With the advent of such versatile tech products as smartphones and tablets, educational institutions have also changed, leaving your kid exposed and probably longing to have one for himself. However, in this article we won’t talk about the best student gadgets there are, and you shouldn’t treat this story as back-to-school guide, neither. We will feature more than ten gadgets that can come in handy for your kid while he’s at school or home, doing his homework.
Maybe your kid already has a tablet and a smartphone, as in our list you will find some nice accessories to help him while studying or in other various school activities. We also have some basic tools, like a protractor or a pencil cup, but, of course, they do come with a little bit of gadgetry in them. If you know of any other cool gadget that your kid uses to help him study, let us know in the comments box at the end of the article.
Gadgets and tools to help kids at school
If you’re looking for gadgets that could be really useful to your kid, then you probably have heard about BoogieBoard. But what you didn’t know is that they actually have three products, the original Boogie Board Original LCD eWriter, the Boogie Board Jot LCD eWriter and the latest Boogie Board Sync version. The Boogie Board is basically a paperless memo pad that you can place anywhere: on your desk or even on your refrigerator. But the Boogie Board Sync 9.7 is the best so far, letting you digitally create notes and drawings saves them to your phone, tablet or computer via Bluetooth. You can gift this gadget for your kid to take notes at school if you invest $100 for its purchase.
Your smartphone or your tablet might do great as portable scanners and we’ve featured some of the best OCR apps, as well as specific Android and iOS scanning apps that can help you with that. But if you’re looking to get a standalone portable scanner that comes with its own advantages, then it’s perfectly understandable. Doxie is a company that still think there is a market for that and has five different portable scanners for you to choose – Doxie One, Doxie Go, Doxie Go + Wi-Fi, the original Doxie and Doxie Flip. My favorite is the Doxie Flip, which is also the latest device from the company. For $149, you get a cordless flatbed, ultraportable scanner which comes with an intelligent design that flips. It comes with an SD flash memory where you can store all the pictures and sketches that you have scanned.
If you want to grow a tech savvy kid that doesn’t make an obsession with gadgets, you need to find products that combine the old and the new without making any compromises. Meet the LiveScribe Smartpen, a school gadget that “bring your words and ideas into your digital world“. It comes with the Livescribe Dot Paper and the Livescribe+ Mobile App that it needs to pair to your smartphone or tablet (currently limited to Apple devices). So, it works like this – you grab your Smartpen and start taking notes on the Dot Paper while you’re in class. You can then choose to convert them into digital files or even see them appear in real-time on your tablet or smartphone – magic! Even more, as you write, you can record audio, so later on, you will be able to hear what the teacher was saying or what were the side-notes that you made. It doesn’t come in cheap, though, as you’ll have to invest $150 to get it. If this seems like too much, you can get an older generation for $120.
E-readers are not dead yet, even if those who own a tablet don’t see the need to buy one anymore. As if it needed confirmation, early reviewers have found Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite e-reader to be the best one in its league. And if you want your kid to read as much book as possible, in school and at home, then you need to gift this to him. For a price of $119, you will get a thin and light e-reader that comes with a glare-free screen, being perfectly suitable under powerful sunlight. The battery is great as it will last for up to 8 weeks on a single charge (Wi-Fi off). Even more, reading on it doesn’t cause any eyestrain at all, thanks to the patented front-lit design that guides the light towards the display instead of projecting it out at your eyes. Now I wish I was a kid and my folks would’ve bought something like this for me.
If you’re planning on transforming your home into a movie house, then you need to choose only the best projectors there are. For a true home theater, you might want to have a look at some 3D projectors. We have also written about pico projectors, which are some cool devices to carry with you at school. To get back to our school gadget here, the HDMI Pocket Projector by Brookstone is one of the best in its league, with a plethora of positive reviews and rating. Available for $300, it projects up to 1080p HD images on up to a 60 inch diagonal. It connects via HDMI to most smartphones, tablets, computers, video players and cameras, being very portable and easy to carry around. HDMI Pocket Projector’s mega-bright lamp projects up to 85 lumens for up to two hours on a single charge and also comes with dual speakers that lets you add sound to your video.
LeapFrog is a company that makes a lot of awesome gadgets for the little ones. The LeapPad 2 is the next-generation LeapPad tablet for kids, currently selling for $140. For that money, you will get the LeapPad2 green power learning tablet and the green LeapReader reading and writing system. Designed to be used by kids who aren’t older than 9 years, it comes only with nine educational apps and 4GB memory. You can get more than 800+ educator-approved apps, games, eBooks, videos, music from the LeapFrog library. The tablet has a 5-inch touch screen and also comes with a stylus.
There are many styluses out there that you could use for a tablet, but when it comes to a smartphone, unless it’s a gigantic one like the Galaxy Note 3 or the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, most of us think it’s uncomfortable to use one and keep relying on the finger. But Wacom has found a simple solution for that, just make the stylus smaller. The Wacom Bamboo Stylus Mini is “tiny enough to take anywhere yet big enough to use comfortably“. It connects to your smartphone’s microphone jack so you never lose it and weighs only 8 grams. It also comes with an exchangeable, slim rubber nib. And the best part is that it only costs $10.
Any Doctor Who fans out here? I know I am one and would have loved to have a book light like this one. The Doctor Who TARDIS Book Light is a clip-on book light that lets you read in the dark your favorite books. It sells for $16 and comes with an adjustable neck and blue LCD light. But the coolest feature about this is that it has an ultraviolet pen that you can use to write secret notes on your book or diary and then reveal them under its light.
With the digital protractor you will never have to guess an angle again as it measures them with more accuracy than the half circle most of kids use these days. The rulers are made of stainless steel, which makes your protractor very durable. Thanks to the little circuitry built inside it, you can measures angles to one decimal place, with a digital accuracy of ±0.3 degrees. The locking knob locks the Digital Protractor at the angle of your choice so you can have a look at the small display to see the correct angle. It also comes with a small battery that ensures more than 3,000 hours of continuous use. You can get it for $20.
Once your kid sees the Star Wars movies, it never forgets the story, the character and everything surrounding this cult movie. A good way to keep mix his Stars Passion with his launch is by gifting him them Star Wars R2D2 Lunch Bag with Sound that will cost you $20. The R2-D2 lunchbag is almost a foot tall and is made of food-safe, BPA-free materials. It comes with bleeping red lights and bleep-boop sound effects. Besides this, it is made of superior quality closed cell polyethylene foam insulation that keeps the food fresh, so your kid will thoroughly enjoy the sandwiches that you prepared.
Without a doubt, the most mundane tool to help your kid with your homework is the PH600 Victor Smart Charge Pencil Cup. As you can see for yourself, it’s a “smart pencil cup”, if we can say say, that charges your smartphone and also provides four USB 2.0 hub ports. For $40, you get to charge or just keep nearby your desk any smartphone, e-reader or tablet. Put them in the same place where you keep your pens, pencils and other utensils. The cup is made out of wood construction and has a black matte finish.