Let’s be honest, no teachers needs another “Best Teacher” mug. Chances are, they already have a cupboard full of those at home. It’s not that they won’t appreciate the thought, it’s just that there are only so many mugs one person can use! So, if you are looking for something a little more unique, why not consider one of the ten techy gifts for teachers below. They’re a great way to say thank you to the educators in your life. Everything on this list can be had for $30 or less, and if you decide to buy something for yourself as well, I won’t tell!
1. Tile Trackers
Help your favorite teacher keep track of their favorite things with a Tile tracker. These popular tech accessories can be put in a bag, on your keys, in a suitcase, and even on pets so that you can find things by activating the built-in ringer using an app on your phone. They are water resistant, come with a 1-year replaceable battery, and have a range of around 200ft or more. The Tile Mate is a great starter model and is available for around $25. Watch the video below for all the different ways you can find things, and get a Tile tracker here.
2. WiFi Light Switch
When they first came out, smart home accessories were an expensive luxury. However, times have changed. Today, lots of us have Alexa or Google Home devices, and the internet of things that they work with are more affordable than ever. So, why not spoil a teacher with a Wi-Fi enabled light switch. If you replace an existing light switch with a WiFi light switch you can control the lights in any room in your house. Best of all, you don’t need any additional hubs or smart light bulbs. The switch works with all your existing lighting installations, and can be controlled via an app or with Alexa and Google Home. Check out the Kasa Smart Light Switch by TP-Link if you want to, ahem, brighten someone’s day.
3. Wireless Phone Charger
Most new phones from the last couple of years have adopted wireless charging as part of their design. Wireless chargers are handy to have because they are quick and easy to use. They are also a great way to keep track of your phone, because if you leave your phone on the charger, all you need to do is remember where the charger is! Recently, I bought by wife the Fast Wireless Charger RAVPower 7.5W for her iPhone 11, and it’s great! Wireless chargers would make a great, affordable addition to any teacher’s desk, and they come in all shapes and sizes. See more here.
4. Physical Computing Boards
If you would like to give a teacher the option to explore some coding opportunities in their classroom, there are a plethora of physical computing boards that would make great gifts for teachers. The Raspberry Pi is a popular choice with those who like to tinker with technology and the latest version can be had for around $35. Another option is the Arduino Uno, while the BBC Micro Bit will interface with both the Raspberry Pi and the Arduino, as well as Kano, and Hummingbird Robotics.
5. Portable Chargers
Everybody can use a battery pack these days. They are great for charging on the go, and if you are traveling, they can be a lifesaver. So, if you are looking for the best gift for a teacher, you could do a lot worse than something like the Anker PowerCore Fusion 5000. Why? The problem I always have with portable chargers is that I often forget to charge them, and when I do remember, they often require a micro USB cable, and I don’t have all that many of those to hand.
The PowerCore 5000 eliminates that problem because you charge it by plugging it into a wall outlet. It also doubles as a wall charger so you can take less power bricks with you. It has two USB-A ports, and a micro USB port, and the 5000mAh battery is good for around two smartphone charges. If you need more power, look at the Anker PowerCore 10000 which has double the capacity and includes a USB-C port.
6. Bluetooth Speakers
A Bluetooth speaker would make a fine addition to any teacher’s desk, and if you are looking for suggestions on which one to get, the Tribit XSound Go would be a fine choice. It has good sound, can connect to any device with a Bluetooth connection, and because it is wireless, you can put it anywhere you want. The battery is rated to last for at least 24 hours of continuous playback, and it is both rugged and water resistant. Sounds expensive, right? Well, it can currently be had for less than $30. See it here.
7. Ninja Phone Loops
Remember when PopSockets were all the rage? Lots of people still like them, but in the age of wireless chargers, they became less useful than they used to be. Granted, you can get PopSockets that are compatible with wireless chargers, but you need to get a whole new case to go with them, and that adds a significant amount of money. Enter Ninja Loops. These handy straps work with all phone cases AND they support wireless chargers. Check the out at https://phoneloops.com/ or in the video below.
8. Bluetooth Keyboard
The Logitech K380 is a great pick for someone looking for a versatile and portable Bluetooth keyboard. It can be used with any Bluetooth enabled device regardless of the operating system, including smartphones and tablets. It has three, easy switch buttons that let you quickly change between your laptop, tablet or phone with the press of a button. The battery life is rated at up to two years, and the keyboard is quiet and comfortable. In fact, the only major feature that it lacks is a backlit keyboard, but for $29, it still offers a lot of value. See it here.
9. iPad Desk Stands
Desk stands for tablets can be a great gift for teachers. They get your iPad up and off the desk where you can charge it and access it quickly. iPad desk stands also pair really well with Bluetooth keyboards so you can quickly pivot from mobile device to a productivity device. A teacher’s desk can be a busy place, at least, mine was, but these things don’t take up very much space. I like the Lamicall Tablet Stand. It gets the iPad off the desk, can be tilted for a better angle, and although it is a little short for my needs, it is easy to raise up on a couple of textbooks for better ergonomics.
10. Gift Cards
If you still can’t decide, you can always opt for gift cards. They may not sound as imaginative as other things on this list, but I loved getting gift cards as a teacher. With a gift card, you can buy exactly what you want. One year, a parent of one of my students collected donations from the other families and presented me with a whole stack of gift cards to all kinds of amazing places. I’ll never forget that. Restaurants are always good options for gift cards, (we all have to eat), but so are places like Target, BestBuy, Amazon, or Walmart. Find your gift cards here.