Students will head back to school over the next month, which means parents are finishing up all the last minute back-to-school shopping. You've already loaded up on #2 pencils, highlighters in every color of the rainbow, and those classic pink erasers. Now it's time to start thinking about electronics. Students today go to school with much more than a new backpack and smartphone. This year, load them up with a powerful set of digital tools to enhance their educational experience and some digital parenting tools for yourself as well.
Last year, headphones went seriously high-tech with the introduction of the Beats by Dre headphones. These stylish, state of the art headphones were on the wish list of every teenager last Christmas. The headphones continue to prove popular but some other headphone options might work well for students as well.
Many classrooms use online teaching tools now that require students to wear headsets with USB plugins and microphones for recording. These common headsets get worn by everyone in the school. To protect your students from germs or lice, provide them with their own headset with USB plugin and microphone.
Students may also benefit from noise canceling headphones. These headphones, usually worn by business travelers looking for a good night's sleep on airplanes, can also help students focus better during study hall, testing sessions or while doing homework.
Portable Power Supply
Open up your kid's backpack to see how many items in it require electricity. Phones, laptops, tablets, music players, gaming devices. Chances are, given how much students use their technology during the day, they will lose power before the dismissal bell rings.
They could scour the lunchroom for a free electrical outlet or beg a teacher to plug into a power strip during class. Those options open up students for theft and loss. Instead, send kids to school with a portable power supply. Students can plug their phones in, leave them in their backpacks and reduce the risk of losing their electronics while they scrounge for a charge.
Can your students remember their three-digit gym locker combination? Or do they call once a week asking for gym clothes because they forgot the combination. Again.
Ditch the traditional lock for a new, digital lock. These locks allow for multiple codes and you can back them up online to easily retrieve the code if you forget it. In fact, while you're picking up a lock for your kid, get one for yourself. You know you can't remember your gym locker combination, either.
Digital recording technology has come a long way and now these devices are more affordable and convenient than ever. Students can use the recorders during lectures to record what's being said so they can refer to it later.
Recorders can help all students but can particularly help students who struggle to pay attention, including students with learning disabilities, ADD or ADHD, and students on the autism spectrum. These students may have difficulty taking traditional notes or remaining focused during a lecture class.
Digital Parenting Tools
Back to school supplies aren't just limited to students. Parents need to stock up as well with their own digital parenting tools to help their students stay safe and succeed in school.
Technology has increased the tools students can use to do well in school and stay in touch with friends and family. But technology also comes with risks and opens up many avenues for abuse of technology that can have lasting repercussions for students.
Digital parenting programs provide tools for parents to teach students about responsible use of technology. The three tools parents should consider this fall include:
Social monitoring to keep tabs on students social media activity and take action if necessary when you spot cyberbullying, inappropriate posts or signs students use social media during class time;
Mobile monitoring to track phone calls, texts, apps and other smartphone activity in order to keep down costs, hold students accountable and monitor for abuses;
And family locator tools so you know where your children are when you can't be with them.
Back to school means much more than a pencil pouch and protractor for today's students. Complete your back to school shopping with these five technology tools to help students succeed and thrive in school.
Parenting has become increasingly more complicated with cell phones and computers. Read about how you can keep up with it all in our eBook! Download “Digital Parenting: The Essential Guide to Raising Connected Kids” now.