Back to School 2011 A Special Supplement to JG-TC
Unique Ways to Save on
School Supplies When it comes to school, costs are rising across the board. Though tuition hikes get most of the publicity, additional expenses associated with school can add up as well, and school supplies are no exception.
Though it was once easy to send kids off to school with a pencil case, a couple of notebooks and a few other accessories, today's students live in a digital world, and their teachers often rely on technology to sup-
plement lesson plans. As a result, the cost of school supplies is higher than ever before, and parents are left looking for ways to give kids the tools they need without breaking the bank. To do just that, consider the following tips. Sign up for coupons on retailer Web sites. When consumers purchase a product online, prior to finalizing the purchase many online retailers ask consumers to check a box if they
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kids head off to college, examine their first semester schedule and then look online for each class' corresponding syllabus. If most of their required textbooks are available as e-books, then an e-reader might make a great gift. If not, think of something else. Don't make the bottom line the determining factor. Whether a student is in grade school, high school or college, his or her school supplies tend to undergo more than their fair share of wear and tear. So parents looking to save on school supplies should consider that when shopping. Though the less expensive backpack might seem more affordable, make sure it can withstand the test of time and all the wear and tear that comes with being a student's backpack. If not, it will likely need to
be replaced before the school year is out, which can end up costing more money in the long run. Recycle school supplies. School supplies can be recycled. At the end of each semester or school year, perform an inventory of existing school supplies. If last semester's notebooks were hardly used, there's no need to buy new ones for the new semester. Similarly, parents who have a couple of students in their household can embrace handme-down school supplies just like they do with clothes. If one child finishes the school year but didn't quite use up all of their supplies, save those supplies for n the day when their younger sib- b lings end up in the same class. t r b
would like to receive e-mail newsletters and coupons. Parents who sign up for such newsletters and coupons can save substantial amounts of money and might even be privy to special sales not available to the general public. In some cases, it's not even necessary to make a purchase to receive the newsletters and coupons. Shoppers simply visit the Web site of their favorite online retailers and sign up to be notified of any deals or sales. Coordinate with teachers ahead of time. Parents should consult their child's teacher before school begins and throughout the year to determine if there are any special projects or reports coming up that require certain supplies. For instance, kids might need costly graphing calculators next semester. If parents are given advance notice, they can shop around to get the best deal. Talk to local school officials to see if it's possible to make a list of school supplies available at the end of the year instead of at the very beginning. If so, this gives parents several months to shop around for the best deals. Do your own homework. Parents of college-bound kids might think an e-reader would make the ideal gift, saving kids the trouble of lugging all those books around campus. However, parents should do their homework before making any such purchases. That's because not all textbooks are available as ebooks, and kids might end up Today's students, both young and old, need a host of supplies to succeed in having to buy hard copies of the classroom. Parents can consult teachers ahead of time in an effort to their textbooks anyway. Before save money on costly supplies.
Supplies for the
21st Century Student School supplies have evolved significantly over the years. Items that appear on today's school-supply lists may be quite different from yesteryear. It used to be that teachers required a relatively standard set of supplies for classroom and homework use. Folders, pencils, and spiral-bound notebooks were often the items of choice. As more schools embrace the digital age, school supplies tend to evolve to meet the demands of new technology. Dry erase markers:Schools are increasingly moving away from traditional chalk boards, which tend to be messy. In rooms where computer equipment is located, dry erase boards are often the preferred choice for teachers. As such, teachers tend to ask students for a steady supply of dry erase markers to use on the large whiteboards. Some classrooms also employ individual dry erase boards. Laptop computers or tablets: A personal computer can store a wealth of information and connect students with tons of information through the Internet. Instead of
spreading school budgets thin equipping classrooms with computers, some schools encourage students to purchase their own devices for use at school and at home. Flash/thumb drives:Students who want to transfer files from school to home can use convenient thumb drives. These small storage devices can hold a significant amount of information. Copy paper: Tightened school budgets may force teachers to ask for donations of supplies, like reams of paper. These will be used to print out the different worksheets and notes sent home to parents and students. Cable television: In many classes, particularly those that deal with history or current events, teachers assign homework that require watching certain programs and then reporting back what they learned. Although cable or satellite television is largely universal in today's homes, it may require a few people who don't have the service to sign up. Newspaper subscription: The same way assignments are given to watch shows on TV, some teachers prefer to utilize newspapers when
Some of the devices that were once convenience items for students are now becoming mandatory for use in the classroom and at home. Laptop computers are proving important for research, assignments, reports, and many other purposes.
