Students all over the world have recently either gone back to college or left home for the first time. For them, it’s a scary but exciting time filled with independence, new adventures, deadlines, and drama. For parents, it’s a nervous time – waiting to hear if their son or daughter has settled in, made friends, and gotten into the swing of college life.
This year, there’s a wider range of smart devices to help ease students into their new routine. Whether they want to keep fit, stay entertained, or keep on top of their workload, these smart devices are what students need on campus.
Students stream content through tablets, phones, and Bluetooth speakers. But what do you do with an old stereo that’s past its best years for CDs and cassettes, but still has great quality speakers? Attach a Google Chromecast Audio and stream content via your Android phone.
Enjoy podcasts, audiobooks, radio shows or albums through any speaker. The Chromecast Audio also works across WiFi for better sound quality than Bluetooth. The device supports RCA, 3.5mm, and optical inputs.
Amazon’s Echo is one of the great smart device smash hits of 2017. Reviews note its less than brilliant sound quality if you want to use it as a speaker, though. If your student wants to interact with Alexa voice assistant but has a speaker setup already covered, save money and try the Echo Dot instead.
Like its bigger Echo brother, the Echo Dot lets students make calls, set alarms, stream audio content, order an Uber, and control other smart devices.
There are plenty of streaming devices on the market, but the Roku Streaming Stick is a hit with students. It turns any HDMI-equipped TV into something worth having. Combine the Stick with the SURE Universal Remote to easily control what’s on-screen from your smartphone.
If your student’s TV dates to the pre-HD era, pick up the Roku Express+. With RCA jacks you can still get streaming through an old-fashioned set.
Making notes is an integral part of student life. While typing is the obvious solution, making notes in longhand can help students remember what they’ve written.
The Moleskine Smart Writing Set allows students to write with a smartpen in the notebook. The words appear in digital form on the chosen connected device. The software preserves writing or doodles as they are, but it also translates handwriting into text.
Being a student traditionally brings with it an unhealthy lifestyle of junk food and many evenings spent wedged into a chair. Keeping the body active is just as important as getting the mind going. The Fitbit is a great way to turn fitness into a trackable activity. They’re so popular that Tech Republic predicts there will be 780 million wearables in use by the end of 2018.
The more expensive trackers offer a range of functions, but the more minimalist (and cheaper) Flex 2 is a good place to start. It tracks basic data across running, walking, biking, exercising, and other activities – and is even swim-proof.
For the fashion-conscious students, you can pop the track into different wristbands, bangles, or pendants.
Many dorm rooms won’t allow students to install smart thermostats or security systems. But the Philips Hue Starter Kit is a simple way to use smart technology without interfering with the existing room.
The kit includes a control bridge and two dimmable bulbs which screw into ordinary light fittings. The bulbs in the basic starter kit don’t change color so you can’t use them as a natural alarm but the kit offers an easy way to use smart technology away from home.
If you have more money to spare, try the more expensive kit that includes three color-changing bulbs. Student can wake up gently using the daylight alarm setting.
The beauty of these devices is the students in your life can bring them home when they graduate.
Over to you – what smart devices do you recommend for students?