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11 Essential Tech For College Students

by | Apr 5, 2024 | NPP Recommends, Dorm Room

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Essential tech for college students is an important topic because there are many options and some of it can be pricey.

There are many items that your teen will need when they get to college, but a few of the most important items are the tech that will be necessary. This post breaks down the most essential tech items your student will need for college. Without these items, college is pretty impossible these days!

As your freshman heads off to school, there are a few essential tech items they will need FOR SURE!

I will break down what these are and why they are so necessary for college in the post below. My sons and their friends helped me come up with these most important 11 items!

11 Essential Tech Items For College
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#1 Essential tech for college students: Charging devices

Charging station -this can stay in place on a desk or table for charging all devices that your student will need.

Portable charger (2 pk)-Portable chargers are so handy! If your teen can remember to keep this thing charged, then they can keep it in their backpack to carry along with them in class for their laptop, phone or whatever. (See post about what to carry in a college backpack)

Battery jump starter battery booster -this will charge anything including your car! If your student can remember to charge this every 6 months, they can use this in an emergency! My friends’ son used this in a power outage to continue to be able to use his devices.

Power strip with surge protector -Get one with a long cord like this because outlets are few and far between! It’s a good idea to have this kind as well as the charging station from above. Maybe a couple more as well.

#2 Essential tech for college students: Headgear

Headphones -There are so many options for this. Wired, wireless, earbuds, sound silencer, the list is endless. Make sure that your teen has a set that will work for them.

Earbuds -Waterproof and noise cancelling with comfort fit.

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#3 Essential tech for college students: Device stand

Cell phone stand -this is not really a tech device, but makes looking at phone easier while studying,

Laptop stand -also not a tech device, but this will help your student use their devices more easily.

#4 Essential tech for college students: Streaming

Streaming device -Create a wireless connection and stream in HD, 4K, and HDR with sharp resolution and vivid color optimized for a TV​. A “one and done” remote.

#5 Essential tech for college students: Laptop

Laptop – “… give(s) students the flexibility and freedom they need to work on academic assignments anytime, anywhere,’ this is according to the University of Toledo. Even with computer labs on campuses, the likelihood of a desktop computer being available when your student needs one, is iffy. I know that my boys both said that when they would walk past the computer labs at their different campuses, every computer was often occupied.

Do not worry about this purchase before your teen gets to college. The school will help your teen adapt whichever computer they have to the college’s system. What is most important is to have a new or newish computer that will last for four years, and always make sure to take advantage of student deals! I know in our state we have a tax free weekend in the spring which we have taken advantage of twice now!

Price on laptops can vary by a large amount. The price can be determined by the amount of bells and whistles, the brand and many other variables, so some research will be involved! Getting a refurbished computer is also a great option.

Here is an inexpensive choice. Here is a medium expensive choice. And, here is a more expensive choice.

Don’t forget a laptop lock! And a cooling mat is great to have when they are being used a lot.

#6 Essential tech for college students: External hard drive

External hard drive -This will give your student the peace of mind that they can back up any device and know that their information is stored. The model below is good for Mac, PC, PS4, and Xbox. Make sure that your student doesn’t leave home without this!

essential tech items you need for college
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#7 Essential tech for college students: Watch

Watch -This is another one of those things that your teen will have to decide what kind they want. It is always good to have some sort of device to tell time besides a phone. There are apple or other smart watches. There are paracord watches. There are dressy or professional watches. There are basic watches.

#8 Essential tech for college students: Speaker

Speaker -If your student hasn’t had one until now, it is a great thing to have in their dorm or apartment, as well as taking out for a picnic or other fun outing.

#9 Essential tech for college students: Notetaking

Kindle Scribe -Read and write down thoughts in books or a separate notebook, distraction free.

Android E-paper tablet -similare to the Kindle with many awesome user options

Ipad -Also great for notetaking with many options. Grab an Apple pencil and the Apple Magic Keyboard Folio for a full package that would be a great package for students.

Notetaking app -Many of the apps in this link are free, so go ahead and have your student try them until they find one that they like!

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#10 Essential tech for college students: Planning

Planning is a very personal thing. Some like apps. Some like paper planners. And, some like a combination of both. Your student needs to keep working out a system until they find a way that works best for them. It may change and/or need to evolve each semester based on the classes taken.

Planning apps -Just like other apps, try them until the the right one “fits”

Paper planner -Sometimes just the action of writing down something to paper can help with the process of remembering certain dates.

#11 Essential tech for college students: Printer

Printer -You might think that this is silly when there are printer centers on most campuses.

But… my boys at two different colleges both said there were more problems with their different printer centers than they expected. Out of paper. A long line. They had to schedule ahead of time -seriously?! And on and on… So, having their own printer ended up being the answer.

They charged their friends for printing out their stuff by the page to earn spare change to run the washing machine and dryer.😂

I hope these suggestions help your student with the tech they will need for college!

It was really hard to limit this list to 11 “essential tech for college students”, but I like a list that doesn’t overwhelm, so I kept it to the most necessary.

There are so many more items your teen will need for college, but remember that if they are living in a dorm, the choices that you all make will need to be smart and space-efficient!

Be sure to check out my post about your teen turning 18, there are some really important things to know legally that you will want to go over with your teen!

Posts related to essential tech you need for college:

What You Need to Know When Your Teen Turns 18

What does your teen need in their college backpack

What will my freshman need in their dorm room

Dorm Room Move-in Planner

My Senior Is Pulling Away

15 Ways To Keep Your Child Safe at College

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