Setting Up Your Students for Success with the Right Back to School Tech Gear

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Just last week our son went off to school for his 6th grade year. 6th grade! Won’t be long before he’s in middle, high school and maybe even college.

As much as I’d like to say I remember what it was like to be a 6th grader, I really can’t. And honestly, my experience would matter much because the times have changed. What my son learns in school and the tools he uses are far different than they were in my day. I was growing up in the world of giant floppy disks, Macs that came in colors of the rainbow and were so big they took up an entire desk. It was a time we learned the art of cursive handwriting and knowing how to type just wasn’t an essential skill.

However, students in this time are constantly expanding their minds and using technology to put them on the path to success. There isn’t a week that goes by that my son doesn’t get an assignment that doesn’t require the use of the computer. He was actually required to have a USB drive for each of his classes to turn in homework assignments. Report cards are sent by email rather than an actual paper card and gone are the days of visiting the library. He has a world of information right at his fingertips.

To get our son off on the right foot this school year we first set him up with a compact computer desk in his room. It doesn’t have to be expensive or take up a lot of space but a desk is a must have for any student. This gives them a private area to do homework and research for class projects.

tween office and computer desk

If you’re not comfortable with giving your student access to a computer 24/7, consider letting them borrow your laptop. Rather than have my son in my office space using my desktop I allow him to use my MacBook as needed to complete assignments.

One absolutely essential piece of software you’ll need is Microsoft Office. There’s Office 2010 for PC and Office for Mac 2011 that will have you covered. Two of the programs we use most often throughout the year is Microsoft Word for writing reports and Microsoft PowerPoint for classroom presentations. You can forget buying poster board, markers and all those extra supplies that add up and present a project professionally with PowerPoint.

Back to School Shopping Deal! Buy Office Home and Student 2010, Office for Mac Home and Student 2011 (3 pack), Office University 2010 or Office for Mac University 2011 between August 8th and Sept 14th and get 15% off. 

office for mac

With all of those projects going on, it’s essential to have a way to save them and transfer them between home and school. That’s where SanDisk comes in. I honestly believe you can never have too many USB Flash Drives but quality over quantity is the key here. I want to know that my son’s assignment that takes him hours to complete is safe. That’s why we have several SanDisk USB drives for him.

You can go simple and snazzy with these colorful flash drives that are compact and sufficient for school projects.

sandisk for back to school

For parents and college students always in a hurry, the SanDisk Ultra and SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 Flash Drives are what you’ll need. The Ultra SDHC Card is ideal for high-resolution photographs and HD videos while the Extreme is all about protection with SecureAccess software allowing you to password protect and encrypt files.

sandisk professional usb

I’d love to hear from you, what kind of technology are you providing for your kids this school year?

*products featured were provided.

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  1. Well first you need to get that poor child out of the gross green and gold room. A kid simply won’t ever learn in those conditions ;)
    As for us, well my oldest is going into fourth and we are in a super low tech (ie poor) district so we haven’t really had much use for technology other than letting the kids do some activities on a website the school gives them a username for.

  2. My oldest is in 3rd grade – if he needs the computer, he borrows mine. And for now, we just use the kitchen table as his desk.

  3. My kiddos are still super young so they didn’t get anything techie related however I let them use my iPad & computer for school work and educational games. I do want to get them each their own flash drive to keep their work and projects on.

  4. I don’t have any kids myself but I like the low-space-using desk. That would be on my list :)

  5. My son is quite young yet so I have not got him much tech stuff yet I do plan on getting him a computer at some point but for use of homework only (The internet scares me too much to let him do that by himself in another room.)

  6. With our daughter going into grade 4 we are entering the stage where I’m seriously contemplating getting her a computer. We do have a desk area for homework now but have found the famil PC is ancient and unable to keep up with her needs….sigh they grow up so quickly.

  7. First of all, GO PACK GO! I love it!!

    Secondly, I can’t imagine what it will be like when my son is in 6th grade. He started kindergarten this year and all the things you’re describing – USB ports for homework, report cards by email – have my head spinning!! That’s wild.

  8. My son is in 6th grade this year and he to was required to have a USB flash Drive. We use the Scan Disk brand too. I think it’s great they are using computers at school. It’s amazing what my son can do on one already.

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