2014 Back to School Gift Guide—Technology


Ultra Fit USB 3.0 Flash Drive – This new, high-performing USB drive offers exceptional speed and high capacity in a low-profile solution so users never have to worry about their USB falling out of place or breaking off. The drive offers an updated, modern design and includes SanDisk SecureAccess™ software, which  provides password protection and 128-bit encryption to keep private files safe. The Ultra Fit USB 3.0 is available worldwide in 16GB/$39.99, 32GB/$69.99 and 64GB/$109.99.

128GB Ultra microSDXC card– The world’s largest-capacity mobile memory card is designed to allow consumers to use their phones or tablets the way they would if storage limitations were never a concern. The 128GB capacity is a 1,000X increase over the largest cards available when the microSD standard launched less than a decade ago. With this amount of storage, a user could keep 16 hours of Full HD video, 7,500 songs, 3,200 photos and more than 125 apps all on a single card smaller than the size of a fingernail. The card is available to order now at an MSRP of $199.99.

Ultra Dual USB Drive – A small USB flash drive featuring both a micro-USB and a USB 2.0 connector, designed for Android smartphone and tablet users who need an easy way to move content such as photos and videos from their mobile devices. The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive is available worldwide in 16GB to 64GB capacities carrying MSRPs of $19.99 to $49.99.

SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive – The smallest wireless USB storage device available to date, providing a convenient and affordable way to wirelessly store, share and stream content across mobile devices and computers. The drive allows users to enjoy extra storage for their devices, and simultaneously access photos, movies, music and documents on their drive from multiple devices without the need for an Internet connection or cables. The drive comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities for $49.99,  $59.99 and $99.99 respectively.

SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive – A pocket-sized device designed for convenience and portability, with an SDHC/SDXC memory card slot, which allows users to easily expand it for additional storage. It’s the perfect companion for travelers and parents who need entertainment on the go, providing up to eight hours of continuous HD streaming on a single charge. The drive comes in 32GB and 64GB capacities for $79.99 and $119.99 respectively.



RadioShack has all the essentials for Back to School, for any age including mom and dad! Our favorite picks for this time of year are:

For K-12:

        Nite Ize SlapLit LED Slap Wrap features the age-old “slap bracelet” technology in a new, safety-forward way. This bracelet has a bright red LED with glow and flash modes, and a battery run time of 100 hours. Great for kids who walk to and from school, or over to a friends house in the evening. Peace of mind in a cool slap bracelet!

        Boogie Board LCD eWriter is a great starter for a kid who may be too young for a full tablet, but would prefer notes taken electronically. It’s the paperless, electronic alternative to memo pads, sketchbooks, sticky notes and dry erase boards. Write memos, leave messages, create To-Do lists, draw pictures, jot down ideas and more, using the included stylus or your finger.

For Dorm Living:

        Quirky organization and power supply products, such as the Quirky Space Bar, Pivot Power or PowerCurl Mini for iPhone. These colorful and innovative products turn everyday necessities into space-saving awesomeness.

        The Roku 3 or Google Chromecast would be the prefect TV accessories for a brain break from studying.

        The Asus Transformer 2-in-1 is a tablet and a laptop in one $400 package – perfect for class and for entertainment, it has pre-installed Microsoft Office & Student.

For Mom and Dad:

        RadioShack’s Slim Portable Power Bank is the lifesaver you didn’t know you needed – it keeps your devices powered up, even when there’s no outlet available. They provide 3 hours ($19.99), 11 hours ($39.99) or 17 hours ($49.99) of talk time and charges quickly from any USB port. Keep your phone ready to talk to your kid any time of day!

        Take back the TV! With your kids out of the house, own the remote with the Logitech Harmony 650 Universal Remote.

By purchasing your back to school gear at RadioShack, you have the opportunity to protect your new equipment by signing up for our protection plan. With coverage from accidents, power surge or mechanical failure, a simple in-store claim process and coverage from Day 1, you can make sure you’re covered when #!+* Happens. Learn more at RadioShack.com.



