Back to school has gotten a lot more complicated over the last decade. Gone are the days of buying a few notebooks and some pencils. Now we’re in the era of big-ticket gadgets in the classroom, and parents have to foot the bill. If you’re going after high-tech gadgets for your kids in the classroom, make sure to follow these simple Do’s and Don’ts. They’ll save you money, help you to buy better gear and they’ll even allow you to save a bit of your precious sanity – not bad for some simple and easy to follow tips, right?
DO Check With Your Child’s School
If your child’s school has a technology policy, it’s probably there for a good reason. Certain programs don’t work with certain gadgets, so check to see exactly what the school plans on using. You should also see if your school has policies banning certain products – it’s less likely, but still something of which you should be aware. Checking to see if your school has a technology policy should always be your first stop when gadget shopping. You wouldn’t want to find out that your son or daughter’s brand new Apple Macbook Pro isn’t allowed on campus!
DON’T Avoid Name Brands
In most areas of life, avoiding name brands is a good way to save money. When it comes to gadgets, though, there is usually a reason why certain brands dominate the field. Do not get an off-brand gadget because you never really know how it’s going to hold up. For every hidden gem there are a dozen duds, and you don’t want your child to be the only kid in class without a working gadget. In this case, it’s probably better to stick to what everyone else is buying – you’ll end up paying more in the long run if you buy something that doesn’t work.
DO Buy Rugged Gear
If you’re buying gadgets for children (or for college students) look at products designed for rugged usage. Military-grade cases and shock-proof accessories are golden, because you don’t want to know what goes on in most backpacks. Don’t be afraid of paying a little bit more if that means your gadgets will stay safe, because you don’t want to deal with repair bills. Think of any extra money you spend on rugged gear – such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active Smartphone – as insurance against the usual antics of your child. At the very least, it should help you to avoid at least a few tears.
DON’T Buy “Flavor of the Month” Items
Certain items are incredibly cool for students. They’ve got all the bells and whistles, they have the best commercials, and they’ve probably been featured in a few movies. Avoid these products like the plague if they’ve been in use for years, though, because they’re not likely to last longer than a month or two. Fad tech items are always a bad idea because the technology behind them doesn’t tend to be overly sound. Buy something that’s tested and true even if your kids complain – they’ll be happier when it still works at the end of the semester.
DO Look for Back to School Sales
If you’re going to buy gadgets, make sure to shop around. Even big box stores will discount some items eventually, and online retailers tend to have great sales during the beginning of the school year. Some of these products are meant to last several years, so saving a little money now can help you to save even more over the long run. It’s always better to pay more when buying a name-brand item on sale than it is to pay less for a knock-off at full retail, so treasure any savings you can find when shopping.
And once you’ve done your research, gotten a great deal on your gadgets, be sure to personalize them with MightySkins so they can stand out in a crowd — Just like your kids!