It's such an amazing world we live in, isn't it? In this age, our kids grow up doing their homework on iPads. We track their temperatures with a digital app. We even make lists of the back-to-school tech that they ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE for the next school year.
I went to New York for a conference last month and got to check out some of the most incredible things currently happening in technology. What blew me away most were the items that can solve everyday needs for students and families during the busy school year. Here are my favorite back-to-school tech picks for this season, along with the ways that they help you take care of your needs.
The 5 Most Helpful Back-to-School Tech Items
Take care of health with one of my favorite sponsors, the Kinsa Smart Thermometer. I've been following this brand since their launch and had the amazing opportunity to meet with them face-to-face over breakfast in NYC. Run by an adorable husband-and-wife team with a passion for health and tech, Kinsa solves several family problems with their app-connected thermometer. It plugs into your iPhone or Android either directly or with a small extension cord to give you the option of taking a step back from the phone. Taking a temperature requires just 10 seconds, during which time the app shows cute floating bubbles that kids can pop with their fingers (my boys keep begging me to “play the thermometer game”). On top of that, you can create individual family member profiles to log their temperatures and take photos or notes about symptoms. It doesn't even have to be charged, and no more tracking down those tiny batteries for the old digital thermometers!
What does this have to do with back-to-school tech (aside from saving mom and dad a ton of time)? There's an option in the app to join community groups – perfect for schools and workplaces – and check out your area's “Under-the-Weather” map. This is handy for knowing when to be extra-diligent about hand-washing and supplements, or for sleuthing out whether that runny nose is just allergies or is likely to be something contagious.
Take care of togetherness with the Logitech K400 Plus Keyboard. I hear a ton of parents complaining about the fact that their kids' homework is all on the computer nowadays and they have to huddle around a small screen to help out. Or worse, parents don't know if their kids are actually doing homework or goofing off on random websites. The solution? You can now hook your computer up to most televisions, and then control it with this clever device that acts as a remote keyboard! Research, email, and even YouTube videos are at your kids' fingertips – and the whole living room can keep an eye on their “progress.”
Increase focus with the UE Roll, a compact waterproof Bluetooth speaker. Hook it onto a backpack with the included bungee cord and play lectures or podcast lessons on-the-go. If your kids are like mine and need help blocking out the rest of the world to pay attention to their work, some classical music piped through this thing totally does the trick.
Amp up creativity with the Creative Stylus 2, a digital pen that turns an iPad into a bonafide sketch pad. You can scan paper assignments with the PDFpen app, complete them on-the-go and then print them out to hand back to the teacher!
Manage paperwork with the Hewlett-Packard HP Envy 5660. Speaking of printing, this thing lets you send papers to it from your computer or an app on your phone. They also have a convenient ink subscription system that detects when you're running low so you never have to make a late-night ink run ever again.
Want in on all this back-to-school tech action? You can get most of these items at your local tech retailer or on Amazon. The Kinsa thermometer can be bought at Amazon, CVS, the Apple Store or directly on their website.