Toolbelt for the Tech Savvy Teacher
August 21, 2014 5:18 PM   Subscribe

Help! I need a toolbelt-like sling or sash that I can wear in my classroom, to hold a tablet, pens and pencils, and a remote or two. Preferably something that doesn't look ridiculous.

Hey folks,

Basically, I have decided to start teaching with a tablet that I project to a screen, which is awesome. I can access presentations, get to videos quickly, track student participation and discussion.... all while being free to move around the classroom and manage it!

However, I am super super super absent-minded when managing a class of 30 kids. All last year I controlled my computer with a remote control, and it was a running joke in my classroom that I never knew where the remote was, because I would set it down to talk to a group of students and then walk away to help another student without picking it back up. I'm a female, and I like to wear dresses, which thanks to gender norms beyond my control frequently are made without pockets.

My solution? Some kind of toolbelt or sling, preferably adjustable so I can make it fit, that has a pocket in which I can place a tablet when I need my hands to help students. It'd be nice if it had pockets for paper/pens, but honestly, just the tablet would be a dream.

Does this exist? I'd sew it myself, but that's a scary task to take on with first class of the school year starting in about 80 hours.
posted by thelastpolarbear to Education (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What size tablet are you talking about here?
posted by brainmouse at 5:23 PM on August 21, 2014

Response by poster: This is a 2nd gen Nexus 7. About 12cm/4.5inches across, 20cm/8inches long. Pretty thin, but may be slightly cushioned in the future when I get a case.
posted by thelastpolarbear at 5:27 PM on August 21, 2014

Would you consider an apron?
posted by Andrhia at 5:32 PM on August 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

OK cool. In that case, you could just get a regular old cross-body bag like this one (bonus padded tablet pocket) or this one, though I think I'd be worried about it bouncing all around when you leaned over someone's desk.

An apron is an option, especially I would think a waist-apron or half-apron, like this one (not positive if the pockets are big enough on that one, but you could do some more research).

Or you could just own it and go Hip Pack, like this one from baggallini. I think for my preferences that would be the best option of the three.

I'll try to think of other ideas too, I'm sure that's not it... but spend some time poking around ebags and seeing what strikes your fancy. Free shipping & free returns means you can get a few things and give them a mini trial run.
posted by brainmouse at 5:39 PM on August 21, 2014

Best answer: I just bought two canvas painting aprons for 1.49US apiece at Walmart for pretty much this exact purpose. They are short, and have 4 pockets, any one of which is big enough to hold a tablet of that size. I use it to hold my phone and sundries since I wear a lot of dresses. They are easy to decorate, cheap as hell, and perfect for me, maybe for you too.
posted by annathea at 5:48 PM on August 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: The apron! What a brilliant idea!

I also saw they make lab coats with iPad pockets, which would be perfect since I am the science teacher. However, I think wearing a lab coat every day might push the edge of pretension. Also, I am teaching an after-school class on wearable electronics/programmable clothing, so it will be fun to dress up my apron with sensors and LEDs as an advertisement!

posted by thelastpolarbear at 6:38 PM on August 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

Maybe it's just me, but I'd jump at the chance to have even a semi-legitimate excuse to wear a lab-coat to work. Wouldn't think it's pretentious at all. :3
posted by Aleyn at 7:23 PM on August 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

I had a teacher who would wear a japanese happi coat like a sushi chef. Big pockets to put all his stuff, plus protected him from chalkboard/whiteboard residue (we still had some real chalkboards.)

It's kind of a lab coat, but really comfortable. As a bonus, it made a pretty effective "class is now in session, everyone pay attention" signal when he put on his teaching coat.
posted by ctmf at 7:50 PM on August 21, 2014

A vest with big pockets. Maybe a Velcro patch. Army daily wear uniforms have a Velcro patch on the shoulder, and soldiers put Velcro on phones, pens, flashlights, eta.
posted by theora55 at 8:18 PM on August 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would look for a makeup artist belts - they come with several different pocket sizes and also have smaller slots for pens, whiteboard markers, and the such. They're usually leather/leather-look, black, and look very sleek. It'd probably match your work attire quite effortlessly, too.
posted by shazzam! at 5:23 AM on August 24, 2014

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