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.
I want to be surprised that Google has decided to kill off Jamboard because it only came out a few years ago, but I can’t say that I am. Luckily they are working with Figma, Lucid, and Miro to give Jamboard users a way to use their Jamboard files in their respective apps. We are looking at Figma’s product, Figjam. The learning curve is steeper than I would like, but to me that means it’s pretty powerful.
Where one company takeths away, another company giveths! Photoshop for the web has been released by Adobe. This is a pared down version, and there isn’t a free tier, but it does offer the impressive AI generative fill which is short of amazing.
There are two apps that I want to share this week that deal with size: Same Scale and Scale of the Universe. The first gives you a split view map of the world in which each side is at the same scale. This lets you show, for example, the size of your town compared to other cities of landmarks in the world. The second site ives you a scrolling view of the size of objects in the seen and unseen universe.
The Student Opinion section in The New York Times askes if is time to get rid of timed tests. This is an interesting question, especially after the past year and a half of remote learning. On one hand, timed tests have been a measure of student’s understanding and ability to think on their feet. On the other hand, some students may struggle with test anxiety or require more time to process information. Recent research has shown that smarter individuals take longer to solve difficult problems.
I’m in control of of my phone, it doesn’t interrupt me, but it appears that some teens haven’t gotten the message. I find it highly ironic when I hear younger generations wish for a time before cellphones when they can simply turn off notifications for the most part. My phone only alerts me to a few people, everything else, including group chats, is muted.
More and more is being said about a healthy work-life balance, and here’s some ideas on disconnecting from work without feeling guilty that could be helpful for everyone. Whether you’re a student, a teacher, or just someone who has a demanding job, it’s important to set boundaries and take time for yourself. The hardest part is getting others to understand that you will probably not be available after hours and that their emails or texts can be anxiety inducing.
OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, has added the ability to see, hear, and speak to ChatGPT. I haven’t heard examples of its voices, but from what I’ve read, they are more human sounding than the current group of digital assistants such as Siri or Alexa.
When our daughter was young, we limited all screen time until she was two, and then slowly introduced her to screens. As part of this process, we were turning on subtitles before turning on subtitles was cool. Our intuition that it could help her read has now been backed up with evidence (h/t – Larry Ferlazzo).
The weakest link for computer security is the person behind the keyboard, and phishing emails is a popular attack path for criminals and scammers. Here’s a good guide at understanding phishing emails to help you combat these phishing attacks. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry! So think twice before clicking on that suspicious email.
Social media is going through some changes, and group chats are becoming a pretty popular replacement. However, that doesn’t mean it’s all rainbows and unicorns (h/t – Archive Link). I will reiterate my previous writing on notifications, all of my group chats have notifications turned off. I check them when I have time and it doesn’t interrupt me. You don’t have to be available 24/7 just because you’re in a group chat!
School dress codes for teachers is a huge minefield that I try not to enter, but that doesn’t stop The New York Times from weighing in on the subject from examining the whys and whats of dress codes.
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.
- What’s AI’s impact on asynchronous online learning? — Neil Mosley Consulting
- Confessions of a Viral AI Writer | WIRED