Back-to-School Gear for Academic Skills Development

(StatePoint) From mathematics to music to new languages, skill development and knowledge acquisition are easiest with the right tools. Set your child up for a successful year with the best back-to-school gear.

• Reinforcements: Flash cards, a tried-and-true technique for reinforcing classroom lessons, have gone digital. Check out Quizlet, a site that features flash cards, games, diagrams and study guides on a range of subjects, including foreign languages, science subjects and even practical computer skills like Photoshop, Excel and PowerPoint. With content accessible online or on the mobile app, students can quickly and conveniently cram for their exams on-the-go.

• Practice makes perfect: Whether your child is learning to play piano for the first time or mastering their skills, the right keyboard can make all the difference. To that end, consider outfitting your student with a Casio Stage Piano from the brand’s CDP line. The CDP-S150, for example, delivers a natural grand piano sound and feel in a slim case that’s barely larger than the keys themselves, making it a great choice for those who practice in a bedroom or dorm room. Since it weighs only 23.1 pounds and is capable of running on either its included power supply or AA batteries, this model provides both portability and convenience.

• Organization: Organization is not exactly an academic skill, but mastering this life skill has the potential to improve grades and make the learning process easier. Seek out tools that help students keep both their hard copy paperwork and digital files organized, as well as teach good habits. Mountable wall files can help reduce desk clutter and provide a sorting system, whereas new digital tools like Evernote can streamline both note-taking and review.

• Higher-order thinking: By conveying the appeal of mathematics in a way that does not just rehash textbook exercises or ask students to memorize formulas, students will be motivated to explore the depths of this fascinating subject. You can foster this type of higher-order thinking by powering your child’s learning with a high-quality calculator designed for their coursework. Handling the tedious calculations, students will have the bandwidth to discover different possibilities for arriving at answers, while focusing on the concepts behind the calculations. The scientific calculator models from Casio can handle hundreds of math functions and their graphing calculators feature a natural textbook display to help students more easily visualize mathematical concepts.

• Gaming and sports: While video games may seem like a school-year distraction, they can actually provide specific benefits to budding athletes, so don’t shy away from them completely. Research has shown that gaming in general can improve hand-eye coordination, and it’s also shown that games designed to mimic actual sports play can help build real-world skills.

There’s no doubt about it. The tools students need to thrive today look quite different from the past. However, these tools can help students take both their skills, as well as their comprehension of subjects, to new heights.

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Photo Credit: (c) Kerkez / iStock via Getty Images Plus

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