Last minute gear and SUMMER!
For the June and July School Counselor Shopping List – I am going to feature a few of my new office favorites, but also going to share some tools that I totally dig outside of the office (since it is summer!). You may notice a cooking/travel theme for the non-school items…but hey – tis the season! This also helps those of us prepping for ASCA 2014 in Orlando
School Counselor Work Gear:
I was super lucky to have a cool principal and was given this when I emailed a “School Counselor Wish List” to her. This tablet has been very handy at work and since I am not a fan of Apple products – fills my need to tweak, change, and max out a devices potential. If you are looking for a tablet that is affordable, has great build quality, and lets YOU be in charge of your device – I encourage you to check out the Nexus 10. There is also a 16GB model but it is only about $40 less – spend the money and get double the storage. It is worth it.
I also owned an early generation of the Nexus 7 – the scaled down version – and loved it but I got a smart phone and they were close enough together to be redundant. This tablet is more iPad sized and lets me use it with students.
When I got a new laptop this year (part of a school wide upgrade – yay!), I asked to be able to keep my super old Mac to put in my College and Career Center for student and parent use. It wasn’t an issue – but I did not want this laptop get up and walk away. This cable lock will keep it where it needs to be or any other computer that you may want out in public use. Kensington is the general lock that most devices (especially laptops) use. The slot for the lock has a lock symbol with a K inside.
Cut the cord in your office with a wireless keyboard and mouse. This is very helpful to me when working with parents or students on my second monitor. We build schedules, research colleges, or go through information about how to complete applications. This keyboard mouse combo is not costly (some run $80+) but does a good job. The range is enough for any large office and battery life is good. Geek rating: A
Items to enjoy over summer:
On my downtime – I really enjoy cooking. It is a total de-stresser for me and I get to enjoy the results. A key to any cooking expedition is a good knife. This knife is one of the best buys you will find. Top rated by America’s Test Kitchen/Cooks Illustrated, even when compared with knifes 4x the price, this is an all around tool that will finely dice and bone a chicken with ease. It is super comfy, very sharp, and you don’t need to break the bank to use it.
If you are looking to cook some stews, Coq au Vin, or even bread – a dutch oven is awesome. It browns meat like no other and really lets the heat distribute evenly. The enameled cast iron makes for easy clean up and maintenance. Stay away from the Le Creuset and shop Lodge. About a quarter of the cost and good quality. Lodge also makes pretty decent, pre-seasoned cast iron skillets.
Oh…My….Gosh – these things are the absolute best for travel. My wife and I packed for a month in Europe after #ASCA13 in two medium sized hiking backpacks. I was skeptical at first, but the compression sacks save space and actually help keep your clothes wrinkle free. I doubt they will last for a super long time with repeat use, but they are still going strong after 20+ uses. That is a pretty good investment. Do yourself a favor and get some of these before #ASCA14! You won’t regret it.