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Front Page Talking Points


Holiday tech gifts: See what's new, clever and affordable


1.gifCan you spot gifts – digital or old-school – that you want?

2.gifFind a local holiday performance, display or other event that sounds like fun.

3.gifLook for people or a group helping the less fortunate. Who benefits and how?

Tech devices and accessories that you get or give this season can be practical as well as cool. Choices of digital gadgets and electronic diversions get more imaginative, portable and interactive each year. Check out a sampling of new phone accessories, games, audio gear and toys.

If you like to play games on your phone, or want a console-like experience that won’t bust a budget, the Backbone One mobile controller ($64) is an accessory for turning iPhones and Android devices into a Nintendo Switch-like console that can play local games and stream games from services like Google Stadia or Xbox Cloud Gaming. For friends or family members who prefer wired earbuds, Moondrop Quarks deliver high quality for just $11 (or nearly $13 with remote pickup and microphone for calls). And for TikTok users who want to boost videos to another level, a LetsGlow Studio set ($15) has reflective fashion accessories, colorful stickers and a 16-color LED glow light phone or tablet attachment to enliven presentations.

Here are more ideas:

Mini photo prints: Fujifilm's latest instant printer connects wirelessly to a phone via Bluetooth and can print any camera roll shot on two-inch by three-inch paper sold separately ($14 for 20 sheets). The $98 device comes in white, pink, and black.

Historic-setting video game: "Pentiment," a $20 release for Xbox, is a medieval narrative murder mystery set in a small town in Bavaria. Solo players who like text conversation can work with an illuminator of manuscripts at a fictional abbey as he tries to solve a rich baron's murder there. The 15-hour game demands a player converse with a range of characters with answers guiding the narrative and quests. Players can get a deep dive into 16th century art, history and culture as an encyclopedia continually fills with terms after conversations.

Tablet pen: The Meko Universal Stylus Pen ($14) lets users draw, sketch or write on iPads and other touchscreen devices. It comes with mesh tips and precision tips, including replacements, and has a transparent disc at the end to see where each mark is being made.

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2023

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Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.