Importance of sleep, opportunity costs, ChatGPT, and more – Of bits and bytes for March 20, 2023

Internet Travels

Of bit 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

“The method, then, is simply to expose ourselves to a stream of provocations and interesting problems, and have a hunch on where to look up what we don’t already know.” – Seth Godin

Success in the future isn’t the ability to remember facts. Facts are easy to look up. Success hinges on the ability to remember and make connections between disparate facts so you know what to look up.


Let’s talk about my favorite subject, SLEEP! First up is how sleep serves as a mediator of the relationship between social class and health in higher education students and followed up with how more sleep could improve many U.S. teenagers’ mental health. School times seemed to be too fixed because of after school activities so I don’t see any movement for later start times being proposed in a lot of districts.

Where does your classes or your school rate when it comes to psychological safety? The article describes the author’s time at Google where he felt very safe on speaking up, and how other positions since then have not been close to that level.

The always great Peter Greene writes a lot better article than I could ever do about setting teachers up for success by having them do what they were trained for and not as a catch all for every task that needs to be done. In the past I’ve been involved in projects where the cost of labor was “free” since we were already paying for the employee. Anyone that has taken a microeconomics class remembers the concept of opportunity costs (even me!). By re-allocating an employee to a different task you’re taking them away from why you hired them in the first place. The easiest way to describe the issue is, why are you paying someone $30-40/hour to run copies?

As a father and teacher, my use of obscenities is about as low as a minister, so I was interested in this research about learning at the college level with an instructor who swears. Even though my daughter is now 19, I view it more of a game on how creative my obscenities can be. Also, saying barnacles is funnier.


Get ready to replace ChatGPT with Google Docs and other Google Workspace apps. I wonder how much these changes are going to affect writing in schools. The optimist in me says this is a good thing, that it will allow students to put down in writing the great thoughts and ideas they have without getting bogged down with trying to get the English right. The pessimist say that everyone, students and teachers, will use it to do a good enough job instead of a good job. The reality will probably be somewhere in the middle.

ChatGPT and a lot of the AI tools are built on the large language model called GPT-3. Well, GPT-3 is old news because GPT-4 is out and blows away GPT 3. GPT-4 is smart enough to get a 90% on the Bar Exam, and to also incorporate pictures into it’s prompts. One of the demos has someone sending GPT-4 a picture of the contents of their fridge, asking for dinner recommendations. GPT-4 came up with things you could cook with what was shown in the picture. It looks like GPT-4 is as smart as a typical middle schooler when it comes to getting out of doing work because when it can’t do something it hits up Fiverr and hires a human to do it.


Who would have thought that giving teachers voice and choice in Professional Development would be a good idea? Well, every teacher for starters. I have to chuckle when I see districts promoting differentiation and then they bring all of the teachers together and do the exact opposite.

Pop Culture

How weird is AI and how it works? It’s stranger than you can even imagine. It’s hard for use to figure out how tomorrow is going to change, let alone what the next ten or twenty years will be like. Case in point, it was 2009 that I presented at the Ohio Education Technology Conference where I lead a session on using texting in the classrooms. I had to include a couple of slides where I described situations where texting was preferable to calling. And this was only 14 years ago.

Pot Pourri

And just in time for World Poetry Day comes an article extolling the virtues of reading poetry. I’m not much of a poetry reader, maybe it was The Naming of Cats by T.S. Eliot that I read on the way to NYC to see Cats that scarred me…

You live in a state all your life and then you find out there is a pencil sharpener museum two hours away! That’s a little far for me to go just to look at some pencil sharpeners, but if you’re in the south-east corner of Ohio, do check it out.

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 – Eduk8me’s posts from this past week

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