George Lucas Educational Foundation
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As 2014 draws to a close, it's that time of year to pick out a gift for your favorite teacher. From simple and sweet to thoughtful and elaborate, there are plenty of techy choices to add to your list. We've compiled a list of our own that you can use to meet your budget while showing your appreciation. Whether your favorite teacher is an iPad guru or just starting to play around with technology in the classroom, here are some ideas for presents they are sure to love.

Personalized Gift Cards

Both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store have gift cards that you can purchase for your teacher. This is a great choice if you know that they're always searching for new applications to try out in their classroom. Instead of handing over just the gift card, you can add some personalized recommendations for apps to try out. If you know that they love world history, include a link to The Pyramids app. You might want to suggest that your favorite chemistry teacher download The Elements app on his or her iPad with that gift card. This gift-giving method is a great way to stay within a specific budget, and you can easily add a personal touch with a recommendation.

Super Cool Tech Tools

There are a handful of techy tools that come at a low cost and would make a great gift for your favorite teacher. iHome has lots of neat products, and their mini-speaker is a nice option for teachers who love music or playing videos on the go. They have some fancier devices that use Bluetooth technology, but this simple speaker is great choice. As someone who is always looking for the outlet to charge my devices, I know how nice it is to have a backup battery charger. Poweradd has a solar-powered battery charger that works with all sorts of phones and tablets. It's great for outdoorsy teachers who can add another gadget to their list of tools.

Chipping In on a Class Gift

Sometimes, tech tools can have a hefty price tag, which makes them more of an option for a class gift. Using the funds collected by a group of students, you can purchase a present that might be out of your individual price range. Pencil by FiftyThree is a Bluetooth-enabled stylus that iPad teachers will absolutely love. It makes writing and erasing incredibly easy while you're sketching or taking notes -- and it even detects your palm leaning on the iPad screen. Brookstone's Virtual Keyboard is also a fun choice for teachers who love gadgets. It uses Bluetooth technology to connect a laser projected keyboard to any iOS or Android device. All of these gifts would be perfect for groups of students chipping in on one present for their teacher.

Donations in Their Name

A techy gift can be more than a cool gadget or favorite app. There are plenty of organizations that support technology in education or work to help young entrepreneurs make their dreams a reality. Instead of purchasing a physical gift to hand over to your favorite teacher, consider making a donation in his or her name. Kickstarter helps new ideas get off the ground by providing a platform for companies and individuals to raise funds. They have a whole section dedicated to technology products that you can support. Girls Who Code is a fantastic organization that helps students explore careers in computer science. They have programming throughout the country, and you can make a donation on behalf of your favorite techy teacher.

What techy gifts have been successful in the past? And what's on your wish list for this year?

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Holiday Gift Guide
Whether it is a gift of kind words or a Bluetooth-enabled robot, this series offers new ideas on showing gratitude to students and educators alike.

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Gladys Schaefer's picture

Thank you so much for your fun ideas to encourage our teachers to follow their techie dreams! It is a spark of inspiration to discovery new and valuable ways to integrate technology into our personal educational journeys and into our classrooms. I especially like your recommendation for the stylus/pencil by Fifty Three. I have enjoyed their app so much and am excited to try out their new tech toy. Blessings!

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