kindergarten to college, at every learning speed, and in city and rural settings alike can prepare with far more than just traditional school supplies.

Today, even elementary kids are bringing a wide assortment of interesting and helpful, high-tech gadgets and learning tools with them to school. Don’t let your child be the only one without the latest technology!

Here are 10 ideas on which gadgets to equip your student with for the 2018/2019 school year:

1. A Voice Recorder

As you prioritize which electronics make sense to equip your school kid with this year, don’t forget a voice recorder! This hand held device can record class lectures, student verbal notes, parental reminders, class schedules, homework assignments, and more on high quality audio with easy playback and plenty of memory space.

Why waste time with handwritten notes when you can record them verbally much faster? Plus, many kids’ learning style favors audio over visual note-taking, so why fight it? Equip them to be the best they can this year!

2. Smart Pens & Smart Notebooks

A second option for recording class lectures and other information and that records digital files of notes as you write the notes down on paper are these smart devices. Your notes are safely stored online without having to retype them later on!

Rocketbook Wave is an example of the latest technology in the notebook space. It looks like a regular notebook on the outside and has turnable pages, but it’s actually a computer that transfers your notes to the Cloud automatically where they can be easily accessed and organized later on. Plus, you can erase the whole notebook and use it over and over again.

3. Pencil Grip Trainer

For younger students still struggling to learn to hold pens/pencils properly when they write, try the innovative Pencil Grip 3-Step Training Kit.

There are three scientifically contoured holding grips that slip on the end of any standard sized writing instrument. They won’t hurt your child’s hands, and they’ll gradually guide him or her to the point where the “tripod” pencil grip feels natural.

4. The Perfect Wake Up Device

Nothing’s more important to the school day than getting up on time so you’re not later for class! The Philips Wake-Up Light gradually lights up each morning to mimic the progressively more intense light of a sunrise.

You can also add natural sounds, like birds chirping or a babbling brook, as your alarm. Alternatively, your child can wake up to the sound of his/her favorite songs.

5. An E-book Reader

Kids today still have to do plenty of reading in school, but many times, they can opt to read digital books instead of ink-and-paper ones. An e-reader can store your child’s textbooks, lightening the load in his backpack each day.

Plus, e-versions of books are generally cheaper than hard copies. And it’s easy to transport and access any and all books from anywhere with an Internet connection. Just be sure to check if your child’s textbooks will be available electronically before making the investment.

6. An Activity Tracker

There’s no reason why a student shouldn’t take advantage of the extra walking as well as activity required by school to start monitoring and improving their fitness level.

A good activity tracker will give you daily step counts or measure the distance walked in feet or miles. It can also inform you of how many calories you’ve burned throughout the day. These are  a great idea for everyone, especially for kids with PE class or who are on track and field or sports teams.

7. Quality Headphones

Even grade school students are frequently using headphones in class these days. Bringing your own set or durable, high sound quality headphones that fit nicely into your backpack is a winning idea.

You can even get headphones that allow multiple units to “stack” or otherwise enable multiple people to listen to the same audio content from the same computer. Another option is wireless headphones. Watever model you choose, be sure to get headphones that are foldable and easy to carry without damaging them.

8. A “Modern Backpack”

A simple backpack with only one or two general use pockets and a main compartment may be fine for some purposes, but if your child is going to take a smartphone, laptop or tablet, camera, headphones, and other electronics to school – plus the regular books, pens, paper, and other school supplies, you need a “modern” backpack.

Look for durable materials and construction, water resistance, padding, and plenty of compartments that are perfectly sized for each type of device your kid will carry.

9. A Laptop Lock

We forego to mention a laptop, tablet, or smart board since that is so commonly thought of already – but assuming your kid comes equipped with a laptop of similar device to school, how will he/she protect it?

Try a laptop lock. This lock has a combination to it and appears in design a bit like a bike lock. It fits right into a laptop port and simply won’t come out until it’s been unlocked. The cord then continues for six feet, loops around some immobile object, and reconnects to the lock on the other end.

Don’t let your child sweat it everytime he/she must leave the laptop on a library table or at a classroom desk for a few minutes alone. A laptop lock is a simple but powerful solution.

10. A Flash Drive

Finally, don’t neglect to outfit your student with a USB flash drive, which is virtually required today. When moving files from device to device or when transferring information to a library computer for uploading, and for many other purposes, a portable drive is essential.

College and high school students will probably make the most use of a flash drive. Be sure they get 100 GB or more of storage space so they can back up all their work. And include a protective flash drive holder that wraps around the neck or attaches to a belt loop so that valuable data won’t ever be lost.

No doubt we could go on and on and name 100 helpful tools and gadgets for use at school or college. But these 10 should be a good start and get your mental juices flowing so you can think of many more!

Incredible Planet Staff

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