✅ Goblin Tools, ChatGPT in the classroom, Curiousity, and more – Of bits and bytes for July 17, 2023

As the summer winds down, I’m taking next week off for my last Hurrah! before I get back into starting the school year. There won’t be a newsletter but don’t you fret, I’ll be back in full force at the start of August! Enjoy these last two weeks, take a day for yourself, do something that excites or scares you!

Internet Travels

Of bits and bytes is my weekly round up of interesting links and ideas I discovered on the internet. It is published on Mondays for the previous week


For those that think Tik Tok is a waste of time, well, they’re right, but every so often endlessly scrolling through Tik Tok uncovers some gold, and this week it was GoblinTools. At first, GoblinTools appears to just be an app to create a to do list, but then it adds some special AI sauce. For any step in your list AI can automatically break it down into smaller tasks. I could see this being a great way for 7th grade and up students to help them manage their projects and for teachers in lower grades to create a to do list for their class to help their students start small and create big things.

Google announced several updates to their Bard AI Chat app. You can now listen to the responses and not just read them, along with interacting with Bard in 40 different languages. The biggest update is the ability to work with images in your prompts, integrating with Google Lens.


If you were wondering how teachers are using ChatGPT in the classroom Larry Ferlazzo has an article over at Edweek.

I’ve had discussions talking about the spark of curiousity and how to encourage it. John Spencer’s 7 Ways to integrate curiosity into the classroom although I would add one more way, and that is to make sure each and every student is comfortable in the classroom with sharing their ideas and thoughts. Nothing stifles curiousity and creativity faster than being told that it’s a stupid idea.

The Netherlands wants to ban cellphones in schools. I’ve been a big proponent of the handheld devices in school, but I can go both ways on this debate. The parental pushback is surprising, and this might be a Gen Xer talking, but no, you don’t need to be in constant contact with your child. My parents had no idea what we were doing or where we were, and we turned out relatively fine. However, everyone now uses their phones as a distraction from boredom, and that means we are missing out on the benefits of boredom.


AI detectors aren’t very good and you probably don’t want to rely on them to catch students. Ars Technica takes a look at why and how AI detectors think the US Constitution was written by AI.

Google is showing off their new NotebookLM tool that can help control and summarize your Google Docs documents. It’s in limited release right now.

There’s a new default font for Microsoft Office in town, Aptos, replacing Calibri. Don’t worry, Calibri is still there, along with the past default fonts, Times New Roman and Arial.

Students and summer break are being blamed for ChatGPT’s lower usage. However, I’m sure that will change in a month.


Kristin Brynteson over at HotPinkTech has a great article on how she’s using AI in her classroom. If you’re wondering what all of the AI talk is about, this is a great place to start.

Pop Culture

Finally, we have a brown mushroom in the list of new emojis for 2023-2024.

What Did People Do Before Smartphones?Archive I know what I did. When would go out to eat I would make sure I had 50 cents with me so I could buy a USA Today. I also usually had my laptop with me.

Pot Pourri

One of the most popular items in rage rooms are printers, and there are some health consequences to beating a printer with a blunt object.

Neat little video: Animation vs. Math

Extra Credit

Here are extra links that I found interesting that may or may not be education related or interesting to you and I didn’t want to lose them.

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