Lively products create a smart home that enables older adults to remain independent, safe from falls and emergencies, and connected to family and caregivers. Lively provides proactive activity sharing through passive sensors placed around the home and notifies the user and their loved ones when activity patterns change. This negates the need for Parent-Sitting,”(e.g. calling older adults and running through a checklist such as “did you eat? Take your medicine or get outside today?”), and enables more dignified and meaningful conversations that focus on what’s really important: how seniors are doing rather than what they are doing. Older adults are aching for loving family connections and do not want to be “babysat.”

Lively also connects seniors with the Facebook Generation. Since nearly 65 percent of older adults in the U.S. (over the age of 76) are not online, Lively also provides LivelyGram, a printed mailer that delivers photos submitted from their friends and family by the postal mail twice monthly. It’s a fun way that enables younger generations to share what’s going on in their life with elder loved ones, reinforcing social connections that also account for older adult’s emotional well-being.



Fiverr is the largest global marketplace for services. Instead of waiting in line at the store with all the other parents during the back-to-school rush, you can get your kids their accessories and trinkets for school online- for only FIVE dollars! Some services currently being offered on Fiverr that’d be great for your kids who are going to back school include:

Fiverr just launched it’s landing page that pertains to back to school! http://www.fiverr.com/l/back-to-school



StudyBlue makes a perfect back-to-school gift to bump up their GPA’s — and easy to send as well, with mobile and tablet versions for iOS and Android. So far, over 6 million students have used the app to create and share digital notecards on any subject, from art history to nursing to engineering. Here’s what else StudyBlue can do:

·   Suggests relevant content based on grade, subject, school, and learning level as students study

·   Generates crowdsourced study guides, personalized quizzes, and progress reports — allowing students to stay organized and track their progress as they learn.

·   Allows for multi-sensory learning — utilizes your phones features to let you capture photos, make audio notes, etc.

StudyBlue just launched an expanded PRO subscription and complete redesign for back to school.

The PRO subscription includes exclusive features such as audio, images, text formatting and equations. Starting September 1, it’ll also feature library of more than 250 million digital notecards (which includes lecture outlines and crowdsourced study guides). Pricing for PRO will be $24/3 months, in addition to the existing $9/month and $48/year packages.


Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 1.26.24 PMMonkey Kit

With the increasing popularity of tablets and e-readers, college students on campuses everywhere can be seen using their tablet in class to take notes, study in the library or just browse the web while hanging out in their dorm room.

Octa’s Monkey Kit is a versatile tablet accessory that can be taken anywhere. It’s designed to allow users to stand, grip, wrap, and mount their tablet anywhere and in various ways, making it the ideal tablet accessory for use in class, while in bed, on the couch or in the library. As a universal tablet stand that enhances the tablet user experience, the Monkey Kit lets users position tablets in various typing and viewing angles in order to minimize carpal tunnel and neck strain from frequent tablet use.

See more of Octa’s other offerings such as the Whale Kit!


TI-Nspire CX

TI-Nspire CX is the coolest new tool from Texas Instruments for back to school. This is not your typical graphing calculator! It is more like a mini-computer with a cool color display, 3D graphing and a rechargeable battery. A one-time purchase will take students from middle school math and science courses through advanced college level work, so it will help save parents money in the long haul! The TI-Nspire CX is allowed on high stakes exams including the SAT and ACT and comes bundled with software so students can transfer their class assignment to their computer easily and complete schoolwork at home.


Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 1.25.25 PMnabi 2 Tablet

Back-to-school season is just around the corner and we know that means parents will be looking for new ways to help make learning fun for kids. Fuhu – creator of the award-winning nabi tablet and the foremost innovators in kid’s technology – is dedicated to creating innovative products for kids that will offer the perfect solution.

The award-winning nabi 2 comes equipped with the Wings Learning System, a supplemental learning program filled with games and activities to help kids excel in reading, writing, and math without even realizing just how much they are learning! The tablet also includes incentives set by parents for completing educational programs and doing chores, such as more time for playing and watching their favorite content.

