With the new school year on the horizon, students are slowly starting to dust off their laptops and anticipate new challenges. But aside from more powerful, faster, and lighter portable PCs out there, there are some other really cool new gadgets that make learning easier and more fun.

Livescribe 2GB Echo Smartpen

The Livescribe 2GB Echo Smartpen

Think your head will explode trying to catch every word of a lecture? With this nifty tool, you can rest easy knowing you won’t miss a thing. The Echo Smartpen records everything you hear and write and automatically saves it to your computer. It also comes complete with software for Mac or Windows, a 50-page Starter Notebook, two ink cartridges, and a micro USB cable to transfer data and keep your pen charged. The pen is so compact (6.8 inches long) it fits in your pocket, so you’ll have no problem taking it around and recharging in between classes.

Astrohaus Freewrite

Astrohaus Freewrite

If you enjoy taking notes but hate the bulk of a tablet, Freewrite is the tool for you. It’s a word processor that connects with the Cloud, so whatever you type is automatically saved. Whether you’re taking notes in Psych 101 or composing iambic pentameter for poetry class, this tool allows you to write on with the confidence that nothing will be lost. The Freewrite’s advanced e-ink screen is clear even on sunny days, too, so you can relax on the beach while you compose if you so please. The battery life lasts for over a week with regular use, so there’s no need to constantly recharge either.

ThirdEye Gen X1 Smart Glasses

ThirdEye Gen X1 Smart Glasses

Many lecture halls are massive, so if you’re not in the front few rows, it’s difficult to see formulas on the board or other visual aids used by educators. Slip on a pair of these Smart Glasses, and you’re guaranteed to have the best view in the room. These spectacles transform your view to one comparable to viewing a 90-inch screen from a distance of 10 feet, with a whopping 13 megapixels making sure that everything is clear as crystal. If necessary, the X1’s photochromatic lenses can also be replaced with prescription ones.

Garmin vívosmart 4

Garmin vívosmart 4

No matter how many gadgets and tools you bring to a classroom, you always have to be of sound mind and body to maximize learning. vívosmart helps keep you on track. Besides offering standard info like daily steps and exercise, notifying you of medication and supplement schedules, and tracking the number of calories you’ve burned, the device also keeps track of your sleep quality, stress levels, and pulse oxygenation. Before you head out the door for an all-night session, the compact vívosmart can tell you if it might be better to chill and relax at home.

TI-84 Plus CE

TI-84 Plus CE

Of course, there’s more to education than writing and listening, especially if your passion is math, science, or engineering. The Plus CE graphing calculator displays connections between data, equations, and graphs in full color and includes graph lines for easy reading. The 2019 model is also 30-percent thinner and lighter than past versions, and is ideal for Use for Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and II, Trigonometry, Statistics, Business & Finance, Biology, Chemistry, Geometry, Precalculus, College Math, and Linear Algebra. Last but certainly not least, the TI-84 is also approved for IB exams, AP exams that permit graphing calculators, and the PSAT, SAT, and ACT college entrance exams.