INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Schools across the Kansas City area will open their doors in just a few weeks, and this year's hot items for back to school are sitting on store shelves.
Parents want their school-aged children have the right tools, but what does your student really need?
Mo Mohammad is a manager at the Best Buy in Independence, Mo. His said his store is already stocked with popular back to school electronics, including high-speed laptops that won’t add much bulk to backpacks.
“When [students] are used to lugging the larger laptops, they don’t have to fold that up and throw it in their backpack anymore. They can just fold it quickly and keep it in their hands and carry it,” said Mohammad.
“It’s a change,” Mohammad said. “When you walk into a store and you see all these laptops the thing that catches your eye of course is going to be the thinness of the laptops because we are used to the thick, bulky ones. ”
Mohammad demonstrated the features on two lightweight laptops, the silver lightweight Asus 11.6” laptop with an 11. 6” display, 4GB Memory and 56GB Solid State Drive and Apple’s Macbook Air with an 11. 6” display, 4GB Memory and 128GB Flash Storage.
Mohammad said many people still prefer a laptop over an Apple iPad because they prefer a keyboard over a touch screen.
He explained, “A lot of people like to have the physical aspect of it, so like when you are touching the keyboard you can actually feel it. ”
Apps: they can be fun and educational
For fans of Apple's iPad or smart phone users, there are downloadable apps that are educational and fun, such as My Math App, Flash My Brain App and Graphic Calculator App.
Not only can apps help children learn math and memory skills but some apps, such as Learn Chinese: Toy Story 3 from Disney, can help children who are interested in learning a new language.
Mohammad demonstrated the language app and added, “How cool is that for your little kids? And they're utilizing Toy Story in order to do so."
Eco-friendly school supplies
Along with electronics, eco-friendly school supplies such as notebooks, folders, and planners made from recycled materials are also popular this year.
EducationWorld also lists earth conscious supplies such as soy crayons, reusable lunch bags, and pencils made with recycled materials.
Smart pen helps students take notes
The LiveScribe Echo Smartpen is an amazing gadget that’s a pen, voice recorder and note-taker all in one that can transfer notes and audio to a student’s computer.
Mohammad demonstrated how the pen works and said, “It's great for a lot of those students, college students, and high school students who are taking notes in class."
“It's not just for people taking notes in class,” he added. “If we have those musicians, people who love music, writing music, and people that love to draw can use the pen for that reason too. So there's some great attributes for a lot of the kids out there.”
The pen can record 400 to 800 hours of audio, depending on the model.
Hot school products for kindergartners
As for the young ones, Crayola now makes glitter crayons and triangular crayons that won’t roll off the desk. They may not be on the classroom supply list, but they would likely lead to some interesting artwork.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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