Semi-Weekly Geekly

Week of January 12 - January 16

Kid Snippets: "Basketball Class" (Imagined by Kids)

Tip of the Week- Google Cheat Sheets!

You may have noticed Google changing...again. It's pretty much constant,which I suppose is the speed of everything tech related these days. Here is a resource that can help you out. The Google Cheat Sheets were put out by Kasey Bell on the Shake Up Learning Blog. From her site you can click a button to add these cheat sheets to your own Google Drive, or you can download them to print.

Tool of the Week- Booktrack

First, let me say that I have not yet used this tool. I would love for someone to try it out, or I would be happy to work with someone to hep you use it! Booktrack is, at the most basic level provides background music while you are reading an ebook. But the music is chosen to go along with the book that you are reading, to set the mood. They have a lot of the classics and then some self-published books as well.

Here's the great thing though, they also have Booktrack Classroom where teachers can create classes for students.

· Teachers can control which books their students have access to (grade / age appropriate, etc.)

· Students can also “create” their own books with their own writing and add sounds to it!

o They add music based on Emotion, Genre, or Style (so it really gets them thinking about what they’ve written.)

o You can add sounds for very specific sections of text, or a whole chapter. Very cool!

o They can’t add pictures. Its text only.

o Students can read & rate each other’s books in their Class!

Below is a video overview about the tool. Let me know if you would like to give it a try and I will help!

Booktrack Classroom Tutorial Overview (Updated)

Classroom Spotlight- 7th Grade Math

7th Grade Math teachers at VMS created a station based learning opportunity for students that integrated technology this week. Students used Socrative at one station and the Class Kick app at another. Apps like these tend to work best in the classroom with smaller groups, which makes them a great fit for stations. Throwing technology into one or two of your stations is a great way to keep engagement high and make the class period go by quickly! Thanks 7th grade math for trying this out!

Geekly Challenge- Create Your Own Font

There is a site that allows you to create your very own font! The site is and you will have to download and print the template, complete it, and then scan it in. You upload your scanned image to their site and it creates your very own font!!! Font junkies like me think this is pretty cool! If you create a font, send me a copy so I can see, and I will enter you in a drawing for a prize this week.

Social Media and Student Athletes

I wanted to share a great article about kids and Twitter. You can find the article here. While the article is mainly concerned about the effects of social media activity on athletic recruitment, you can draw parallels with any application process. I thought the most interesting part of the article was near the bottom, regarding exactly what recruiters see that they find unacceptable. They aren't just looking for things that are grossly out of line, they are looking for anything that doesn't promote the image they are looking to promote. Food for thought. Find the article here from