HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Many students are due for their return to in-person classes this month following a year of online learning and virtual assignments. Technology has undoubtedly shown its promise in the classroom and some say that trend may be here to stay.

Last year’s crash course in educational technology showed teachers and students were increasingly confident in using technology for learning, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Data from market research firm, Deloitte, shows how the shift in teaching is even influencing consumer shopping.

“Even if students are fully in the classroom, a lot of them are used to a more digital learning experience,” said Kate Fererra, RWD practice leader. “That was one of the biggest changes that we saw this year in the survey, how much digital learning has propelled the technology spending this year.”

Digital tools are replacing traditional school supplies, like textbooks and notebooks, driving tech sales up 37% since last year.

But the Better Business Bureau is warning shoppers to beware of scammers who could spoil their hopes for academic success.

“The 2021 back to school shopping season has all the conditions necessary to facilitate a spike in online purchase scams,” said the BBB. “Scammers may target shoppers with phony deals, enticing ads and attractive but fake websites.”

So here are some back to school shopping tips:

  • Shop with familiar retailers – Big budget items like Laptops, tablets or other tech accessories can be a major investment, so shop with businesses you know and trust.
  • Don’t buy from impostors – Fraudsters may use the name, logo and other characteristics of brands you trust, so carefully look over their website to verify they are who they say they are.
  • Approach low prices with caution – Low prices and lightning sales could be a sign of a scam. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Know what you’re shopping for – Set a budget, identify what capabilities will benefit your student and compare your options. Researching the best product for your needs will help you avoid scams and buyer’s remorse.

For more tips on back to school shopping for tech, visit the Better Business Bureau’s website by clicking here.