Students trade their high-tops for high-tech

Poll finds more than half of students more excited about technology than fashion for back to school; laptops, smartphones and headphones among the top essentials

BARRIE, ON, Aug. 18, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - New technology rather than new clothes tops the list of purchases that are getting students revved up this year as they gear up for back to school, according to a recent poll sponsored by The Source.

Just 11 % of students surveyed said they look forward to showing off their new fashion choices, while more than half (53%) said they're excited about using and sharing technology with friends when they head back to school this fall - and some of the technology on their lists might not be what you'd expect.

"What surprised us most was, that along with laptops and smartphones, which have been hot items for several years now, a full third of students see headphones as a back- to-school essential. A quarter said they plan to use tech to help them stay fit," said Melanie Raposo, tech expert at The Source, a leading Canadian consumer electronics and wireless retailer that commissioned the survey.

The majority of students polled (74%) ranked laptops as a must-have this school year. The students also revealed that laptops and tablets aren't the only gadgets on their back-to-school shopping lists. Seventy per cent of students surveyed said a smartphone was a back-to-school essential, while 30% identified headphones as must-have gear.

"Fashion has traditionally been considered a back-to-school essential but the students we surveyed said they were more excited about technology," said Raposo. "They told us they want technology for traditional tasks like researching and completing assignments but they're also looking to stay connected and entertained."

More than 60% of students surveyed chose more than one piece of technology as a back-to-school essential. The main ways they said they plan to use technology during the school year ahead are:

  • Research, studying and completing assignments at home (73%)
  • Entertainment (57%)
  • Staying connected with friends and family (43%)
  • Working in the classroom (25%)
  • Helping them stay active (25%)

Sixty-five per cent of Canadians plan to spend the same or more on technology this fall versus last year, with price (78%) and features (85%) ranking as the most important purchase considerations.

"We're expecting to see more of a trend toward wearables as students look to customize technology to match individual personalities and lifestyles - whether it be a pair of colourful headphones or a smart watch that tracks information like sleep, exercise or social media and syncs seamlessly with other devices," said Raposo.

To check out all the latest back-to-school technology essentials, visit

About the survey
Sponsored by The Source, this national online survey was conducted July 17-28, 2014. In total 1,189 Canadians were interviewed, with an oversample of 306 students. A sample of this size has an associated margin of error of +/- 2.84%, 19 times out of 20. H+K Perspectives, Hill + Knowlton's research practice, partnered with yconic ( for this in-depth national study with a special focus on students.

About The Source
Building on more than 40 years of excellence as an electronics retailer, The Source is one of Canada's largest retailers with over 650 locations nationwide. Over 70 per cent of Canadians live within five kilometers of stores operated or licensed by The Source. Retail locations and offer a wide range of brand name consumer electronics including communications, home entertainment, home office and sound products. For more information, visit

Back to School Infographic :

PDF available at:

SOURCE: The Source

For further information:

Agnes Roter, The Source


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