Tech for getting kids back to school

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Categories Consumer technology | CKNW

It’s September 3, and in most of the developed world kids are already back in the classroom. Except here in British Columbia, where teachers are off the job because of some worrying brinkmanship by the provincial government.

Here are some tech tips for everyone else who’s getting back to their desks, whether they are in a classroom, a library, the kitchen table, or a dorm room.

Apps to encourage learning and creation

Even if your kids aren’t in the classroom, they can still be learning. Computers are great learning tools, and Wesley Fryer, a grade 4 and 5 teacher in Oklahoma, has curated a list of 70 apps he’s got loaded on iPads in his school that help drive the learning of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills.

Privacy and security settings on mobile devices

If you’ve got children with mobiles, keep in mind that the GPS functions make it easy for you to find them, but it also means anyone else can find them, too. Get familiar with the privacy settings on your kids’ device. And if you haven’t already, consider locking down the device against kids making purchases without your permission. Here’s how to do it on iOS.

Charging cables

You don’t want to carry around a charging adapter and cable if you don’t have to. Because it’s so easy to find USB ports, all you really need is a Nomad Key, which is a key fob and charging cable all in one. Coming later this fall is a carabiner (not for climbing) that has a charging cable built in. There are Nomad models for nearly every mobile device.

Laptop/tablet dual-mode computers

All the manufacturers making Windows computers are now building laptops that also function as tablets:

And there’s always the Microsoft Surface.

Apple’s annual back to school offer

If Apple is the only way, take advantage of the company’s annual offer of a gift card with the purchase of a Mac computer or iPad or iPhone mobile device.

Portable hard-drive storage

USB sticks are fine if you’re printing out a term paper at the library, but if your project is a graphics-heavy presentation or a video, you’ll need more storage space, like what you can get with the latest solid-state portable drives.

This one from Toshiba is less than half an inch thin. And with 128 GB of storage space, there’s plenty of room for music, photos, and videos for when you need some down time.

“Small-in-one” printer

If you really need to have a printer, you want it to do as much as possible and take up as little space as possible. Make way for this colour Epson, which prints photos and documents, and connects wirelessly to computers and mobile devices.


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