Long gone are the days when all the children needed for school was a pen, a pencil, a ruler and some paper. Things are a lot more high-tech now and students need to move with the times. To succeed in their studies, students will need to be equipped with the latest technology and this can be a costly exercise. Take the time to shop around and think carefully before making decisions. You want to be able to get the latest and best gadgets available, while staying within your budget.
Let us take a look at my pick for the 7 most important gadgets students require these days.
As much as tablets and mobile devices are handy, a decent laptop is still a basic necessity. Students, even from a young age, will need a laptop to do research, write and edit documents, photographs and videos, as well as put projects together. Remember, technology changes rapidly so try to get the latest hardware and operating system within your budget. Having said that, you don’t necessarily need a top of the range machine, understand your child’s needs, both now in in the next few years, and purchase accordingly. Get detailed information as to their requirements. Take the size and weight into consideration as well, as they will have to carry it around with them. Security is another factor to bear in mind as you don’t want the laptop to be stolen. A simple combination, carbon-strengthened steel cable lock will do the trick.
2. E-reader and/or Tablet
A large amount of study material and many books come in electronic format these days. It is certainly a lot easier and more convenient to store on something like a Kindle or a Tablet then carrying a huge book bag around. Tablets can also be used for research, studying and web browsing. They can also be handy for multimedia entertainment when all the work is done.
3. Portable Memory
Fortunately, external or portable memory has come down dramatically in price while consistently offering more capacity. There are two main options available, both very useful:
USB Flash Drive
For small files or data that you need to have handy, a USB flash drive is perfect. Lightweight and small, they come in a variety of prices according to capacity. Again, consider what it needs to be used for and purchase according to the requirements.
External Hard Drive
For larger files and those all-important backups, an external hard drive will be needed. Nothing can set a student back more than losing months if not years’ worth of work and data, not to mention personal photographs and documents. Hard drives can and do crash, laptops get stolen or damaged, so regular backups are essential. A quality external hard drive, with sufficient capacity is a must have.
4. Noise-Cancelling Headphones
More and more content is video based these days and the trend will only increase. A good pair of headphones is essential in order to be able to concentrate on the material. As an added bonus, they will also be great for listening to music or gaming, without disturbing the rest of the household.
5. External Mouse
Although most young people tend to be quite happy to use the scroll pad on their laptop, this sort of repetitive motion can put enormous strain on the wrist after a while. A simple external mouse is an inexpensive way to avoid this. Preferably go for a wireless mouse for increased convenience.
As much as technology has progressed, we are still not yet at the paperless environment that has been predicted for so long. There will still be times documents have to be printed out and you don’t want to be rushing around trying to find a printer at the last minute. Printers have also come down remarkably in price and their compact design makes them that much more convenient. You are probably not going to need state of the art, photo quality printing, a basic reliable printer will probably suffice in most cases.
7. Scientific Calculator
This has been and will remain a necessity for a while still. It is needed mostly for trigonometry, calculus and financial calculations. Check to see what the requirements are for the education institution your children attend as many places like to standardise these.
No doubt, there will be more requirements in the future as technology continues to evolve but for now, these are pretty much the essential tools and gadgets students need to study effectively.