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The coolest Tech Gadgets for Teachers

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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

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

  • 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.

Teaching gadgets on Amazon

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

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?

Share your ideas!

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

Or, if you feel that you can write fresh, new ideas about this or a similar topic, just join our community and start writing!

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

The Networked Teacher

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© 2012 Sophie

Comments on the topic

Jimmy Gent from California on March 02, 2014:

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

bfilipek on February 11, 2014:

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 :)

Avinesh Prahladi from Chandigarh on January 12, 2014:

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 on January 10, 2014:

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.

Chad Davis on August 07, 2013:

Very cool stuff! Love it, thanks

Joseph Renne from Milton on June 17, 2013:

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

khmohsin on June 09, 2013:

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

iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on June 05, 2013:

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 on March 05, 2013:

Awesome content. THanks for sharing with us..

Romel Tarroza from Philippines on February 08, 2013:

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 on January 15, 2013:

This is a lovely hub. thumb up zsobig!

Sara A. from Amman, Jordan. on August 23, 2012:

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 from Chennai, India on August 11, 2012:

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

Cameron Conner from Cornelius, North Carolina on August 10, 2012:

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 from New Delhi on August 10, 2012:

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 from Charleston SC on August 10, 2012:

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

G. Diane Nelson Trotter from Fontana on August 10, 2012:

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. :-(

Urmila from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA on August 10, 2012:

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

KDuBarry03 on August 10, 2012:

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!

Sophie (author) from United Kingdom on August 10, 2012:

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

emimemo from USA on August 10, 2012:

I like the part of Teacher looks cooler! Why not.

Nira Perkins on August 10, 2012:

Cool article. I'd love to give this to several of my old teachers. I know that some of them are pretty good with gadgets but many just have no clue. It's good to incorporate technology into the classroom as much as possible. It's how we live now and where we're headed. Great ideas here. Congratulations on Hub of the Day.

Cathleena Beams from Tennessee on August 10, 2012:

Great hub idea! Your Networked Teacher photo caught my attention upon sign-in and I had to check out your article to find out more about the coolest gadgets you mentioned in your title. Very alluring to those of us who are intrigued by all the wireless gadgets and technology of this day and age.

cardelean from Michigan on August 10, 2012:

You have listed some important technological resources for teachers. Congrats on your Hub of the Day!

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on August 10, 2012:

Congrats on the HOTD. I am a teacher in a middle school setting and have used quite a bit of this technology and agree that it truly does help teach the masses (meaning helps with differentiated learning styles). My favorite has been the smart board, which is an interactive white board that can also project everything that you have on your computer screen and well be touched by the teacher and the students too. Thank you for putting all of this in concise place. Have voted and shared too!

Sophie (author) from United Kingdom on August 10, 2012:

Thanks a lot for everyone!

I am very happy that I could write something interesting and useful! :)

soutienscolairefr from Paris on August 10, 2012:

Great Hub, very interesting !

mmsu from Pakistan on August 10, 2012:

Goof informative hub!!Very well written,voted up and shared.

whonunuwho from United States on August 10, 2012:

As a teacher for many years. I used computers in my class for disabled kids. It was a very positive tool in which some of the kids with problems could better communicate and do assigned work with more success. These gadgets that are now available are all marvelous additions and any that can better facilitate kids in learning are a welcome addition. Nice work.

Ruchira from United States on August 10, 2012:

When technology makes life easy to impart knowledge...that's the best!

Informative hub, zsobig!

Many votes!!

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on August 10, 2012:

Gadgets like these might offer more success to students in smaller classes, students with disabilities who depend on them, and more mature students (higher grades, advanced students, adult students). Of course, they, too, could be monitored to prevent drawbacks.

Modern teachers are not sit-behind-the-desk instructors. They move among their students as they are on task. Positioning of students and teacher in the classroom could make a difference. Teachers and aids need to be alert and watchful. Access should be denied to computer sites in question in a classroom. When students are on a computer, for example, the teacher could walk to the back of the classroom to get a view of all computers. Sharp teachers will find a way to make needed gadgets work for their students. With this in mind, most students should be able to find success using most, if not all, of these and other gadgets.

What an interesting and useful hub! Thanks for sharing.

whonunuwho from United States on August 10, 2012:

Things are a little more advanced from the time when I was in the classroom. Thank you for the impressive assortment of new technical gadgets, and they are most interesting; they seem to have a lot of promise in helping our kids. When I taught, I divided my class time into two parts..one for instruction by me and assigned work, the other was time spent on the computer, which I did have to monitor quite often.

Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on August 10, 2012:

I love articles about teaching. And I always like scanning what is new out there for teachers to utilize. While I am not a huge proponent of using super high-tech technology in the class for the sake of using it, I do think technology can certainly enhance a lesson. But at times teachers get to hung up on technology and it becomes a crutch rather than a way to aim for deeper, more meaningful learning. Great hub!

Sreejith k from Kerala, India on August 10, 2012:

Brilliant writing on Tech Gadgets for Teachers. This will really help all teachers in the world.

Sophie (author) from United Kingdom on August 10, 2012:

Thanks a lot guys for reading, commenting and sharing!

I am happy that you really like this article :)

Your Cousins from Atlanta, GA on August 10, 2012:

It's great to see how students and teachers are so electronically-connected now. Let's just hope that electronics don't replace personal interactions. Congrats on HOTD.

Donna Hilbrandt from Upstate New York on August 10, 2012:

Congratulations on Hub of the Day! This is a fantastic and comprehensive article. Voted up and sharing.

Sophie (author) from United Kingdom on August 10, 2012:

Thanks a lot Marcy, I am probably one of the happiest people in theorld right now :).

This is a huge success for me!

And thank you for all who have helped me to achieve this :)

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on August 10, 2012:

I'm amazed at how technology has advanced the way kids are taught in schools! Congratulations on your HOTD - nicely done!

Sophie (author) from United Kingdom on August 09, 2012:

Nah, you are definitely NOT old. And anyway: you're only as old as YOU feel :).

Thanks very-very much for the nice comment, the vote and for the share!

Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on August 09, 2012:

Wow I had no idea that so many gadgets were available for education. Shows how old I am. Voted Up and Shared.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on August 09, 2012:

These are all great gadgets for the classroom. If I had to only pick one, my favorite gadget is the video conferencing tool. I like the idea of being able to invite people from anywhere in the world into the classroom. Imagine being able to see the actual location that the students are studying in a geography class. I think that is so cool.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on August 09, 2012:

Great ideas and advice, zsobig! One might think classroom gadgets are superfluous, but even when I was back in school, the rudimentary computers and video games we had really did augment our learning experience.

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