Back-to-school technology for all ages

Different tech options for different age groups of kids, that they will need or use when returning to school.

As your kids head back to school in 2017, you want to make sure that they are equipped with the right technology to encourage learning, development and play. There are so many products available it’s hard to know which ones to pick. We’ve rounded up some of the best apps, software and tech accessories for your child based on their age and school level to help you make an informed choice.

Prep – Year 2 (ages 4-8)
One minute you have a baby, the next minute they’re off to school. The huge variety of quality educational apps for kids can be quite overwhelming so start with apps that focus on the ABCs and 123s. The Squeebles Times Table 2 app will help your child learn their times tables in a fun and interactive way while the Operation Math app will give them access to 105 exciting maths missions helping them to add, subtract, multiply and divide.

When it comes to reading, and writing the Endless Alphabet and Starfall Learn to Read apps are great in developing your child’s literacy skills. If you’re keen for your child to learn a new language while they’re most receptive to it, the Duolingo app is a fun (and free) way for them to learn to read, write and speak in a variety of languages.

Young kids can be notoriously rough with their things so it’s a good idea to purchase a hard case for your child’s tablet or laptop that can withstand regular contact with the bitumen like the Urban Armor Gear range of “drop-tested” cases for phones, tablets and laptops. 

Year 3 – 6 (aged 7-12)
At this age, you might want to invest in some Bluetooth* speakers and an ergonomic Bluetooth* mouse. Logitech* has some great cost effective options like the X50 Mobile Wireless Speaker that comes in bright colours your kid will love and the Marathon Mouse M705 with three-year battery life.

Remember when encyclopedias were sold by door-to-door salesmen and lived on the bookshelf? The modern-day version of the trusty encyclopedia comes in the form of an app like the popular Britannica Kids series. These apps cover some of the most popular topics covered at school including the solar system, rainforests, dinosaurs, Egypt and Ancient Rome so they’re great for helping your kids complete their homework and assignments. An atlas also no longer needs to weigh 5kgs and take up their entire desk place, the World Atlas app by Keymetric contains information on all the countries of the world, their flags, maps and much more.

Year 7 – 10 (ages 11-16)
As your child’s skills and interests expand, so too should their apps, software and tech accessories. If your child is a bit of a science buff, they will love the AM2111 Dino-Lite Basic Microscope. It plugs into their computer, laptop, tablet or phone and has four LEDs to light up whatever object your child chooses to magnify. It can also be used to capture photographs and video which is great for interactive assignments and presentations for class.

In terms of apps, Evernote is great for kids in secondary school as it allows them to capture information and have it instantly available on all of their devices. Whether it’s a project to-do-list, a news article or an image, Evernote will make it easy to find and share.

It’s important that your child is able to back up all of the work they are doing on their tablet or computer, so it’s worthwhile investing in an external hard drive. Western Digital’s My Passport range includes small, portable drives with capacities ranging from 500GB to 2TB. If you don’t need something that large go for the SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 flash drive.

Year 11 & 12 (ages 15-18)
As your child tackles their final years of school, they will be spending more time studying. The last thing they want is to find themselves at the library or the park with low battery life and no way to charge their tablet or laptop. The Jackery Giant+ 120mAh Powerbank is a great power pack option and has dual output ports meaning two devices can be charged at the same time.

Noise cancelling earphones can help your child block out distractions when they are studying or help them relax to music when they need some time out. The Bose* Quiet Comfort Noise Cancelling headphones are brilliant quality but if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, the Plantronics* BackBeat PRO wireless headphones are a great alternative.

edX is a fantastic app for kids in their final years of school. It provides free online courses from the world’s best universities and institutions including Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, Microsoft*, Linux* and more. If your child needs some added inspiration to get through Year 12, make sure they have the TED app that will give them access to 2,000 TED Talks from remarkable people.

Hopefully this list of age and stage appropriate apps and gadgets has helped you decide which ones to purchase for your child’s 2017 school year. 

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