#PermissionToHover with @BestBuyCanada for #BackToSchool (and a helicopter ride)

It’s August, and that means back to school planning. How do you prepare your kids for back to school? Apart from the basics of clothes (they always grow most in the summer don’t they!) pencils and papers and backpacks, one of the most important choices is around technology.

Technology is a prevalent part of our lives, and like it or not, our kids use technology every day. As a parent of a young teenager, I’m always trying to figure out how to manage the type of technology we have. But there are so many choices, and with all things, it’s important to make an educated, informed decision about purchasing and usage.

That’s why I was thrilled when Best Buy Canada invited me to join them on a #PermissionToHover experience. Not only was I able to take a helicopter ride over Toronto, I got a chance to ask some important questions to tech expert Elliott Chun and self-proclaimed helicopter parent, RebeccaCuneo Keenan. This was an amazing experience not only to learn about technology choices for the back-to-school season, but also the chance to take a break from my hectic schedule, and take a ride above the beautiful and scenic city of Toronto.

What do you think of #PermissionToHover? I think that this applies, in varying degrees to kids through all stages of their lives. As a parent, your natural instinct is to protect your kid. However, we all know that providing them with the freedom to explore and do things on their own develops confidence.

My thrill of the day was the helicopter ride. Best Buy allowed us to take off from Billy Bishop Airport on Toronto Island.


This is where I got a chance to meet Rebecca Cuneo Keenan, who had been for several rides earlier in the day, and was a great source of comfort as we took off from the airport.


For those with no helicopter flying experience, the first minute can be terrifying, and this tiny metal machine takes off into the sky. But the payoff is worth it. Spectacular views of the city, in a way I’ve never experienced before. I know this sounds a bit corny, but this ride was kind of like being a parent. It isn’t always easy making decisions and choices, many of which are unpopular with your children. But if you stick with it, the benefits are amazing. So my advice to all of you, stick to your values. You should have #PermissionToHover over your children, particularly where technology is involved.


Rebecca knows a lot about parenting, and also gave me some great insight.

  • Chose what feels right – It’s important to make choices that reflect your beliefs, so deciding what technology your kids use is a personal choice, not to be based on what everyone else is doing.
  • Hover with technology – Learning that your nine year old is playing on-line multiplayer games without your knowledge is an example of how quickly kids learn to do things on their own. Be engaged and interested in what they are doing to help keep track of how they are using technology.
  • How old is old enough? – Does a 7 year old really need a smart phone? Think about what it is that your child is asking for, and decide for yourself what you want them to be doing with it? Is it for safety reasons, so they can reach you when they need to or do you want to provide them with internet access to play online games while you travel? Understanding what the need is will help you determine the solution.
  • Make them part of the decision – If you are looking to purchase new technology, get your kids involved. After all, they will be using it too. A great option is to bring them to Best Buy and get them to ask the Blue Shirts (the in-store reps) some questions. Make it a family decision.
  • You have #PermissionToHover.   – As a parent, you need to be a part of your child’s technology involvement. From young children, to older teenagers, to university bound, your kids need your help and support to make the right decisions about what kind of technology they will use and also how they will use it.


On the ground, I had a chance to meet with Elliott Chun to learn about some of the exciting products available at Best Buy. I also met Fritz, from the @GeekSquad, who help me to understand how to make good choices around technology for back to school.


Here are some of the main tips I learned.

  • The basics and the extras – There are essentials, like computers, and protectors, and the fun stuff, like Go-Pro’s and Myo Gesture Control Armband. Remember, technology is supposed to be fun. Don’t forget to look at the innovative ways technology can inspire and motivate your children to succeed.
  • Do an audit of the technology you have, and see where there are gaps – For example, if you have a solid, good working laptop that is a bit too bulky to carry around all day, then you could look to light-weight tablet that is highly functional, and portable as a solution.
  • Select products that meet your kid’s interests. If you have a budding programmer on your hands, find a laptop that has the features that can help nurture that passion.
  • Budget is important, but don’t let it be the deciding factor. Let’s face it, technology isn’t cheap. However, in the long run, buying something that has a little more power or memory can save you money, so you aren’t upgrading as often. If the functionality of the product doesn’t suit your kid’s needs, they won’t enjoy using it.
  • Go talk to people. At Best Buy, the Blue Shirts and GeekSquad are there to help you figure it out. They understand how overwhelming the choices can be.

