As you’re making your list for what you hope Santa Claus will be bringing you this year, here are a few tech gadgets and goodies that you might want to include. I’ve also got a few suggestions for the important people in your life, in case you’re stuck for what to get them this holiday season. Happy tech!
For Your Children
Children and teens will love the features of the JBuddies Studio Headphones. Designed for ages 6 to 16, these can save you from having to hear the latest Disney song one more time or the “music” that your teen is currently into. They are volume limited (to 85db) to prevent hearing damage and come in a variety of colors, which will make your older child happy. The cable is tangle free (great for the younger kids) and they fold when not in use for easier transportation. They are also guaranteed for life. At just $19.99, they are a great deal.
Get your young children started on a career in STEM with the Cubetto Playset Coding Toy. Designed for ages 3 and up, children help Cubetto, a wooden robot, navigate a magical world by writing their first programs using hands-on coding blocks. If you’re worried about your children having too much screen time, Cubetto is perfect for you as there is no screen. This device is such fun that kids won’t even know that they are learning while playing. It is pricey at $225.95, but well worth the cost.
If you have a child who is afraid of the dark, check out the Force Field Cloaks. Wearing these to bed, the glow-in-the-dark ink will make kids feel safe as they fall asleep. Five different designs are available and they are priced at $36 each. (Please note that, because of demand, they will not ship until January.)
Encourage the artist in your child with the 3D Printing Pen for Kids. Designed to be safely used by kids 8 and up, the pen comes with a random selection of three different filaments. Besides encouraging their creative side, the device also reinforces spatial thinking, planning and organization, attention to detail, a DIY spirit, and hand/eye coordination. It is priced at $39.99.
For Your Home
If you have a toddler investigating things around your house, then you’ll want to get several SnapPower Safe Lights. The Safe Light is an easy-to-install wall replacement switch that not only childproofs, but also adds illumination so you don’t need to take up one of the outlets with a nightlight. It doesn’t require any batteries. They are available in white, ivory, or light almond. You can get one of these for $16.95 or a pack of four for $60.95.
It’s time everyone had their own virtual personal assistant. Purchase a Google Home or Amazon Echo and you’ll have just that. These voice-controlled devices can play music, make calls, send and receive messages, answer search questions, keep your calendar, read the news, set alarms and timers, control smart home technology, and much, much more. I own several of the Amazon devices and don’t know what I did without them. They range in price from $49 to $149. (By the way, these are also excellent technology to have in the classroom. You can learn more about that in this blog.)
For the Man in Your Life
If your favorite guy is always trailing cords and plugs with his gadgets, then think about getting him the stylish but manly Stud Satchel. This shoulder bag is perfect for carrying all of his tech, but doesn’t look like a lady’s purse. Available in olive or navy (very manly colors!), the bag can even be personalized with up to eight letters at no additional charge. It’s big enough to hold a small laptop or Chromebook, but not so large that it’s cumbersome. With lots of compartments and pockets, both a handle and an adjustable shoulder carrying strap, and made out of canvas and leather, your brother/significant other/father/male friend will love it. It’s priced at $49.99.
For Your Dog
Don’t forget about your canine companion this Christmas. He will absolutely love the Furbo Dog Camera. With two-way audio and a WiFi pet camera, you can check in on your pal while you’re at work with the free Android/iOS app. And what makes it especially fun is that you can fill it with over 100 pieces of your dog’s favorite treats and the device will let you toss them to him. At $169.95, this is an expensive gift for your pet. But you can’t put a price on love!
For Your Classroom
One of my new favorite gadgets for learning is the QBall. This is a throwable microphone system that connects to the teacher’s audio system, whether that’s an expensive one or just a set of computer speakers. It gives every student in your classroom a voice and ensures that what each one says can be heard by all of the others. Since it’s made of light, durable foam, it can take a beating. And the microphone automatically shuts off while “in flight” so you don’t get any thumps or bumps over the speakers. It’s priced at $179, but there are discounts for bulk purchases. And they will accept purchase orders.
If your students are using any kind of devices in your classroom, then you know that dirty screens are rampant. Purchase these Buff Quick Cloths and you can help them keep their screens clean. Priced at $5.98 for two, these microfiber cloths are washable and come in four great designs.
Kick up your heels or just look stylish with the new Gemio Smart Band. This customizable bracelet (for both men and women) has LED technology that creates millions of colors and endless light effects as it responds to music, movement, and the people around you. Snap-on Tiles let you change the band’s look in an instant and it’s rechargeable. A basic set starts at just $11.99.
Make holding your device easier and more comfortable with the PopSocket Expanding Stand and Grip. This simple tool works on smartphones and tablets of any brand and will help ensure you never drop your tech again. It comes in a wide variety of stylish colors and folds to a very compact size when not in use. And at less than $9.00, it’s a bargain!
You can never have enough power unless you have the Anker PowerCore 10000. This small (smaller than a deck of cards) external battery will charge any device up to three times before it must be plugged in. Priced at just $25.99, it’s perfect for carrying with you every day to ensure your device can go the distance.
Add the power of augmented reality to your car while driving with the Navdy Windshield Projected Navigation system. Thedevice, which can be installed into any car, allows you to stay connected while driving with maps, calls, messages, music, and car information projected directly in front of you using AR. The image is completely visible even in direct sunlight. The system is priced at $399.99, but you’re worth it!
Of course, in my opinion, the very best possible Christmas present for any educator is a one-year membership in TCEA, filled with all of the professional learning, networking, and resources possible. And it’s just $49!
Regardless of the gifts you give or receive, TCEA wishes each of you a very wonderful holiday season!