The coolest Tech Gadgets for Teachers

The Networked Teacher
The Networked Teacher | Source

The question of teaching and teachers in general has always been one of my favourite topics, as both my and my husband’s mom are teachers. They are both very much dedicated to their profession, although in Hungary the current situation and the lack of money usually hampers their efforts to make the life of children easier and the classes more interesting and enjoyable for everyone.

In the past few years we could witness a great development in technology; during the last decade almost each year brought a new gadget, which can be easily used for teaching purposes. In this article, I tried to present the best ones available.

Teachers have to integrate modern technology into their life
Teachers have to integrate modern technology into their life | Source

Why use gadgets for teaching?

  • Makes learning more interesting: the use of videos, audio recordings or projections arouse much more interest in everyone – and even the children love digital experience;
  • Can reach more students: studies show that children are more interested in interactive learning methods;
  • Fits all learning styles: it is common knowledge, that some people can memorize pictures better /visual learners/, meanwhile others prefer audio recordings /audio learners/;
  • Provides access to modern technology for all students: no matter where they came from – some students only have the chance to use these gadgets in classes as they can’t afford them at home;
  • Computer literacy from an early age: nowadays we need and use computers and modern technology in almost every aspect of life, so it is the best if children become familiar with these gadgets early in their life;
  • E-books are cheap: making textbooks and exercise books available in digital, downloadable format is more affordable for students and their parents. This way, students don’t have to carry heavy books from day to day either and they can also easily look up a certain word or phrase in the whole book within seconds;
  • Teacher looks cooler: and a cool look can help to build a more friendly relationship with students;
  • And all in all gadgets make life easier: with a microphone teachers don’t have to shout in bigger classrooms or attendance roster apps helps them to keep an eye on students without carrying piles of papers with themselves.

A useful teaching app on iTunes

This program was selected as one of the best teaching apps in 2011.

According to its description, it ’makes it easy for teachers and students to stay connected and share information’.

Best high-tech gadgets available to date

  • Tablet (iPad): with this gadget teachers can take notes prior to class so they can be 100% sure that they won’t forget anything important to tell the students. They can also prepare a plan for the whole class on these devices. Also, when teachers want to hold outdoor classes they don’t have to bring their teaching equipment along.
  • Laptop: as we can see in many popular movies, most students use laptops in university classes instead of normal paper or notebook nowadays.
  • Interactive whiteboard: this is the modern, touch-controlled edition of old chalkboards that works well together with any computer. The board is basically like a huge touchscreen, on which teachers or students can write with digital ink and use their bare hands to control the content of the table. It can even be used as huge projector.
  • Wireless presenter with laser pointer: for various presentations (for example PowerPoint presentations) this is a very handy tool that allows the teacher to remotely present their slides without having to stand next to the computer and click the mouse or tap the keyboard.
  • Wireless microphone: as the name suggests it is a wireless gadget that can be used to amplify the voice of the teacher or even to record the whole class.
  • Response pad: so far I have only seen these in TV shows, but they are becoming more and more popular in classrooms as well. With these little ‘remotes’ students can actively engage in classes: when the teacher asks a question students can submit their answer with the help of this clicker and in the end of the class the teacher can reward the best students with a nice grade, etc. In this way students are not only listening and learning during the class, but this game and rewarding approach also motivates them to try to stand out of the crowd with their knowledge.

