Tech Essentials for Going Back to School, Wherever That May Be
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Tech Essentials for Going Back to School, Wherever That May Be

This year’s supply list looks a lot different than beforeIt’s that time of year again, sort of. While the end of summer typically marks the exodus of students going back to the classroom, this year has been a bit different. Returning to schools has differed across the globe. Whether going to a physical classroom or signing in virtually, students will continue learning. And with the new hybrid model, school supply lists are a bit different this year. We rounded up a list of back-to-school essentials. If you’re going to the classroom, or going to the living room (or both) this list has everything students need to start the year off right and keep them going until next summer. 

Digital Reusable Notebook

Tablets that are made especially for note taking make getting every detail of every lesson easier than ever. Though note taking tablets have been on the market for awhile, now they go above and beyond to make it easier to organize, save and share the notes taken on them. Gone are the days of lugging around pencils and pens, paper notebooks, erasers and the like. And this year, reusable notebooks are particularly useful for students who will be in a hybrid learning environment working both virtually and in the classroom. With almost every digital notebook on the market featuring an upload option, you’ll never be without your class notes, no matter where you’re studying from. Ranging in price from $25 USD to over $500 USD, there’s a note taking tablet to fit every budget. 

Alarm Clock 

Bring back the way of pre-cellphone life with an alarm clock. Sure, this may seem unnecessary if you own a smartphone, but old school tech is making a comeback and nothing is more useful than a tool that makes sure you’re up and at ‘em. Cool, stylish alarm clocks can add pizzazz to your room while fun interactive alarm clocks help hard-to-wake sleepers never miss their first class. Many students will have extra screen time this semester due to continued online learning; using an actual alarm clock rather than a smartphone to wake you helps reduce your screen time first thing in the morning.

Cloud Backup

Online lectures, PDF worksheets, recorded Zoom meetings. Those are just a few of the important files students may acquire this new school year (not to mention the work and digital notes you’ve done  with your new notebook tablet!) Having a backup for such data is important in class, at home, or both. And the easiest way to backup your stuff when you’re switching between locations? Cloud backup. Not all cloud backup services are created equal, however. The best options will have automated scheduling, so your files are always protected with you worrying about it, file versioning, so you can save multiple versions of your work, and deduplication to make sure your storage space isn’t being wasted. You can snag a cloud backup service for as little as $39.99 for 1TB of lifetime protection. 


As if there’s any need to explain the importance of headphones, this year they take on a new role for students. Instead of being just an instrument to bring you the audio of your favorite movies and music or podcasts, now, they’re an imperative part of the virtual classroom especially if you’re in a shared living space. Wearing the wrong pair of headphones for a long period of time can be uncomfortable. Luckily, there’s a plethora of options available. From over ear to ear buds to bone conduction, wired, one-wire, or wireless, there’s a style of headphone to fit every need and preference. Investing in a pair that can take you to class or through class should be at the top of your list. 


It goes without saying that a laptop is essential for a hybrid learner. While some school districts provide one for students, others may not. Although the priciest item on the list, strides made in manufacturing and tech have made them more affordable than years past. And, buying for a student can get you even further discounts at some stores. If your student opted for a full virtual learning schedule, a laptop may be more useful in the long-term for when schools transition fully back to in-person learning. Different options are available for different types of students too. Spill-proof keyboards for kids, larger screens for video calls, and customizable expandable storage are just a few features to keep in mind for a learning-focused machine. 


The return to school this year will be different than years past, and possibly much harder. Outfitting yourself (or your student) with the best gear to help transition between different learning environments can help ease the stress of restarting the school year during such a precarious time. Enabling focused learning and being prepared for changes to learning environments not only helps start the school year off right, but promotes continued productivity through to next summer. 


Cloud backup is one of the top tools students can have this year. Check out Polarbackup’s highly secure and reliable cloud backup plans powered by Amazon Web Services by visiting