Long gone are the days of notebooks and #2 pencils making the top ranks of school syllabus sheets – now it’s all about going digital and going green (without costing you a lot of green.) We’ve polled our favorite back-to-school kids of all ages for approved essentials that every kid needs! From elementary accessories to high tech computing – you’ll find the best gifts in our Back-To-School Gift Guide: Kids Edition below!
Forgot your laptop or notebook? No sweat. The LG G Stylo‘s built-in stylus and large, 5.7-inch screen give you room to write. It sells on T-Mobile, Sprint and Boost Mobile for between $200 and $300 and you can find a deal from Walmart Family Mobile with unlimited talk, data and web for $29.88/month.
Ok, so it’s not technically classified as tech for kids, but anything Emoji-related is just too cool not to include for back to school! Why not send your kids back to school with personal style! It’s a designer backpack will let everyone’s eyes light up.
For The Home:
Google Chromecast is a cheap and easy video streamer is arguably the best technology you can get for your home right now. These are small boxes or “sticks” you plug into any free HDMI port on a TV. The most affordable one at $35 or less is the Google Chromecast. It delivers most of the key streaming services (Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Pandora, YouTube, Watch ESPN and many others), but the main caveat is that you need to use your smartphone or tablet as the remote
Sol Republic Punk: Looking for a more rugged wireless speaker? The Sol Republic Punk is water-resistant, so it’s great for the kids by the pool, beach or early morning back to school showers. Originally priced at $70, it can now be found for about $50 bucks.
For The Classroom
Students, grab your pens and pencils. This Lenovo tablet features AnyPen technology which mean, well, you can essentially use any pen as a stylus. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 with AnyPen is ultra-compact, sitting at 8-inches, and it has a built-in kickstand to make using it in class easy. You can write an essay while it’s propped up on your lap or comfortably grip it by its chunky rounded edge while reading or surfing the Web.
A full-featured Fire HD 6 or Fire HD 7 tablet that includes a beautiful HD display and Dolby Audio that’s perfect for watching movies like Finding Nemo, plus a fast quad-core processor that ensures quick app launch times and smooth games and video. Fire HD Kids Edition has a 2MP rear-facing camera that allows for high-resolution photos and 1080p HD video, and a front-facing camera that’s perfect for when you want to set up video calls between kids and grandparents.
Back to school time is hard work, and kids of all ages can appreciate a reward like a new gaming console. The time is now to buy a new-generation console and you can’t go wrong with a PlayStation 4. The PlayStation 4 system opens the door to an incredible journey through immersive new gaming worlds and a deeply connected gaming community. PS4 puts gamers first with an astounding launch lineup and over 180 games in development. Play amazing top-tier blockbusters and innovative indie hits on PS4.
Perfect for young photographers, this durable smartwatch makes it easy to take photos and record videos on the go. They can also use the touch screen to explore their creativity with fun photo effects, frames and filters. The splash-proof smartwatch has four learning games, a voice recorder with 5 voice changing effects and a micro USB cable, which can be used to upload photos and videos as well as recharge the battery.
Looking for a few ideas for the college co-eds in your life? Check out our picks for back to school college essentials below!
Now that you have a list of tech deals perfect for you or your favorite student this year, which of these amazing back to school deals are you going to take advantage of this week? Share your back to school shopping plans in the comment section below!
As a parent, what if I told you that you could buy a toy that could learn and grow with your child for years to come? No more one and done toys and no more wasting money, right?!? There’s a new Smart Dino Toy from Element Path, unveiled at the NY Toy Fair on Monday, is the first children’s toy to tap into IBM’s powerful Watson cognitive computing system.
CogniToy Dino is actually part of a planned line of cognitive toys. The idea behind them is pretty simple: the child speaks, and CogniToy, which is connected to the Internet (and IBM’s Watson cognitive cloud) listens and then responds. According to Elemental Path, the toy can learn a child’s personality traits and preferences, like favorite color, and then deliver age-appropriate content for their interactions.
Children are shown asking CogniToy questions and it responds, to the children’s delight, without hesitation. The toy dinosaur will be able to tell jokes and quiz the kids on simple math. It should also be able to change and grow – intellectually, that is — over time. The company also plans on providing parents with a cloud-based console, on their smart devices, where they can track their child’s progress with the chatty little dinosaur. It will even show them the questions children asked CogniToy.
Elemental Path hoped to raise $50,000 with its Kickstarter campaign and deliver CogniToys ($89 for early birds) by November. It has already succeeded it’s goal and has reached $65K and its an ambitious plan for a toy idea that could be considered revolutionary or as Elemental Path Co-Founder JP Benni says in the video, “We’re either really onto something or just absolutely crazy.” Discover more by checking out the the CogniToy Dino Kickstarer page here.
Toys and games are sure to be on kids’ gift lists this holiday season. Many parents will hope to mix in something practical with all the fun, aiming to give a gift that can help children of any age do their best in school. With technology in common use in classrooms across the country, many parents will shop for laptops, notebooks or other devices that can help facilitate learning.
71% of Elementary school students
67% of middle school students
56% of high school students
Would like to use mobile devices in the classroom more than they do now….
(via 2014 Pearson Student Mobile Device Survey)
With the wide range of learning tasks students tackle daily, it’s important for parents to choose devices with maximum flexibility. Windows is the most commonly used operating system in the workplace and a vast library of educational materials are Windows compatible, so it makes sense for children to learn on Windows 8-enabled devices with Intel inside. Three types of devices stand out for parents looking for computing flexibility:
Smaller, lighter and more economical than full-sized laptops, today’s notebooks still pack a great deal of computing power in their compact frames. Products like the HP ProBook Notebook PC allow students to perform basic word-processing tasks, access online learning tools, and share notes and assignments with peers and teachers. Durable yet lightweight, their typical small size allows them to fit easily into backpacks and be used in classroom settings without taking up too much space.
