Tools in my pocket: 7 Things I take into the classroom

There is a lot said about all of the web 2.0 tools that we can now use in our teaching (well... I can't stop talking about them). But what about the physical knick-knacks that make life easier? Well, here is what I have taken to carrying around in my pocket at school and what I consider a minimum for any self-respecting connected teacher.

  1. Sony Ericsson K810i: My phone.Where would I be without it? Alarm, timer, stopwatch, calculator, calendar, camera, voice recorder... I've used all of these functions and more. There is a whole other post there waiting for me to write it.

  2. Jawbone Bluetooth Headset: Yes, I look like a dork. But I am just starting to explore using it with my interactive whiteboard to screencast parts of my lessons. I can also use it to amplify my voice through the computer and class speakers if I have a hearing-impaired student.

  3. Omiz Bluetooth Dongle: So that the headset can connect with the computer and so I can zap photos straight to the screen from my phone.
  4. Interactive Whiteboard Pen: My interactive whiteboard isn't much use without it.

  5. 8GB Imation USB Flash Drive: When there is a software failure on my classroom computer; browser trouble; Adobe reader isn't working; Office won't start up; Media Player on the fritz. I plug in my trusty stick loaded with PortableApps and fire up Firefox or Sumatra PDF portable or Open Office or VLC media player. I also carry the installation files for various pieces of licensed school software so that I can easily repair or reinstall components.
  6. Multiformat Card Reader: For getting student's photos off of their cameras and phones and onto the server for their PowerPoints and reports. Okay, maybe this isn't always in my pocket, but when I know that we are doing something with photos, I chuck it in.
  7. Regular, Garden Variety, Whiteboard marker: For when all else fails... always have a plan B