It’s hard to believe that back to school season is nearly officially here! Where has the time gone? Back to school can be a very stressful time for parents and students, especially when it comes to getting a decent night’s sleep, waking up on time, and updating those tech gadgets! Tech expert, Katie Linendoll is the master when it comes to technology, and she was kind enough to join me for an interview on Friday morning to dish her top six back to school essentials for parents and students just in time for back to school season.
Candace Rose: Do you have any suggestions for kids and teens who can’t get out of bed in the morning?
Katie Linendoll: This (iHome Kineta, Model K2) is a really cool gadget that anyone that loves gadgets is going to like. What’s neat about it is it’s the world’s first Bluetooth enabled radio. It has dual alarms that you can set to multiple devices. It also has a pop out removable battery pack. You can pop it out and take it with you during the day, and it’s going to charge your device like a phone, which of course we always run out of juice. It is a Bluetooth speaker and it has great sound quality and you can take and make calls through it using a speaker phone and microphone capabilities as well. iHome Kineta Model K2, $99.99.”
Candace Rose: Are there any essential tech accessories for kids and teens?
Katie Linendoll: “There are two essential tech accessories. I almost want to put both of these in the adult and kids category. I’ve got to start here because I never thought a thumb drive could get really cool, and this got really smart and really cool! This is from SanDisk (please see video above for details) it’s the Connect Wireless Stick. Of course we’re always popping into those and transferring files into our computer with the USB port, now it’s wireless so you don’t even have to pop this into a USB port. You can easily transfer files, stream movies and music and share photos without having to worry about popping it into the computer, which is nice too because a lot of the new laptops don’t even have those kind of inputs, so really cool and really practical.
Something for kids, and I also say adults because I’m a huge Lego fan – talk about getting them excited about robotics and engineering at an early age with Lego Mindstorms. I’ve purchased this several times as a gift because what’s better than building robots and Legos? You can build 17 different kinds of robots from a six legged scorpion to a mohawk sporting humanoid to a rattlesnake. After you’re done building, guess what? Just let your imagination run wild because you can actually create anything that your heart desires using the Mindstorms kit.”
Candace Rose: What’s a great coffee brewer for the dorm or home?
Katie Linendoll: “A lot of us (myself included) rely on a good cup of coffee, and a strong cup of coffee. This one is awesome and it’s going to be an investment that’s going to save you in the long run. It’s $139.99, it’s the Dial-a-Brew model from iCoffee. It’s Dial-a-Brew because you can actually dial to the strength that you want that coffee to be. It also uses this neat spinbrew technology, so it gets inside the k-cup, it spins, it stirs, it steams it for a taste that’s impossibly smooth. There’s no bitter acidic aftertaste and you can use any kind of water inside here. I like to say that there is a little bonus because I’m all about the environment – it comes with a complimentary iCup reusable little pod with the device as well. It’s an awesome option, Dial-a-Brew model from iCoffee.”
Candace Rose: Are there any other great learning tools for kids?
Katie Linendoll: “There are two more for kids that are kind of just home runs! My six year old niece, Ruby saw this on the commercial and she was all ‘Oh my gosh, I have to have this’, and rightfully so, it’s so cool – Zipit Bedding starts at $59.99 and it’s all-in-one zippered bedding. It’s great because it teaches kids early on how to make a bed, so it doesn’t have to be as painful as what we all had to deal with growing up. It’s neat because it has cool patterns and colors, it glows in the dark, it’s reversible and it fits really with any bedding size right around the mattress. It has little zippered pockets so you can throw your diary in there, you can throw your flashlight in there, but kids get excited about making their bed. Whoever thought that would happen?
Also, kids definitely get excited about technology and about educational technology – that’s how I like to slide it in. From LeapFrog they have a LeapPad Platinum tablet. It’s a seven inch tablet, front and rear facing cameras, you can store up to 40,000 photos on here, it’s super fast. It’s a great tablet that is kid safe and kid friendly, but it also comes with something that’s brand new – Imagicards. LeapFrog Imagicards are really neat because you snap a photo of the card, and it kind of merges as digital and physical world. The characters come to life and you can interact with them, and it’s educational. Characters that you know like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, PAW Patrol. It’s an awesome little gadget for any kid, especially educational.”
Candace Rose: Well, thank you so much, Katie! Where can we go for more information?
Katie Linendoll: “For any of these gadgets, you can head on over to ThunkNews.com/Essentials.”