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5 Awesome Tech Gadgets for Teachers & Students

Here are 5 gadgets that any teacher would love.  These 5 definitely make learning fun.  From programing drones, to making a piano out of bananas, this post has something for everyone.

I’ve linked to sites offering the best prices (often directly from the manufacturer).  If you find a better deal, please share in the comments below.
Makey Makey
Ever played Mario on Play-Doh or Piano on Bananas?
This plug and play invention kit turns was inspired by the Maker Movement.  Unleash creativity in your learners and grow the Maker’s Mindset by allowing them to control a computer with anything you can connect alligator clips to.  What kinds of things can you do?  Turn bananas into piano keys, draw your own game controller and use your drawing to play the game, make a custom keyboard out of alphabet soup.  Your invention will work as an input device with any program or website
What will your students design when the world is their construction kit? Makey Makey works with nearly everything: fruit, plants, coins, ketchup, most foods, finger paint, pencil graphite, Play-Doh, aluminum foil, your grandma, anything that can conduct a tiny current will work.  This makerspace resource is a great learning gadget for all ages!
Makey Makey – An Invention Kit for Everyone $49.95

An App-Enabled Robotic Ball
The importance of teaching coding is gaining momentum, but it can still be challenging and sometimes frustrating for students.  Sphero is a rolling robot that students control with drag and drop programing on tablets. While the Sphero has its own app for iOS and Android, I prefer to use the free Tickle app, or Tynker app for a better programming experience.
Sphero SPRK Edition: App-Enabled Ball $129.99Sphero Educator DiscountsSphero Education Resources Wars Fan? Check out Sphero’s BB-8.

Parrot Minidrones Rolling Spider
A Programmable Drone
I can’t think of a way to make coding more engaging than programming a drone. I first played with the Rolling Spider at the Apple Distinguished Educator Institute. It was hard to get teachers to put down their iPads and give other a turn at rolling, flying, and flipping the drones. Like the Sphero, the Rolling Spider also works with the Tickle and Tynker apps.
Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider Red – Connected toy – Fly and roll anywhere – FreeFlight 3 App iOS, Android & Windows Phone – Bluetooth 4.0 $99.95
Learn Beyond the Screen
Designed for students ages 5-13, Osmo takes interaction with an iPad beyond the screen.  Place your iPad in the Osmo stand, and attach the Osmo mirror to turn your table top into the playing field.  The mirror reflects images form the table top to the iPad’s camera for an interactive hands-on experience.
Osmo comes with 5 hands-on games:
Words can be played by multiple students to guess and spell an on-screen image.
Tangram challenges students to arrange wooden puzzle pieces to match on-screen shapes.
Newton promotes physics-based problem solving.  Students draw an image or place any object in front of the iPad and use it to guide on-screen falling balls into targeted zones.
Masterpiece turns any picture (camera roll, internet, etc.) into simple outlines that students can draw.
Numbers allows students to arrange physical tiles (dots and digits) to complete math challenges.
Osmo Genius Kit $99Osmo Gaming System for iPad (Starter Kit – does not include Numbers game) $67.50
A throwable microphone.Several years ago, when I was a middle school science teacher, I was looking for a way to get students to not interrupt each other during class discussions.  My answer was a foam ball that we named “The Talking Ball of Science.” It not only decreased interruptions, it encouraged participation.
I was in one of Google Man Michael Jaber’s gadget workshops when I first learned about the high-tech version of the talking ball.  Catchbox is a microphone that is designed to be thrown from person to person.  The wireless microphone sits inside of a soft foam cube that is covered in a colorful dirt-resistant fabric, making it durable enough for any classroom.
Catchbox – The Throwable Microphone $599
Do you have a favorite gadget that I missed? Share it in the comments below.
Transparency disclosure: I only recommend products that I have used and that I believe will benefit my readers.  I’ve linked to sites offering the best prices when this post was written.  Amazon links in this post may result in me being paid a few pennies. Your cost doesn’t go up any. Amazon just pays me a little for the referral through its Associates Program.  This helps me with the costs of running this site.  I have only provided Amazon links when products were cheaper through their site.  If you find a better deal, please share it with us in the comments below.

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