Once again that time of the year rolls around where we find ourselves struggling to find the perfect gift for our loved ones, and struggling even more to tell them what it is we want.
So maybe you’re a teacher, but you can’t quite put your finger on something you could use, or maybe you just want a list you can send off to someone and say “Anything on this list would be great!”
I’ve gone ahead and built the list for you, so all you have to do is share the link. These are built out from “Stocking Stuffer” prices to “Somebody REALLY loves me!” prices. If you’ve got some extra ideas of your own, let me know in the comments!
Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that it doesn’t cost you anything more, and I get a couple of cents tossed my way if you choose to make a purchase. These help keep costs down at EdTech.tv, but please only use them if you feel like I’m giving you value. If not, no stress!
$10 and under
iTunes Gift Cards:
Ok, Ok, Technically I linked you to a $30 purchase. The thing is that Apple thinks that a low price of $25 is a reasonable price for a “cheapest” version directly from them. At least these ones from Target can be broken down into 3 separate presents, so maybe 1 for the teacher in your life, and 2 for some equally deserving students.
Google Play Gift Cards:
Google and Android don’t seem to get the same enthusiasm in the world of EdTech as Apple does, but I would be remiss not to point out that you can, of course, buy gift cards for them as well. While Google Play DOES offer individual $10 cards, they’re often easier to find at your local 7-11 or Target or wherever you go to shop outside of your house
Flash Drives are getting pretty close to a dime a dozen these days, and a lot of teachers lose them somewhere between the car and the classroom. It’s my belief that as more people move to services like Dropbox, flash drives will become less and less relevant, but for now people still want them, so help them stock up!
Yeah, it’s not romantic or Christmasy, but this is exactly the kind of thing most teachers need but never want to buy for themselves. I wouldn’t recommend making it the only present you get for someone, but if you’ve got a range of things you’re planning on, this would certainly fall under the “practical” category
$10 – $25
LaCie Key Flash Drive
True, this is a little more expensive than the cheap version I linked to above, but this one you can justify as an actual present, and not just a stocking stuffer. I LOVE my LaCie Key, because it fits in smoothly on my keychain AND it’s worked flawlessly for me for the last few years. The exposed ports are scratch resistant, and I’ve never had a problem with it. If I lost the one I use now, I’d buy another one in a second.
I can’t tell you the difference it makes when I jump between classrooms that have wireless keyboards and those that are hard-wired. It’s not just the ability to step away from the computer or projector, but the time saved trying to untangle the cords every single time is a gift in and of itself. This is an unexpected but WELCOME present.
If you can spring for the double up combo of a keyboard and a mouse, you’ll really make someone’s day. The ability for a teacher to move from a podium to a desk to the back of the room gives them a lot more flexibility in the classroom.
LastPass is a great web service which is actually FREE, but upgrading to the premium version is only $12 and it’s an outstanding resource for teachers, especially those who constantly have to log into tons of different websites every day. LastPass keeps track of and automatically fills in your passwords for all your different sites. No more sticky-notes under the keyboard!
Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Certificate
Create an Account:
Get the Gift Certificate: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Gift-Certificate
I’m not totally sure why they make you create an account to get a gift certificate, but Teachers Pay Teachers is a great way to find great lesson plans from teachers who have already tried them out and worked them out with their students. If you’re already creating great lesson plans, then make an account and start selling!
$25 – $60
Evernote has been a godsend – an easy way to keep my thoughts and ideas organized in a way that I can always access them. Upgrading to Evernote Premium is well worth it by allowing you to collaborate, go offline, and more. Of course if you don’t have Evernote at all – [button link=”https://www.evernote.com/referral/Registration.action?uid=4146561&sig=2b3b5cf64252af740a730d3fe78b6ea1″ style=”download” color=”green” window=”yes”]Get it here[/button]
Whoa – I bought this for $30 and it is WELL worth it. Right now it’s available for 1/2 price – but I don’t know how long it will stay that way. Maybe not long beyond the time I publish, but if you’ve got a teacher who wants to get organized online – this is the book to read!
500 GB External Hard Drive
This is kind of the big brother to the Flash Drive. Teachers store their entire lives and careers on their computers, and not backing it up is like leaving all of your lesson plans and books right next to an open fire. MUST. HAVE.
If plugging in an external hard drive and moving it from place to place doesn’t appeal to you, you can always just let the backups run in the background. Carbonite will back everything up to their servers and works quietly in the background when you’re not using the computer.
Heavy-Duty iPad Case
There’s no shortage of iPad cases out there, but for the generous teacher who passes it around to their students, there’s nothing like the security of knowing that their case is built to be able to go into armed combat. Still, it’s always better not to encourage your students to treat it like an enemy.
$60 – $120
Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
A while back I reviewed the Jambox, which I still have and love, but since then cheaper options have come to the market. I’ve recently been playing with the Logitech UE which creates a great sound at about 1/2 the price of the Jambox. Great portable sound for the classroom.
Netflix serves a dual purpose for a lot of Teachers – 1) The instant ability to find relevant and engaging video material for students in the classroom to facilitate conversation, discussion, and critical thinking. 2) The opportunity to veg out at the end of the day. I don’t know which one is more important, but I’m not going to judge.
If they’re going to have Netflix, they’ll probably want some way to play it. The sad reality is that a lot of schools won’t pay for this technology, but I’ve created a tutorial on how to hook up your Apple TV to a projector so that teachers can use it in the classroom. Check it out here:
Almost every teacher I know spends their spare time with their nose in a book. A lot of them haul around several hunkers at a time. If you’re at all concerned about their scoliosis, get them a Kindle.
At this point, if I were going to step into a new purchase to build my technology enhanced classroom, I’d get an iPad Mini Retina. At another time I’ll break down the reasons why, but if you’re going to get a teacher a tablet that you expect they”ll be using in their room, don’t skimp – get an Apple.
Elmo Document Camera
JUST KIDDING!!! Don’t buy this – It’s stupidly expensive and you don’t need it. Here’s why: http://edtech.tv/ditch-your-document-camera/
There are, of course, a ton of things you can find outside of this list, and every teacher has their own individual wants and needs. This list is meant to compile a number of things that you basically can’t go wrong with.
But I’d like to hear from you! What are the things you want that I didn’t include? Let me know in the comments below!
(Christmas Tree Image: ShedBoy)