5 Back to School Tech Accessories

By Danny Bradbury
School tech accessories: tablet with an empty screen and office supplies on a white wooden background. Concept app for school children or online learning for children.

In the past, the average back to school supplies list featured just the basics: paper, pens, rulers and folders. Back to school shopping is a little more modern these days, with a healthy dose of tech to help students get their grades. Here are five school tech accessories to consider for the tech-savvy student.

1. Backpack.

According to the Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning’s 2017 report, 52% of teachers now let students use laptops or tablets to help with their studies. Furthermore, 23% predicted that students would use their own mobile devices at school this year. With home laptop usage also increasingly common, taking homework over to a friend’s suddenly becomes a lot more challenging. Kids need a way to transport their tech.

The appropriate backpacks for school will protect your child’s electronic learning tools. You can include a compartment for a water bottle on the outside to keep your teen (rather than their tech) hydrated.

2. E-Reader

Backpacks used to be for books––lots of them for that matter. Carrying them all around can be bad for a child’s back. The problem is so common that there’s even a School Backpack Awareness Day!

An ereader can stave off back pain by transferring at least some school books to digital form. You can buy books instantly online, often cheaper than paper-based versions, or in some cases borrow them electronically from the local library. Students can easily bookmark and highlight text, and can carry dozens of books in a device weighing just a few ounces.

Ereaders using digital paper from companies like Amazon, Kobo or Barnes and Noble are extremely light.

3. Tablet.

For parents with a bigger back to school shopping budget, tablets Like the Samsung Galaxy Tab offer more functionality than ereaders. Higher-end models like the Surface Pro 6 can replace laptops for high-school workloads.

4. USB Flash Drive.

Not every child gets to use their own laptop at school, but they’ll still probably be doing digital work in the classroom. Even when they’re at home, they’ll want to back up their work to prevent disaster. Cloud-based services like Dropbox and Google Docs may work if schools allow them, but it doesn’t hurt to have an alternative. A USB flash drive can hold your child’s data safely (just try to make sure there’s a special place for it in their backpack).

5. Livescribe.

If there’s one thing that high-school students love, it’s taking notes. Livescribe pens record audio as you write, linking what’s said to what’s being written at that moment for playback later. They need the specially designed Livescribe notebooks, which include tiny printed microdots to digitally record your child’s writing.

Adding some tech to your school supplies list can give your child all the tools they need to enhance their studies. A little parental supervision will ensure that they’re focusing on trigonometry rather than Tetris, at least for some of the time.

Reprinted with permission from Office Depot OfficeMax. Office Depot has been helping students and schools succeed for more than 30 years. It’s more than our job. It’s our passion. As a proud National Sponsor of the PTA, our goal is to help make this year—and every year—a success.

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