Back to School 2023
| Reuben Howe
Say it with me teaching staff:
If you Fail To Prepare, You Prepare to Fail
An old adage which has no less truth today, despite the eye-rolling clichéd nature of the saying! Prepare for the next academic year and relax for the last few weeks of your well-earned holiday, safe in the knowledge these helpful gadgets are on the way!
The best gadgets cover a huge range of teaching and school life, from helping you get to school in the cold all the way to recording a music performance or spoken language exam!
School isn't just for kids, with college and university students needing reliable, compatible tech to smuggle in to lecture halls and quickly set up on campus benches.
We hope you find the gadgets on sale actively useful in your day-to-day and pssssst, for the non-teachers and students among you the deal still works! Grab yourself a microphone for streaming videogames rather than doing Spanish speaking exams, we won't tell!
So let's dive in to 5 different categories of great gadgets for teachers and students for September 2023.
#1 Computer Remotes Present with Confidence
Whether you're starting out in college, presenting your PHD this year or facing a fresh batch of Year 7's in a classroom you're going to need to be confident. A strong will goes a long way, but having reliable tech to fall back on helps too.
Using a presentation pointer with integration for PowerPoint, web browsing and even typing in real time as a remote keyboard gives you the freedom to plan the lesson or presentation you want. Be unrestricted by "next slide please" and clunky hyperlink-following with a high-quality presentation clicker.
Features to look out for:
A Laser Pointer. Having a way to divert attention and provide some sense of motion to an otherwise still slide can make a huge difference for engagement.
Air Mouse Technology. On the fancier side, Air Mouse presenters allow direct control of your PC mouse remotely. This means you aren't stuck with simple arrow inputs and can freely navigate webpages, Prezi's and more.
Advanced Hotkeys. Being able to click through a slideshow is fine, but lectures can be so much more. Using a presenter with ALT-TAB and other macros can help you switch apps for more dynamic presentations.
RF Receiver. An RF (Radio Frequency) USB Receiver will be paired to the presentation remote directly. This means no Bluetooth or Wifi connection is needed and the pairing is unlikely to experience interference.
On-Board Keyboard. For the most advanced lectures and demonstrations you may want full keyboard inputs available, to type in search fields, fill out forms and more all in real time remotely while you present.
The Top 3 Presentation Remotes:
August LP200 Mini-Remote - Best Small Presentation Remote
The August LP200 is all about small size and light weight. It does feature a range of hotkeys, including an App-Switcher for ALT-TAB, but is focused on being compact rather than being a complete computer interface.
The unit is small enough to be hidden behind your hand in most instances and so suits subtle, classy affairs where you want to present with all your audience's attention on your gestures, articulation and style.
The laser pointer is serviceable up to 100m and the RF connection up to 15m, so even the larger lecture halls can be easily presented from with ease. As with all the LP range, the remote uses RF frequency USB pairing to make sure you're set-up on any USB device in moments.
That includes Windows PC and laptops, but also Mac and Linux devices too.
August LP205 Laser Pointer Presenter - Best Balanced Presenter
The August LP205 is a larger affair than the LP200 and uses that extra real-estate for nicer ergonomics and more defined button pad. The device once again has a variety of hotkeys, and the laser pointer is much the same.
The larger size affords it space for standard AAA batteries, rather than the coin-batteries of the LP200. This is a blessing for quickly replacing the batteries on the go and making sure your device is always ready to go. Using AAA batteries doesn't diminish the potency of the laser pointer, or the range of the RF receiver and so in many ways the LP205 is the better choice.
If you know that you'll need a device so small you can slip it up your sleeve then the LP200 is perfect, but the LP205 is a more substantial device and still only measures in at 32 Grams, 7cm length!
Daffodil PCR500 Air Mouse Presenter - Best Multimedia Presenter
The PCR500 is an all-in-one remote for PCs, Smart TVs and Android devices. Not only does this remote use a wireless RF Receiver like the others, but it goes above and beyond "hotkeys".
Rather than just having inputs for presenting or controlling apps, the PCR500 has an entire functional QWERTY keyboard on the back! This gives you unprecedented freedom to present from any type of app, program, website or document you please. No more screen-shots of forms being completed, simply type in real time on the actual doc and show the class or meeting members exactly how it's done.
The PCR has no laser pointer, but does support Air Mouse controls via the gyroscope so you can manoeuvre the mouse in real time and point at important areas, or select hyperlinks, search results, quiz answers, etc.
#2 Beanies for When School Runs Get Cold!
Teaching staff and students alike make the school run (Albeit at different times in the morning) and with the colder weather and darker mornings of the first term it's a good idea to have ways to wrap up warm. It may be too early to kit out your kids in woolly jumpers, but having some gadgets to hand is a good plan.
