🤖 ChatGPT for kids, creativity, and the hazards of teen social media use – Of bits and bytes for May 29, 2023

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


MiniStudio (h/t – “Camcam” Is Supposed To Be “The First ChatGPT for Kids”) is a ChatGPT style app for kids. I couldn’t find any sort of privacy policy for it, so I would follow the sites advice and only let students use it with an adult. Classroom examples of use could be bringing up the site on the projector and have the class go through and enter prompts to see what comes out of the site. The teacher could then guide the students on verifying the information or figuring out how good or bad the output is from the bot.

Although the name Histography implies that this web app is mostly using for history teachers, it’s also something most teachers can use in their classroom. On the left side are various topics such as literature or inventions that when clicked, show an interactive timeline of important events in that topic. Clicking on an event brings up more information about that event.

Google is adding the ability to add your own building blocks to Docs. Unfortunately, in the education world this features is only available to Education Plus customers. It isn’t available to Education Fundamentals (the free tier), Education Standard, or the Teaching and Learning Upgrade. It’s also not available to personal Google Accounts.


Creativity isn’t just for big ideas, but at its core it’s a daily activity. Everyday you and your students are face with little instances that require creativity. Promoting these creative moments helps make being creative a habit, not an option.

There are a lot of aspects of business that applies to the education world, such as this article about trainers in the corporate world. Replace trainers with teachers and you have some great points to defend why not just anyone can be a teacher.


My most used social media app is Tik Tok, and if you’re not on Tik Tok, they absolutely don’t start. It’s gotten so bad that I had to turn on parental controls to try to limit my time on the app. This past week the US Surgeon General said that social media may be hazardous to teen’s health. While some news sites took it as a warning to social media sites, others tried to see what the research has shown so far. As a long time tech user, one of the biggest issues I see with social media is that it never ends. You can continually scroll and the apps are happy to keep on sending you contact. Compare this to using RSS.

I use RSS as my first line of “social media”. By subscribing to sites and people with RSS, I not only actively curate content that I want to see, I also get to read with an end in mind. Once I’m caught up in my RSS reader it’s empty. I’m not getting additional content that may or may not be relevant.

In this new AI focused world, math teachers have a leg up on understanding how it all works. They can also see that ChatGPT really doesn’t get math.


ChatGPT seems easy enough to use, but to get the most out of it you’ll want to know some power commands. The discoverability of features is lacking, so here are a bunch of ChatGPT prompts for teachers.

As we finish out the school year and think about the next year, we want to rearrange our rooms and spice things up a bit. Here’s a quick little intro to customizing Google Chrome.

I get frustrated with the speed of using Google Drive on the web, and anything that makes it go faster is a win in my book. This past week I found out that you can bring up the share box in Google Docs by highlighting the document or folder and pressing the period key. And all these times I’ve been moving my mouse up to the share button like a sucker.

Google is adding the capability to collapse sections in Google Docs. This requires you to use the built in styles in Google docs, which if you aren’t using you probably want to start.

Autocorrect on Chromebooks isn’t just for the virtual keyboard, you can also turn it on when using the physical keyboard. One use of autocorrect for me is helping me spell words, so this could be useful for our students to help them write.

Pop Culture

After looking at this list of he 100 greatest children’s books of all time h/t – The 100 Greatest Children’s Books of All Time I realize what an uncultured swine I am. The list was put out by the BBC, so it has a British bent, but it still shows that I’ve got a lot of reading to do!!

I had a discussion of social media with Eric Curts at the latest ITIP Google Conference because I’m a little torn on social media and if it’s worth it. And then I read this article, Why I Ignore Social Media (Mostly): Advice for School Leaders which confirms some of my fears. I’m able to validate information I find posted, but it’s scary how few others actually do.

Pot Pourri

This is filed under “it happened a year ago but I just found out about it”. The Brooklyn Public Library offers free ecards to individuals ages 13-21. The ecard entitles the user to check out any ebook from their collection, as well as other learning databases.

Grading schools with letter grades made sense on the surface to legislators, but now several states are looking at getting rid of the grading school districts with a letter grade h/t – Tom Whitby. The state of Ohio trail blazed this idea back in June of 2021, replacing the 5 scale A-F grades with a 5 scale star system. The 5 point star system ranks districts much like a person ranks their latest Amazon purchase where 5 stars is the best and 1 star is the worst. Ok, maybe it gives you more information because it also color codes each rating and adds trends arrows. All to make it easier for the public to understand because everyone loves colors, stars, and arrows.

I don’t think the legislators saw the humor like I did, but it did prompt me to create this meme:

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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