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teaching current events. Having a weekly subscription or at least purchasing the paper a few days of the week enables students to keep abreast of what's going on in the world. Graphing calculator: Although computers can perform many of the tasks of handheld calculators, it's easier to carry graphing calculators around school than it is to cart around a
laptop. Graphing calculators perform many different types of math. They may be required for algebra, calculus and geometry. They are also useful for plotting lines. Once purchased, a graphing calculator can be used for years. Planner: Students once wrote down assignments in a paper planner or on a calendar. Although many choose to do it the
same way today, some opt to go the digital route, entering reminders and tasks into a PDAor a phone with these capabilities. E-reader:Students taking a foreign language or avid readers may opt to invest in an e-reader. This way they can store a dictionary, thesaurus, or even some of their favorite books in one place. Scanner: A scanner can be an invaluable tool for copying material
from books or scanning in photos and other items for use in projects. Many scanners come in all-in-one printer/fax/scanner machines, which can be a good investment. Printer:A desktop printer will enable students to print out homework assignments or reports. Internet access: The Internet has proven an invaluable resource for today's students. Students frequently have to go online to do as-
signments. Many teachers also have Web sites where they post a syllabus or assignments. Some teachers prefer students contact them through email. Standard supplies:Pens, pencils, staplers, folders, binders, notebooks, rulers, protractors, compasses, and the other traditional school supplies are still in demand. School supplies have evolved over the years. Parents and stu-
dents may have to adjust accordingly to get the items they need to do wll in the classroom. Considering some of these supplies can be costly, parents may want to investigate refurbished devices that are often backed by warranties.
Traditional Textbooks May Be
Replaced by E-Readers revenue is generated from downloaded fiction and nonfiction books, e-book reader companies are realizing the benefits of offering digital versions of textbooks as well. Amazon has already contracted with three textbook companies to offer digital editions. This could mark the move from cumbersome textbooks to compact information. Many professors already instruct their students to go online for information, to read blogs or
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Some of the devices that were once convenience items for students are now becoming mandatory for use in the classroom and at home. Laptop computers are proving important for research, assignments, reports, and many other purposes. to garner broad acceptance, institutions may need to make the devices part of the school's requirements. This is similar to many schools requiring all students own a laptop. Students who are unable to afford an ereader may be subsidized for the device or be able to use student loans to pay for them. E-readers can be advantageous in the classroom and students can also use them for their own personal purposes.
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download digital content from Web sites capable of staying current in today's increasingly fast news cycle. Soon they may be instructing them to purchase the latest editions of textbooks delivered right to an e-reader device. There are several advantages to having textbook material available for e-readers. The first, and most obvious, is the weight issue. The average college student takes 5 classes per semester. That can equal 5 or more textbooks to purchase, each weighing several pounds. A student has the potential to be carrying 50 pounds on his or her back at any given time, and that can lead to injury. In comparison, most e-readers weigh just a few ounces and can hold a thousand books or more, depending on file size. A student can carry all of the required textbooks right in a back pocket. The next advantage is cost. While e-readers require an upfront cost of roughly $300, some textbooks can cost as much. Although the cost of textbook material delivered to an e-reader is still unknown, and likely based on the individual publisher, it may be more affordable than oncampus book store prices. Also, should a traditional textbook be lost, a student has to repurchase it. Many e-readers feature back-up ability, where a previously purchased book can be retrieved free from a database or storage device. Convenience is another factor for e-books. Students simply browse wirelessly for their desired reading and download it in mere minutes. This is certainly more time-efficient than waiting on long lines at the campus bookstore or waiting for books to be delivered through the mail from online sources. E-readers have the potential to be successful for school use, but they need to have the support of professors behind them. For a device like e-readers
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E-readers are palm-sized electronic devices that can offer newspapers, magazines and books as digital content. While they can be convenient for the recreational reader, e-books may be a boon to students as well. The e-reader market exploded when Amazon introduced its Kindle and Kindle 2. Sony, Barnes & Noble and other companies have also introduced their own e-reader devices. While the mainstay of e-reader