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Back-to-school tech for 2021

Macbook

It's August, and back-to-school planning is in full swing. Technology has been a part of K-12 education for years, but over the past 18 months it's moved front and center thanks to the pandemic. We saw huge demand for Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes, as well as some of our cheat sheets and videos for educators.

We have a rising high school junior who has used Google Docs since he was in 2nd grade, but last year we had to make some additional investments. He already had a Windows PC that he built himself after using online resources like the PC Part Picker database. Not surprisingly, the motivation was PC-based gaming, not school.

Regardless, in March 2020 we had to unexpectedly outfit his room for remote learning, including a webcam for his PC and a decent chair. For Christmas last year, we got him a bigger curved screen which not only makes Google Docs look slick, it makes Minecraft look fantastic.

His school also distributed laptops for home and classroom use, once school re-opened for in-person learning in the spring. Most students got Chromebooks, inexpensive laptops that run Google applications, or MacBooks, like the one in the photo above.

One tricky thing that we had to deal with during the pandemic was printing. Windows and Mac printing is pretty straightforward as long as the printer is wired (via USB) or is connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Chromebooks are another story. Google Cloud Print has never worked well, and what we often ended up doing when the Chromebook couldn't print, is opening the file from an iPad or iPhone and using Apple AirPrint: