Now that we’re several weeks removed from the daily grind of teaching, I find myself able to sit back and reflect on some things from 2017-2018. As Paul Shimmons and I talked about on our podcast (The Music Education and Technology Podcast), there hasn’t been a lot of “major” developments as it comes to music education and technology.
Don’t misunderstand us–there have been improvements, and those improvements often are the result of a huge commitment of time and resources. For the end user, there isn’t much to notice. A great example of this is Finale 25, which was completely rewritten to modernize the code–but seemed to work the same when it was finished.
As a result, I have been feeling a little worn-out when it comes to blogging. Most of my recommended apps and devices are still the same; and in the big scheme of things, most teachers don’t have any idea of what those apps and devices can do. At the same time, the term “iPad” and “Apps” no longer has the appeal that it did at conferences a few years ago–so there are still these wonderful devices and applications that can make your life easier–and there is really no way to bring that information to people that don’t know about them.
I love forScore and unrealBook. But realistically, how many times can I blog about them to the same audience?
One of the things I have been thinking about are the little things that made my life better in 2017-2018. There are a few things that I have purchased that I would recommend to others, so I thought I would cover some of those products.
The first product I would recommend is a printer. We have had AirPrint enabled printers in our house (HP) for some time. I despised having to purchase cartridges on a regular basis–and it seemed like we were buying black and color sets all the time. A combined set of black and color was over $45.
I had heard about the Epson Eco-Tank and was skeptical–but when I ended up with a gallon sized bag of empty cartridges (returning those is a scam to be addressed at another time), I decided to buy a Epson ET-2650 at Sam’s Club. I can’t remember the price–I think it was about $250 at the time.
It may not be the world’s best photo printer–send your photos to Target, CVS, Walgreens or whatever if you need photos printed. But in terms of affordable printing–we have printed at least a box of paper since we bought this printer and the ink levels seem to be fine. We no longer have to live in fear of printing in color, and I would have replaced the black cartridge many, many times over in my old HP. We have replacement ink that we bought at the time of purchase–and haven’t even opened those bottles.
My only complaint is that Epson sends out updates frequently, and you’ll look at the screen and it is asking to update the firmware AGAIN. It’s a printer. How often do you really need to update the firmware?
Are you looking for a decent printer that has AirPrint and isn’t going to break your budget with printing? Look at the Epson Eco-Tank printers. Sam’s Club now sells the next generation, the 2750, for $279.