After a long summer break, it is back-to-school time for children. The same goes for parents if they took summer break or opted for work-from-home to look after their kids.
After a very different summer break in 2020, when children and parents had to stay home for most of the pandemic until schools reopened later, things have normalised marginally. Still, in many countries, schools are conducting classes online.
Whether you are a parent and want to get your kid ready for preschool or elementary school, or a student preparing for a new grade after the summer break, there are tons of free, affordable, and discounted tech devices to get things done.
These days, laptops have proved to be quite helpful for school-age children to complete their homework and school projects faster. If your child’s school decides to hold online classes due to current circumstances, a mini or regular laptop will be an essential device to attend those virtual classes.
Remote classes mean your child will probably spend a significant amount of time staring at the screen, which is why a regular laptop with a bigger screen will help. Additionally, kids would want to use the laptop for more than schoolwork, especially if they stay indoors.
Try to find a laptop that will do everything for your kid without exceeding your budget. Watch out for discounted laptop offers for students by various brands, along with accessories. For operating systems, you have options such as Windows, Chrome, and macOS. Check out different laptop specifications that are appropriate for your kid.
Routers and Wi-Fi
Once you decide the type of laptop or desktop to buy your kid, you also need a reliable internet connection for doing schoolwork or online classes uninterrupted. Although the best option is a wired Ethernet connection, many homes do not have the right kind of wiring for Ethernet.
Even if your home has wiring for Ethernet, your laptop may not have a built-in port for it. So, the best option is buying a router and getting a Wi-Fi connection. Connecting to Wi-Fi is easy, but sometimes the connectivity is a little shaky. You can get an affordable router and internet connection at a reasonable monthly subscription. Book one of our technicians to setup your WiFi here.
If your child is already having a hard time managing books and copies on the cluttered desks, keyboard and mouse wires can add to their woes.
The best solution to this issue is getting a wireless keyboard and mouse. You can get your kid wireless keyboards of Logitech, Lenovo, Dell, or any other leading brand. For a wireless mouse, there is an option of a USB receiver mouse or Bluetooth mouse.
For the former, you need to insert the receiver to a USB port to use the wireless feature, and for the Bluetooth mouse, you need to connect it to the Bluetooth of your laptop or desktop.
While working on computers, your child has to bear all kinds of internal and external noises. Not anymore, because noise-cancelling headsets or earphones can be handy.
Using a noise-cancelling headset or earplug can keep your child focused on his/her work instead of getting distracted.
Look for high-rated and durable headphones that come with a built-in microphone and are compatible with all Bluetooth devices.
If those boxy and heavy headsets are a bit difficult for your kid to put on for long, you can get sleeker yet robust noise cancelling wireless earbuds. The earbuds are comfortable to use and deliver excellent performance. Brands such as Sony, Bose, and Samsung can be good options.
Although a laptop or desktop is the main tech back-to-school device for children's online study, still they may often need print outs of projects or homework assignments. So, you would need a new printer, or if you have one, make sure it is working.
It is better that you go for an all-in-one (AIO) printer that can color print, scan, and photocopy. They will make your kid’s schoolwork look tidy. You have options to buy an inkjet or laser model. Inkjets are much cheaper, though a bit old-school and laser models have a higher price range.
For inkjets, you need to replace the inks and for a laser model, you have to replace the toner. So, you can decide on a printer considering the outcome, budget, and maintenance. One of our technicians can help you set one up or troubleshoot an existing one here.
Tablets work perfectly bridging the gap between laptops and smartphones. If your kid does not feel like opening the laptop for a revision, a tablet can come in handy.
Tablets are easy to use, and kids can check out their lessons sitting on a couch. Depending on the brands, these devices run on Android and iOS operating systems, work with . Bluetooth keyboards, and many schools approve of using them.
In particular, reading documents like picture books works much better on a tablet than on a laptop or a smartphone. Also, many tablets these days come with the optional feature of a digital pen that helps students take notes or draw. If you want to get started with your kid's or your new tablet get one of our technicians to set it up for you here.
A USB thumb drive is perhaps the most underrated and useful tech device for school-going children on this list. It is best to pick up one of the rugged ones for daily use, such as Victorinox Swiss Army Secure drive or the Verbatim Tuff-n-Tiny.
In this digital age, networking is getting faster and more accessible, especially when the cloud platform is around. However, it is always better to have a backup of your kid’s schoolwork on a USB thumb drive.
Your kid can get one of the coolest digital study apps from Barnes & Noble. This free eTextbook application for PC and Mac will not only allow your child to get digital books, but compile syllabus, organise coursework, take notes, export, and print online research materials.
Although the same goes for Amazon's textbook rental program, your kid’s particular study materials may not be available there. However, it is worth checking out.
The tech devices listed in this post can ease the process of going back to school for students and parents to their work after the summer break. These devices will keep children ahead of their class and help you with your remote office setup.
Keep reading for our more tech updates that will make your life easier. We will keep sharing online safety tips for students and trends for parents to work more effectively.