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Gadgets That Make Back-to-School a Breeze

From preschool to college, students are returning to classrooms all across Walton EMC’s service area. We’ve found five electric gadgets that make it easier for everyone in the family to transition back to school.

Breakfast Station Preparing breakfast is fast and easy with this all-in-one, countertop appliance. Make coffee, brown bread and fry bacon and eggs simultaneously in the compact unit. If making breakfast sandwiches is your thing, Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker ($45) is as easy as it gets.

Bluetooth Tracker This tag will be your new best friend for keeping tabs on kids’ laptops, phones and backpacks. iPhone users should choose Apple’s AirTag ($29), which employs a huge network of Apple devices to passively search for lost goods and enable precision finding features. Tile ($25) trackers are the best option for those who don’t use Apple’s phones.

Scanning Pen For a student who struggles with a reading disability or is learning English, this handheld reading assistance tool is a gamechanger. The device has a tiny optical character recognition (OCR) sensor that scans text and then reads it aloud. Some models also translate text in multiple languages, making it easy for an English learner to read independently. Reviewers at Speechify like the C-Pen Reader ($275).

Key-free Lock Never again worry about your kids getting locked out of the house while you’re still at work. Children who are prone to losing or forgetting their house key can use their phone to unlock a smart door lock. The August Smart Lock ($200) also provides an activity log that monitors comings and goings. And it will let you lock the door remotely, if the kids forget.

3D Pen Help your student elevate their class project game with this handheld cousin to the 3D printer. Users can “draw” three-dimensional, molded objects from heated plastic. Wirecutter tested 10 pens and named the 3Doodler Create+ ($80) the best.