Kickstarter, the crowdfunding website, is often a great place to find new gadgets and gizmos before they become mainstream. Some of these devices are outstanding ideas for the modern classroom. Considering the school year is just starting, now is the perfect time to start looking for worthy additions to your education arsenal.
Keep in mind, there’s no guarantee that these Kickstarter projects will get fully funded, but here are five choices whose odds look promising.
There’s a lot of high-end tech involved, but in a nutshell, the Superbook takes a student’s Android smartphone and turns it into a working laptop. If you’re using a BYOD model and students are bringing in a lot of Android phones, it can be hard for them to get their work done on such a small screen. The Superbook turns those phones into functioning computers and eliminates the device size problem (amongst others), all for $99.
3D printers are a great addition to a makerspace or STEM learning area, but they tend to be expensive and unreliable. Starting at $399, the M3D Pro fits on a small desk or table and was designed for ease-of-use and reliability. The $399 version is sold out, but it will come back soon. A $499 upgraded version is still available.
Studies have shown that movement is not only good for fighting obesity, but also aids in brain function. It’s also one of the primary learning modalities, and a great way to generate movement in the classroom without having dance parties every 30 minutes is by offering standing desks. Unfortunately, convertible standing desks are often prohibitively expensive. The X-Stand is a bamboo contraption that seeks to overcome that problem. It folds flat when it’s not needed, but expands to provide a riser stand for a laptop, turning any desk or table into an as-needed standing desk.
Device charging is often a challenge in classrooms that weren’t built with 30 available outlets or with BYOD strategies in mind. The Evolus is a universal charging dock that can accommodate multiple devices of different types. Charge a phone, tablet, smartwatch, and laptop all at the same time from nearly any manufacturer. Place this tool on a desk in the back of the room and watch your charging struggles disappear.
Like 3D printing, robotics are also big in the STEM fields, but kits tend to only have a few available uses for students to explore. The CellRobot is modular, meaning you buy various pieces with various functions, put them together, program it, and watch your robot accomplish multiple tasks. Students can create robots as versatile as their imaginations.
Looking for more cutting-edge inspiration for your classroom? Check out these 21 Tips, Tricks, and Ideas Every 21st Century Teacher Should Try!