Got gadgets? Half a dozen gadgets for school and dorm life


Carly Mack

An assortment of helpful gadgets.

Carly Mack, Web Editor

In this age of technology, gadgets can be especially helpful in the academic field. Some of the most helpful advances in modern technology often go unnoticed by the majority of people. That being said, here are a couple of the best gadgets to improve and facilitate your school experience.


Rechargeable battery:

We’ve all been there–you’re in the middle of your day, juggling appointments, plans with friends, and errands, when you see your phone give you the dreaded “10% of battery remaining” warning. This portable power outlet is a must-have for so many different electronics. A small battery that can be charged overnight, this gem has a USB port for plugging in your phone and recharging on-the-go. It also works well tablets and wireless headphones. Emma Maxwell ‘17 uses her portable charger frequently: “I use my phone for school stuff like google classroom,” she says, “and it dies fast.” Her charger has spared her from many bad situations. The rechargeable battery is a lifesaver for emergencies and comes in small sizes that will fit in a pocket or bag. Because they are now fairly common, you can typically buy one at a low price. The especially-convenient Anker Power Core comes in a small lipstick size and is on the cheaper side.


Noise cancelling headphones:

These little wonders are a personal recommendation of mine. It’s difficult to find quiet time when surrounded by noisy people. Study like a pro by simply tuning everyone out and limiting distractions. It’s especially helpful to college students living in a noisy dorm. Naturally, you will be thankful for a way to occasionally block out your roomies. For most, I would recommend the Sony noise cancelling headphones because they are high quality and fairly inexpensive. But there are other options based on what you’re willing to pay and what quality you’re aiming for.


Adapter cables:

Adapter cables of any kind are necessary for today’s technology users, and you may be surprised to find some really cool, unique ones on the market.  Adapters are greatly affected by recent technological innovations. For example, if you have a newer phone, you might not have an audio jack. Phones like this usually come with an adapter that plugs into the charger port so you can still use normal headphones–but that means the user is unable to charge their phone and listen to music simultaneously. But, no worries! You can buy adapters that plug into your charger port and then split into a charger and a headphone jack.

Have you ever had a friend who needed to borrow a charger, but the two of you have different phones? There is an adapter cable that plugs into a USB port and then splits into a variety of current phone-charging ports– so you will always have the one you need! The Vastar 4-in-1 cable is very high-quality, and unlike a lot of similar adapters, it has a long cable for extra reach.


External Hard drive/ Large USB:

What a nightmare it would be if something were to happen to that Civics project you have been working on for half of the year! Looking for a great way to backup information? You can use an external hard drive to make sure important files are not lost if something happens to your computer. These devices can also keep all of your school work in one place, allowing you to bring assignments back and forth to class.  Because they have greater storage than a USB flash drive, using one enables you to save and keep all of the files you could possibly need. Jackie Hallerman ‘17 uses her flash drive to store pictures and says her favorite part is that “it’s more efficient, goes straight in [my computer] here so I can develop them quickly.” Remember to make sure the drive is compatible with your type of computer.


Socket cubes:

There are never enough wall sockets. Personally, I think socket cubes are much better than strips because the chargers don’t get in the way of each other. Also, they take up less space, making them small and mobile as opposed to clunky and cumbersome. Again, if you’re going to be staying in a dorm again next year, you are going to want one of these. After all, there are never enough outlets to go around. There only seems to be one brand currently making these and that is Powercube. However, they come in a couple different styles, from wall outlets to extension cables.


Recording device:

This is a nice thing to have for presentations or lectures. You can get a small recording device to leave in the front of the class and pick up at the end of the lesson. This helps students who may have trouble keeping up with note-taking during lectures. You can also lend the recording to a friend who was absent during class so they can take the notes they need at a later time. There are several kinds of these useful recorders: ones that do nothing but record and store hours of recordings, and small ones stored inside a pen that you can click on and off.