With their versatile touchscreen interface, tablets inspire creativity and facilitate collaboration among students and educators. Teachers who use tablets in class are able to personalize lessons to appeal to the learning styles and interests of multiple students, rather than approaching a lesson as one size fits all. For younger students who have not yet mastered a keyboard, touchscreen tablets provide an easy way to accomplish tasks. Styles like the Dell Venue 11 can also feature handwriting recognition, making note-taking fast and easy for older students and helping younger pupils practice handwriting skills.
2 in 1s
For older students who do more typing, 2 in 1 devices like the Lenovo Yoga or Asus Transformer provide the convenience of a notebook and the flexibility of a tablet. These devices are lightweight with a touchscreen interface, like a tablet, but can be also used like a traditional laptop through a detachable, flippable or rotating keyboard. Having both functionalities within one device facilitates creativity, note-taking and collaboration.
Not sure which of these device types might best suit your student’s needs? Consult with your child’s teacher. In many classrooms across the country, teachers are already using technology in their lessons. Your child’s teacher may be able to advise you on what type of device would best mesh with what he or she is already using in the classroom.
What sort of educational gifts are you looking to buy the kids in your life this season? Do you believe that educational tech gifts make the best gifts for kids or are traditional gifts more up your alley? Share your thoughts below.
If you thought your child was the only kid that could unlock your phone to play “Angry Birds” then you’re sadly mistaken. A new study found that almost 40% of children under age 2 use mobile devices. They don’t just chew on them either. Common Sense Media found infants watch videos and play games on phones.
By the age of 8, 72% of children have used a smartphone, tablet or similar device.
“This is the true sign that the digital generation has arrived,” – Common Sense Media’s founder and CEO Jim Steyer.
The study found that mobile-device use among very young children is growing rapidly, especially compared to other mediums. Television viewership remained stable, with 66% of children under 2 watching in both 2011 and 2013. Computer use grew from 4% to 10% over the two years, but DVD viewership actually declined, from 52% in 2011 to 46% in 2013.
Not only are more children using tablets and smartphones, they’re using them for longer periods of time. The amount of time spent using these devices tripled: In 2013, children ages 0 to 8 spent an average of 15 minutes a day using mobile devices; that’s up from 5 minutes a day in 2011.
Toys R Us Inc. is stepping into the heated tablet-computer wars with a $150 version for kids — including Wi-Fi connectivity, extensive parental control features and 50 pre-loaded apps that include popular games such as “Angry Birds” and “Fruit Ninja.”
But will kids want it and parents buy it? “You can jam 50 apps into this and make it an overwhelming value,” said toy industry analyst Sean McGowan. “But at the end of the day, kids may decide it’s not cool and it’s either Apple or nothing.”
Some adults are questioning whether kids really need their own simplified — and child-proofed — gizmos.
News of the Toys R Us tablet, named tabeo, comes during a month that’s been filled with new gadget announcements. Amazon.com Inc. unveiled four new versions of its Kindle Fire tablet last week, and Apple Inc. is rumored to announce its own 7-inch mini iPad in the coming weeks. The tabeo tablet will come with nearly 20 pre-loaded game apps, almost 10 educational apps, about a dozen entertainment apps and a few book apps.
Parents can also prevent kids from accessing specific websites or spending 24 hours a day glued to the tablet. Parental controls allow people to set up boundaries for eight users, block 27 content categories and additional sites, and pre-set what days and times users can go on the Web. It runs on Google Inc.’s Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.
Tabeo is available for pre-order now and will be sold exclusively by Toys R Us beginning Oct. 21.
Would your kid use a kids-only tablet?
As the tech savvy matriarch of the family, I find it important to keep my nieces & nephews on top of the latest tech trends and new releases. However, I’m still deciding if I’m more of a fan of smartphone/tablet use as entertainment vs education for children – check out a few facts below…
Many parents seem to think gadgets don’t just keep kids occupied — they can also help them grow and learn. 77% of parents think tablets are beneficial to kids, and 77% think they help develop creativity, according to Schools.com’s findings. More than a quarter of parents have downloaded apps for their kids. The top genres? Fun, at 46%; education, at 42%; and creative, at 28%.
Are you a tech-heavy parent raising tech-heavy kids? Do you think smartphones and tablets do more to help or hurt the development of kids today? Sound off below.
Calling all spy kids…and spy parents alike. What if I told you that you could snag photos of Santa under the Christmas tree, eating his cookies and milk and more within your home?
Imagine the look of wonder and surprise when a child receives a photo of Santa caught in the act in his or her very own home. iCaughtSanta.com is a unique website that helps visitors create those memorable keepsake photos.
In three simple steps anyone can upload a holiday photo, add Santa Claus and print it as proof… or share it via Facebook and Twitter. Last-minute shoppers can purchase Gift Cards and eGift Certificates for loved ones with children, making iCaughtSanta.com a great gift idea even if you don’t have kids yourself. With 20 different poses, you’re sure to find the best Santa shot for your home!
Want to try it out at a reduced price? Use the code: SANTA50 and get your entire order for 1/2 price! Talk about Christmas coming early!!!
Yes- It is a shark that once filled with helium can navigate through the air with life-like swimming motions! All that’s required is four AAA batteries and the (indoor only) fun begins. This remote-controlled toy can be steered in any direction and really comes to life like no other! I found the cheapest ones available at Amazon.com for under $30!
Hot Wheels Video Racer Micro Camera Car