From actual glue to being glued to technology – be mindful of what is consumed or purchased.

School bells are sounding for schools and college students return. Here are some recommendations for back-to-school items, prices vary from $10 to $900 and range from a #MustHave, #Wouldn’t-ThatBeNice to have to #NotSoMuch. Moderation is the best advice of what is purchased for students and how it is consumed.

While most kids graduating this year in 2019-2020 can’t remember a time they weren’t connected to a computer or cell phone they would not want to use the Wiggles or Dora the Explorer backpack they used entering kindergarten or preschool today. They are more prone to something Patagonia or hipster thrift most likely. Just as they have changed, so has technology much as how they use it. Similar to how their Generation X, Z- Millennial parents and peers before them wanted their MTV, consumed Zach and Cody or iCarly on Disney, these soon to be high school or college grad students are digital natives and cannot remember a time when they were plugged in. This group has a newly coined name the “Founders” according to an article a few years back on Time about MTV.

Many in this plugged-in generation are earth-friendly, many are prone to thrift stores for reselling or purchasing school clothes and like such novelty as Etsy. They are an independent bunch and while some may say they are self-absorbed from too many selfies or misinterpretations of reality versus real life from Instagram and SnapChat and TikTok they do care about preserving the earth and snub plastic water bottles. They want to preserve and make a difference. Their way.

Most students carry reusable water bottles, and many campuses are environmentally friendly with water bottle filling centers. Many students like to decorate these with stickers as much as they take selfies. Many marketers have caught on to this and provide labels as a way to showcase and promote their brands and logos.

Many campuses have electronic e-books and even textbooks. Overdrive is used for checking out electronic library content. Some districts support Bring Your Own Device, and some equip students with iPads or have Computers on Wheels (COWS) or Google Tablets.

Most new laptops, such as MacAirs do not have a built-in card reader. A USB- C Digital AV Multiport Adapter 69.00 by Apple to 6.99 on Amazon is needed.

Windows OS laptops and computers: Many kids like a touch screen – Lenovo tablets are popular as well along with a more sturdy Dell laptop.

Apple has a No. 2 pencil version that works wonderfully for young sketchers on iPads. Dell has an active pen for 49.99. Also, be aware many technology products are on sale till the end of August with student discounts to students who need only to confirm their school with an ID for the discount. Be mindful that just because students use technology does not mean that it is better. It is the intent and the end in mind that matters. Often technology may be used no better than an old school No. 2 pencil.

Many schools allow cell use in class, and educators find them to be excellent learning tools for polling student knowledge. Others find them a distraction. Most have students interactions that are supported. Many districts have SmartBoards and smart technology. Be sure to check with your campus for needs and usage policies.

Be sensitive to how much time allocate on mobile device or technology. There are links to how much relaxing time students receive and how much time their brains need to relax after literally being wired all day. A good rule is to limit usage at home and shut down devices an hour before bedtime. Many districts use Google classroom. So also be sure your student has their phone on Do Not Disturb so alerts do not awaken them for assignments that rollover after midnight. Their cellular alarm will still work. Moreover, with music speakers- many versions are out there for smart consumption and playlists for many devices. From Siri, Apple Music, Spotify, there is a music variety. Podcasts and Ted Talks help students concentrate, learn new topics and information, or relax. Some students prefer silence. For teens and young adults, many schools assign Ted Talks and Podcasting for homework.

Be mindful of homework time versus overconsumption of technology. Also, consider if your student spends more time on chats or technology and gaming than with real-life humans or peers. Technology cannot make up for real social skills, eye contact or going outdoors with friends and peers.