Elliott showed me the range of laptops available. From ASUS laptop, to Microsoft Surface Pro, I learned how much variety there is now in computer technology. Here are some amazing products.

I was offered a drink from the most amazing mini Fridge, the Marshall Fridge, based on the iconic Marshall Amp. If you are looking to add a touch to hipster to your dorm room or add some flair to your family/entertainment room, this is a must have. Totally cool! We are planning to finally redo our basement to accommodate our new teenager lifestyle and this will fit in well (goodbye building blocks, hello gaming consoles and Marshall Fridge).

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The ASUS 13.3 is ultra-thin and super light. It also has a great QHD+ screen for high resolution images for movie watching along with a solid-state drive help to ensure your kids can get a variety of things done well.

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Is your kid looking for more powerful performance with an interactive design, check out the Inspiron 15.6

Or, for the gaming lover, try the Dell Alienware, this is a dream laptop for the PC gamer, who wants performance and power.

Looking for something in-between a tablet and laptop? Try the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. This has all the power and performance of a laptop with the versatility and light weight of a tablet. It is very easy to carry around campus, but also can handle any creative or academic task. Possibly, the ultimate device to help students succeed.

Another interesting option is a tablet, like the Samsung Tab S10. This slim tablet is also easy to transport to and from class and includes important privacy features like a fingerprint scanner. This is a great mid-price option that delivers utility, entertainment and safety.

So many great options,

Myo Gesture Control Armband. The future is now. This device reads the electrical activity in your muscles allowing you to control presentation software including PowerPoint, GoogleSlide, Adobe PDF as well as Netflix, ITunes, PC games and more. How fun is that. Simply gesture with your arm.


I hate the wires on headsets, they always get tangled. Hello Skullcandy Hesh 2 Unleashed Headphones, which lets students listen to music wherever they are.

Do you have trouble finding earbuds that actually fit your ears? These Monster isport super-slim ear-headphones were engineered for hard-core athletes and their toughest workouts. With a sound isolating ear tips that will withstand the most intense workouts without falling out. The perfect item for any budding athlete.

Remember the boom box? This Marley Chant Mini Portable Audio System is the modern version, but much more compact and streams audio wirelessly from smartphones, laptops and more. Take it wherever you go!

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This GoPro Hero is sure to be the most popular item on your back-to-school list. Built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth allow you to connect to the GOPRo app for image previews, full camera control and easy sharing. And it is waterproof. Very important.

The Rebecca Minkoff Leather Wristlet was a favourite of mine, featuring signature M.A.B flap design and dipper detailing. The genuine leather case includes two interior pockets to hold credit cards or student id, along with your ever important phone!

LifeProof Fre power fitted hard shell case protects your devices, with a water, dirt, drop, and snow proof design and built in screen protector. Essential for any student who always brings their phone, everywhere. Even the lake and beach, or snowball fight. You get the picture. Your kids should have one of these!


Jabra Storm is a great portable headset ensures calls are heard loud and clear featuring Wind Noise Blackout and Noise Blackout to block out nice and bring out crystal clear conversations.

This event helped me figure out what I need to do to get ready for another school year. Thanks to @BestBuyCanada, @RebeccaKennan @elliottchun for a great day!



#PermissionToHover with @BestBuyCanada for #BackToSchool (and a helicopter ride)

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#PermissionToHover with @BestBuyCanada for #BackToSchool (and a helicopter ride)

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