Six of the best gadgets and gizmos on a theme. This week: Six of the best school-friendly gadgets.

After those care-free and basically sun-drenched weeks of school holiday, it's suddenly time to think about the fast-approaching new term. To soften the blow for kids who may have become a little too accustomed to relaxation, give them one of these brilliant back to school gadgets to (hopefully) inspire their studies.

Swim stuff

PaddlePak - from £19.99 at

This brand new range of backpacks, from the people who brought us the ubiquitous ride-on suitcase for kids, is ideal for keeping swim kit separate from their other equipment. The lightweight backpack has a waterproof interior and a roll-down top that clips to close with ease. They're available in a variety of colourful characters.

Nice touch

Kurio 4S - £89.99 from

This pocket-friendly, music and video playing device has arrived to take a swipe at the iPod Touch, and it really is a worthy contender. A top-class entertainment and educational device, it uses the latest Android operating system and has a super-quick processor for speedy access to all features. It plays music and HD video, comes with pre-loaded apps and an e-book reader, is WiFi enabled, and has front and back cameras and a microphone. It also boasts the KurioGenius parental controls, making this a winner for all the family.

Cover up

My Document laptop case - £21.99 from

Whether you are transporting a laptop, a tablet or just some good old-fashioned paper books, this is certainly the stylish way to do it. Shaped like the on-screen file icon - or just a good old-fashioned paper file - the case also comes with an icon badge, either an arrow, hand or timer.

Old school

Back to school personal organiser - £20 each from

Using your very best handwriting, add your name to the cover of these superb retro notebooks from the ever-fine Filofax folk. It comes complete with index sheets, to-do lists, ruled notepaper, plus an optional diary element. We're keeping ours strictly for keeping notes though - mainly about how smart our new notebook is.

Write off

Boogie Board - £29.99 from

It may remind you of those magic slates of old, but this new gadget is a far superior place to do your scribbling, sketching, plan-making and sum-taking. The lightweight and super-slim electronic pad allows you to doodle with the included stylus - which has LEDs inside to illuminate the screen - and, the more pressure applied, the thicker your lines.

The right note

Musical Ruler - £10 from

No back-to-school collection would be complete without some mention of stationery, but after searching through a plethora of Post-it note varieties and pencil collections, we decided we wanted something a little more exciting. Thankfully, we then found this ruler. Following a few basic instructions, you can place it against the side of a desk, and knock out a few tunes. (Also measures stuff).

App of the week

Virtual dentist surgery - Free at Google Play

Who says dental can't be fun? Well this app certainly is, and it just happens to have educational value too. It'll help you keep your smile in perfect condition and, using the very latest dental knowledge, allows you to fill, clean, extract, remove stains, give X-rays and all manner of other procedures.

Top 10 paid for apps for android phones

1. Minecraft - Pocket Edition

2. Pocket Rally

3. Despicable Me 2 Game

4. Murder Files

5. Plants vs Zombies

6. Kindle Fire Camera Video HD

7. Classic Catch Phrase

8. Cut the Rope

9. Where's Waldo Now?

10. Monster University Game

(Charts supplied by appstore)

Top 10 free apps for android phones

1. Despicable Me: Minion Rush

2. The Simpsons: Tapped Out

3. 4 Pics 1 Song

4. vTube viewer & downloader for YouTube

5. Princess Hair Salon - girls games

6. Smurfette Jump

7. Guess the TV Show

8. True or False

9. Blendoku

10. XLMSoft Database PRO

(Charts supplied by appstore)