Technical Support

Gadgets for the IT Person in Your Life

gadgets
Written by Dr. Bruce Ellis

Buying a gift for your IT person doesn’t have to be hard. Pick from our selection of gadgets to put a big smile on the face of your geeky helper.

We  all have an IT person in our life that makes things run smoothly or fixes things quickly when they don’t. Many times, though, they go unnoticed and can be taken for granted. We may not even know the name of the person that is working faithfully in the background. Regardless, we can definitely give them a gift that they will like, a gadget that maybe only they can appreciate. My recommendations below don’t have to be limited to the holiday season; these can also make great birthday, retirement, or “thanks for being there” gifts. (Of course, you can also grab some of these just for yourself!)

Gadgets Under $25

Star Wars R2-D2 Bluetooth Speakerphone ($20) – Show off your Star Wars enthusiasm while listening to music and podcasts. It pairs with Bluetooth®-enabled devices (2.1) and it plays movie sound clips when the device is switched on, when pairing is completed, and when turned off.

Cocoon Grid It Organizer ($17) – Use this chic but manly carryall to hold all of your cables, flash drives, dongles, and tools.

No Place Like 127.0.0.1 Non-slip Doormats ($17) – You know geeks are welcomed when you arrived to the office or home that has this doormat. While others may look at it and scratch their head, you’ll be able to quickly identify someone’s geekiness when they react to this unique welcome mat.

Circuit Board Ring ($22) – Be fashionable and resourceful by wearing a stylish ring handmade from real computer circuit boards. There are seven colors to choose from, so you are not stuck with the traditional green circuit board.

SnapPower USB Charger – Outlet Coverplate ($22) – Just like you can’t have enough power outlets, you can never have enough USB charging outlets. This gadget can help add more USB convenience to outlets that you are frequently around without sacrificing the outlets themselves. Simply take off your current outlet faceplate and pop this one on to extend the capabilities of the outlet.

Fidget Cube($22) – If your IT person is always clicking a pen obsessively while listening, strumming their fingers on the desk while an update downloads, or making other distracting movements, you might consider the Fidget Cube as the perfect gift. This clever device allows them to satisfy their fidgeting while not being distracting to those around. If it is your office mate that fidgets, this may help save the relationship so you can still be friends.

Gifts Under $100 (Get your campus to chip in on one of these great presents)

TrackR ($30) – With a TrackR device on your keychain and another on your phone (or anything you frequently lose), you’ll always know where it is. Consider purchasing in quantity to get discounts.

Circuit Board Tie ($30) – Nothing shouts geek more than having attire that matches your hardware. Don your circuit board tie and let everyone know that you are the IT guy with all the answers. For just five dollars more, you can get the more gentlemanly bowtie which comes in black or green, each with gold and silver circuitry.

Classic Pro Tech Toolkit ($65) – This toolkit has everything that an IT technician could dream of. It is fitted with tools based on data from thousands of tech repair guides. For just five dollars more, you can get the iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit – Government-Issue Edition used by both FBI and CIA.

16” Drifter II Laptop Backpack ($70) – IT guys/gals are known for having all the right gadgets, dongles, and cables so they are never left in the lurch. They’ll thank you for this great backpack so they can visit campuses and admin offices while easily carrying all their “necessities.” If you are looking for something even more impressive (i.e. expensive), then look no further than the Tumi Alpha Bravo Knox Backpack which will only set you back $365.

Kymera Magic Wand Remote Control ($99) – IT geeks who like control may find this magic wand remote control right up their alley. Compatible with most home electronics, they can teach their wand up to 13 infrared remote control codes. While it won’t make their problems vanish, it might just make their day more enjoyable.

Spire Mindfulness and Activity Tracker ($99) – Sometimes being in IT can be pretty hectic. Whether is it a virus that is running rampant throughout the district or another technical crisis, it is easy get worked up and tense. The Spire tracks your breathing and provides feedback to remind you when you need to just take a deep breath and realize it’s all going to be okay. Works with both iPhone and Android.

Gifts Over $100

Intel Compute Stick (Core m3) ($120) – Enjoy the features of a full computer on a stick. Just plug directly into an HDMI port on a monitor or TV and enjoy doing your work in Windows 10. It even includes three USB 3.0 ports to accommodate your keyboard, mouse, etc.

Estream ($180) – Does your IT person like the great outdoors, but finds they are always tethered to their phone in case anything in the district goes wrong after hours? If so, they could use an extra battery or solar power to recharge their phone, but that is so last year. Water power is the new clean source for recharging devices. The Estream is a portable water-powered generator that fits into your backpack. The Estream is expected to start shipping in March 2017, which is perfect time to plan hiking, camping, and other outdoor adventures.

Segway miniPRO ($600) – What IT guy or gal wouldn’t enjoy zipping around on their own Segway? Be sure they install the mobile app so they can get the fullest experience including remote control operations, customizable lights, and speed control,…oh, and anti-theft alarm.

Other Ideas?

What gadgets and and devices have you found that any ed tech enthusiast would enjoy? We’d love to hear your ideas!

 

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About the author

Dr. Bruce Ellis

Senior Director of Professional Development at TCEA
Bruce specializes in leadership development and working with districts to tailor onsite professional development workshops.
Bruce earned his Ed.D. Curriculum, Instruction, and Supervision in Secondary and Higher Education and his M.S. in Learning Technology/Information Systems at Texas A&M University-Commerce and his B.S. in Elementary Education
at Dallas Baptist University.

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