College students are getting ready to head back to campus, with parents equipping them with all the supplies they need to succeed and thrive. Traditionally, this time of year involved trips to malls and department stores to pick up the essential supplies, from dorm furnishings to stationery and computer accessories. Back-to-college season is an increasingly digital affair, however, with device adoption and online shopping influencing the purchasing decisions of college families. At Kensington, we’ve looked at some of the major trends that are likely to have an effect on shopping decisions this year and in the near future.

2814710002_711e3b2d82_z

Device Ownership

According to Deloitte’s 2015 Back to School Survey, almost ninety percent of college students own their own desktop or laptop computer, and there is no sign that this figure has reached a plateau. The increasing affordability and improved performance of hybrid devices means there is now less of a requirement to invest in separate devices, one for the dorm room and one for the lecture theater.

Wearable Technology

It’s unlikely you’ll notice many pairs of smart glasses in the library or in lectures, but wearable tech does open up exciting educational possibilities for teachers and students. The early signs are that students are open and receptive to the potential of wearable tech. Smart watches offer students another way to stay connected and could boost productivity when used as companion devices, while fitness wristbands are likely to become increasingly popular with image and health conscious students.

19325875484_fa5a3c0a27_z

Smart Phone and Tablet Apps

It’s estimated that around 90% of college students own a smart phone, with many using educational and workplace apps to help them with their studies. But with so many apps competing for the same space, it can be hard for students to know where to start. The Khan Academy Android and iPad apps, OneNote, EasyBib and popular language apps such as Duolingo show the level of demand for such apps among school and college students, as well as teachers and parents. Smartly chosen and used in the right way, apps can make the start of the new academic year go a little more smoothly.

Campus Security

The increasing number of digital devices in dorm rooms and college libraries has made campus security more of an issue than ever. In 2010, figures from the U.S. Department of Education included more than 12,000 campus burglaries, a problem that’s often exacerbated by unlocked doors and easy access to communal areas. The first step is to make sure personal devices are properly insured; the next is to take appropriate security measures to guard against theft and loss. A portable laptop lock enables students to keep their device safe and secure, whether in the library, lecture hall or a dorm room.

Are you getting ready for the new college year? Let us know what steps you’re taking via our LinkedIn page.

 Image by teddy-rised and Miguel Angel Avila Lombana via Flickr