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Dear Santa...

He's making a list and checking it twice...but what technology treats should Santa bring his favorite teachers this year? We asked the Education World Tech Team members for some suggestions…and they shared their wish lists with us. Included: Statistics on the correlation among teacher training, years of service, technology use.

Dear Santa, All I want this holiday season is...

...a wireless network -- with at least ten laptops.

...a set of networked iBooks for student writing, research, note taking and reading, and for creating projects using iPhoto and iTunes.

...a networked iBook for myself, with a variety of teacher software; including a grading program to use to e-mail parents weekly reports and keep them up to date on their children's progress, and a lesson planning program with content, state standards, assessment and rubrics all in one easy-to-use package.

...several iPods, so my students can listen to and record books and music.

...a portable classroom whiteboard connected to a networked computer, so I can project images onto a large screen. least five digital cameras -- sized for young fingers -- so my students can capture images of the weather, class projects, and every day life.

...a digital video camera, so my students can document book reviews and demonstrations of "how to" writing projects.

...a digital video camera that records to a DVD.

... a camera for my handheld computer.

... a laptop computer for myself.

...a PC Tablet for my own use. HP iPaq H4350 with PDA (personal digital assistant), phone, camera, video seems to have everything.

...a big new HDTV.

...a bigger technology budget.

...more time for teacher training; time to teach them simple trouble shooting and to integrate technology in their classrooms.

...trainees who are enthusiastic about using the latest technology. that always works, without any problems.

...licenses for my favorite software titles...the ones I can't afford to buy.

...computers that don't freeze, a computer lab that stays cool, and computer mouses that won't work until I'm done teaching. ...patience for dealing with the technologically challenged.

...and of course -- peace on earth!


When it comes to teachers, of course -- techies and non-techies alike -- Santa can't go wrong packing a sleighful of good books. According to our Tech Team members, these books make great gifts for any educator:

The Dummies Series: Easy reading...and the jokes will put a smile on your face. Some come with CD's, which is even nicer.

Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn -- and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less, by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D. and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph..D.

Elementary Teacher's Discipline Problem Solver: A Practical A-Z Guide for Managing Classroom Behavior Problems, by Dr. Ken Shore.

The Energy to Teach, by Donald Graves: Thoughtful and practical advice for teachers on how to live a balanced life.

The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator's Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child, by Ron Clark. A wonderful book full of practical advice that all teachers, whatever grade level they teach, will get some great ideas from. Great for parents too!

John Adams, by David McCullough: A biography of the second president of the United States and a history of his country.

How To Have A 48 Hour Day, by Don Aslett: Practical advice on time management for the terminally busy.

The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn, by Diane Ravitch.

Life Strategies, by Phillip McGraw: An outstanding book to make you think about your own life; also on CD.

The Millionaire Next Door: A book that gets you thinking about how to get ahead without working yourself to death.

Mosaic of Thought, by Ellin Keane and Nancy Zimmerman: the primer for teaching students how to read using the strategies that all good readers use.

Please Stop Laughing at Me, by Jodee Blanco: A "must read" for educators dealing with bullying and other violent situations in schools.

Sam's Teach Yourself titles: The one-hour classes are great for students and teachers.

Strategies That Work, by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis: Reading strategies that succeed across the curriculum.

Teaching with the Brain in Mind, by Eric Jensen: an easy-to-read introduction to learning and brain research, with lots of practical activities for students.

Teaching With Fire: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Teach, edited by Sam Intrator and Megan Scribner: Teachers talk about the poems that get them through the day -- poems are included.

The 10 Greatest Gifts I Give My Children, by Steven W Vonnay: How to put the joy back into parenting and create a harmonious family atmosphere.

Tools for Teaching, by Fred Jones: Practical ideas for successful classroom management.

What Kids Need To Succeed, by Benson, Peter L & Judy Galbraith & Pamela Espeland: Anyone who cares about kids and wants to help them succeed in school and life should read this book.

Who Are They?

The Education World Tech Team includes more than 50 dedicated and knowledgeable educational-technology professionals who have volunteered to contribute to occasional articles that draw on their varied expertise and experience. The following Tech Team members contributed to this article:

* Fred Holmes, high school LanManager/Webmaster, Osceola Public Schools, Osceola, Nebraska
* Mike Johnson, district technology resource teacher, Fayette County Public Schools, Lexington, Kentucky
* Mary Kreul, fourth grade teacher, Richards Elementary School, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
* Diane Mentzer, library media specialist/technology coordinator, Paramount Elementary School, Hagerstown Maryland
* Bernard John Poole, associate professor of education and instructional technology, University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
* Robin Smith, educational technology specialist, Hollidaysburg Area School District, Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania
* John S. Tiffany, science teacher, Wauseon High School, Wauseon, Ohio
* Jennifer Wagner, computer coordinator, Crossroads Christian School, Corona, California

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
Copyright © 2003 Education World

Updated 11/13/2008