Sheila B. Robinson on Great Gifts for Evaluators

Season’s Greetings! I’m Sheila B. Robinson, educator and educational evaluator. I work for Greece Central School District by day, and University of Rochester by night. I’m also Lead Curator for aea365. Not surprisingly, I already got a great holiday gift – some time off from two of the three jobs (guess which two?)! I love my work in all three places, but it’s good to take a little rest too.

What are you getting for your favorite evaluator this year? Need some last minute ideas?

Lesson Learned: Evaluators use a lot of technology. Google “gift for evaluators” and you won’t find too much. Try “gifts for researchers” and you’ll hit the mother lode! Here are just a few I found:

1. 8 Apps that make academic research easier

2. Check out this SlideShare on apps: 10 Essential Apps for Researchers and Academics

3. Seven Essential iPad Apps for Researchers

4. Mobile and Cloud Qualitative Research Apps

Some featured apps are low or no cost, while others do have significant cost.

Here are a couple of others – a free app and free resources created by evaluators for evaluators:

If you’re not sure about which apps to purchase, how about a gift card to your favorite evaluator’s favorite app store?

Lesson Learned: Evaluators love books. There are a bazillion book on evaluation, statistics, research methods, and other topics of interest to evaluators. For books, I would suggest a gift card for Amazon, where your favorite evaluator can choose from thousands of titles from some of our favorite publishers, SAGE, Guilford Press, Lyceum Books, Corwin Press, Jossey Bass and Wiley.

Rad Resource: Evaluators love networking and collegiality. An AEA membership is truly a tremendous gift and a great value. From student memberships at only $30 to regular memberships at $95, it is one of the most affordable professional organizations, and one of the richest in terms of what it offers its members. Why not purchase an AEA membership, or help your favorite evaluator renew his or her membership in this fabulous global organization? Our members come from all 50 US states and more than 60 other countries.

Rad Resource: If you’re unsure about “professional” gifts, think about this: Your favorite evaluator is probably spending a lot of time in front of a computer – writing evaluation plans, collecting, transcribing, cleaning and analyzing data, reviewing literature, creating presentations, writing reports, etc. We have eye strain, tension headaches, sore necks and shoulders, and achy wrists and hands. How about a day at the spa?

Happy shopping and Happy holidays everyone!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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