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Our Pick of the Best Back to School Technology

The summer holidays are over and the scent of autumn is in the air, which means the kids are heading back to school, college and university.

With teachers and pupils returning to the classroom after their long seasonal break, technology has never been more important. But what gadgets should they be taking to lessons and what apps should they be using during them?

Here’s 10 of the best Back To School Technology items to include on their timetable.

» Apple iPad

It’s an obvious example but the ideal starting point. No longer do you need a laptop to work on when a tablet and virtual keyboard will do.

Apple’s iTunes U store is packed full of educational software and apps too from virtual textbooks to research material. You don’t even need to splash out on the latest model. The iPad 2 will do the job just as well in and away from the school corridors.

» Google Nexus 7

If you can’t afford the price-tag of an iPad then the Google Nexus 7 is more than just the next best thing. This Asus-made tablet runs the latest version of the Android operating software called Jelly Bean and only has a seven inch screen. This makes it more portable than Apple’s 10in tablet.

It’s fast and powerful with access to the Google Play Store for plenty of helpful apps to choose from. There’s also up to eight hours of battery life meaning it will easily last an entire school day and beyond.

» Acer Aspire One

If your child does need a physical keyboard rather than a virtual one then a netbook is ideal.

This Acer has a keyboard that’s 93% of the size of a traditional laptop or desktop but the machine is small enough to slot into a bag because it sports a 10inch screen.

It packs enough power for word processing and coursework creation or surfing the internet for research and there’s even a built-in webcam for chatting to pals via Skype to discuss homework. It runs Windows 7 Starter edition as the operating system.

» Cambridge School Dictionary – Android

It doesn’t matter what technology you have at your disposal, you still need a basic understanding of the world around you.

This app includes the most common terms and vocabulary from all the major school subjects. It’s a free trial version and if you find it useful you can buy the full version for £6.88.

» School Timetable Deluxe – Android

There are dozens of organisers for pupils, replacing the traditional diary or Filofax-style one.

This is a free version with the full app at £2. Put in your lessons, add dates of exams and schedule reminders to do your coursework. You might find a few bad translations in English from this German-created app but it works well.

» iHomework – iOS/Mac

Another organiser, this lets you track your homework and coursework as well as your grades and comments from tutors and teachers.

You can also include notes and To Do lists ensuring you never get a bad mark again. Well, it can’t obviously ensure that but at least you won’t forget when an assignment is due. Hopefully!

» Coursenotes – iOS/Mac

There’s no need to waste copious amounts of paper any more when apps like this exist.

Make notes during classes and organise them to easily find stuff later. You can then print what you need, when you need it and search instantly throughout every note you’ve made. It also syncs with the iPad calendar to log deadlines.

» Evernote

Designed for computers, tablets and smartphones, this software isn’t purely for students but it works great for them.

Capture webpages, images, voice notes and more and get access to them wherever you are. It’s so much easier than pulling bits of paper from magazines and newspapers. And everything, even text in images, is searchable from within Evernote.

» Kodak ESP 1.2 Multifunction Printer

Where there’s school work, there’s printing. And where there’s printing, there’s costly ink. Not so with the new range of Kodak printers.

Refill cartridges cost just £7.99 for Black and and £15 for colour. The printer itself can be connected to by USB and Wi-Fi, pumps out A4 sheets at up to eight per minute in monochrome and has a 100 sheet feeder. It will also print photos too and can be set-up to print from a smartphone, tablet or computer over the internet, no matter where you are.

It can copy and scan too but won’t print double-sided.

» Samsung W300 HD Pocket Camcorder

These days text-based homework just isn’t enough. Bringing projects and coursework to life with pictures and video can tell more than one thousand words.

This mini camcorder easily slips into a pocket or bag and has a 3x zoom. It can also be plugged straight into an HD TV using the HDMI port. You’ll need a separate mic and there’s a memory card slot for saving larger video files. You can even capture photos while recording.

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