Gadgets for the Classroom: by Jesse Langley

Whether you need to be able to spend more time focusing on your students or just be able to get things
done, there is probably a gadget that you can use in the classroom to make the day pass more smoothly.
With a little help from manufacturers, you can get your caffeine fix without leaving the room or sit in the
back of your classroom and control your computer.

There is no limit to what a teacher fully equipped with a ton of gadgets can do, of course, but there
is such a thing as too much. To help you sort through them, we’ve compiled a list of four gadgets no
teacher should be without.


Experienced teachers know that to control a classroom, you first must control its technology. Show any
fear, and students may become unruly as you wait for someone with an IT degree to save your lesson
plan. The ProMini Keyboard won’t prevent all missteps, but it will help you have instant access to your
computer, even if you’re sitting in the back of the room. The device has a trackpad, a laser pointer and a
keyboard to control a movie, slideshow or presentation from anywhere in the room.

Beverage Cooler

When teachers aren’t sipping on coffee, they usually have some sort of soda in hand. Sadly, when the
need for caffeine hits around 2 p.m., it’s not like you can ask your students to sit and not move while
you run down to the vending machine. Come prepared and keep your drink cool by plugging your single-
can refrigerator into your USB port. It’s just a tiny bit bigger than the size of a can, so it also should be
easy to keep it away from little hands and eyes.

X-Acto Electric Pencil Sharpener

Yes, you still need a pencil sharpener in 2011. While there are a ton of online school programs you’ll use, students still have workbooks and still need to fill out tests. Don’t rely on the janky ones hung on each classroom wall since half the time they don’t even
work. When they do, students are far more likely to hold their pencils crooked and break the tips off,
which ensures even more standing around and even more grinding noises. Set the machine on your desk
and ask a few times a day if anyone needs to sharpen their pencil to avoid small human-sized traffic

Staple-Free Stapler

Teachers try to lead by example, but often it’s a little too difficult. Make Earth Day easier on your
conscience by using the Staple-Free Stapler, which (surprisingly) will help you not fill landfills up with

staples. The device will attach up to five sheets of regular computer paper, which is more than you can
say for traditional staplers. It also helps you avoid sweater snags, students stepping on discarded metal
shards and inconvenient trips to the supply cabinet. The stapler cuts and folds paper, so it’s more secure
than just folding it over like you do when you’re desperate and out of staples.

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Mother. Teacher. Keynote. Author

Erin Klein is an award winning educator, national keynote speaker, author, and mother.

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