🙋‍♂️ Kids’ lack of a third place, remembering others, flow, and more – Of bits and bytes for April 8, 2024

By the time this is posted and sent, we will be approximately 3 to 4 hours before experiencing the total solar eclipse. I remember when we learned about them in elementary school and at the time thinking that I would probably never get a chance to see one.

Today’s will be the second one for me in 7 years. We drove to Kentucky for the 2017 eclipse, taking a personal day on the second day of school. Because we are about 6 miles from the center of the totality, our school district scheduled spring break for this week. We have no idea what the traffic will be like, so today will be interesting.

Tomorrow the wait until 2045 begins.

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

We’re missing where everyone knows your name

Google News is a great way to keep up with news of interest, but it also can become a broken record, showing me a lot of stuff I’ve already seen. There were quite a few articles on kids and smartphones. The first two are about the concept of a third place. This is a place where you can hang out that’s not home or work (school). With the internet, kids can enrich their minds or fall into the trap of doom scrolling, so why don’t we give them better places to hang out – (Archive)? As a teenager in the 80s we cruised the square, went to the pizza shop, or hung out at the arcade. We hear a lot about loneliness, and one of the solutions is to find a third place to hang out in and work less.

For kids, Smartphones have given them this illusion of a third place, which begs the question on whether or not we can get kids off of their phones (Archive). Do we go the route of China and Florida (Archive) with bans, or is there something else we can do?

One promising anecdote is our county 4-H Camp. I volunteers as adult staff every year, and we’ve always had a no cellphone policy that’s strictly enforced, you will get sent home if you try to sneak one into your cabin. The campers enjoy 4 days of cellphone free living, enough so that I think they actually enjoy not having their phone with them.


The ‘not a cellphone in sight’ meme makes fun of condescending nostalgia | Mashable


One trait that I’ve been really working on is getting to know other people. What they like and what they dislike, when their birthday is, and more. To help me on this quest I’ve started to add people to my contacts as soon as I meet them. Even if I only have a first name, I’m going to create a contact for them and start adding any information I learn about them. I’m reminded of this journey when Aviva posted an article on what she learned from a ten year old.

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Maybe a little late for students to cheat with this year, but OpenAI has dropped the login requirement to use the free version. Caveats still apply when using it with students, and basically, even if they don’t need an account doesn’t mean that students can use the site without violating the terms of use. This is in addition to the privacy implications because one reason OpenAI could be dropping this requirement is to gain more input from people.

Today I read that OpenAI exhausted almost all of the sources for training material in 2021 so they turned to transcribing YouTube videos. By dropping the login requirement, they get to harvest input from real people.

All of this reminds me of Johnny Five in Short Circuit, more input!


There have been some beefs with Goodreads in this past year. Good reads is a platform where users can track, rate, and review books. However, there is growing discontent with the site, from complaints to how much power it has over the publishing industry to issues with books that whose ratings are being manipulated to the fact that Amazon owns it. There is another site though, The StoryGraph. Users can sign up and track their books along with getting recommendations for their next book to read. I am not a lawyer, but the terms of service and privacy policy look pretty good, with the only piece of identifiable information a student has to give is their email address. Students under the age of 16 must have parental or guardian consent.


People with ADHD have several traits, and one of them is hyperfocus. It’s become a meme on it’s own that you don’t bother an ADHDer when they’re hyperfocused. For the rest, this is called “getting in the flow” and it’s a glorious place to be when creating. Scientists have located brain oscillations during jazz improvisations by expert and non-expert musicians – ScienceDirect demonstrating that flow is something that can be measured (h/t – CURMUDGUCATION: Teaching Flow State).


(2) The ADHD Mommy – It’s Meme Monday! Hyperfocus is my ADHD… | Facebook


Have you thought about using AI prompt engineering with people? Ars Technica has, and it is basically a plan for teachers on dealing with students, parents, and administrators.

The shine is coming off of AI and businesses are finding that it’s not good enough. To make the usage of AI even worse, research shows that leaders undervalue creative work from AI-managed teams.


Are you an iPhone user who wishes you could AirDrop a picture to a Chromebook? What about a Windows user who wants to “AirDrop” a file to a Mac? Well, today’s your lucky day because I’m going to show you how to exactly do that. All of these examples work on any operating system and are free.

The first two options require no app to be installed, but do require the devices to be on a netwrok. The first, Snapdrop, lets you easily send files to other devices on the same network. However, this gets dicey if you only have cell access or there are limits in place on the local network. That’s where PairDrop comes in. When visiting the site, PairDrop works like Snapdrop. Where it is different is that you can click the group icon in the upper right corner and create a public room.


By sharing the code, others can join the private room allowing you to send pictures and files to anyone.

The third option is LocalSend. It is an app that is required to be installed on the devices. Once installed and opened, it can discover other LocalSend devices on the network that have the app opened.

**I bet every teacher has their own ** 3 signs that quickly identify someone with bad leadership skills.

Pop Culture

Did you know that 37 is the world’s most popular random number between 1 and 100?

Researchers may be figuring out why autism can boost cognitive performance.


Howie Hua on X: “Today’s meme of the day since we were talking about number systems: https://t.co/sjmic6Ma7j” / X


Do you do things that are bad for you? (He writes wistfully looking at the empty Ho Ho wrappers on his desk.) Ancient philosophers. My answer is that they just taste so good!


100+ Money Memes That Will Have You Rolling in 2024!

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.

By design, the vast majority of Of Bits and Bytes readers never pay anything for the links, commentary, and tips it provides. But you made it all the way to the end of this week’s edition — maybe not for the first time. Want to support more journalism like what you read today? If so, click here.

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