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If you’re like me, you might be thinking ’tis the season of being stressed out about the gifts I have to buy!
If you’re a parent, you might be thinking ’tis the season of trying to figure out what my kid’s teacher would like for a gift!
If you’re a teacher, you might be thinking what should I get for my colleagues?
Or you might even be thinking whew! It’s been a tough year. I should reward myself . . . but with what!?
Well, I’d like to offer up a few suggestions! 🔔🎶 These are a few of my favorite things! 🔔🎶
By the way, they’re not all teacher-specific ideas! Many of them would be great for anyone on your gift list!
My favorite lunchtime tech
Why are teachers’ lunchtimes so short!? Why are staff lounge microwaves always soooo slow!? Seriously, I actually stopped packing leftovers for lunch (and I love leftovers!) because by the time my food was warm, I only had 13 minutes to eat it. But then, my wife, who is amazing, bought me one of these handy-dandy gadgets! Pop your leftovers in your Crockpot Electric Portable Food Warmer at the start of the day and 2-3 hours later, your lunch is ready! Just open it up and enjoy your lunch!
Oh, and by the way, this will also help you avoid that horrible smell in the microwave after your weird coworker microwaves their fish (or whatever that was).
My favorite notebook
I love taking notes in my Rocketbook Flip notebook! I prefer the letter size because it feels like I’m writing on a legal pad, but I can save those notes to my Google Drive (or Dropbox, Evernote, OneNote, Slack, iCloud, email, and more) and then wipe the page off and reuse it!
My favorite pens for my favorite notebook
If you’re using a Rocketbook, you can use any of the Pilot FriXion erasable pens with them. My favorites are the Pilot FriXion Ball 0.7mm Erasable Gel Pens! I’ve also heard good things about this pack of assorted color Pilot FriXion Fineliner Marker Pens though I’ve never tried them myself
my favorite highlighters for my favorite notebook
I just recently discovered Pilot FriXion Erasable Highlighters! How cool are these? You can highlight in a book and then erase the highlighting when you’re done! And, if you let the ink dry first, you can even highlight things that you write in your Rocketbook . . . and erase it all later! I’ve got this set, you may want this special pack that has Pilot FriXion Erasable pens, markers, and highlighters!
My favORITE STICKERS
How do you pronounce it? You can tell everyone by putting one of these stickers on your laptop, phone, water bottle, forehead… wherever! Grab stickers for yourself or gift a sticker to a friend here.
My favorite wireless mouse
I actually have two favorite wireless mice. But one costs about $67 and the other costs less than $13. I have a feeling I know which one you’d rather have. 😉 The $67 one is an older Apple Magic Mouse and I really do like it. However, I like my less expensive Logitech M170 Wireless Mouse almost as much. And at about one-fifth of the price, that makes it difficult to resist. It’s lightweight, smooth, and feels great in my hand. Plus it’s ambidextrous and ambicolorful (or whatever the word for “comes in a variety of colors” is).
My favorite coffee mug
I hate cold hot coffee. I do like cold brew coffee, but I hate coffee that started hot and ended up cold. I’m not sure why, but I bet you agree. If you’re like me, you need something to keep your coffee hot! Personally, I always use my 20 oz YETI mug to keep my coffee just right!
By the way, did you know that you can purchase extra MagSliders? You’re welcome.
my favorite podcasting equipment
Since you’re reading this post, you’re likely already familiar with my Educational Duct Tape and The EdTech News Brief podcasts. Having recorded more than 130 podcast episodes and been a guest on dozens of other ones, I have some podcast equipment recommendations, too.
First: microphones. I use an earlier model of the Audio-Technica ATR-2100x. It’s not super expensive, it connects via USB (and XLR!), is easy-to-use, and sounds great! If I was starting now, though, I’d probably purchase the Samson Q2U. It’s a very similar mic and tends to cost a little less. If you’re podcasting alone in a room (i.e., not multiple people physically together), you can’t go wrong with either of these.
Next: some accessories.
Whichever mic you use, make sure you have a pop filter and/or windscreen for it. Here’s the windscreen that I use.
