Great Graduation Gift Ideas for Kids
My first and second graders are graduating, and it’s got me singing Alice Cooper’s “[School's Out for Summer](http://www.last.fm/music/Alice+Cooper/_/School%27s+Out)!” mashed up with a high-speed, high-pitched [Alvin and the Chimpmunks](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGJh1qpIMms) version — that gets my kids to laugh and sing along.
As a graduation gift, we’re taking our kids on a trip to spend time at the beach with aunts, uncles and cousins. This got me thinking about what else would make a great gift for young graduates. I’d have to say from experience that a Classmate PC is an ideal gift. The newest, nifty netbook for kids converts from clamshell to 10.1-inch LCD touch-screen tablet. It’s built for learning and fun in the classroom, home or on the go.
They’re put to good use by young students in this [Rocketboom Tech](http://www.rocketboom.com/intel-at-the-zoo/) segment recorded at the New York Zoo in April (more videos, photos and information about the new [convertable Classmate PC here](www.intel.com/pressroom/kits/classmatepc)).
[Rocketboom Tech](http://www.rocketboom.com/category/tech/), an online show about innovation and innovators, is [sponsored](http://dembot.com/post/96903882/intel-rocketboom-team-up-for-rocketboom-tech) by Intel.
The Classmate a great first computer for a youngster. The new convertable tablet-clamshell version is durable — bump, scratch and keyboard is water resistant — and it has hard drive protection so it can survive falling from a student’s desk or kitchen table. It’s a full computer and typically loaded with fun, educational software, built-in Wi-Fi and a Webcam for making videos or video calls with family. Kids can even personalize their Classmate PC with colorful skins, like this [big pink butterfly](http://www.skinit.com/details.php?resourceId=3349).
I got my kids a clamshell Classmate PC over a year ago, and I shared how they’re using the computer and rules I established for safe and reasonable use in this [post](http://scoop.intel.com/2009/02/a-classmate-built-for-fun-and-learning.php). They love having their own computers, and enjoy spending time together exploring and learning and sharing tips with each other.
The latest Intel Atom processor-powered convertible classmate PC has many improvements over the older model we have at home. These changes improve the natural, easy and fun reading, writing and drawing experiences. In particular, the touch screen allows students to alternate between typing on the keyboard or using the stylus and handwritting recognition software built inside.
It’s a little graduation gift idea worth exploring. This [map](http://www.classmatepc.com/where-to-buy/) provides info on how and where to buy a Classmate PC from brands such as CTL’s 2Go PC, M&A Technologies, Equus Computer Systems and MDG in the North America.
When I got my two Classmate PCs, I bought them from CTL, their 2Go PC brand, so that got I digging into their site to learn about their new [convertable Classmate 2Go PC NL2 ](http://www.ctlcorp.com/v4/p-908-2go-convertible-classmate-pc-nl2-10-netbook.aspx?gclid=CLSDlLOXjaICFQQTawodZVAdUQ)and see it listed for $499. There are several upgrades I’d consider, like:
- ugrading to 2GB of RAM memory
- getting a Solid State Drive (SSD) vs. disc hard drive
- Upgrade to Windows 7
One other cool gift idea is the science whizkid accessory shown in the Rocketboom Tech video: the [Lego robotics kit](http://www.lego.com/education/school/default.asp?locale=2057&pagename=WD_Con&l2id=3_2&l3id=3_2_1&l4id=3_2_1_1) called LEGO Education WeDo Concept (this [video with animation](http://cache.lego.com/downloads/education/LEGO_WeDo_5MB.mov) shows more!).