Edtech Nerds Gift Guide: Creativity

Written by Kris Thurston

December 6, 2023

Let Your Creativity Shine

It’s the holiday season and the EdTech Nerds are in full cheer!

To kick off the season, being such a gadget Nerd, I’m putting together a series of gift guides focused on each of the EdTech Nerds Five Pillars: Creativity, Community, Mindfulness, Efficacy, and Efficiency. Each post contains some thoughtful ideas for fun and useful gifts you can give to your fellow educators (or yourself) to help bring a little more joy to all of your second semesters.

This series of posts are our top picks for each pillar. For our entire collection of recommended gadgets and gizmos, check out our Wakelet collection here.

These posts are not sponsored by any of the products listed. All Amazon links, however, are affiliate links.

Creativity

The Creativity Pillar is all about expressing your passion, driving engagement, and encouraging your students to think outside the box, expressing their creativity, too.. This, to us, is the best part of being a teacher. 

We’ve selected these gadgets to help you grow that passion and share it with your students in an engaging way.

Sharpie S-Gel and Pentel EnerGel Pens 

In the Efficiency Gift Guide, we talk about how writing things is better for learning than typing. It’s also better for some grading, most annotating, and definitely for taking your own notes, too.

There are some higher end pens that are refillable and go above and beyond, but for the readily available, low cost, no-problem-if-it-walks-away type pen, there’s no better writer, at least for me, than the Sharpie S-Gel. The ink is vibrant and smooth, it does very well writing against a wall, and works with just about every paper type. 

The only drawback to the S-Gel pens is color availability. They only come in Black, Dark Blue, Light Blue, Purple, Green, and Red, at least as far as I’ve found.

Should you need more color depth in your collection, particularly if you color code your diagrams, annotations, and notes, choose the Pentel EnerGel RTX as your go-to pen. They’re a little bulkier, but available in a much wider array of colors, tip widths, and grips. 

The Sharpie S-Gel 0.7mm 4-color pack is available at Amazon for around $9.

The Pentel EnerGel RTX 0.7mm 12-color pack is available at Amazon for around $20.

Elgato Stream Deck

I’m not trying to murder anyone’s wallet or credit card bill, I promise. I’m also trying to get super effective tools in the hands of teachers. This one is a little more pricey, but it’s totally worth it. It’s also much more Nerdy, so this isn’t necessarily for the technology faint of heart.

The Elgato Stream Deck was designed for game streamers to be able to automate their repetitive stream tasks like camera and screen switching, chat responses, sound effects and pretty much anything you want to pare down to just the push of a button.

For anyone, this tool could fall under Efficiency because you can set up the buttons to pretty much do anything repetitive that you can normally do on a computer, like open apps, change settings, type repeated phrases, etc.

For teachers, however, this definitely falls under the Creativity Pillar because of all the cool things you can do when presenting and recording. You can have it play sound drops and change which app is maximized quickly without searching for a tab or icon on your taskbar. You can also use it for feedback and set it to type responses for you or open specific files and templates. It can be used for anything from alleviating some of the mundane to adding a lot of creativity to your lessons. 

You can fully customize all of the buttons because each button is its own tiny little screen, so they appear however you want. You also can set it to have multiple pages and folders to organize all your functions. It’s really a ton of fun.

Check out the Elgato store on Amazon here

The Elgato Stream Deck Mk.2 is available at Amazon for around $150.

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