The best way to ensure students remember the information your giving is to make lessons engaging, and hands on as often as possible.
One way to accomplish that is with technology, which can help students learn a wide range of skills while retaining the lesson.
Even better when the technology is new—students love being the first to try something their friends have never heard of.
We know what you’re thinking, “But I can’t afford any cool tech gadgets for my classroom,” and that’s where you’re wrong. Many brands have begun creating technology that’s not just engaging, but affordable for a teacher’s salary or school’s budget.
These six new gadgets fall into that category, and we want to share them with you, along with ideas that can enhance the learning experience. The gadgets we found have a wide range of use cases, and may be just what you need to make your lessons more engaging—and inexpensive.
In lab demonstrations, students are always enthralled by microscopes. In order to share the tiny mysteries with everyone, connect this tiny microscope camera to a computer for all to see. Rather than using the traditional glass optics, it uses digital enhancement, which means you get the 250x zoom without having to handle the delicate glass slides—perfect for elementary students. You could also view everyday objects underneath it, like the ballpoint of a pen.
Meyoung Portable Projector
Nowadays almost everyone has a smartphone. If your school is unwilling to provide projectors for your classroom, you can invest in a portable miniature projector that is compatible with your smartphone or laptop instead. Not only is it cheaper—it’s even more accessible for you and your students than a traditional projector.
This gadget is especially useful for students who are visual learners, who need visual aids to stay engaged and understand the information. When buying, remember to purchase the correct cable to connect your device.
Cost: Starting at $99 for bundle and $19.99 for individual pieces/parts
If you want to bring coding and programming into your curriculum, OSMO offers a simple way to teach students the fundamentals. This product incorporates the iPad screen and physical pieces to make the experience hands on in every way. All you need is an iPad, and most versions are supported. Check out their FAQ to make sure yours will work with the program.
Learn more about coding in the classroom:7 iPad Apps for Students to Learn Coding10 Apps for Hour of Code in Your Classroom 7 Ways to Teach Students to Think Like a Coder Keybodo Tactile Character Recognition Keyboard Cover
Invented by two University of Richmond grads, the Keybodo Keyboard Cover applies a unique texture to each key of a keyboard so users can feel what letters they’re typing. They tested their product at private schools in Richmond, VA and observed a dramatic increase in typing speed and accuracy. Any curriculum involving technology, language composition, or programming may benefit from using this invention.
Cost: Free (Smartphones not included)
Google has invented an inexpensive way to deliver epic virtual reality in the classroom with Google Cardboard. Simply assemble the cardboard kit, which students can try to do themselves, scan the code, and place your smartphone inside. You can take your students on field trips without sending home permission slips.
Learn more about Google VR and Education VR:3 Google Virtual Reality Tools for Learning 5 Ways to Bring Virtual Reality to Your Classroom5 Free Virtual Reality Tools for Every Teacher Albert Clock
Cost: App, Free; Device: 279 Euro
The times of students staring at the clock as they wait for the bell are over—kind of. You can’t stop students from counting down the seconds, but you can make them do math if they want to know the time. The Albert Clock expresses digital time in math calculations, and is a fun way to exercise basic math operations throughout the day. Soon your students will be math whizzes as they get used to doing quick mental math.
Use the Albert Clock app for free on your Android device (perfect for 1:1 Chromebook or Android tablet classrooms).
With these technologies in the classroom, you can create a more stimulating learning environment for students at a cost you can afford. They may seem like simple objects to us, but to children each of these gadgets presents a unique learning opportunity—and that’s what keeps students engaged.