7 of the Best Back to School Devices for Your Children or Grandchildren

Whether your child is headed off to college or elementary school, he or she needs to own, or have access to, several pieces of technology.

Your daily life benefits from technology, and when used correctly, a classroom or at-home learning environment is no different. With the right devices, learning can become more enjoyable, entertaining and easily accessible.

All this being said, it can be difficult to know exactly what your student needs. Each suggested technology below has real-world benefits that will make learning more fun for your student, regardless of his or her age. In addition to devices that help with school, it’s important to educate your student on cyberbullying, how to regulate screen time, and the good and bad realities of social media.

1) Desktop

Desktops are advantageous for several reasons. For students, they have larger screens, which provides more room to learn and view a variety of materials.

Generally, they’re also easier to upgrade than a laptop, which is a huge benefit if you’re buying a computer for a child who will likely require one or more technological upgrades before he or she leaves home. According to several cost of ownership studies, users should replace their computers at least every four years.

Another reason desktops are becoming more desirable is that they can now be portable.

There are many new desktops on the market that are mobile because they have built-in batteries. Some of these portable options can even function as tablets, making them an acceptable choice for a student.

Knowing how to buy the perfect desktop computer takes time, but with a little research and input from friends and family, you should be able to pick out the right device for your student.

2) Smart Table

Smart tables are being used more and more to enhance students’ experiences in and out of the classroom.

According to the ” Use of SMART Table in educational institutions to enhance student learning performance ” study, students experience an ease of memorization of content when they use a SMART™ Table; students also had an easier time doing homework and giving presentations when using this device.

Students can carry out hands-on learning when they use a smart table.

Many even come already programmed with interactive learning activities and games that help students learn to read, count and improve their spatial awareness.

3) Laptop

Students who have access to laptops at school and at home often have improved test scores in science, writing, math, English language and arts, according to a 2016 meta-analysis and research synthesis; this analysis also found that students with laptops wrote, edited, revised and received more feedback on their writing on than students without laptops.

Of course, the exact laptop your student needs will depend on his or her age.

For elementary students, you’ll want to purchase one of the best laptops for kids, like the Dell Chromebook 11 3180. For middle school and high school students, you’ll want something closer to the Acer Aspire E 15. College students can benefit from something more versatile, such as the Lenovo Yoga 920, which is a two-in-one convertible laptop and tablet.

Fortunately, fall is one of the best times of year to buy a new laptop. If you have a student who’s going to college, you can get a free pair of Beats headphones and up to $200 off a Mac or iPad Pro from Apple.

4) Tablet

One desirable function of technology is that it can sometimes provide a two-in-one solution; with tablets, this is almost always the case. It’s easy and affordable to buy a keyboard for virtually every tablet on the market. Sometimes, keyboards are even an included accessory when you purchase one of these devices. So, tablets can function as laptops and independent touchscreens.

From handwriting notes to drawing diagrams and even typing papers, tablets really can do it all.

Some tablets are even more affordable and lighter in weight than laptops, making them an ideal choice for students who will need to carry the device to and from school.

5) Interactive Whiteboard

Somewhat similar to a smart table is an interactive whiteboard. There are also interactive projector boards and other smart boards on the market.

In many ways, interactive whiteboards are identical to smart TVs, but they have one main difference, accessibility. If you have more than one child, it might be hard for your kids to see and access a smart table at one time.

With a board, it’s easier for multiple kids or people to see the board at one time.

Another outstanding feature of interactive boards is that many allow you to create your own lessons. If you’re a college student, putting together your own quizzes and lessons is easy with a smart board. If your student is younger, you can create game-based interactive lessons for them in less than five minutes.

6) All-In-One Printer

Selecting the right printer for your student is a scary task. There are so many different printing technologies and brands, it’s hard to know what one will fit your loved one’s unique needs.

Young learners often value multifunction printers that can crank out page after page of text while still being able to copy, scan and fax. You also want a printer that’s portable enough that it can follow your student to college or whatever is next for him or her after high school.

One option that’s best for most students is the HP OfficeJet 5255 ; this printer can do everything a student needs for general use, from printing 10 pages a minute to scanning and creating double-sided papers.

If you want to stick to a budget, a laser printer, like the Brother HL-L2350DW, is a good option. Students who won’t necessarily print in color and want to save money on ink will love all that the Brother HL-L2350DW has to offer.

7) Headphones

Cutting the cable cord is a popular technological trend, but what about the headphone cord?

With Bluetooth earbuds or headphones, your student will have ultimate mobility. Furthermore, you won’t be asked to help untangle a nest of cables that arises from a less-than-organized backpack.

When you’re looking for back-to-school headphones, consider going with a noise-canceling headphone. Students can listen to music with these headphones, of course, but they can also play white noise or classical music and tune out the world when they really need to focus.

As you start to evaluate and compare products, keep durability, design, sound quality and weight in mind. It’s also never a bad idea to speak with your student directly to see if he or she has an ideal brand or color in mind.

Remember the Important People In Your Life

As you shop for your digital native, don’t forget about the other important people in your life. Just as your kids or grandkids benefit from technology, so do seniors.

If you have parents who are above 65-years-old or other friends who are interested in learning how technology can help them age in place, you can email them a free eBook that will help them take advantage of modern smart technology.

If you’re in the position to purchase something for one of these individuals, consider the GrandPad tablet ; with this thoughtfully designed tablet, it’s easy to call, email, play music, check the weather and more.

Securing the Support They Need

A student’s worst nightmare is losing a term product he or she has invested hours into with no sure way to retrieve what’s lost. Additionally, every technical issue that arises when your student wants to be learning is a huge inconvenience.

After you purchase their back-to-school devices, make sure you also register with a legitimate technical support company. This way, your student will have access to support over phone or chat.

They’ll also benefit from data backups, identity protection, antivirus software and more.

In the event your student is going to college where some of the technical support services listed above are included in their tuition, think about signing yourself or a loved one up to access easy, reliable help for all technical issues.

Summer’s Coming to a Close

As your student prepares to go back to school, they probably feel some excitement and a bit of stress. The last thing they need to be worrying about on top of everything they’re already dealing with is jumping through logistical hurdles because they don’t have the proper technology.

To make sure your child or loved one starts out on the right foot, talk to his or her school and see what types of technology they require or recommend. With this information in mind, you can start to compose a shopping list.

Also, even if a school doesn’t require or recommend one of the devices on this list, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worthwhile to consider. Although a school might not think to suggest you get a smart board for your child, these helpful devices can improve their test scores and overall school experience.

As you start ticking items off your list, it’s also a good idea to sit down with your student and see if he or she has any ideas in mind. At some elementary schools, kids have products like the wearable GizmoGadget™ smartwatch, which makes and receives calls from 10 contacts.

Parents can also use the Gizmo wearable to see their child’s location with GPS and receive notifications if their little one crosses a predetermined boundary. Otherwise, there may be some other piece of technology that various students have that your child could benefit from, too.

Back to school is hectic time for everyone, but with the right technology and support, you can set your student up for success.

Your Personal IT Team, Anytime, Anywhere!

24/7 Support

Explore Services

Get 24/7 Peace of Mind With Remote Tech support

We’ll help you with any question, concern or issue.

Get Specialist Assistance

About the author

Photo of Erik Fullmer

Erik Fullmer

Erik was raised in many places but has long since called Utah home. Rooted in mountains, he spends a lot of time with his dogs in the mountains and in the winter he skis… a lot.

Erik is actively earning the necessary certifications and training to become a certified AMGA Ski Guide.

With over a decade of content writing experience, Erik finds passion when writing for the tech and outdoor recreation industries.