🖼 Creating animated gifs of screencasts, a collaborative whiteboard, the glory of boredom, and more – Of bits and bytes for March 6, 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

“You look marvelous.”

– Fernando


gifcap is a website that I was recently reminded about by Brad over at Time to Talk Tech. This browser based site lets you easily create short screencasts as animated gifs. Much like Goldilocks,there are times when screenshots are too cold and screencasts are too hot. I use it to record short tech tip movies that I can add to emails. A great site for when you want to demonstrate a task without going through the whole screencast process. Now I just need to find a good way of cataloging these gifs for re-use so I don’t have to remake the one showing how to archive an email in Gmail yet again.

There is no shortage of collaborative whiteboards, but I really like tldraw. Drawing is a great way as a teacher to show information in a interesting way while the students can try to figure out how to fit inappropriate drawings into something less benign. Or so I remember. Once you start a board you can share the URL and others can join in. Students working in groups could sketch out ideas or as a class. One neat use would be to select a student to write out the notes for a class in tldraw, the kicker is that the board is shared from the teacher to the student. The teacher has the board on the projector/TV while the student (or students) draw from their desk.

I’ve used Google Jamboard for this in the past, but the freeform drawing tools are better on tldraw.


I read a quote once, “if you’re bored, then you’re boring”. Although my daughter got tired of hearing me say that to her everytime she said she was bored, the saying still stuck with me. The idea of being bored has become such a foreign concept with the availability of smartphones. Boredom in and of itself is important to experience, so is there a way we can help our students see boredom in a new light? Nancy Flanagan examines boredom in the classroom. So many good points, especially how boredom “.. should not be immediately equated with “dumbed down” curriculum and instruction”. We had desks in elementary school and most of our work was in workbooks. I created toys out of pencils and erasers, and flip book animations with the workbooks. The teachers weren’t impressed.

One way to fight the boredom is to give students opportunities to be creative. They crave it, and as anyone in education knows, they use this creative to do things that might normally be blocked or against the rules. For example, how about using a Google Slides presentation as a moderated chat room? Each slides is a post, comments are replies, version history & removing access combat’s bad behavior.

Every day in our classroom we may have to make up an excuse for something, but have you wondered if students can tell? Well, I have bad news for you, even preschoolers can spot poor excuses and cop-outs.

The Nerdy Teacher: 5 Steps to Bring Project Based Learning to Your Classroom #PBL #STEAM #STEM

As teachers, we walk a fine line dealing with facts and beliefs in the classroom. The Oatmeal has created an online comic all about the backfire effect. He goes through several examples of what we’ve been told, and of those, what is fact or fiction, and how the new knowledge affects you. It’s a pretty powerful comic, and really makes you think.


John Boyer has passed away. Unless you are seeing impaired or work with the seeing impaired you probably won’t recognize the name, but he was instrumental on making materials more accessible to the blind. He open sourced software that converts text to braille, along with other software that makes maps, graphics, and math more accessible to the blind.

ChatGPT is everywhere right now, but what is it really? Here’s a deep dive into how ChatGPT works. Spoiler alert: there is no intelligence, just a bunch of math and probabilities.

Digital citizenship is more than just online behavior.


Once upon a time the best lessons and presentations included a story or stories. Here is a short guide in storytelling that you can use to up the storytelling game of your students or yourself. And then you can live happily ever after.

Pop Culture

As the newness of ChatGPT starts to wear off, the cracks begin to form. Employers are getting better at recognizing ChatGPT created cover letters and resumes and editors at literary magazines can spot ChatGPT submissions.

Pot Pourri

One of the quickest way to start a fight in education is to bring up dress codes, whether for staff or students. And it looks like draconian dress codes may be on their way out. Along with dress codes we have spirit days, which have started to reach new levels of occurences. But, what do teachers really think about all of those Spirit Days? As for me, today I’m celebrating Marvelous Monday where I quote Billy Crystal telling everyone that they look marvelous.

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.

Ryan Signature

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