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Buyers Guide: Teaching Aids

FCJJ-40 Horizon Energy Box
STEM Kits are one of the mosed popular teaching aids used today.

Teaching aids are tools and equipment used in the classroom to enhance the learning experience. These tools for teaching are the perfect supplement to in-class instruction, allowing you to boost student engagement while making curriculum content more fun and engaging.  And with students constantly distracted by social media, tablets and phones, finding the right teaching aids has become essential in every good teacher’s toolkit. That’s why we’ve put together a guide for the best teaching aids to buy for your classroom. From clean energy STEM kits to 3D printers, you’ll find everything you need to know right here.  


1. Smart Interactive Whiteboards

Whiteboard classroom

Today, interactive whiteboards are a world away from where they were even two years ago. You can certainty do all the usual tricks – like write digital notes or play a video – but the newest models are capable of so much more. You can create a digital ecosystem in tandem with a smartphone, with students submitting answers to quizzes on their phone. You can pair virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets, enabling immersive learning experiences and interactive presentations. And you can perform voice commands, moving through a presentation without even touching the board. A good interactive whiteboard is an essential item in every teacher’s toolkit.

Helps With: Making curriculum content more engaging and interactive.

Our Favorite Pick: SMART Board MX Series

What to Avoid: Iiyama ProLite Series

What Teachers Say: “Completely changed my classroom environment. My students are now jumping at the opportunity to connect their phones to the Whiteboard!”, Horizon Educational Teacher, USA.


2. Coding Kits

Robot programming STEM Kit

A classroom coding kit is the perfect way to introduce kids to the basic principles behind computer programing. Capable of being run on a classical PC or developed on their own using a bundled set of micro boards, these kits can teach your students to do just about anything. Introduce your students to Javascript or Python by getting them to write a script for a simple video game. Demonstrate the basic rules of C++ by helping your students write a simple program to control a robot. Or the allow your class to design their very own website with HTML. With a good quality coding kit, the possibilities are endless.

Helps With: Introducing students to coding in a fun and interactive way.

Our Favorite Pick: Raspberry Pi 5

What to Avoid: Raspberry Pi Zero

What Teachers Say: “These kits are affordable and students run with them – they use them to creatively come up with valuable solutions while learning in-demand coding skills”, Horizon Educational Teacher based in Singapore.


3. Clean Energy STEM Kits

STEM kits

Teaching your students about renewable energy can be challenging. Not only do you have to go through all the equations and theory, but teaching kids how this works in the real world can be challenging. We hope no teacher has tried to install a full-size wind turbine or fuel cell in their classroom. Luckily, this is why clean energy STEM kits were invented. Being able to fit on a classroom table while demonstrating the complete working of a clean energy system, these kits are indispensable as a teaching aid. Show your students how solar energy can be converted into electricity to power an electrolyzer, creating hydrogen from pure water. Then convert this hydrogen back into electricity with a fuel cell that can fit into the palm of your hand.

Helps With: giving kids hands-on science experience.

Our Favorite Pick: Horizon Energy Box

What to Avoid: fakes from unrecognized providers.

What Teachers Say: “I can demonstrate how equations and formulas I teach in class are used in the real world. The energy and excitement these teaching aids bring to science class has to be seen to be believed.” – Nicola Weiss, Waldorf School of Orange County, USA.


4. Flexible Seating Options

Flexible seating in classroom

From big cushions to bean bags to balance balls, flexible seating is a great way to get younger students engaged. Bouncing on a balance ball or swerving in a swivel ball chair also has number other benefits. Students have been show to benefit from improved physical health, increased focus and engagement, and boosted academic performance. They’re also likely to feel less anxious or stressed. A win-win for teachers and students in every school.

Helps With: classes that have a hard time sitting still. 

Our Favorite Pick: Gaiam Balance Ball Chair

What to Avoid: bean bags with thin casings!

What Teachers Say: “Try it out – you won’t regret it.” – Teacher, John Wollaston Anglican Community School, Western Australia.


5. 3D Printers

3D printing for educaiton

Imagine empowering your students to create anything they can imagine right from the classroom. This means real-life 3D models of things like planets, skeletons, vehicles, buildings, or historical artifacts. With a 3D Printer, your students will be able to develop 3D computer modelling skills and see the results of their work in real life. It’ll also help you translate student’s mathematics and geometry skills into real-world applications.

Helps With: imaginative students who want to create things.

Our Favorite Pick: LulzBot TAZ Pro 3D Printer

What to Avoid: The Anet A8

What Teachers Say: “Opened a world of opportunities for different grade levels” – Teacher, DeWitt Clinton High School, USA



6. Educational Board Games

Educational Board Games

Educational board games were once seen as a teaching aid for younger students. In the past few years, this has changed dramatically. They’ve grown in popularity for the 10+ segment, and games like Prime Climb, Math Fluxx, Bios: Megafauna and Balderdash are a great way to entertain students after school while reinforcing core concepts.  Not to mention, they’re a fun way to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills while fostering a sense of collaboration and communication.

Helps With: reinforcing core concepts after school.  

Our Favorite Pick: Bios: Megafauna

What to Avoid: games with complex rules.

What Teachers Say: “Boardgames are underrated when it comes to making after school sessions fun” – Teacher, The Sixth Avenue Elementary School, New York, USA.

7. Virtual Reality (VR) Headsets

VR in classroom

There’s a world of things you can do with VR headsets to help with teaching. Virtual field trips allow your students to explore historical sites or remote corners of the world. Real-time global collaboration allows your class to interact with students on the other side of the world. And a being able to visually “step into someone else’s shoes” opens up a world of opportunity exploring different careers and professions. As a teaching aid, VR headsets are one of the most innovative pieces of tech out there today.

Helps With: building soft skills that are often overlooked. 

Our Favorite Pick: Meta Quest 2

What to Avoid: low-quality knockoffs.

What Teachers Say: “They’ve given my students experiences that most curriculum content cannot provide” – Horizon Educational Teacher, Czech Republic.


8. Robotics Kits

Robotic kit

One of the coolest ways to integrate different subjects is with a robotic kit. Students learn how to use programming skills, critical thinking, problem solving, and the fundamentals of engineering and math. They’re also perfect for reinforcing knowledge learned in other lessons, like trigonometry and calculus. What’s more, events like robotic competitions bring a sense of competitiveness to the classroom. Many kits allow students to construct robots themselves before programming them to complete fun tasks. This means whatever STEM subjects your students are interested in, there’s something for them.

Helps With: extending STEM skills covered in a traditional curriculum. 

Our Favorite Pick: any programmable robotics kit.

What to Avoid: single-use throwaway kits.

What Teachers Say: “There’s a new sense of energy and excitement in the classroom now” – Teacher, Prestige School (Toronto Campus), Canada.


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