Smart & Connected Life Smart Home The 9 Tech Items Every Student Needs Students need more for school now than just a pen and backpack By Brad Stephenson Freelance Contributor Brad Stephenson is a freelance tech and geek culture writer with 12+ years' experience. He writes about Windows 10, Xbox One, and cryptocurrency. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Brad Stephenson Updated February 04, 2020 Eva-Katalin / E+ / Getty Images Smart Home Your Best Year Ever: College Tech Tips Amazon Appliances & Lighting Google Tweet Share Email Planning for the start of the school year is much harder than when it was back when all students needed was a pen and notebook. The only complication back then was which color should the notebook be? The advancement of technology has resulted in the invention of a variety of devices that make studying and campus life easier for students with much of this new tech not only being useful but also needed in today's classrooms. Here are nine tech devices that students will need this school year. Foldable Bike for Convenience and Security Bicycles can be a great way for getting to and from school and for traveling around campus quickly but finding a place to park them can often be difficult and there's always the danger of it being damaged or even stolen while in class. Folding bikes solve both of these problems. Sebastian Marmaduke / Image Source Not only are foldable bikes just as functional as traditional bicycles but they're much lighter and can be folded up to be carried by hand or placed in a bag. Ideally, they're as portable as a skateboard but much more useful. Noise-Cancelling Headphones to Help Students Focus Finding a quiet place to study or finish homework can be difficult for both high school and university students. Noise-cancelling headphones are a fantastic solution to this problem as they essentially make any environment a potential place for focused learning. Jamie Grill / The Image Bank Noise-cancelling headphones work by creating new soundwaves that cancel out other soundwaves around you. They vary in price from around $60 to over $300 with several quality options available on both ends of the price spectrum. Recording Pen for Convenient Lecture Taping Recording a lecture or class presentation can be a great way to improve retention of new information however having to carry a recording device in addition to all of your other belongings between classes can be a big inconvenience. Recording pens, also referred to as smart pens, solve this problem by functioning as a traditional pen for writing and drawing but also featuring a built-in microphone. Virtual Assistant for Reminders and Research Virtual assistants, also called digital assistants, have quickly become a part of modern computing with smartphones, laptops, tablets, computers and even video game consoles now supporting them. Digital assistants can be interacted with by text or voice and can be used to look up words or phrases, convert currency, ask for directions, create reminders, and more. primeimages / E+ / Getty Images The three big ones are Microsoft's Cortana, Apple's Siri, and Google's Google Assistant. Each one is available via a variety of official apps and also as native tools in some operating systems. Cortana is built-in to Windows 10 for example while Siri is already on your iPhone and iPad. Smartphone for Literally Everything It's pretty much impossible to be a student now without a smartphone. In addition to the convenience of being able to call family or faculty when needed, modern smartphones are packed with apps that can be used to collaborate on projects, access Word and Excel files, store data in the cloud, and research any topic imaginable. PeopleImages / DigitalVision The most-popular smartphones are those running iOS, such as Apple's iPhone, and Android however the niche Windows phones are also incredibly practical when it comes to study due to their First-Party support for all of Microsoft's apps and services. Laptop for Studying at Home and on the Go A laptop computer is undeniably a necessity nowadays for students in high schools and attending universities and colleges. Laptops make it easier for students to work on assignments at home as having one means that they won't have to wait until the family computer is free to use. Having their own personal laptop also allows students to study on their way to and from school, take notes during class, and develop new skills that they can put to use when they join the workforce. Cloud Storage for Backups and Collaboration Cloud storage services are online services that automatically back up files to online servers and allow for access to the same data on multiple devices such as a laptop or smartphone. Most students will likely already have a Google account for Gmail and YouTube so they can use the Google Drive cloud service that's already connected to their account. Eva-Katalin / E+ / Getty Images Microsoft also has its own cloud service called OneDrive which can be used by anyone who has an Outlook, Office, or Xbox account while another popular option is Dropbox which is available on pretty much every device imaginable. There are numerous cloud services available for students to try, many with free options, and they don't have to limit themselves to just one. Portable Printer for Essay and Photo Printing Portable printers are a great idea for university and college students who may need to print out a lot of documents but don't have easy access to printing facilities or can't afford to use them. Printers have a reputation for being a rather expensive luxury item but quality portable printers that can print text documents and photos are now available for just over $100, making them a legit option for many people. Wireless Bluetooth Speaker for Design Projects and Downtime Most students won't have the budget or the space in their dorm room for a full surround sound speaker setup but a wireless Bluetooth speaker can do a respectable job in playing audio from a computer or smartphone with solid bass and high volume levels. Joaqun Segura / EyeEm /Getty Images A wireless Bluetooth speaker isn't just for campus parties or gatherings though. Students studying art and design will often require a sound system for presentations and art installations and a small device like this is both easy to carry around and will get the job done.