It’s almost halfway through December, and I’m ready to share a new gift guide for you to explore. Earlier this season I reached out to a handful of my favorite educators and authors. They helped create the list you can see in the blog post linked here with their recommendations.
As I worked to put together my own holiday shopping list of favorites for educators and non-educators, more recommendations came my way. Regular readers of the blog sent me emails with items they love to give as presents.
So this new list of teacher gifts includes both techy and non-techy choices. Just like last year when I put together a list of gifts for Chromebook teachers and a list for teachers who love iPads, I wanted there to be a nice balance. Last year I also made a list of my favorite books to for teacher gifts, and you can decide if the digital or paperback version is the right fit for that special person on your list!
Favorite Teacher Gifts
Ready to jump into this new list? Here are some of my go-to gifts for this year along with new recommendations from some readers of the blog!
Apple Watch Bands
An Apple Watch is a pricey gift, but if you know someone who purchased one this year – watch bands are a great option. I like to change up my watch band throughout the year, and there are lots of options to choose from. Here are two options for a sporty or jewelry-loving person in your life.
For personal use or school use with permission, a Dot or an Echo could be a game changer for that busy teacher in your life who leaves reminders on sticky notes or has burning questions about lots of random topics. Although I’m certainly guilty of asking Alexa silly questions like, “How old is Dolly Parton?” — timers, and reminders have come in handy.
Earlier this holiday season I shared the iPad cases from Rug-Ed. They sent me a case to try out, and they’ve been kind enough to share one for an Instagram giveaway too. You can head over to Instagram to follow along – I’ll post and make an announcement in my stories when the giveaway goes live. In the meantime, check them out here if you are looking for an iPad case gift this year.
Engage the Brain
If you’re a member of ASCD, you might have received the same delivery as I did this week. Engage the Brain: How to Design for Learning That Taps into the Power of Emotion focuses on brain science and learning. As I’m writing this to you today, I’m well past Chapter 1 and excited to go further into this book. At the ASCD CEL conference in November, I had the chance to chat with fellow ASCD author Allison Posey who wrote this new book. If you know an educator interested in brain science too, you’ll want to snag a copy to share with them.
Sometimes its hard to find a “just right” gift for someone, and if you’re at a loss then take a look at two favorites for a solid back up plan. I love these fruit-themed notecards and these funky animal notecards. If you know that someone’s classroom is decked out in a particular colors, that might help you make a final decision.
This year I’ve had the chance to work with wonderful early childhood educators who are interested in using technology with their students. I love how Tiggly toys can connect to specific learning goals. Teachers can use them in stations, with small groups, or even recommend them as a resource for families looking to use technology with their children. Here’s a link to the Tiggly Math Blocks.
When Osmo first came on the scene a few years ago, I had the chance to take an early look. It’s impressive to see just how far their product has come in a short amount of time. If you haven’t recently taken a look at what Osmo has to offer, it’s worth another peek. I really like the Tangrams and word games, but the coding option might be the real stand out!
As a blogger, I often get emails from authors and publishers who offer to send along a copy of their new book. When Rewiring Education: How Technology Can Unlock Every Student’s Potential arrived in my mailbox, I was so excited to jump in. I heard John Couch speak several years ago and couldn’t wait to read about his perspective on EdTech. One thing that I loved about his book were all the shout outs to fellow Apple Distinguished Educators. He shared classroom stories that are sure to inspire teachers, but this book is also a good fit for anyone interested in the field of education.
This past year I committed to putting more effort into listening to audiobooks. As a big fan of podcasts, I thought this would be the next step in my digital journey as a reader. I’ve really enjoyed listening to a few different selections (including Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance and Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World), and my Audible subscription has been fantastic. I can choose a new book each month and still have a discount if I want to purchase a second. One of the best features is how you can return your book if you don’t like it – something I tried out this fall with a book that will remain nameless.
After my first gift guide of the season went live, I reached out to readers of the blog for more suggestions. These reader suggestions include more favorites for teacher gifts to explore. If you have one to add to the list, leave a comment on this post or reach out to me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to let me know all about it!
Tara Brown from Michigan (aka @tarafarah7 on Twitter) recommends The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps. She said, “This book will change the way you design and deliver lessons for your students. Not only will you learn how to package digital lessons using Google Docs, but you will also discover ways to personalize lessons, increase collaboration, and free up time for more 1:1 instruction! A must-read for teachers of all grades and subject areas!”
Lisa Dabel from California (aka @mrsdabel on Twitter) recommends Qball – Wireless Throwable Microphone. She said, “This allows even the shyest student to participate in class discussions. Great for ‘share-out’ during Writers Worskhop, or other high-interest Q&A.”
Tom Mussoline from Wisconsin (aka @tmussoline on Twitter) recommends the iPad app DoInk Green ScreenLink and a low-cost, add on item — some simple Green Poster Board. He says this gift is, “an awesome low-cost way to have a green screen studio in your classroom.”
So if you’re looking for teacher gift ideas, I hope this list helps! Have another favorite? Share it below!