In these modern times, preparing your child to go back to school means purchasing more than pencils and notebooks. It means supplying them with technology that will help them have a productive year and preparing them for the unexpected with technology that makes online learning easy. While many schools are getting kids back into the classroom, this last year has taught us that current situations have the possibility of changing at a moment’s notice.
Many cannot remember a time when technology was not part of the classroom, and since the pandemic, the use of technology in school has changed forever. Many educators, students and parents were forced to adapt to online learning due to COVID-19, and as a result, tech for grade schoolers has become a new norm.
Even though most grade schoolers are going back to school in person, the use of technology and online learning is here to stay. And with so much new technology to adapt to, it can be hard to know what the best back-to-school tech for grade schoolers is to choose. Getting your child back-to-school tech will help them have a more productive school year.
Our world is full of tech — so much so that even grade schoolers need laptops to do homework, check grades online and communicate with students and teachers. There are many tech brands, all with different styles and price ranges, and choosing which is best for your child can feel overwhelming. From Chromebooks to MacBooks and everything in between, here are some great laptop options for your grade schooler.
If your family includes other Apple users, then the MacBook Pro is the best of the best. Your grade schooler will have access to cutting-edge technology that has top-of-the-line features with a sleek design. The 2020 MacBook includes Apple’s new M1 chip and has a processor that is up to 2.8 times faster than previous generations, guaranteeing that your child will never complain about a slow computer. The processor is efficient, and the battery will last for more than 15 hours.
While this laptop is top of the line, you will not be able to add more storage down the road, and you will most likely have to purchase an adapter, since these new laptops do not have USB or HDMI ports. This USB C Hub Adaptor is a great option: It has everything you need and comes in several colors that your child will love. Sold by Amazon
MacBook laptops are durable, but just like any expensive device, you will want to protect it, especially if a grade schooler takes it to and from school. Check out this BestReview guide on the best laptop cases for some great recommendations.
This MacBook comes in two shades of gray and has a 13-inch screen. The retina display is perfect for kids interested in gaming or graphic design and has a built-in camera, making it easy for kids to attend Zoom classes. This MacBook also has a built-in microphone that is studio quality. If learning remotely, your child will never have to worry about a laptop lagging or an inaudible teacher. Sold by Amazon
If you are looking for something a little more affordable and versatile, then this Chromebook might be what you have been hoping to find for your child. This laptop has a 360-degree hinge that will take it from a laptop to a tablet. The 14-inch touchscreen is high definition and has a battery life that could last up to 12 hours. If your child is interested in both a laptop and a tablet, this is a great two-in-one option that is affordable and will give your kid the best of both worlds.
While it only comes in one color, it does have a built-in USB port and an Intel i3 central processor. Since everything on a Chromebook is stored online, you and your child will never have to worry about projects or photos disappearing. Any stored information can be recovered if the laptop is ever stolen or lost. Sold by Amazon
If you are struggling to justify buying a laptop for a child, then the price of this Chromebook may help you make the decision. At only $199, this laptop is affordable enough that you won’t mind handing it over to your child, making it a great beginner’s option. You will be able to see if your child can handle the responsibility of having a laptop without much risk. It has up to 13 hours of battery life and user-friendly features that include everything a grade schooler may need to complete homework. Sold by HP
Laptops are a big responsibility, especially if they have a high price tag. You want what is best for your child, and by getting a grade schooler a dedicated laptop, he or she can learn how to use and take care of one. A laptop can only help children be better students, and the younger they start out, the more adept they will be at using a computer. For more information on these laptop brands, check out BestReviews’ breakdown of laptops.
If you are looking to get your child some back-to-school tech but want something that is oriented more towards kids, then this Fire HD tablet is what you need. This kid-friendly tablet is affordable and sturdy and includes thousands of apps — including educational content — created for kids 6 years or older. It is a full-feature tablet with parental control options that allows you to view usage history and block inappropriate sites. While many say the display could be brighter, it does have a built-in camera that can be used with Zoom, and a kid-friendly case is included. Sold by Amazon
Elementary school is all about learning the basics of reading, writing and math, and while online learning is becoming the new norm, taking notes by hand is still a great way to help with retention. This digital notebook contains 32 pages, and your child can reuse every page by simply wiping it clean with a damp cloth. If they want to save the notes, it’s no problem: All they have to do is scan the page with the app. Save paper, save money and make taking notes by hand more fun with the convenience of a digital notebook. Sold by Amazon
You are probably wondering why a kid in elementary school would need a smartwatch, but a smartwatch can really help your child form healthy habits, just like it can for adults. Designed especially for kids, this VTech smartwatch includes watch basics like an alarm, timer and stopwatch, but it also features several interactive games. The motion-sensor games will get your child moving, but don’t worry: This feature can be turned off during school hours. Best for students 4 years to 9 years old. Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Bailey Gates writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.