The best back-to-school gadgets

What gadgets should your child have in their backpack for the new school term?

Gone are the days when a new pencil case, coloured pens and freshly covered exercise books were the must haves for the start of a new term.

With a number of back-to-school gadgets hitting the shelves every day, there is a piece of tech for every school activity imaginable.

An easy way to take notes

The first and probably most adaptable devices for your child’s digital pencil case are mobile devices.

While these may be thought of as the go-to devices in the home for surfing the net, streaming video or playing games, they can also be handy devices for education purposes.

Smart tablets and mobiles already come complete with calculators, calendars and email programs.

More importantly, these smart devices can also access the internet, giving students access to a level of information not imagined even a generation ago.

An app for every task

There are any number of apps available to help turn these devices into productivity machines. There are apps to help kids take notes or write lists and others that allow them to easily collect online articles.

There are also apps available for additional lessons on difficult subjects. A smart device can be a great option for students looking to make the transition to a digital form of education.

Top apps to try:

  • Study and homework planners – apps such as MyHomework (which is also available for desktop), are great tools for helping kids keep up with their homework and study timetables.

  • Processing Apps like Squid Notes or Notability – these allow a student to draw on their screens, take handwritten notes or type out their thoughts in preparation for an assignment.

  • e-reader apps like eBook Reader – these apps often contain a large number of titles that are out of copyright, and are therefore often free, and also cut down on the number of textbooks in the backpack, which helps make the commute a little easier.

  • Mathletics - The website which has been a resource for young kids around the world who want to learn maths, is now available as an app. This app is filled with videos, games and exercises that are designed to help kids learn mathematics.

  • School Writing app - This app is designed to help your little student learn how to write, using all education-approved handwriting fonts for each Australian State. It also offers the ability switch from writing shapes, numbers, letters and words.

Tools such as My Homework and Notability are available for students to get organised.

Other devices making the new term easier

  • Battery packs: The other problem with portable devices is access to power to charge them. It might be a great idea to purchase back-up battery packs. These portable backup options can ensure your child isn’t left without power at a vital moment.

  • A Bluetooth keyboard: While tablets can be handy, virtual keyboard can sometimes be challenging to handle. A Bluetooth keyboard connects to your tablet virtually, making it easier to work on longer form assignments.

  • Flash drives: Flash drives these days can store in excess of 128GB, giving students access to all of their work in a handy device.

  • Wireless display adapter: These devices allow you to share what’s on your tablet, laptop or smartphone on an HDTV or monitor. This can be handy for displaying a presentation on a big screen at school or for connecting to a monitor at home when it's time to do homework.

Developments like these are great to help kids at home and school and let parents get involved with their children’s education.

The rollout of the nbn™ network will be an added boost to students looking to study, write their assignments or conference-in with other students, tutors or teachers from home.

By combining access to a fast internet connection with some of these devices, the future looks bright for the future of studying.

Your experience including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control like your equipment quality, software, broadband plans and how your service provider designs its network.