The 5 Best Holiday Gifts for Tech-Savvy Teachers

Adam Heckler is a twenty-something Cincinnati, Ohio local working in the education technology sector. Most of his time is spent at VARtek Services where he writes for the blog, manages social media, and advises K12 s

Still need to do some last minute holiday shopping for the educator in your life? We here at Fractus Learning understand. The holiday season can be pretty hectic, but nevertheless, it’s nice to remember all the things that teachers do for our children. They deserve some special recognition too, so here’s our list of the top five holiday gifts to give the tech-savvy teacher in your life.

 

Donate Toward Class Projects

DonorsChoose.org has been helping teachers all over the United States for a long time. It basically works by allowing teachers to create projects they’d like to do with their students and then pricing out all the materials they need for the project. Once the prices are verified by a DonorsChoose staff member, the public can choose projects they like and help make them happen by donating.

Classroom

As an example, here’s a project started by a Ms. Murray in Central Falls, Rhode Island. She is requesting eight electroscopes for her class so they can investigate static electricity. As you can see, the project is a little over halfway funded. Using the search page allows you to find similar projects in need that are closer to you, in high-poverty areas, or ones that are very close to being fully funded!

 

Give the Gift of Reading

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has quite a few books and magazines to choose from on their website. Their magazine, Learning and Leading with Technology (for purchase here), is great for tech-savvy teachers. It has lots of stories every month about how educators around the world are transforming their classrooms with the help of various emerging tech tools.

Reading

Their books are even more varied, but it depends on what the person you’re buying for actually teaches. Here are just a few examples:

There’s something for every teacher in there!

 

Handy App Store Gift Cards

I know, I know, gift cards sometimes seem like a cheesy, cop-out gift. In this case though, I think they can be useful. Luckily, both major app stores (Google Play and iTunes) have gift cards available for purchase, either online or at an actual brick-and-mortar store.

Apple HQ

Since some of the better apps tend not to be free, this gift should be especially cool. Whether your recipient wants to spend their gift card on something truly educational, like the ASL Dictionary app, or a helpful organization app, like Remember the Milk Pro, a gift card to an app store will still make their day.

 

Organization to the Max

We’ve covered the awesomeness that is Evernote before here at Fractus Learning. It’s handy for everything from saving recipes, writing novels, and organizing class notes. For teachers specifically, they can use it for creating new lessons plans as well as use the “Peek” feature to create flashcards.

Library

The best part of Evernote, however, is the ability to “brain dump” all your notes and knowledge into it without the fear of losing anything. This is even more useful when combined with an Evernote Premium subscription, which you can send to your favorite teacher. For the ambitious ones, you can even combine a Premium subscription with a totally awesome t-shirt!

 

Relaxation via Casual Games

Let’s face it: after a hard day at work, most teachers probably want to just go home and relax. And what better way to relax than a little casual gaming? If your favorite teacher isn’t into Android or iOS games that they could use the gift cards to buy, you could try some simple PC games instead.

Sleep

The granddaddy of simple but endlessly entertaining games is, of course, Minecraft. This is the perfect casual game: easy to understand, hard to master, and fun to play whether you have five minutes or five hours. If you’re looking for a never-ending selection of the hottest (and cheapest) games of the moment, check out the Steam online store for winning titles such as Terraria, Call of Duty and Triple Town.

 

Well, that’s all I’ve got for holiday gift ideas for teachers this year. Let us know in the comments what you got for your favorite teachers!

 

Images courtesy of Flick, kennymaticLizMarie_AK, Ed Yourdon, storem, MJ/TR and Fotopedi, Alex Proimos.

  • TomasHunter

    Thanks for the ideas, Adam. My wife is a teacher, and she rarely gets enough time to watch her favorite shows and movies. So, knowing that I work at DISH, she has been dropping hints for a way to stream her favorites to her iPad. She doesn’t know that I already got her a DISH Sling Adapter so she will be able to stream any of our live TV channels, or watch something from the DVR anywhere she can get a good wireless signal. I hope it comes in handy on her free period when she’s all caught up with work and she has a few moments to relax.