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Top 10 Tech Must-Haves for Back to School

It’s back to school season once again, and I can’t be the only one who feels like we were celebrating Memorial Day and the start of summer yesterday! Even though the summer is starting to come to a close, back to school season always feels like its own holiday. I am not heading back to school this year, but I still wanted to get in the spirit of the season. So, I culled through all of the back to school gear to create a top 10 list of tech must-haves for students, especially for high school and college students. Take a look below, and get ready to shop and save on tech this year!

1. Computer/Laptop:

A computer is a must for students. I have tried a number of different brands from HP to Dell, and I have to admit Apple is my favorite. I cannot recommend my Macbook Pro enough (I have a 13”) because it reboots quickly, runs the Adobe programs I started using while in college, and doesn’t need to be replaced for years.

Where to purchase? Best Buy or Apple.com

2. Programs:

Although Macbooks come equipped with Apple programs, I’m still a fan of the Microsoft Office suite. You can purchase your cloud access in store. Make sure to look for the option for Microsoft Office Home & Student because there is a savings.

Where to purchase? Best Buy

3. Calculator:

I still remember purchasing my first scientific calculator in middle school, and it felt like a right of passage. It’s not an inexpensive item, so the best thing to do is to shop for one in store at Best Buy or online at Walmart.com. The prices will likely be comparable, and you will be able to earn kicks toward a gift card which will feel like receiving cash back!

Where to purchase? Best Buy or Walmart.com 

4. Headphones:

Headphones are a must for all students, and they can easily serve many purposes. They’re great to have on hand during the day while studying in the library, going to the gym in between classes, walking around campus, and catching up on your favorite show without interrupting your roommate at night. Bose and Airpods are a few of my go-to options.

Where to purchase? Best Buy or Apple.com, HSN.com, QVC.com, or Walmart.com 

5. Smart Watch:

I haven’t purchased a smart watch yet, but my friends who are in grad school have said they are complete game changers during the school year! Those who have them say it’s helpful to be able to send quick texts back to friends and family on-the-go without having to pull out their phones, track steps to ensure they’re staying active in between classes, and have quick access to favorite apps. Of course, there are plenty of other benefits, like the most basic one of being able to tell time – a key thing to know while taking a test to ensure you complete the exam!

Where to purchase? Best Buy or Apple.com, HSN.com, or Walmart.com

6. Roku TV:

From my experience of purchasing TVs, Roku is definitely the way to go, especially for dorms! Being able to access apps like Hulu, Netflix, Prime Video, and YouTube directly from your TV makes streaming even more fun and simple. The value is definitely there, and friends will definitely want to gather in your room or apartment which makes a great TV an investment in meeting others.

Where to purchase? Best Buy Note: Don’t forget to purchase a subscription to Hulu through your Shopkick app because you will earn kicks!

7. Kindle:

As a communications major, I had plenty of assigned reading for all of my classes. However, I still looked forward to reading a book of my choice at the end of the day. I find I complete books more quickly when I read them on my Kindle, and my Kindle is so lightweight which makes me feel encouraged to slip it into a bag while I’m on the go.

Where to purchase? Amazon Devices

8. Smartphone:

A smartphone is a natural choice for a student! Access to all of the typical capabilities of a phone are obvious, but the addition of apps and email at your fingertips is what makes a smartphone a must-have for high school and college students.

Where to purchase? Best Buy Note: While you can purchase a smartphone at many retailers in store and online, the major perk of Best Buy, outside of your ability to earn kicks, is almost every cell phone company has representatives in stores. Purchasing your phone and signing a new contract at the same time makes the process quicker and easier!

9. Backpack:

A great backpack is a must for every student! In every bag I purchase, I always look for a protected compartment for my computer. Look and size are also important, and I’ve always had great luck with Tumi, Jansport, and The North Face. The quality of all three has always been great, and I’ve been able to transition my bags from high school to college and then to my career without fear of looking too young.

Where to purchase? eBags.com, HSN.com, or Kohls.com

10. Gaming System:

A gaming system might not be an obvious choice for back to school, but it will provide a fun and quick way to make friends in college! A Nintendo Switch offers a great price point and system size. You will also have the advantage of being able to play classic games like Mario Kart and Super Mario Party. Dorm room floor challenge, anyone?

Where to purchase? Best Buy or GameStop.com

Make sure to shop for your tech with Shopkick, so you can earn kicks to redeem for a free gift card. Join the back to school conversation happening now in our Facebook community!