Back to school gadgets

Posted at: 08/15/2013 8:43 PM
Updated at: 08/15/2013 11:26 PM

Did you receive your child's school supply list yet?  Whenever you do, you'll probably find familiar items like pencils, folders and notebooks. But you may also find a tablet on there.

The National Retail Federation says more than half of American families have a tech item on their back to school list this year. So how much will you spend?

Experts say a smart phone can run you $50 to $250 depending on promotions. Laptops will probably cost you upwards of $600. Tablets will cost $150 to $500, depending on what kind you want.
Experts say whether you like it or not the technology is a critical part of your children's education. But with all the choices out there, like smartphones, tablets and laptops, which do you get?

Experts say one size does not fit all. As parents, before you go shopping, you should consider what your child will be using the device for. Battery life may be a major consideration, but also keep in mind when it comes to laptops, experts say the longer the battery life, the higher the price tag usually. Experts say doing your research before buying in all areas is important.  

David Ghidiu, MCC Instruction Technology Instructor, said, “The first a parent should do is talk to their school because every school has a different policy on what students can bring, what students can use. So it is really up to the teacher, classroom, and school and administration. I will say that the best thing a student can do, assuming they can bring any type of technology in, is not go out and buy something new and something great. Use what they know. The device doesn't make you productive. It is what you can do with the device. So whether it is a smart phone, tablet or laptop, what you are most comfortable with is really what you should be using then there are no distractions and you have a more seamless work flow.”

Experts say what you get for your kids also depends on how old they are. If your child is going off to college, you should get them a smartphone cause they will need the instant access, but also a laptop cause when it comes time for them to write papers and do research, they will need that. For seventh grade and up, experts say you can stick with just an advanced tablet. For kindergarten, basic tablet will be all they need.