It’s back to school season, and according to a recent survey, most parents feel pretty overwhelmed and unprepared right about now. Families everywhere are still wondering where their summer went while juggling schedules, trying to cross everything off the school supply list, and upgrading gadgets to set kids up for success.
Some tech buys are no-brainers. Most kids will need a laptop or Chromebook at some point. And most kids will *want* a smartphone too, which is an issue that deserves its own article at the start of each year too. Don’t forget the smart accessories and fun finds that totally save busy families time, money, and sanity throughout the school year and beyond!
Here are a handful of gadgets we’ve reviewed that totally make the grade, from pre-school to college, in every price range:
Samsung’s Flagship Smartphone with a style upgrade
Let’s start with a do-everything device like Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S23 Ultra smartphone. It’s chock-full of premium tech to enhance productivity, collaboration, and creativity. It’s a high-end smartphone, so it’s perfect not only for college-age students, but for professors, teachers, administrators, and parents too. It comes with the S Pen, which is perfect for taking notes or drawing right on the screen. It has a longer battery life, powerful processor, and enhanced camera capabilities too. It comes in eight colors, including Sky Blue, Lime, and Red.
Price: 256 GB starting at $1,199.99; 512 GB starting at $1379.99; 1TB starting at $1619.99
Storypod, audio learning for tiny tots and kiddos up to 10-years-old
I LOVE Storypod for younger kids. It’s a screen-free, interactive, educational audio player. It comes with at least one “Craftie,” which are cute little knitted characters that play a set of songs or stories around a theme. Kids set one on top of the player to launch stories, games, music, and more. The books also offer magical, guided read-along features, and the tokens and trivia cards are totally interactive too. What’s really unique, though, is that it works with an app on your smartphone to let anyone, anywhere in the world, record a message that you can put on a Storypod sticker or pair with a Craftie. That means grandparents can read a special bedtime story, and kids will hear that in their voices. Or you can send specific “happy start to the new day” messages. I’m obsessed with this one right now, and it’s all great for helping families get back into routines for the school year.
A Skylight Calendar to keep your kids organized
This Skylight Calendar solves one of the biggest problems I have in my own household around back-to-school time — juggling everyone’s schedules! It’s a smart, all-in-one family calendar that lets each person synchronize their lives in one place on one main screen at home. THIS IS A REAL TIME-SAVER! Plus, it tracks everyone’s chores, so you don’t have to ask your kids a million times if they’ve done the dishes. It comes in two sizes, and they’re really easy to use with touchscreen displays. It even color-codes events for each family member and shows to-do’s and grocery lists, and helps with meal planning. It’s really a great gadget to set your kids up for success this school year.
And they’re having a special! 10% off with the promo code: SCHOOL10.
Price: $299.99 (15” Diagonal), $159.99 (10” Diagonal)
Up your online safety game with McAfee+
Nothing is more important than keeping our kids safe. McAfee has some really interesting insight here. Less than a quarter of parents nationwide have talked about AI with their kids — even though there are huge concerns around the rise of artificial intelligence and its potential for kicking off a whole new wave of cyberbullying and, of course…cheating. Also an issue this time of year? All those first-day-of-school boards that give bad guys just enough info to steal kids’ identities. McAfee has a resource guide to help you through it all. They also have the McAfee+ Family plan , which covers up to six people with a suite of privacy, identity, and security features specific to each person based on their online risks and activities. It works for laptops, tablets, and smartphones!
Price: Family plans start at $69.99/year (or $5.83/month)
Shopping for back-to-school supplies can get really pricey, really fast. Especially if your kids need a new laptop or tablet. I’ve told you about this one before, but it’s also worth the reminder: always start at Slickdeals. This is an online community of millions of real people working together to save money. And there are some amazing discounts right now, like half-off some great laptops, standing desks, and more. And you know these deals are real because 12 million shoppers vet and vote up the very best bargains 24/7. These deals come from all your favorite retailers like Target and Amazon. You can find deals on everything from crayons and markers to laptops and headphones and know that you’re actually getting the best product at the very lowest price. One insider tip: it works best if you check back several times a day because deals get posted all the time, and the algorithm learns how to help you the most.
We have a whole more to tell you about, so keep coming back to Techish.com for the very latest. You can also roll on over to our social media, ask us anything, and tell us what back-to-school tools are on your must-have list this year!