Distance learning, homeschooling, or forming a micro-pod? These 7 tech deals will help

These tech deals will help set your micro-pod or home school off on the right foot

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As uncertainty continues around how and when schools will reopen for the fall, more parents are taking matters into their own hands instead, planning in advance for homeschooling or micro-pods this fall. (In case you haven't heard about the latter yet, micro-pods, or pandemic pods, are small groups of children that will be homeschooled together by a teacher.) 

Either way, preparation will be key in setting up a successful homeschool routine this year, especially when it comes to technology. To help you get set up for school at home without spending a small fortune, we've rounded up some of this week's top deals on tech musts for the classroom.

Getting your home office set up, too? Check out our list of the best small printers

A great laptop

It goes without saying that a quality laptop is one of the most essential components of a homeschool classroom, especially if you're opting for distance learning with a remote educator or enrolling in a homeschool network. The below options are highly rated, have webcams, and come in under $500.

HP - 2-in-1 14" Touch-Screen Chromebook - Intel Core i3 - 8GB Memory - 64GB eMMC Flash Memory - Mineral Silver | Was $629, now $499 at Best Buy

This HP device features a Intel Core i3 processor, a 14" touch screen, tablet mode, a 14-hour battery life, and a solid built-in webcam. View Deal

HP - 11.6" Chromebook - Intel Celeron - 4GB Memory - 32GB eMMC Flash Memory - Ash Gray | Was $219, now $169 at Best Buy

Looking for an even more budget-friendly option? This HP laptop is on sale for under $200, and is still packed with essential features for homeschooling, including a front-facing camera.View Deal

A small printer

A small printer is a must have for printing out downloadable worksheets and lessons, and assignments children have completed on their laptops. This pick also scans and copies.

HP ENVY 5055 All-in-One Printer With Mobile Printing, Instant Ink Ready (Certified Refurbished) | Was $99.99, now $84.99 at Walmart

This compact printer does it all: prints, scans, and copies, and it's wireless, too. It's refurbished, but at under $85, it's about $50 cheaper than a new model. View Deal

A projector

If you're creating a micro pod or homeschooling multiple children, consider adding in more advanced classroom technology, like a projection screen and a projector. This makes it easier for a group to see what's happening on your computer screen for tutorials, distance learning lessons, or watching instructional videos.

Epson - VS250 SVGA 3LCD Projector - Black/white |  Was $369.99, now $319.99 at Best Buy

This value-priced projector features HDMI input, and USB Plug 'n Play instant setup, which automatically projects both audio and video from a laptop.View Deal

A large monitor

Instead of a projection screen and projector setup, a large monitor or small TV can also do the trick for sharing computer-based lessons with more than one child.

Dell S-Pro 27 Monitor: S2719HS | Was $319.99, now $199.99 at Dell

Make a digital-based school day easier on the eyes. This 27" Dell monitor is almost twice the size of the average laptop screen, and it features ComfortView, a technology that reduces blue-light emissions.View Deal

An electric pencil sharpener

OK, so this might not be what you typically think of when you think of tech, but it's a must-have piece of equipment in any classroom. 

Bostitch Personal Electric Pencil Sharpener, Black (EPS4-BLACK) | Was $24.49, now $14.98 at Amazon

This portable pencil sharpener has more than 1,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, and it's currently almost $10 off on Amazon. Need we say more? 

View Deal

A back-up webcam

If quarantine taught us anything, it was the value of a functioning webcam. It won't hurt to have a backup on hand in case the one built into your laptop stops working, (or you use a desktop).

1080P Webcam with Microphone | Was $34.99, now $21.99 at Amazon

This webcam may be inexpensive, but users rate it highly for picture quality and ease of setup. It's compatible with Mac or PC, and has a built-in microphone.View Deal