The nights are starting to get a little cooler.  Soon the leaves will start to turn colors.  School will be staring soon.  Getting everything together for school can be a bit of a challenge.

However, one thing is clear.  Every year technology becomes more and more important in terms of education.  If you want to give your child an advantage, you may want to invest in some appropriate technology.

boy with apps

Connect kids with technology. Image: Shutterstock

There are some key components for each age group which can help your child to succeed.  In elementary school, there are not as many tech needs, but they may start learning to type papers on their computer as early as third grade.  So, at that age, you may just want to start teaching your kids some Microsoft Word and PowerPoint basics.

In middle school, students often are given the responsibility of having their own cell phone, often on their parents’ phone plan.  This gives parents the ability to set limits such as how many texts they can send and even block unwanted callers.  This is an excellent time to talk to your kids about responsibility and “sexting.”  No, it’s not too early.

In high school, having a computer is almost essential.  Almost all high school papers will be typed on a computer.  A laptop is a good option since it is portable.  Consider getting a thumb drive (ultra-portable) as well so your child can start typing a paper at school, save it via USB port to the thumb drive, and then continue typing it at home.  Along with that, they will need a printer.

girl with tablet

Tablets are fun for kids. Image: Shutterstock

One other type of technology high school students might need is a graphing calculator such as a Texas Instruments version.  They can be pricy, so you may want to explore used ones.

Just for fun, all kids love I-Pods, tablets (with educational or fun activities pre-loaded) and gaming devices.  Make sure you monitor all use of technology since you want to make sure your kids are not talking to strangers online.  Make it clear that you will be allowed to access their Facebook, if they have a page, or look at what they’re viewing online at any time.

That lets kids know they will be watched and tells them you care about what they do.  They will probably complain, because they will say they want freedom, but it more important that you are a parent and not a friend.  They will respect you in the long run.