Elementary students using iPads in school
Elementary students using iPads in school | Source
  • Document projector: it is basically a camera that is placed on an LCD projector. With this gadget teachers can simply project images, graphs or even whole book pages onto a screen, where the whole class can see it. With a remote control and autofocus this is also a very handy gadget for teachers.
  • GPS receiver: a perfect gadget for geography classes or even for field trips; with this anyone can easily locate where they are or do some geocaching, without the need to worry about a sudden rainfall, as many receivers are now made to be waterproof.
  • Weather station: can be very useful in geography or even biology/ecology, as with wireless technology it is able to receive data through its sensors from even hundreds of feet away, without having to go out from the classroom.
  • Digital microscope: it is based on the idea of ‘old’ microscopes, but with digital technology teachers are able to project the observed image onto a computer monitor or even onto an interactive whiteboard.
  • MP3 player and audio recorder: with the help of these gadgets both teachers and students find classes easier; teachers can use MP3 players to play bits of recordings related to the topic or can record their whole class and post the audio file on the school’s website to enable students to listen to it if they want; meanwhile students can record bits of information they feel important and can use it later when studying for tests.
  • Videoconferencing tools: with the help of this technology teachers can easily ‘call’ anyone on the world to engage in the class – for example on marketing related classes it is a great idea to ask the executive of a successful company to be available for some minutes and tell the students some key requirements to success in this field.

i>clicker student remote (Gen1): Radio Frequency Classroom Response System
i>clicker student remote (Gen1): Radio Frequency Classroom Response System

This is a handy tool for teachers who want to motivate their students during classes. All they have to do is to give the students (or group of students) one remote (also called Clicker) and ask questions. According to what the educator set prior to class, this gadget will record the answers given by the students and show who was the best.

 
4GB Digital Voice Recorder + MP3 Player
4GB Digital Voice Recorder + MP3 Player

I guess this is the most known gadget of these 4 - with this MP3 player and voice recorder (as the name suggests) teachers can record their classes and play it later or upload it to the school's website for the students. Apart from this, it is able to store and later play any recordings that have been copied to its 4GB storage space.

 

Teaching gadgets on Amazon

Logitech Wireless Presenter R400, Presentation Wireless Presenter with Laser Pointer
Logitech Wireless Presenter R400, Presentation Wireless Presenter with Laser Pointer

This great gadget can help teachers during class presentations by allowing them to move freely in the room and remotely present their slides to the students without even going closer to the mouse or the keyboard.

Additionally, with the built-in laser pointer teachers can point out any important information on the table from any distance.

 

The possible drawbacks of gadgets in classrooms

  • Technology is expensive – barely any schools can allow themselves to buy useful gadgets that can be used for teaching purposes.
  • Some (mostly older) teachers are unable to get involved in modern technology; many of them feel antipathy towards gadgets.
  • Software or hardware problems usually require special knowledge to solve them and hiring a specialist is usually also very expensive.
  • Students can be easily distracted by their computer – people tend to check their e-mails or use Facebook quite often and with this they can skip important bits of information in classes.

  • Teachers are unable to control students during classes – they might even be able to play games on classes.
  • Children and even young adults have difficulties to use handwriting as they got too much used to typing on computers.
  • Less attention on classes result in bad grades – students tend to realise to late that they should have listened on classes and they might drop out of school because of this.
  • Studies show that some children have difficulties to sit down and focus on tests printed on paper or read a book or an article, as they are already way too much used to constantly moving images and bits of information in front of their laptop.

A student using modern technology and a simple notebook at the same time
A student using modern technology and a simple notebook at the same time | Source

Afterword

All in all I think gadgets are essential in teaching as they provide modern and easier ways for everyone to study faster and more effectively.

In my opinion it is not the fault of high-tech gadgets that students get worse grades, it is their responsibility to listen and learn on classes – it is their job; meanwhile parents also have to keep an eye on their children and their daily routine.

Gadgets just provide bigger variety and a better chance for teachers to arouse their students’ interest in sciences.

What about you?

Would you enjoy learning in an environment, where the teachers are aware of the opportunities offered by technology?

  • Yes, sure! Who wouldn't?
  • Not really, it would only 'offer' more distraction from the main idea: learning.
See results without voting

Share your ideas!

Please feel free to comment on this hub, your feedback is very much appreciated!

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© Copyright 2012-2014, Zsofia Koszegi-Nagy (zsobig)

The Networked Teacher

© 2012 Sophie

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Comments on the topic 43 comments

gamerjimmy23 profile image

gamerjimmy23 2 years ago from California

These are all great ideas! Another useful tool for kids to develop before entering high school is learning how to properly type. ; )


bfilipek profile image

bfilipek 2 years ago from Cracow

It is important to know pros and cons of using gadgets in the classroom. They can help, but, as you mention, also distract people.

