Teens and technology go hand-in-hand, so even if you’re not the techie-type of parent, it’s time to start supporting your teen’s tech habit. Start by talking to your high schooler to see which of the must-have tech gear they’re most interested in using.
You may not be totally ready for your high schooler to have a smartphone, but the fact is that today’s teens interact with one another online at least as much as they do in person. Phones that offer Facebook, Twitter, texting and the internet require a high level of responsibility from your teen, but denying them a smartphone could (in some cases) cut them off from their peers. If you do decide to purchase a smartphone for your teen, make sure you have a conversation about appropriate online interactions and acceptable use of the phone. You may also want to point out features like calendars and alarm clocks to help your teen transition into being a more self-reliant young adult.
Computer and internet access
High schoolers today practically rely on computers and internet access in order to complete their schoolwork. It’s not just that teachers expect papers and assignments to be typed – some schools also require students to participate in online forums, turn papers in through online portals like Turnitin.com and access homework assignments through school websites. Providing a family or personal computer with access to high-speed internet will be critical during your teen’s high school years.
Flash drive or portable hard drive
Your high schooler needs to be able to save and transport files to and from school without actually carrying a computer. Most high schoolers can make do with a simple flash drive, but if your child wants to be able to easily transport music and video files from one place to another, a portable hard drive may be more helpful. If you opt for a flash drive, look for one that is water resistant and can be attached to a key chain or backpack. Similarly, if you get a portable hard drive, look for one with “rugged” features that won’t be as easily damaged if it’s spilled on or dropped.
PowerMat charging station
Your high schooler is bound to accumulate a multitude of portable tech devices before he leaves for college, and you don’t want him taking up every outlet or conveniently “forgetting” to charge his phone right before he leaves to go out on a Friday night. Invest in the PowerMat, a device that will wirelessly charge multiple devices at once. As long as he has access to the PowerMat, he’ll never have an excuse for not charging his devices.