Back to school time is here and today’s school kids, high school teens and college students are more tech-savvy that any previous generation. There’s a good chance that today’s young people are Facetiming on their iPhones, checking text messages on their smartwatches and gaming on systems that render better graphics than anyone could have ever dreamed. Today’s college dorm rooms are filled with more impressive technology than NASA had a couple of decades ago. This year, I look at the technology that helps students get around campus, keep their apartments more secure and help all students back up their data. This year’s roundup of the Best Back to School Tech Products is an impressive grouping of must-haves and gadgets that will keep your children and teens on the cutting edge in the Digital Age.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro – Today’s college students are living in apartments, small campus homes, fraternity houses and sorority houses. As parents, we want them to be as safe as possible. The Ring Video Doorbell has been doing a great job monitoring our houses, so why not use it for our kids on campus too? The new Pro version features 1080p HD video and your student will be able to keep track of package deliveries in addition to visitors at the door. The Ring will detect motion when people
come to the property, provide notifications, and allow you to hear and speak to visitors in real-time from anywhere. As a bonus, the pro version works with Alexa to illuminate and send announcements to Echo devices when the doorbell is pressed or motion is detected. https://shop.ring.com
Razor E Prime Air Scooter – Getting around campus can be tricky and today’s students are looking for alternatives to walking and biking. The new Razor E Prime Air Scooter is the sleekest electric scooter on the market. It pairs modern design and craftsmanship with the excitement and efficiency of the high-torque, electric hub motor. The scooter features an electronic throttle with thumb-activated, variable-speed, paddle control puts the power at your fingertips. The easily adjustable handlebars accommodate taller riders, while the extra-large, aluminum deck provides ample foot room for extended ride comfort. The scooter folds up easily for storage in a dorm room or apartment. The battery life will last for 40 minutes and it will reach speeds of up to 15 mph. https://www.razor.com/
EF EcoFlow Solar Panel – When the power goes out on campus, just think of all the problems today’s student faces. They are relying on electricity to charge their phones, use their computers, run their mini-fridge and more. EF EcoFlow’s solar panel is the ideal way to keep the power going for your student. The 85W Solar Panel is much more efficient thanks to the reduced cutting of the Solar Cells, resulting in improved cell utilization rates. Even without very sunny weather, the solar panel will still generate a lot of power to keep everything powered up. Note that the cables are sold separately. The company broke $1M in sales within 48 hours of launching the pre-orders on Kickstarter. https://www.kickstarter.com/
SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder – More of today’s students have dogs and cats at home than previous generations. They are also a busier group than past students. That’s why there is a need for the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder Connect. This product monitors the eating behavior of pets. The smart feeder monitors how much and when a pet eats, sending real-time updates directly to the pet owner’s phone. The new product also features integrated scales, which enable owners to provide accurate food portions to their pet at every meal. https://www.surepetcare.com/
Brydge Pro Wireless Keyboard & Magnetic Cover – If it seems like every student has an iPad today that’s because most actually do. If they don’t have their own iPad, many schools have been providing them for students for several years. The most important accessory for an iPad is the protective cover and Brydge has made a name for itself by producing classy, sturdy covers and keyboards for iPads. Brydge’s wireless keyboard and magnetic cover fits the 2019 iPad Air perfectly. It boasts a lightweight aluminum body with a 0-180° viewing angle and backlit keys. The battery seems to last forever on a full charge and the keyboard doesn’t add too much weight to the iPad. https://www.brydge.com/
Inside Coach Smart Soccer Ball – Are you a practicing soccer athlete? Do you want to improve your game, or take record of stats? Well, there’s a special ball that can coach you while you practice! Yes, the ball is the coach! The Inside Coach Smart Soccer Ball will provide you with real time feedback for your performance. The ball feels and weighs the same as a premium soccer ball you might have considered instead. This is the better option, as the Inside Coach Smart Soccer Ball will definitely help you learn the game faster than a coach can blow a whistle. Well, that might be a small exaggeration, but the Inside Coach Smart Soccer Ball will definitely help you out. https://www.insidecoach.com/
Relay – Do you want a great way to stay in contact with your kids while maintaining their safety? The Relay Smarter Phone for Kids will do precisely that. You’ll be able to give your kids a one-tap way to send you messages and an easy way to talk with friends. Using GPS-enabled features, you’ll be able to track your children’s whereabouts. Relay is the first of its kind. It is a screen-free smartphone alternative that is as easy to use as a walkie-talkie but with nationwide coverage. It is designed to keep families connected and give kids independence without the unwanted side effects of a smartphone. Only $49, Relay works over 4G LTE and Wi-Fi. It has unlimited range and works everywhere a phone does. It’s very simple to use – just press the button, talk and release. Relay is super durable and water-resistant. Check it out at https://relaygo.com/