Like our EPA range of different designs of Bluetooth beanie winter hats!
Features to look out for:
Acrylic Wool. The EPA Range feature acrylic wool which provides 20% more heat retention with the same quality of softness and strength you'd expect from a woollen hat.
Bluetooth 5.0. Bluetooth 5 is double the speed and capacity of 4, and so provides a more authentic and rich audio experience wirelessly. Keep in touch with kids on their first solo school run or get yourself in the right headspace for the day with your morning walking music right from your hat.
Bold Designs. From the simple EPA20 to the classic and iconic bobble of the EPA30, the range has all the choice you need of colours and textures.
Machine Washable. All EPAs are fully machine washable via removable speaker, microphone and control panel units. Do not wash above 40 degrees, though!
Glove-Safe Controls. Not much point having a fancy Bluetooth hat if you can't control it without getting your hands cold. The on-board panel enables phone call and music control, even with gloves.
The Top 3 Beanies for 2023:
August EPA20 - The Best Kids Bluetooth Beanie
The August EPA20 is made with uniform fabric in one consistent thread, with no deep texturing or added bobbles and tassels. This enables the colour really pop, and for the design to be easily accepted by kids' peers.
The speaker and mic units can be removed if the child in question is too young at the minute for portable phone calls and music access (Especially on the way to school) but later on you can slip them in and let them find their groove.
August EPA25 - The Best Men's Bluetooth Beanie
The August EPA25 adds more depth to the weaving of the acrylic wool while being made from darker, subtler tones. The added depth and texture combined with the darker colours give the hat a professional, widely-applicable style.
For someone who doesn't need clashes of colour and candy-apple reds, but just wants warm ears and their favourite songs.
Just like the others it's fast with Bluetooth 5.0 and has a handy control panel to use even with gloves on.
August EPA30 - The Best Women's Bluetooth Bobble Hat
The August EPA30 add a playful and nostalgic touch to the range, with a finely crafted bobble on the top! Thickly-woven fabric creates a snowflake design which exemplifies the depth and warmth of the hat when worn.
The EPA30 might not be the most space-efficient of the range, but it is certainly the most iconic.
#3 Adapters for Classroom Changes and Library Laptops
Starting a new term can be hectic, and room changes or computer room outages or borrowed laptops from the library can all add uncertainty and unreliability to your tech. Use these adapters to make sure you're read to roll, no matter where you end up!
Features to look out for:
USB-C Compatibility. In the modern world, USB-C is the most common USB type for smaller, portable devices. Things like tablets and Chromebooks often used by schools will use USB-C.
USB 3.0 Speeds. USB 3.0 ports are the latest USB-A type port, and enjoy faster speeds. This means you can transfer data, watch videos and more all off of your USB stick in moments.
HDMI Passthrough. Connect projectors, teaching PC's and more to your laptop or a new device without having to fuss over screens. HDMI passthrough is a must for portable projectors.
The Top 3 Adapters for Teachers:
Daffodil HUB05 - USB-C, HDMI, USB 3.0 and SD / Micro SD Card Reader
That's a lot of formats to take in! The HUB05 is a small box powered by USB-C which can host a huge range of connections.
Connect projectors and screens to your PC via USB with the HDMI passthrough port, providing lossless extension of your teaching PC. This HDMI output supports HDMI 2.1 4K images for the larger lecture halls and conferences!
Alternatively, transfer the video files from a USB stick, SD card or micro SD Card in moments without having separate adapters. The HUB05 can help store all this data with the super fast USB 3.0 port, able to add a portable SSD to your work laptop or Chromebook just via USB-C.
Daffodil TC09 - The 4-in-1 Adapter Cable
Looking at this cable can be confusing, since both ends are actually two types of USB! This means you have 4 distinct combinations from 1 standard 2-end cable. To minimise your tech issues and ensure you can always charge your devices, look at the list of possible combinations:
- Micro-USB to Micro-USB
- Micro-USB to USB-C
- USB-A to Micro-USB
- USB-A to USB-C
With these combinations at your fingertips from a single cable you can quickly sort out compatibility issues and save the day from technical difficulties!
Daffodil TC20 - Two USB-A Ports in One USB-C Adapter
The TC20 is designed for Chromebook and Tablets which do not have enough width and real-estate for a full USB-A port. This can severely hamper compatibility as you cannot transfer USB stick data or use USB devices with tablets and Chromebooks.
This adapter changes the USB-C port to two USB-A ports! Open up your options for storage and peripherals no matter where you take your tablets.
