Stock your backpack with back-to-school gadgets
When you think of using technology during the school year, you probably think of Facebook, Twitter, and video games. But there are lots of other kinds of technology that can help you stay productive and focused throughout high school! From valuable hardware to a few useful websites, we dive into the sea of gadgets and resources for back-to-school gear.
Got multiple electronic devices and tired of transferring files back and forth? SugarSync is an online tool that allows users to back up, access and sync files from different devices. With an initial 5 gigabytes of cloud storage, simply choose the files you want to share and then access those files from anywhere—both online and off. Voted best cloud service in 2011 by gadget/tech site Gizmodo, SugarSync has the most versatile file support and high level of encryption for strong security. Although most cloud drives require files to be synced to a default folder (which you can later sort or move files from as you’d like), SugarSync lets you sync any folder and file to any device with no restrictions. Share your files from computers or on the go with the mobile apps available for iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry and Symbian.
Study Blue provides a free and easy alternative to preparing for tests the old-fashioned way! It’s an online service that helps students create review materials such as flashcards, study guides, crosswords and more. Share your creations with classmates, or take advantage of more than two million public flashcards added every week. These study resources can be accessed with a mobile device so you can review for a test anytime, anywhere. Study Blue automatically tracks your progress so you’re even notified on how you can improve study habits.
Livescribe Echo Smartpen
Note taking is an essential part of school, and Livescribe’s Echo Smartpen makes it a cinch. This amazing pen has several features such as being able to record audio and sync those sounds with the notes that were taken at the time, a small display for quick calculations, speakers to play back audio, and up to 8 gigabytes of storage for handwritten notes, audio and drawings. The Echo is the best tool a student can have because it captures both the visual and audible aspects of learning and will surely help students remember exactly what happened in class. When written on specially marked dot paper—which can be printed or bought—the Echo is able to record every stroke and exactly what has been written to a computer or online for easy access; this means that the notes that have been written on the paper can be transformed into a digital copy to be viewed anywhere! This amazing smartpen even has applications such as a calculator and other utilities such as a translator, thesaurus and stopwatch.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire is a great tablet with several features and won’t break the bank. Portable and powerful, the Fire is a great tool for consuming media as well as for doing schoolwork. As the Kndle name comes with the brand, the Fire has e-reader capabilities that combat having to lug around a heavy backpack filled with books. This tablet has a direct connection to Amazon’s app store, which is much more efficient and less cluttered than the default Android market. With a battery life of up to eight hours of continuous reading and a price significantly below that of an iPad, plus an exclusive connection to multiple Amazon services, including cloud storage, the Kindle Fire is a great choice for back-to-school gadgets. It combines portability with a great app store, e-reader features and specialized Web services you won’t find on any other tablet.
High school is a time filled with friends, academics, extracurriculars and especially stress. However, Rage- Gage provides a quick and easy way to relieve all that tension! It’s the futuristic version of the infamous stress ball; it’s essentially a rubber hockey puck with a squishy center that anyone can smash into oblivion. A high-tech talking smash pad, RageGage is built to withstand any amount of physical abuse and will even hurl insults if the pounding is too light. With a USB connector, it also has many online features such as games and social media interaction built in. Just smash away at the RageGage to get rid of anger and immediately go back to what stressed you out in the first place!
>> What are your must-have back to school tech toys? Tweet them to us @mashchicago or tell us on Facebook!
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