Chris J Powell

Summer is almost over

There is always a sadness when the dog days of summer come to an end.  Amazingly as much complaining as we Canadian’s do about the heat, we miss it terribly when the Winter Lows come and we are buried under 5 feet (1.5 meters) of snow but there is a defined change here in Canada as the Autumn / Fall starts.

It is just over one week until school is back in and focus for this 11 year old entrepreneur has to give up her full day “Child Minding Duties” and pick up a book and begin to study.  It has been a strange summer for us as we did not do many of the typical “Vacationy” things that families do but we will be packing up the car and heading to the beach today (fingers crossed that the rain will hold off).


With back to school in mind I have been giving some thought to technology in the classroom and all of next weeks posts will be focused on the tidbits that I have picked up from my clients and some of the challenges that they are facing with the change to a much more technology driven economy.


To start this week I thought I would do a quick “Geekery” round up of the things I wish I had for the first day of school:


1. A solid Tablet / ebook Reader

Now there are those who will say that iPad for all but really I am not convinced that the iPad or the expense of an iPad is right for every college, high school or middle school student.  Looking to the Barnes and Noble Nook, the Kobo or the Kindle I would recommend to every parent or student with any kind of budget that this is the one purchase that should be made (imagine replacing 100’s of books with a small form factor tablet reader…SWEET!

2. LiveScribe Pulse Smartpen

I first noticed this little device in a Tiger Direct and thought about how it was a perfect mix between the ineffective note taking abilities of the iPad (and most tablets).  Even more important a solution that would let me be able to take notes that could then be uploaded without me having to retype everything.  Only downfall is that software to read the data is Windows Only

3. Kata KT DR-467I-BB Digital Rucksack

Now this is primarily a camera bag for D-SLR cameras and all the gear to make them work, having looked at more than a few camera bags and backpacks over the past week.  The fact that Camera bags are modular is great of the many digital gadgets available out there it is most justifiable to be able to have a combo bag that can do everything you may need from it as you move to a “Digital Student”.

4.  Solar portable charger

There are several options out there for this but the one consistency with the power hungry tech devices that the students heading back to class will all find is that their iPhone/Android phone will likely die mid text, their iPad or tablet may need a recharge after 4 hours of YouTube music videos and this will most likely happen when you least expect it.

5. Note Taker / Report Maker and General Purpose Laptop

There are many schools of thought about what form factor or size of laptop is best for students these days and I am going to go out on a limb and state that the most recent line up of 11.6″ laptops is the perfect combination of the portability of a Netbook with the supercharged power of a full size Laptop.  Some of the key makers of these:

  • Dell M101Z
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U150
  • Acer Aspir AS1410
  • Apple MacBook Air

6. Digital Storage

One of the defining insights into your true inner Geek 2.0 status is how many Thumb Drives, Portal Storage Devices and general media readers you have on your person at any given time.  If you use myself as a Litmus Test for this, I can be found with an assortment of USB Thumb Drives, Media Converters that can aid me in going from no extra storage to just shy of 100GB depending on the day.


Well, regardless of your entering Middle School and being at the top of your game, off to High School for the first time or leaving mom and dad home alone and looking to your own “college experiment” I bid you well and hopefully some of these tips may assist you in your Digital endeavors.




Chris J Powell




3 thoughts on “Summer is almost over

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