The TC20 features two USB 2.0 ports while the TC24 features just one USB 3.0 port. You can choose to prioritise speed, or versatility.
#4 Microphone Teaching Tools for Exams
Gadgets and Gizmos are great, but there's some really important tasks that tech can help with, too. Recording for exams like spoken English or foreign languages, or performing a music exam piece, requires robust recording equipment. Having both portable and studio microphones available is a huge help for meetings, exams for music and drama, and awards ceremonies / assemblies.
Features to look out for:
Pop Filter. A Pop-Filter will remove sharp deviations in recordings that result from tongue clicks, lip smacks and the like. The filter removes the severity of these background sounds without having to edit in post.
Shock Mounting. Depending on the exam (I remember how crazy my A-Level Drama performance was) a sock mount is genuinely a good idea for the amount of motion involved in the performance. Also, nervous leg-shaking when sitting at a desk to do an exam.
Cable Connection Type. Some Mics can plug in directly with USB and that provides power and data transmission. Some need a 3.5mm aux port instead. Make sure to take note of the adapter type.
Polar Pattern. For studio and assembly recordings you'll want to look at the polar pattern of your mic. Most are Cardioid for an even spread of recording with a small preference for the front, while others are omnidirectional so better for classes and meetings.
Top 3 Microphones for Schools:
Daffodil MCP200 Desk Tripod USB Microphone
The MCP200 is a small desktop microphone that still integrates a shock mount around the mic, which itself rests on a mini-tripod. Infront of the mic swings a pop filter, and this makes the MCP200 one of the most professional pure-USB mics. No Aux cable is needed, and the MCP200 connects without any manual driver downloads or software packages.
Simply head to the PC and plug in the USB cable to both power the microphone and record audio.
Daffodil MCP150 USB to USB-C Adapter Microphone
The MCP150 is designed for ease-of-use and portability. The USB-C lavalier mic comes with a USB-C to USB-A adapter so you can use it with portable tablets, phones and decks or larger PCs and Laptops.
The mic is most optimal when 20 - 30cm from your mouth or the direction of audio (For example when playing an instrument) so can be easily clipped on to collars, ties, etc. For those breaking in to presentation and public speaking during their studies, these mics can serve to transform your phone into a Dictaphone-style experience encouraging self-recording and improvement.
Daffodil REC100 Studio Microphone
The REC100 is a larger microphone with a directional cardioid polar pattern supported by the frontal pop filter, shock mount and adjustable Boom Arm. Less portable than the other options, the REC100 is perfect for music practice rooms and music exams.
Being able to fold the boom arm and tuck the mic away behind your monitor stops the device intruding on your desk and studio space when not in use, and lowers the distraction factor for students.
The directional pattern also makes the REC100 a better choice for assemblies and ceremonies as the audience will be more subdued in the recording, highlighting the stage.
#5 Desk Lights and Accessories
Good lighting is vital for the amount of screen-time and reading that is done in education, as well as being able to control the focal points of the room. As a college or university student, a USB dongle LED can be a lifesaver in lecture halls if you drop a pen or need to work late in the library.
Features to look out for:
Adjustable Brightness. You don't want to be the talk of the uni for glaring over other peoples' work and screens, so a directional adjustable light is a must for students.
Small Size. Teacher desk space can get cluttered very quickly, so a device with a small surface area around the base is best. Clip on LED lights are good, or lights with thinner stands.
Multipurpose Accessories. The portability of an item only means anything if you can use it for multiple things, so get a lamp or stand or bag that will help you throughout the day.
Top 3 Miscellaneous Teaching Bits
Daffodil ULT300 Clip On LED Adjustable Gooseneck Lamp
Images of turning your desk in to an interrogation scene from a crime thriller might be conjured when adding lighting to your desk, but an adjustable LED lamp like this can be used beyond your own desk. With entirely wireless use, this lamp is the most versatile LED lamp available.
Daffodil TP100 Projector and Phone Tripod
While that second use might land you in hot water depending on your school, having a portable tripod like this on hand for projectors and more is handy. Not only that, but attaching a camera will have you filling the school website with lovely sports day shots and award ceremony clips that are stable and professional without taking up any space!
Daffodil LEC210 Standing Desk Lamp and Flashlight
Finally, the LEC210 is a thin, standing desk LED lamp which can fold in or out at will. The thin design saves space and the foldable arm makes sure you have light when you need, where you need it. Being able to pick up the arm and use it as a rudimentary flashlight probably has limited classroom applications, but I'll let you all use those creative teacher brains and come up with something!
Check Out the Full Range
All this and more is on 15% off from now until the middle of September. Get ahead of the curve and prepare for the next year as either staff or student (Or parent of student...or parent of staff!)