Making the Grade: Teacher gift guide for 2018

Because we’ve kicked off the Christmas season, and I know many of you will be looking for gift ideas for your child’s teacher, I wanted to give you some great tech items that you can purchase for them as Christmas gifts. Whether it’s the latest accessories for their iPad or some fun Wi-Fi enabled gadgets, these gifts will no doubt be a hit! Be sure to follow @9to5Toys on Twitter for all the latest deals during the Christmas season!

Author Ad Placeholder
Will only appear on redesign env.

About Making The Grade: Every Saturday, Bradley Chambers publishes a new article about Apple in education. He has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.

Osmo Genius Kit – $70

teacher gift ideas

The school I work at has boxes of Osmo products, and they are used a lot. The Genius Kit is what I recommend people start with, and you can expand out from there. They have a Creative Kit, Detective Kit, Coding Kit, Monster Kit, and Hot wheels Kit .

The Osmo products are a great way to combine “screen time” with playing with products in the physical world. They would be a welcome addition to any classroom, and a great teacher gift idea.

Sphero SPRK+ STEAM Educational Robot – $117

I have ten of these robots sitting in my office right now. The Sphero robot is a simple way to expose kids to programming in a way they can understand. Instead of just watching animated characters, they can use Swift Playgrounds to see the robot in action.

One of the tasks I have planned for my students in January is to use the supplied measuring tape to build a maze that they must traverse using Swift Playgrounds. They’re compact and easy to set up, so they’re a great teacher gift idea.

Anker 10W Qi Charger – $22

teacher gift ideas

The Anker 10W Qi charger will make a great addition to a teacher’s desk if they have a compatible iPhone (iPhone 8 or newer). Since getting an iPhone X last year, I’ve ended up putting a Qi charger in my office and on my nightstand at home.

I find it especially helpful at work so I can easily pick up my phone to respond to a message, but then easily drop it back on the charging station.

1TB USB Hard Drive – $50

Regardless if they are using a Mac or a PC, you can never have enough USB hard drives. They are good for sharing large amounts of data or making a backup using Time Machine. If they have a Mac with USB-C, you may want to get them this one instead.

Kindle Paperwhite – $130

teacher gift ideas

I am a big fan of the new Kindle Paperwhite. I recently reviewed it for 9to5Toys, so check it out if you want more details on what I think of the device. The 6th generation Kindle Paperwhite is very similar to previous models when it comes to the software. Its value is not what it can do, but what it can’t do.

There is nothing to get distracted by except your book. You can easily buy new books, browse the store, and swap back and forth between books. The software isn’t near as fast to the touch as an iPad, but it doesn’t need to be. The battery will last for weeks at a time (turn off Bluetooth for an even longer battery life), so it’s one less thing to charge.

Apple Lightning to USB-A – $33

If you want to easily load photos from a camera or connect accessories to the 6th generation iPad, you’ll want to pick up the Lighting to USB-A adapter. It comes in handy for connecting external microphones, and DSLR cameras to Lightning enabled iPads.


Most teachers have laptops or iPads vs. traditional desktops nowadays, so they often end up adding external speakers so they can play audio and have the entire class hear it. The products from Ultimate Ears are always great, and the WONDERBOOM is a perfect size. They will fill an entire classroom with sound, but are still compact enough to be stored in a desk drawer.


Are there any products you’ve found that would make a great teacher gift idea? Let me know in the comments, and we will get them added. Happy Shopping! Be sure to follow 9to5Toys all season long for the best deals!

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:


FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel



Avatar for Bradley Chambers Bradley Chambers

Bradley lives in Chattanooga, TN where he manages Apple devices for a private school. 

Tips, feedback, corrections and questions can be sent to