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08. 23. 2007

Back-to-School Gadgets

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When I was a child -- admittedly that was a long time ago -- back to school supplies meant new pencils and maybe a new binder. Now, there are so many useful and cool gadgets that it almost makes me wish I were in college again.

No longer a luxury, most gadgets make school easier and help your student make the grade(s).
In fact, according to a January 2002 survey conducted by Ipsos-NPD Canada, 9 out of 10 parents believe that having a computer with Internet access had a positive impact on their child's learning ability. Moreover, 78 per cent believed this technology improved the quality of their child's homework.

In a study by Best Buy of the items incoming college freshmen considered essential, students ranked cell phones (83 percent) and laptop computers (66 percent) as nearly as crucial as traditional school supplies like notepads, calculators and pencils (88 percent).

From iPod-wired Jansport backpacks, to the FLY Fusion pentop computer, which digitizes your homework, to compact translators for Spanish class, not to mention all the new smart phones, PDAs, laptops, software, and MP3 players, it's a surprise that as parents we're not broke and children aren't emailing their assignments and attending classes via webcams.

Check out the must-haves for this fall season:

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The first thing you're going to need is a good carrying case for your laptop. The Belkin Sling Bag offers a lightweight, compact backpack with plush inner lining and multiple compartments for everything from power adaptors to cell phones. Check out their Laptop-case line for other options, such as theMessenger Bag and sleeve in modern designs and colors.

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As any middle schooler will tell you, roller bags are so out they're prehistoric, never mind that they used them just last year, in grade 6. Realizing this, Jansport makes a full line of campus backpacks, from designs ranging from skulls to pretty pink. The best line is the Superbreak Live which not only has the standard features -- fully padded back panel for cushioning comfort, AirCore shoulder straps, front utility pocket -- but also includes LiveWire technology which offers headphone port and full remote control of your iPod. What kid isn't going to love that? You're not supposed to bring your iPod to class in most schools, so this way it's out of sight but you can enjoy it whenever you've got your backpack on.

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The first FLY Pentop came out in 2005, but the new FLY Fusion is vastly improved, offering better hardware capabilities, including PC connectivity, four times the memory, on-the-go calculating functionality, enhanced learning applications (such as a Spanish translator), and a new MP3 (not amazing sound but darned good for a pen).

With all the bells and whistles, the main function of the FLY Pen is still to digitize hand
written notes and upload it to the PC. (It doesn't work yet with Macs.) Everything you write on FLY™ Paper is automatically scanned and digitized, and the price of the paper has dropped dramatically (the cost was a real problem with the first generation system). It's $78.99 at Amazon.

Posted by Evan    Category: accessories | devices
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