Gadgets, of course , will not do job for us.

Great hub :)


AvineshP profile image

AvineshP 2 years ago from Chandigarh

The fact cannot be denied that the gadgets have made things easier not only for the teachers but for the common man as well.

I must a great hub.


Aswin Rajeev 2 years ago

Great article. The first picture where they've shown the "Educomp Smart Class" has been put into effect in our school. It is truly an amazing experience to learn from it. You get to know things through visuals and animations.


chadwiki profile image

chadwiki 3 years ago

Very cool stuff! Love it, thanks


Joseph Renne profile image

Joseph Renne 3 years ago from Milton

Wish my teachers had this stuff when I was in school.


khmohsin profile image

khmohsin 3 years ago from London,UK

Thank you for the useful informations its really very good that people share their experiences.


iguidenetwork profile image

iguidenetwork 3 years ago from Austin, TX

Very expertly-written hub... you've laid it all the advantages and disadvantages of the use high-tech gadgets in classes. Up and useful, interesting, and shared.


Yogeshvashist profile image

Yogeshvashist 3 years ago

Awesome content. THanks for sharing with us..


livewirez profile image

livewirez 3 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Sea

Nice Hubs, Every Gadgets you mention are very useful for teacher... This could make you as a teacher more effective. With the right gadgets/technology and right techniques and motivations students will not only learn but also will enjoy their lessons.


ferdoplay 3 years ago

This is a lovely hub. thumb up zsobig!


saralj profile image

saralj 4 years ago from Amman, Jordan.

I think this way of teaching will be more common in no time. Most of those tech gadgets are used now, but not in a large quantity.


Deepika Arun profile image

Deepika Arun 4 years ago from Chennai, India

Great Hub! Being a teacher, I could gain so much info from this hub! Congratulations! Voted Up, Useful and interesting!


Cameron Conner profile image

Cameron Conner 4 years ago from Cornelius, North Carolina

I am a big fan of integrating technology into an educational environment as long as it doesn't take away from actually learning something. Balance is key here. Too many distractions and the students will not learn anything. However, some distraction from the day to day boredom can be a major positive improvement. A few things to liven up the class while continuing to improve the capability of students to learn can stimulate the learning experience and students will actually go home excited and wanting more. Thank you for this hub. voted up.


sriparna profile image

sriparna 4 years ago from New Delhi

Very interesting hub. Congratulations for being chosen as the Hub of the Day! I am especially glad that you have mentioned the cons as well, as we all know that using technology in the classroom is definitely cool but the disadvantages are also far too many, if used on a regular basis. So all these gadgets which you have mentioned, used occasionally along with inculcating teacher-student and student-student interaction in the classrooms, will ensure maximum learning and engagement.

Thanks for compiling all the useful gadgets in one place.


FreezeFrame34 profile image

FreezeFrame34 4 years ago from Charleston SC

Great information and the pros and cons with all of the technology! Congratulations on your hub of the day!


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 4 years ago from Fontana

I teach choir and piano. Unfortunately music classes are low on the totem pole for technology even though most music is technology driven theses days. When technology needs repair, we are on the bottom of the totem pole because basic core classes take priority. Massive budget cuts make a bad problem worse. We started school August 1 and none of my technology is working yet ... other than Internet and it is tenuous. :-(


urmilashukla23 profile image

urmilashukla23 4 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

Congratulations on Hub of the day award! Awesome hub. Useful and voted up!


KDuBarry03 4 years ago

Outstanding information! Congrats on Hub of the Day! Yes, the drawbacks do turn off many students and teachers; however, we are in a day and age where we are transitioning into a new form of communication and usages of writing platforms. Who knows, perhaps in ten to twenty years (or less), these technologies will become staple for everyday education :)

Great Article!


zsobig profile image

zsobig 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thank you guys, I appreciate your comments and ideas very much!


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