Tech Time: Back To School

The back to school shopping season is now in high gear. That shopping list may include traditional items such as binder paper and pens, but there are some new “must haves” for tech savvy students. Let’s break down the list into hardware and software.

Regardless of grade, all students have the same basic deliverables - homework. In order to efficiently research, process, collate and prepare homework, students can utilize these basic hardware tools.

  • Computer: PC or Mac, desktop or notebook, tablet or netbook, the choice of form is a personal decision, but it all starts here.
  • Printer/Copier/Scanner: Email and other forms of electronic submission are increasing in popularity, but paper is still the dominant form.
  • Portable storage device: A simple flash drive will do for some, an external hard drive is needed by others; but the very nature of school means that students have to do work from multiple locations.
  • Digital Dictaphone: This one may not be a necessity, but it sure makes life easier to record lectures, study sessions, oral language practices.
  • Not so necessary but really cool: All work and no play made Carlette a dull girl, if I were back in school my must have list would be augmented with a digital camera, a Sling Box, a TV, a DVD/Blu-ray disc player, external speakers, an MP3 player and a handheld game console.

On the software checklist, your new computer needs to have some basic programmes to be really effective.

  • Office application suite such as Microsoft Office, OpenOffice or Google Docs to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
  • Antivirus to protect your PC such as AVG, Kapersky, Macafee and Norton; go further to install anti-spy ware too.
  • Web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Chrome or Safari
  • Again, all work and no play … But we can fix that with ITunes, instant messenger software such as Trillian Astra, video conference software such as Skype, photo, video and audio edit software and compression software.

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Next on Tech Time ... Back to school websites

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