Front Page Talking Points


Check out this sampling of handy technology tools for your new school year


1.gifSummarize any other technology article.

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Digital devices are part of back-to-school rituals, so we post a timely roundup of tech tools for backpacks and home study desks. A Bluetooth mini-printer and a wireless recharger are among new or upgraded items to help with research, note-keeping, drills, calendars and projects. On the negative side, concerns arise about vape cartridges that resemble a common desktop item.

Here are a few of the latest electronic support products at budget-friendly prices:
  • Wireless mouse: The Logitech Signature M650 model ($35-$40) is Bluetooth-enabled and comfort-shaped to reduce strain on wrist tendons. Its battery lasts up to 24 months, according to the maker.
  • Battery charger: A trusty portable battery charger is more important than pencils and glue sticks. The most practical ones works for phones, tablets and laptops. Models from Zendure, Nimble Champ, Einova Eggtronic and Anker cost at least $40 and can fast-charge a mobile device at least once before needing a recharge themselves. Anker also makes a $70 phone power pack with snap-and-charge magnetic convenience, as well as a USB cord option. It's slim because of microcell technology and serves as a foldable stand to holds a phone at an easy-viewing angle.
  • Portable printer: The wireless Canon Pixma MG3620 printer ($49 to $60) lets users print from anywhere and from any device.

Another new category aimed at students and young graduates raises eyebrows. High Light brand vapes have vibrant neon colors and resemble gel-tip markers. Other companies make smokeless cartridges that look like USB memory sticks or lipstick. A federal agency, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recently sent warning letters to 15 online retailers for selling e-cigarette products packaged to look like school supplies, toys and drinks. "The agency is also seeking to raise awareness among parents, teachers and other adults headed into the new school year," it says in a statement. In Michigan, state Rep. Alabas Farhat, a Democrat, plans to propose a ban e-cigarettes that look like school supplies.

Federal regulator says: "The design of these [vape] products is a shamelessly egregious attempt to target kids." -- Brian King, director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products

State legislator says: "This is a real concern. Items are designed like toys and regular school supplies. Kids are going to mistake them for things meant to be fun or exciting." – Rep. Alabas Farhat of Michigan

Parent says: "The [vape] lipstick and pen, I’ve never seen before. We need to be more involved as parents and realize what’s going on." – Zainab Mroueh of Dearborn Heights, Mich.

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.