5 Modern School Supplies for Tech-Savvy High Schoolers
The life of an average high schooler these days is immersed in technology. Gone are the days of having to go to a separate classroom for “computer lab.” Now, laptops, smartphones, and tablets are seen in most classrooms, and even the chalkboard has gotten an upgrade: Smart Boards have introduced an endless number of functions that have blown old-fashioned projectors out of the water.
If your newly-minted teenager is about to enter high school, these modern necessities might be part of his or her supply list.
Tablets Do It All
Just five years ago, a typical high school student’s backpack could easily weigh over 20 pounds thanks to numerous textbooks, notebooks and binders.
Thanks to the booming popularity of tablets and their numerous uses in the classroom, this sleek tool has become the be-all-and-end-all in many high school classrooms.
Many textbooks are now available as digital e-books, and students can take endless notes on the tablet screen as well.
Some schools only have tablets available for in-school use, and others allow students to take them home. Students can also typically borrow or rent a tablet for the school year if they don’t have one of their own.
Even More Sophisticated Calculators
Texas Instruments is the leading developer of graphing calculators, must-haves in college prep high school classes like statistics or calculus. But these ubiquitous tools have gotten an upgrade: an even sleeker design, touch-screen capabilities and the option to save your work.
The newest models have price tags that reflect the upgrades, costing anywhere between $120-$150 at retailers like Target. Some schools require students to purchase their calculators, whereas others provide them for free.
But with tablets being so popular in the classroom, Texas Instruments also offers its cutting-edge graphing calculator as an iPad app for a mere $30.
Subscriptions to Online Learning Sites
Gone are the days of speaking into a cassette recorder during “language lab.” Online language sites make it possible for students to practice dozens of languages, and as far as online offerings, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
There are YouTube Channels galore to help students with any subject, from science to history. If a student is struggling to make the grade, qualified online tutors are just a Skype call away. The Internet has undoubtedly changed the way students study – just consider how easy it is to look something up using Google or Wikipedia, for example.
Best of all, many of these resources are free.
Flash Drives or a Cloud Account?
Thumb drives, flash drives or external hard drives replaced the age-old floppy disk years ago, but these nifty storage devices are facing their potential extinction thanks to the popularity and convenience of cloud storage options like Google Drive or Dropbox.
The only downside to cloud storage is that it requires Internet access. Working on the latest draft of a paper saved to a flash drive is possible even without so much as a WiFi signal. However, using cloud storage means there’s one less thing for a high schooler to potentially lose or damage.
Rounding out our list of modern school supplies are digital flashcards. The pure repetition offered by flashcards makes them a useful tool for learning any subject and studying for an exam. Students can practice learning new words for their foreign language class, memorize mathematical formulas or commit to memory important dates in history thanks to flashcards.
But we live in a world of technology, so why use paper? Apps and sites like Anki or Memrise make it possible to create custom flash card decks or to use pre-made collections.
In a way, modern students have it a little rough. Now there are simply no excuses to not learn the material – there’s an app or game or tutorial video that will make all the difference!