’Tis the season for tech, according to our annual review of over 25,000 digital classroom wish lists created by teachers right here on TeacherLists. With items like 3D printers and maker space kits appearing on more lists than we can count, there’s a definite shift toward more technology in the classroom. And while tech may be trending, granting those wishes often requires a village (or several generous parents from a small classroom, to say the least) due to heftier price tags.
Here at TeacherLists, we’re making it smarter, faster, and easier for teachers to get the items they really want (or at least need) for their classrooms with our free digital wish lists. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best tech gadgets and gizmos for teachers, as seen on real classroom wish lists. Good news? 16 of them are under $100.
Simply hook up the camera to your laptop to display images of samples and specimens for all to see.
Great for in-classroom demonstrations, this produces large static electric sparks using a hand crank. Dim the lights to see electricity jumping around on different parts of the machine!
Using the head of a tooth brush, BrushBot kits teach kids about making and working with basic electronics, and thinking outside the box in minimalist “robot” design. The BrushBot uses the head of a toothbrush as its body and the bristles as its legs. The hundreds of nylon bristles that would normally clean your teeth twitch and vibrate to make the “bot” bounce along like a nervous little insect!
via Maker Shed
Easily organize and share books, movies and media in the classroom.
Wirelessly print labels on the go, right from your desk (or your outdoor classroom!)
Perfect for the next time you get the urge to grade homework while out on a long hike (hey, we teachers are super dedicated and always, always prepared for anything).
This mini portable high definition LCD projector is easy to cart back and forth to the classroom.
Display pictures of student work, share screens, watch high-resolution movies, and more. Here are a few more ways to use Apple TV in the classroom.
via Best Buy
3D printing allows for a more authentic exploration of objects that may not be readily available to schools – things like animal anatomies and toxic materials. Get more ideas for using a 3D printer in the classroom from Kathy Schrock, who has been both a school district technology director and teacher.
via New Matter
This one’s super expensive, but oh-so-cool. Use the stylus to turn virtually any surface (the classroom wall, the floor, a table, the ceiling) into an interactive touch screen canvas, making it easy to creatively collaborate and interact with students. It’s a good substitute for your Promethean board and document camera, according to one of the teacher reviews on Amazon.
These speakers were made for SMART Board interactive whiteboard systems (600 and 800 series).
This project-based learning software provides an intuitive programming environment with activities that are divided into four themes – Amazing Mechanisms, Wild Animals, Play Soccer, and Adventure Stories.
via Lego Education
Perfect for classroom maker spaces, Arduino kits feature a simple microcontroller board that allow students to make anything, from their own games and computers to a key board using bananas!
via Maker Shed
This affordable, quality robotic arm kit is recommended for students ages 9 and up.
Perfect for iPads and other tablets that charge through a USB port, this convenient storage and charging station holds six tablets with or without their protective cases.
No more cluttering your classroom desk with piles of paper and school forms – just scan and print documents whenever you need them. This portable scanner can handle 12-15 double-sided pages at a time, and even syncs with apps like Dropbox and Evernote.
This wireless microphone records and stores up to 4 hours of audio – super convenient for podcasts, fluency readings, math facts, teacher conferences, intervention and assessments.
Plug multiple sets of headphones into one iPad/iPod – great for listening centers!
This compact (and affordable!) document camera comes off its stand, which comes in pretty handy for those science activities that require looking at things from all sorts of angles. Here are 5 ways to use a document camera in the classroom from TeachHub!
Many teachers (at all grade levels) use geocaching, the location-based treasure hunting activity, as a teaching tool. You’ll need a few GPS units for students to check-out in order to locate those coordinates. New to geocaching? Read how Dr. Polley, Educacher Extraordinaire, incorporates geocaching in his classroom.
Your bulletin board dreams have been answered. With this printer, you can print gorgeous edge-to-edge, borderless photos in credit card and postcard sizes right from your wireless camera or smart device (no network needed).
If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to the 3D printer with (almost) the same amount of wow factor, check out this super cool 3D pen!
via Think Geek
Want to add some of these items to your own wish list? Create a digital wish list for free right here. Parents can access your list 24/7 from any device, and pledge to donate items with just a click (you’ll even get an automatic email notification). And, it gets better – your list automatically updates so you never get too much of one thing and not enough of the other (not that you’d turn down any extras, though, right?). That right there is what we call smart technology. 🙂
All new-fashioned, high-powered, tech-rrific gizmos aside, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out how many basic necessities we continue to see topping classroom wish lists – items like pencils, paper towels, and glue sticks. That just goes to show that any contribution is appreciated, no matter how big or how basic.