Back to School – Top 10 gadgets for the classroom
There was a time when all you needed to go back to school was a new jumper and a couple of felt tips but in the era of iPads, smart phones and laptops those days are a thing of the past.
And with so much technology on offer it can be a baffling business picking out the best bits and pieces to help your child hit the ground running at the start of the new term.
So to give you a helping hand we have picked 10 of the best back-to-school gadgets to make sure you son or daughter are top of the class for technology this September.
1. Smartphone Apps (Free)
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With its infuriatingly addictive array of games, apps and techno toys the smartphone isn’t necessarily the first gadget you would pick to double as a teaching tool.
But with the right apps, many of which are free, the smartphone can be a useful study aid.
Dictionary.com, the most-used online dictionary and thesaurus is a must-have, while reference tools like Factbook or iDictionary are also great. There are a number of scientific calculator apps and the Evernote app lets you sync between computer and phone so you can study wherever you go.
2. High tech backpack (from $48 US)
That’s right, even the humble backpack has had the high-tech treatment in time for the new term. The uber-cool Ed Hardy Tiger Cross Backpack comes complete with a solar charger and a whole host of attachments to charge your electrical items on the move. What’s more it is currently available at the knockdown price of $48 US at www.fashion58.com.
3. Canon X Mark 1 Calculator Mouse (from £15.46)
In an age where everything is being slimmed down, simplified and miniaturised it is nice to find a product that is an unashamed throwback to James Bond-style gadgetry. The pimped-out X Mark 1 Mouse from Canon combines a calculator and numerical keyboard onboard a fully compatible wireless desktop mouse. Visit www.amazon.co.ukLink text.
4. Web Radios (From $149 US)
There are few things harder about going back to school then getting up early in time to catch the bus.
To soften the blow, try one of the latest android-powered web radios. With an alarm clock, webcam, remote control, touch screen and access to up to 50,000 radio stations, waking up has never been less painful.
5. Gadget Protection (from $4 US)
With youngsters now walking around with literally hundreds or even thousands of pounds worth of electronic goods, security is vital.
GadgetTrak is an app that acts like an electronic tether if you lose your smartphone, laptop or tablet.
You download the app and if the device goes missing you simply log into your account online and you can track where you lost or stolen stuff has gone. GadgetTrak provides location reports, map points and IP addresses to help you pinpoint your lost device. It can even snap photos of the thief. Vist www.gadgettrak.com for more details.
6. Noise Cancelling Headphones (from £39.99)
Not to be worn when the teacher is talking but a perfect gadget to help phase out background noise in a busy library, train or cafe.
As the name suggest, the headphones ‘cancel out’ peripheral sound, improving the ability to concentrate on what you are listening to or simply tune into your own world for some much needed down-time.
See www.lindy.co.uk for examples.
7. High tech lunchboxes (from $29.95US)
Not to be outdone by the backpack’s new age makeover, the lunch box has also undergone something of a reinvention. You can pick up personalised lunch boxes from www.frecklebox.com or search online for new-age bento boxes that provide different compartments for hot and cold food using solar technology.
8. Web Help (Free)
Vital learning tool or enemy of education, the internet gets a mixed review from teachers.
Here are a two handy websites that they will have no complaints about.
Dropbox (www.dropbox.com) lets pupils save their papers, presentations and other work online, and access it anywhere they can get an Internet connection.
And Diigo (www.diigo.com) extends your web browser so that you can bookmark, highlight and annotate web pages, just like you were taking notes in a book.
9. Leapfrog Fly Pentop Computer (from £33.49)
There are so many different laptops, tablets and hand held computers these days to cover even a miniscule number of them would take up more space than a whole shipment of the damn things.
But speaking of the miniscule, why not try out the remarkable MI5-style Leapfrog Fly Pentop computer. The pen-sized device can be used as a calculator, to play video games, do homework , play music and plan your diary. And did I mention it’s the size of a pen!
Visit www.liveonthefly.com for more details.
10. Rage Gage Smash Pad (from £19.99)
Last but by no means least, the Rage Gage Smash Pad. The makers of the smash pad know how frustrating school can be and have designed the desktop gadget to withstand all kinds of stress-relieving physical punishment.
For more info and a video of the smash pad in action visitwww.ragegage.com