🏙 AI detector, city-building simulator, value or valuable, and more – Of bits and bytes for March 13, 2023

Internet Travels

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

“Adults are always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up because they are looking for ideas.”

– Paula Poundstone

Although I lean a little more toward Simple Plan


It seems like every day a new way to detect AI writing is released, and today is one of those days. As always, when using on of these AI detectors don’t assume the student has used ChatGPT or other AI writing tools. These detectors have shown my writing as AI generated and I promise you I am not a robot. It’s more of an indication I’ve got a long way to go to be a better writer.

I’m a sucker for simulation games that students can play and Gourdlets is the cutest city building sandbox you’ll see today. There are no points, just building. As you build, the Gourdlets come and visit your city. No account needed, and the controls are relatively simple, so students as young as kindergarten can get to building. This would be a great addition to any discussion about towns, directions, map reading, and more. The game doesn’t have a save or sharing feature, so if you wanted something that they could keep you will probably want to show them how to create a screenshot or even screencast of their masterpiece.

Do you need to transcribe and/or translate an audio file? Then you may want to check out writeout.ai. You can upload an audio file up to 25MB in size and not only have it transcribed, but also translated. One caveat is that you need a Github account to use the site. They are free, so it’s more the hassle of creating the account then anything else.


Research out of the University of Arizona shows that your mood influences how you process language. This outcome may not be a mystery to most teachers, when a student is in a bad mood they’re not going to be a very fun student, but now you know how this affects students comprehension of the written word.

The always awesome Dan Meyer explains the circular logic on how a teacher can become more interested, which makes the teacher more interesting.

George Couros always hits it out of the park, and his article on how value is different than valuable is lit. Discussions like this are what makes education so… Gooshy? Spellcheck says that isn’t a word, but I’m going with it. How good a teacher is or how good an education you’ve received can’t be entirely measured with data. Going down this rabbit hole reminds me of Simon Caulkin’s observation, “what gets measured gets managed”.

Good calls home are a great way to build relationships with your students and their parents, but what about everyone else? Take a moment and let someone know that you’re happy they’re in your life. I’m terrible at this, but I’m trying to get better! I’ll stumble across a funny picture or story and send it off to friends that I know would appreciate them.

If you spend any amount of time on GenX Tik Tok, you will have probably seen a video talking about how we all grew up feral. As kids we were told to leave the house after breakfast and not come back until the lights came on. It turns out that unsupervised, dangerous play is an important component good mental health. No seat belts were probably not a good idea though. How independent were we? PSAs ran on TV asking parents if they knew where their children were.


Heads up, over the next few weeks the Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides are going to start looking a little different. The updates don’t change as much functionality as their looks, so hopefully the classroom disruptions will be minimal. Just be prepared for that one student to blurt out, “My Docs are broken”!

Fascinating article over at MIT on how classroom technology is holding students back. When I look at technology in the classroom, I first want to think about how it’s going to work and if there is another way of completing the task that would be better. The complaints in the article really boil down to “everything in moderation”. Some tasks work better on pencil and paper, so why are you making students do it on the computer, while other tasks are difficult or impossible to do without the computer.

Surprisingly, college students haven’t really caught on to ChatGPT.


I’m usually not a big fan of sharing presentation slides out of context, but I’m making an exception for Brandy Nichols’ Classroom Goodies Google Slides presentation. There are a ton of good ideas here, and her email address is on the last slide if you have any questions.

Pop Culture

When people first started posting on the internet smart people like Dave Winer realized that we needed a way to follow websites and be notified when the websites were created. He then created Really Simple Syndication (RSS) a technology that is used by a majority of the internet and unknown to many. With RSS you take back control of what you read on the internet. I highly recommend looking in to RSS, without it I would have no chance of keeping up with everything that happens. Along your journey you can also check out my video on getting started with RSS

No matter your passion, there are others out there with the same loves. Case in point, a Kickstarter project about a book named Shift Happens: A book about keyboards which covers the history of keyboards. To go along with the book they created the Typewriter Simulator. I’m young enough to have only played around on typewriters, and this simulator feels very much like how it felt to write on a typewriter. If you ever wanted to experience the pain… I mean fun of typing out papers on a typewriter, this is the site for you.

Pot Pourri

Do we really need English majors I ask, tongue in cheek? Of course we do, and now more than ever. Video form has become quite popular, but every video is underpinned by a strong narrative written correctly in English. I see this importance every time I’ve had an email misunderstood.

Did you ever wonder which of the parents are the most tired? Wonder no more because the Pew Research Center has all the deets.

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.

History – Posts on Eduk8me from the past week

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