I am very much a fan of repurposing objects and creating my own solutions to tech problems. Often times, you can do for your self much cheaper and get better quality if you think outside the box and create your own solutions instead of buying a premade solution.
A long time ago, I wrote about how I used a KVM switch to connect multiple sources to my projector. After two years, I am very happy with it. I use it daily to connect my Elmo to my projector, along with my laptop and 2 empty ports all through a single wire. It makes me very flexible with my tech usage.
When my Elmo finally dies (it is a fairly old model, the precursor to the HV-110u Digital Visual Presenter that I bought on eBay for around $80) I think I will make my own instead of buying another. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Elmo. I use it often. I also won’t spend a couple of hundred dollars to buy what essentially is a webcam on a stick.
Speaking of webcam on a stick, guess what! Another math teacher figured out how to mount a web cam inside of an old light mount and accomplish the same thing the Elmo does!
Now that is awesome. When it comes time to replace my old trusty Elmo, I will be using a web cam, purchased on sale, some inexpensive LED lights from Target or Walmart, and a light arm scrounged from a garage sale. At that point, I have a $200 Elmo for a quarter of the cost. Even better, because I can upgrade the webcam and modify it as needed. It is more flexible and useful than the Elmo ever could be.
We are only limited by our imagination, once we give up the idea that things have to be made for us.