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Back to school can be a tricky time of new things, firsts and steep learning curves. Thankfully, it’s 2017, so one way to make this time a little easier is with new student and parent-assisting tech. Concerned about your kids walking home from school alone? Wondering how much paper you need to buy? Unsure how you’re going to help out with French homework? There’s an app for that. Here’s all the coolest new tech that your kids will love and you won’t feel too bad about either.

Laptops for all school levels

It looks like kids are needing computers younger and younger these days. Teachers are trying to set students up for a life online and it’s good to get kids comfortable with technology early on. That being said, your twelve-year-old doesn’t need a fancy-shmancy MacBook.

For younger kids (who you’ve decided can have their own laptop), the Dell Inspiron is a pretty good buy. These laptops are durable, come in fun colours and have the option of being two-in-one so you can fold the laptop over to become a tablet. Just make sure you check with the school to see if there are any apps or a specific operating system your kid’s computer should be running to make things easy and compatible.

For a teen or young adult, you’re looking for at least four-year durability. If your kid is starting high school or going off to university, they need something they can trust for the duration of their time at that school. They need an investment. The best laptops out there aren’t cheap but they’ll last a number of years. If you’re looking for Windows, the Microsoft Surface Book is a good buy, and naturally, the MacBook Pro is the Cadillac of computers, if you’re so inclined.

Osmo Game System

This is an interactive game with both virtual and physical components for younger kids. It comes with a stand for your iPad or tablet that has a camera to watch your child do physical puzzles within the game app. Children can play games that work with coding, music, tangrams and drawing. This system is particularly great because it means your kid isn’t staring at the screen the entire time.

Google home

If you were on the fence about getting Google Home, back to school might be the best time to invest. Not only is it a cool sci-fi-type aid around the house, it can also be a helpful homework assistant, especially for kids learning different languages. Google can verbally answer questions which is helpful for people of all ages, but it can also help with pronunciation of unfamiliar words or even carry on simple conversations in French or another language.

Netamo Welcome Camera

This indoor security camera is perfect for if your kids get home from school before you get home from work. If you’re concerned about knowing that they got home safe and sound, this camera with face-recognition can alert you via your smartphone when they walk in the door.

Tinitell Watch-phone

As a parent, you’re naturally worried every time your kid walks out the door without you and it seems the world is becoming less and less safe for little ones all the time. If you’re considering getting your kid a phone just so you feel safer about them walking to school alone or heading to the park with friends, you should take a look at the Tinitell watch-phone. It’s a GPS-enabled wrist watch which doubles as a calling device for a list of pre-set numbers. With this baby, you can locate your kids and give them a way to call you in an emergency. Plus they come in adorable colours and, oh yeah, they tell time too.

Tapplock

This super secure smart lock is going to be the envy of the high school hallway. Forget those combinations and struggling with tiny padlock keys, this lock protects your stuff with fingerprint recognition. You can add up to 500 fingerprints and allow or limit access via a smartphone app. They may be a little pricier than a Dudley, but this lock could last your teen the rest of their life. Plus it was featured on Dragons Den, so it’s got to be good.

RocketBook

This is pretty much the coolest thing ever. For older kids, teens and university students who don’t want to take notes on an electronic device, all that paper can get hard to organize and store. With the RocketBook, your child can take written notes in the notebook, then snap a picture with the smartphone app and send them to any application on the cloud or email. Once they’ve saved those notes, they can erase the entire notebook by throwing it in the microwave. Yeah, that’s right, the microwave. You can take your paper notes and save trees at the same time.

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