This is a photograph of a protable mobile tablet device, a loptop computer that is running Windows 8, a lovely pair of red headphones and an aqua blue keychain, USB thumbdrive.

This Year's Top Back to School Technology Trends

If you're like most parents, you want your child to have an edge when it comes to education. And today, that means giving your child access to the right technology. According to Riann Hinkel, Trend Forecaster with consumer, design and retail trend consulting firm Sphere Trending, "We are at the beginning of a new era where students will begin to use their electronic devices as learning tools in the classroom. They're already using computers in many schools, and you will start to see tablets and smartphones eventually become everyday tools as well."

To get you up to speed on the latest technology before school starts, Staples Vice President of Computing, Conor Kearney, is sharing some of the year's biggest technology trends.

Back to School Technology Trends for Students: Think Ease

For younger students, tablets are becoming more and more prevalent thanks to the devices' mobility and ease of use, as well as the options available for educational apps. For college students, Google Chromebook laptops, with their new operating system and reasonable prices, are a smart and increasingly popular choice. Both of these options allow for learning on the go in a lightweight and often inexpensive package. Touch-screen laptops are also gaining traction with students, teachers and parents — interacting with your PC in a new way can be fun and engaging.

More Schools Implementing BYOD Policies

Another major technology trend affecting both higher education and K–12 is BYOD, or "Bring Your Own Device," policies. This approach, which is also gaining popularity with small businesses, benefits schools because it saves money, and it also allows students to work on tablets, laptops and smartphones that are familiar to them.

As you start to plan for the 2013–2014 school year, be sure to stay up to date on the latest technology trends so you can get the right products for your student's needs. If you want to get your student one new device that will really have an impact, Kearney suggests a tablet or touch-screen laptop. "For example, available starting June 16th, the Acer Iconia W3 is an affordable 8-inch tablet that will also include Office for free," he says. "This tablet costs as little as $349 and truly gives you the best of both worlds — productivity and entertainment."

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