National Teacher day is coming up on May 8th, and schools celebrate Teacher Appreciation week from May 7th–11th. I have many teachers who made a positive difference in my life, and I am sure you did as well. If you want to surprise your child’s teacher with a few tech-related gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week, here are some things I recommend from personal experience in the classroom.
Whether it’s a gadget for the home or something for the classroom, there are a lot of items that teachers will get great use out of. Some of the below items are for better organization and some are some to help in the classroom, so take a look if you are needing gift ideas.
All of the devices below are things I’ve used in the past, so I can provide my stamp of approval. Do you have any more? Be sure to leave your recommendations in the comments!
iDevices Switch – $30
The iDevices switch works with HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant so you that it’ll integrate with their existing home automation system (if they have one). I’ve got five of these, and they’ve been extremely reliable. Teacher’s could use these to automatically turn on/off lamps in their study room or kid’s playrooms. I personally use Apple’s HomeKit for all of my home automation, but I still try to buy devices that can be used on all three of the major platforms incase I ever want to switch in the future. Setup of these devices is a breeze as you simply scan its setup code using the Home app on iOS.
2TB External Hard Drive – $65
If your teacher is using a Mac or PC in their classroom, a large external drive can be a great way to offload content or make a current back up. I’m not super particular about any specific brand as long as it’s one of the more common ones (Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, etc). I’ve found that 2TB is a great size (hard to fill up) for the price. If you want to provide a helping hand, be sure to assist them while setting up Time Machine if they are using a Mac. If you want to give them off-site backup, take a look at a Backblaze subscription.
Apple TV – $150
If your child is at an Apple-focused school, an Apple TV might be a fun upgrade if they have a display or projector in their classroom. They can AirPlay to share content from their laptop or iPad along with using the native YouTube app for educational content. Be sure to pick up a HDMI cable as well. If they don’t want to use it at school, then it’s really a fantastic streaming device for the home as well. It has integration with Apple Music and iCloud Photo Library along with all of the popular streaming apps like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.
Brother High Speed Label Printer – $130
For the teacher who wants to get organized, check out Brother’s high speed label printer. Organized teachers are happy teachers, and this printer is an easy way to help keep various boxes of educational resources organized. It works with macOS, Windows, iOS and Android. It’s also no slouch when it comes to speed as it can print 110 labels per minute.
Elegoo Super Starter Kit with Tutorial for Arduino – $35
For the teacher that wants to learn mre about how electronics function, check out this Arduino starter kit. It includes 22 lessons, and it’s rated very highly on Amazon. Kits like this are a big hit in the classroom. Instead of just “consuming” electronics, kids can learn more about the foundational building blocks of what makes them work. This kit is great for beginners and assumes no prior knowledge.
Belkin 5 Port Headphone Splitter – $11
The Belkin Rockstar is extremely popular in the lower grades at my school. You can add up to 5 pairs of headphones to one iPad for group listening sessions. It works well, and is really in-expensive. Even with 5 headphones plugged in at once, there is no noticeable quality or volume loss.
Osmo Genius Kit – $100
The Osmo Genius Kit is great way to blend screen time with learning. The Osmo’s game system helps social intelligence and creative thinking by opening up the iPad to physical play. It comes with a numbers, words, and tangrams set. You can also add on a coding set for additional activities. We have at least 15 of the Osmo Genius Kits at my school, and they are frequently used. These would make a great addition to the classroom or even at home for teachers to use with their own children.
iTunes/App Store Gift Cards – $25 and Up
If you aren’t 100% sure what your child’s teacher would like, an iTunes/App Store gift card is always a safe bet. It can be used for Apple Music subscriptions, iCloud storage, or really anything on the App Store. Don’t forget that you can use App Store credit to pay for subscriptions like Netflix as well.
Amazon Gift Card – $40 and Up
If your teacher wants something out of your price range, giving them an Amazon gift card is a great choice. You can get them part of the way to something expensive and they can pool their money with your gift. My general rule is that if Amazon doesn’t sell it, then I don’t need it (kidding).
Elmo MO–1 Document Camera – $439
The Elmo document camera is a popular item at my school. You plug it into a TV or a projector, and then you can display documents at a high resolution. It’s portable, and very easy to use. If you remember the old “overhead projectors” from years ago, these are a modern version of that. It may seem “low tech” compared to a lot of items, but our teachers absolutely love them. They are used multiple times daily and are low maintenance as well.
Zoomy Handheld Microscope – $38
The Zoomy microscope looks like it’s going to be a low budget microscope, but I have been blown away by the quality of it. It’s USB powered (no batteries), and provides an amazing picture for the price. It’s small, so it can even be held by the youngest students. The microscope comes with some simple software to install, and then it’s up and running. Almost all of our teachers have them, we love them.
These are just a few of some items I recommend. Do you have any more? Let me know in the comments!