John’s 2020 tech gear list (the stuff I use)
I spend a lot of time creating content to help teachers.
I write blog posts, post photos to Instagram and Facebook, record podcast episodes, and share videos on YouTube.
I also travel to schools and conferences, speaking and sharing ways you can use technology in the classroom.
All of these activities require quite a bit of tech gear.
Here’s a short list of some of my favorites.
Note: I do not accept paid product endorsements. Each of the products below I personally use and paid for. Some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links which may allow me to earn a small commission at no cost to you.
I use a Chromebook 100% of the time…for real. I have three Chromebooks that I use on a regular basis. Each one has a different purpose.
- HP Chromebook X360 – this is my office device and the most powerful Chromebook I own. If you watch any of my YouTube videos, this is the device that I am using. It’s a bit heavy and clunky which is why I leave it in my office. (Tip: pick up the 2020 version of the x360 that was just released)
- Pixelbook – This is my travel device. It’s much lighter than the HP which is why I use it as my travel device. The Pixelbook is a stylish and beautiful device, but at $999, it’s overpriced.
- Lenovo Chromebook Duet – this is my “casual” Chromebook. It’s small and it turns into a tablet making it ideal for casual browsing in the evenings.
Family Kid Tech
My wife and I have 5 kids under the age of 12. We believe that technology plays a role in life, but also want our kids to play with legos and explore the woods. Here are some of the tech tools we let our kids use
- HP x360 EE – My three oldest kids have this Chromebook. I chose this device because of the touch screen and dual camera which my kids love using to make movies.
- Kindle Fire Tablets – The kids like using their tablets on road trips. The Fire Tablet is an affordable tablet with some good parental controls.
- Amazon Echo Dot – My kids love listening to stories. We have quite a collection of audio books! The echo dot has the same parental controls as the Kindle Fire.
- G Suite for Education – Each of my kids has their own email through our family G Suite domain. I like that I have control over the settings and configuration of the domain.
- Securly web filtering – I filter our home internet using Securly. It’s free and gives me the peace of mind to know that my kids are protected while browsing the web.
My audio and video recording equipment
This is the tech gear that I use to record audio and video for my podcast and YouTube channel.
- Fifine Mic Kit – this is an affordable microphone set that was sent to me as a review unit. It has everything you need in one kit for a very affordable price.
- Nikon D5300 – this is the camera that I use to record my YouTube videos. The camera is mounted to the wall in my studio. All I have to do is turn it on and press record!
- iPevo VZ-X Document Camera – I recently purchased this doc cam to record videos of me using Google Classroom on my phone and tablet. It’s really nice! You probably don’t need the VZ-X (the top of the line model), but it was the only one that I could get due to COVID shortages.
Essential Web Apps
Some things are worth paying for. Here is the software that I pay to use.
- Canva – I design most of my social media and YouTube images using Canva.
- Screencastify – This is my go-to video recording tool. I use it every day.
- WeVideo – All of my YouTube videos are edited using WeVideo; It’s a great deal.
- Soundtrap – I used free audio editors for a while, but eventually decided to purchase a Soundtrap subscription to edit my podcast. I’m glad that I did!
There are lots of random tech gear and gizmos that I use on a regular basis. Here are a few essentials.
- HooToo USB-C adapter – If you plan on plugging stuff into your new Chromebook you will need one of these!
- Grid-It Organizer – this grid holds lots of random tech stuff.
- Logitech R400 presentation remote – simple and it works with a Chromebook!
- GoSund Smart Plugs – These plugs which work with Alexa. I have been very pleased with them.
- Samson Go Mic – this is a super small microphone that stays in my travel bag. If I need to record a podcast episode while I am on the road, this is what I use.
- Cricut Explore Air 2 – I’ve used the Cricut to make laptop stickers for my kids and all of the t-shirts you see me wearing in my YouTube videos. And yes, I did manage to get the Cricut to work with my Chromebook!
That’s my list!
Remember, it’s not what you have, it’s how you use it!
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