Here we go with the second part of parents’ guide to school tech. The last one covered 5-9 year olds, and you can read that here.
When your child gets to 10 and begins heading towards 14, they are more socially savvy, yet more likely to be influenced by peer pressure.
Tablets, notebooks and Chromebooks are all good buys for young students, and we covered these in the first instalment. However, as your child gets a little older and has more confidence using school laptops and desktop computers, it’s more likely that will prefer to use something similar. Therefore let’s look at the benefits of laptops and what sort of things you need to consider.
Firstly, as with all the tech for school and uni, it will need to be portable, so go for a lightweight model – and there are lots to choose from. If you’re getting a laptop for your child, then go for one with a minimum of 16GB, which will enable schoolwork to be tackled effectively and can also be used for gaming, surfing and all the other stuff that young people do! If the laptop is intended to be taken into school, it’s also worth checking out the length of battery life.
When buying a laptop for a youngster or a teenager, you’ll need to consider security. Parental controls are a necessity, but you’ll also need to have good anti-virus software to stop those nasties causing trouble. Take a look at some of the best anti-virus software here.
Security with Windows 10
Windows 10 has become more useful as an operating system for child-oriented laptops thanks to the Windows 10 S Mode, which is aimed at the education market and, among other security enhancements, prevents apps from being installed unless they’re available on the Microsoft Store.
This means you’ve got the ability to block games and apps based on their content ratings (something you can also do with Google Play apps). When your son or daughter gets older and more responsible, you can easily upgrade to the full version of Windows 10 to remove these limitations.
Also, a special laptop backpack will help protect the device from the rigours of educational life! Designed to provide protection for tech, there are lots of additional pockets for keyboards, mice, power cables and other accessories. Take a look at these! A sturdy laptop case will also help protect the device if it drops a few feet to the floor. It’s also relatively easy to find reinforced lids or cases made of rubber to help absorb drops from a few feet.
Headphones and headsets
Every youngster has the amazing ability to be distracted by the slightest thing, so a set of good headphones will help keep their minds focused on the task at hand. Headphones are great for listening to classes online, or listening to music while studying, or hearing friends, parents, or teachers in video calls without disrupting other people. The good news is that headphones can be really inexpensive, so it’s a win-win!
Sound is as important to learning as vision is, and your student needs a good way to get that sound from their laptop, tablet, or other connected device.
Bluetooth headphones are the easiest choice for schoolwork. Any phone or tablet, and virtually all PCs can connect wirelessly to Bluetooth headphones. In fact, Bluetooth compatibility has become more common for phones and tablets than wired headphones; most flagship phones, including all iPhones of the last few years, lack any headphone jack, and the iPad Pro and some other tablets also lack that wired connectivity.
Yeah, we know that almost everyone on the world has a mobile phone now, but there are some tips when buying one for a young student which may help.
Key Tips: Buying a Smartphone for a Student
Older phones and used phones are great choices for students. Look at the Samsung Galaxy 8 or later series, or the iPhone 7 or later series, to keep compatibility with the latest apps.
Turn on the Find My Phone option immediately. It will definitely pay off.
Look into parental controls on both your smartphone plan and your home Wi-Fi router. For instance, you can turn off your teen’s connectivity at a certain time at night so they can get some sleep!
A printer is a vital tool for any student, as many school projects ultimately need printing out. Printers are cheap to buy, and in the past, it’s the inks which have been the most expensive aspect – but things are changing! Have you heard of HP instant ink? It’s a cheaper way to ensure your printer never runs out of ink at an inconvenient time…
How does HP Instant Ink work?
When you enrol in an HP Instant Ink plan, you pay a monthly fee to print a defined number of pages per month. The plans are based on the number of pages that you print, not on how many ink cartridges you use. Your monthly fee pays for ink, shipping, and recycling. And the good news is, it saves you money!