My podcast recording space is also my desk, so I need to be able to get the microphone out of my way when I don’t need it. So, I use a boom scissor arm stand. I have it mounted to the back of my desk and I can pull the mic towards me when I need it and push it away when I don’t. I’ve been happy with my InnoGear Stand.
My favorite webcam
The EdTech News Brief podcast is also a video show on YouTube. That means I need a webcam and the built-in one on my MacBook Pro ain’t cutting it. I currently use a Logitech C930e and have been very happy with it.
While the C930e is good enough for Zoom calls and short interviews, sometimes I wish it was a little higher quality for my YouTube channel. I’m debating upgrading and, if I do, I’ll likely go with the Logitech BRIO 4K. I used one for a keynote years ago and was very pleased with the video quality.
my favorite presentation clicker
I’m a little obsessed with my Logitech Spotlight Presentation Remote. It’s not just a good-looking remote either: it has some really rad features and feels great in my hand. While most presentation remotes just click forward on slides, this one can also highlight and magnify on-screen, control your mouse to start a video, and vibrate to alert you when it’s time to wrap up your presentation! Plus, it works in Google Slides, PowerPoint, Keynote, and more! I’ve got the charcoal one, but check out how cool that gold one is!!
my favorite on-the-go charger packs
Whether you’re spending an entire day at a kid’s activity (baseball tournaments, swim meets, etc.) or getting your steps in at an EdTech conference, your phone and other devices may need a little extra juice on-the-go. My family has been very happy with these portable charger packs!
My favorite book of dad jokes
If you listen to The EdTech News Brief podcast or video show, you know that each episode ends with a “dad joke” from The World’s Greatest Dad Jokes: The Complete Collection (The Heirloom Edition): Over 500 Cringe-Worthy Puns and One-Liners book. I love it because it was the last Christmas gift that I received from my Mom before she passed away. But, bonus, it actually has some pretty hysterical jokes in it!
My favorite book that I wrote
On the topic of books, did you know that I wrote one? It’s true! I’d love to send you–or a teacher on your shopping list–a signed copy with a personalized note! Plus, with shipping included, it’s about the same price as a non-signed, non-personalized copy from Amazon. You can get more details about Educational Duct Tape: An EdTech Integration Mindset and order your copy here.
My three books that impacted me the most
I’ve read plenty of books and have loved many of them. But these are the three that impacted me the most:
📕 Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink – I haven’t seen classrooms, professional developments, or motivation the same way since I read this book. If you’ve never read it – whether you’re a teacher or not – you’re missing out.
📕 What to Do When it’s Your Turn: (And it’s Always Your Turn) by Seth Godin – I podcast because I read this book. I blog because I read this book. I have the job I have today because I read this book. It changed my life trajectory, plain and simple. If you’ve got aspirations, read this book.
📕 The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity by George Couros – On the Educational Duct Tape podcast, I often talk about the adjacent possible. I first heard about this idea–and plenty of other great ideas–in Couros’ first book.
My favorite tool for quick paper grading
If you assign work on paper and prefer to check them for completion, I have a recommendation that you’re going to love! It takes too long to put a checkmark or smiley face on all of them, but you probably like to have visual proof that you checked that paper. So how can we do this? With this star hole punch you can quickly punch a star into a whole stack of papers! You can even do up to 30 pages at once!
my favorite backpack
You’ve got a laptop. You’ve got a notebook. You’ve got a coffee mug. You’ve got a computer charger and a phone charger. You’ve got a portable charger pack. You’ve got 2 CLIF bars and 1 pack of Skittles. You’ve got 4 pens and a pack of tissues. You’ve got chapstick and, of course, some Aspirin (just in case). Where are you going to put it all? I swear by my ebags Pro Slim Jr Laptop Backpack. It seems like they don’t make that exact model anymore, but the
eBags Pro Slim Laptop Backpack appears to be the same thing. I can even comfortably carry two laptops and a few books in there without breaking my back!
my favorite inexpensive laptop stand
If you regularly hear your laptop’s fan running or feel its base getting hot, you may want to get a stand for it to set on. This lets air circulate underneath the device. While there are fancier ones out there, I’ve been satisfied when using this laptop stand with my MacBook Pro and a PC that I used for a while for work.
Note: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to fund my work by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
More to come!! Check back soon for additional items!