For children of all ages, nabi® 2 delivers amazing experiences in learning and entertainment through its innovative ecosystem of products and services dedicated to transformation of a child as they advance through learn, play and grow. You can find more information here.


V.ALRT by VSN Mobil

V.ALRT by VSN Mobil is a new device that makes it easy to send out urgent calls, text messages, and location information at the press of a button, summoning help wherever and whenever someone should need it.

The V.ALRT is a small wearable device that can be carried discreetly in a pocket or bag, worn on the wrist with the included band, or around the neck as a pendant. With V.ALRT, students that become injured, witness suspicious individuals/unusual behavior, or who find themselves in a dangerous situation can simply press the button to call for help.

Using Bluetooth SMART (4.0 LE) technology along with a mobile applications provided by VSN Mobile (Android and iOS), the V.ALRT connects with the user’s smartphone and sends personalized text messages, phone calls, or location information (with GPS on) to three pre-selected contacts indicating help is needed.

V.ALRT provides up to a year of use on a single battery and is available for purchase at www.VSNMobil.com and Amazon.com for $59.99, with no monthly or service fees of any kind.

Applications include:

  • School Safety – children/grandchildren in school can alert to emergencies or check in with parents after an incident
  • Connecting families – put V.ALRT in a backpack or pocket and have a hotline to Mom/Dad
  • Signal for help if injured – great for hiking, biking, or other outdoor activities
  • Fall Detection Mode – multi-axis accelerometer automatically notifies contacts if a fall is detected
  • Homebound no more – users with medical conditions can stay connected to healthcare professionals or care providers when out at the store, in the yard or otherwise away from the landline


Sparkup Magical Book Reader

The Sparkup Magical Book Reader enables grandparents to create personalized audio recordings of *any* illustrated children’s book, so that their grandchildren can listen, read along and feel connected even when apart. In other words, it helps children to practice their reading skills while also providing the emotional connection of a grandparent’s voice.  The Reader can store up to 50 books at a time, and is a perfect way to encourage children to read even when they’re not at school

Designed for children ages 3 through 8, the Reader attaches to the top of a book and records the user’s voice while tracking each page via its built-in camera.  Afterwards, any time the device is re-attached to that book, the camera recognizes its images and plays the appropriate recording for each pageIt is available for purchase on Amazon or www.sparkupreader.com for $59.99.



Don’t you wish you could avoid losing or misplacing your cell phone? Just think of the time and money, not to mention the stress that you would save if you never had to ask: Where the heck is my phone? PhoneFetcher is the easy solution to this everyday problem.

Developed by entrepreneur, Madelyn Goldberg, PhoneFetcher is a simple, low-cost tether that uses a specially engineered plug that inserts into phones that have a 3.5mm earphone jack.  It connects on the other end to a handbag, purse, gym bag, knapsack, baby bag, belt loop and more.

Goldberg conceived of this idea during the months that she spent recuperating from a serious car accident.

PhoneFetcher comes in a stretchable “sport” bungee model in nine classic and bold colors, a jeweled “bling” model and as well as a “chain” model in nickel, silver, gold and black nickel (Gunmetal) finishes to match the hardware on a purse or bag.

MSRP $12.99-$18.99.

The PhoneFetcher™ is available for purchase at www.PhoneFetcher.com, Bed, Bath & Beyond and other fine retailers.



New, cool phone cases are now available from OtterBox – the Symmetry Series and Resurgence Series!

The Symmetry Series is a perfect case for the fashion-forward college student as it is lightweight, comes in a variety of patterns and also provides phones with high quality protection that OtterBox is known for.

The second case, Resurgence, is a charging phone case which is perfect for older students who find themselves on their phones more. The case is particularly great for students going back to college, or just starting college, because it provides extra battery for your phone, so you never miss an email from a professor saying an assignment is due or a notification from a friend that class is canceled.

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