Audio Technica Wireless Gaming Headset ATH-G1WL – Kids today love gaming and a nice back to school gift will be a very high quality gaming headset. Audio-Technica’s new ATH-G1WL wireless gaming headset delivers powerful, spacious audio quality and crystal-clear in-game voice communication. The lightweight design allows gamers to enjoy even long playing sessions in total comfort. The wireless ATH-G1WL (SRP: $249.00) adds stable, lag-free wireless connectivity, a long 15 hours of battery life and a virtual surround sound function for an even more immersive 3D audio gaming experience. Its wireless USB transceiver ensures compatibility with computers. You will not find a more powerful pair of gaming headsets and the fact that these are wireless makes them even more desirable. https://www.audio-technica.com/
Circle Home Plus – This school year, parents are going to be seeking solutions to help their kids find a balance between their studies and recreational time on their personal devices is the easiest, most comprehensive parental control solution to manage online use and content. Designed to bring balance to the modern-day connected family, Circle Home Plus, which is managed all through the easy-to-use Circle App, allows families to manage all internet-connected devices at-home while also managing iOS and Android devices outside the home. From laptops, tablets, smart TVs and video game consoles, parents can now set limits, find balance, and keep track across all devices, everywhere. https://meetcircle.com/
Sling TV – Today’s students don’t buy into the notion that watching TV should cost over $100 per month. While older generations have taken this as a given, young people are more savvy about how they watch TV. That’s why Sling TV is the ideal Back to School must-have this year. With a Sling TV account, your student can enjoy all the best aspects of television viewing without contributing to the cable company’s billion-dollar revenue stream. https://sling.com/
3Doodler Robo Sumo Pen Set – Help your kids better understand motion, engineering and physics. With the 3Doodler Robo Sumo Pen Set your kids can draw their own mini-sumo battle-bots and compete in the ring. This set comes with a 3Doodler start pen, an activity guide, two motors, one pack of plastic and two battle-bot themed doodlemolds, not to mention a battle ring where their finished creations can square off! The pen is designed for smaller fingers, and uses lower-temperature plastic, so no chance of burns. Expand your kids’ minds today! https://the3doodler.
OWC’s Envoy Pro Mini SSD – Are you always on the go, but you have a lot of data to bring with you? Steer free from progress bars and data bottlenecks! Use OWC’s desktop-class Envoy Pro Mini SSD. Coming in sizes up to 1.0 TB, and transferring data at up to 450 MB/s, the Envoy Pro Mini is great for storing music, video, and any other media you might need at any time. Built to the highest standards of reliability and performance, what’s holding you back? OWC’s Envoy Pro Mini is a whole lot of power in a small portable memory stick. https://www.owcdigital.
TENS 7000 – Let’s face it, you don’t have to be middle-aged to have aches and pains. Today’s high school teens carry around heavy backpacks and college students are hauling laptops around campus. That leads to back and neck pain. The Premium TENS 7000 Unit is the best machine for fast, effective and safe pain relief. It provides more precise pain-relieving therapy sessions for young and old. The adjustable TENS 7000 Unit can help with multiple types of pain and the unit is FDA approved. It has features such as adjustable pulse width and pulse rate for more effective treatments. With a user-friendly large digital display, a wearable unit with belt clip, portable carrying case, and all accessories, trust the TENS 7000 Unit. https://www.tens7000.com
EarFun Portable Bluetooth Speaker – The most popular tech product for teens and college students right now is the Bluetooth speaker. As much as young people enjoy listening to their music with their ear buds, they enjoy listening together with their friends even more. This portable and convenient speaker lets you carry your soundtrack with you. With an EarFun Portable Bluetooth Speaker, you can enjoy your music with intensified bass and superior quality. Plus, you can pair a pear of EarFun UBOOM Speakers for the ultimate surround sound experience, or you could have a wireless waterproof BlueTooth EarFun Go to even bring your music to the pool. https://www.myearfun.com/
Western Digital My Passport Ultra – What a nightmare it will be if your high school or college student loses her research paper that she worked on for weeks. My Passport from WD allows students to carry terabytes of data around with them, from computer to computer. That means she can write the paper on her friend’s MacBook Pro and have it appear on her computer using the My Passport. When their laptop’s full, or simply just not around, this trustworthy portable device can carry the data for them. It’s compatible with USB-3 and USB-C. This portable drive can automatically backup your files for you, password protect your files, and sync across social media thanks to the included software. My Passport Ultra can also be configured to work for Mac OS devices. https://shop.westerndigital.
MOFT’s Invisible Laptop Stand – Many students complain of pain in their hands or wrists when they use their laptop. Plus, laptop screens can be difficult for viewing because of their angle. MOFT’s new Invisible Laptop Stand is a seamless way to elevate the laptop’s screen while offering a stable way to type on a more comfortable angle. Simply put, Moft’s Invisible Laptop Stand will make life easier. As an added bonus, Moft has invisible stands not only for Laptops, but also for phones, tablets, and other similar devices. This really makes a great gift for under $20. https://www.moft.us/
SanDisk Cruzer Spark – It’s all about data in the Digital Age. Kids are beginning to store their own data (from photos and music to math assignments and research papers) as young as elementary school. With the Cruzer Spark, they will be able to keep their important data with them. This little device holds anywhere from 16 GB to 128 GB of data. It’s compatible with both Mac and PC. It will even fit it on a keychain so you always have it with you. For about $10, you can’t go wrong with this data storage solution. https://www.sandisk.in/home/