Technology has become more and more important in our daily lives. It keeps us connected with our interests and the people who are important to us, helps us to be safe and healthy, and aids us in countless other ways like never before. When that milestone called “college” finally comes around, it only makes sense to take all of today’s technological benefits along with us.

Sometimes it takes leaving to truly appreciate all the comforts that come with being home. But just because you go away to school doesn’t mean you should have to fully leave those comforts behind. With the help of a few key pieces of technology, you can create a safe and personalized space in your new dwelling, exactly like at home – only (sadly) without the family dog.

1. Try different casting devices based on your interests.

When you’re a student, you tend to be on the move – a lot. Whether you’re a movies-and-TV kind of person, a music person or both, you probably already know about all the different subscription services that can help you take your media with you wherever you go. But what about how you’re experiencing it? If you find yourself splitting your time between several places, being able to properly watch or listen to what you love can be an issue. Let’s be real. Getting everything through a laptop can get old. Portable options, such as casting devices that work with most modern televisions and a wireless connection and Bluetooth speakers that easily fit into a bag, are perfect for enjoying and sharing your media without having to crowd around a small screen. For casting devices, you simply plug the device into the TV’s HDMI input and then cast from your smart device. This is great when you’re moving from dorm room to dorm room. Similarly, you can cast to Bluetooth speakers while remaining wireless and on the move.

2. Invest in a security camera (even if it’s just to monitor your snacks).

Tech for Dorms

College should be an amazing time in any person’s life. There are so many totally new things to experience. Worrying about your living space or personal property, however, doesn’t need to be one of them. College is a particularly social time, especially if you’re living in a dorm, and this means lots of new people coming and going. Having a security camera or two is a great way to keep an eye on your room when you’re not around. The best part is there are inexpensive options. Some cameras cost less than $100, and the feed can be accessed right on your phone. For a little more, you can even talk to your roommate remotely (in case you don’t feel like texting). Just make sure they know it’s there, so there are no surprises.

3. Control your lights and air conditioning remotely.

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There are going to be plenty of times when you find yourself spending hours on end away from your dorm or apartment. If you’re living in a place that doesn’t have a thermostat and automatic lighting (i.e. most students) this usually means coming back to a dark room that’s either completely freezing or sweltering and stuffy, depending on how you left the air conditioner that day. Just like the security cameras, there are relatively inexpensive options for air conditioners and light bulbs that can be controlled via smartphone. Now you’ll no longer have to worry about things like running for the window unit the second you walk in the door, only to accidentally step on the presentation your roommate has been working on for weeks because it was too dark to see.

4. Make chores easier by using robot vacuums.

Frequently, chores fall to the wayside due to the busy schedules of college students. And it’s entirely understandable. Between classes, homework and all the socializing, chores can be pretty difficult to complete regularly. Technology can help. While they won’t help with putting things away, robot vacuums are an efficient and fun way to take care of your floors without using any more time than it takes to push a button. Now when you get an out-of-the-blue call from your mother saying she’s almost there (surprise!), you’ll have an extra hand when you’re panicking to get things ready.

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Joe Miragliotta

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Joe Miragliotta

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