😏 Remembering names, cursive writing, motivation, and more – Of bits and bytes for August 28, 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


Name Shark is an iPhone and iPad app designed to help you learn names. To get started, you enter the names and pictures of the people you want to remember. The app has 4 different quiz types to help you remember the names. It is free to use, with two in-app purchases. The first one removes ads for $.99 and the second is a yearly subscription for $3.99 to allow sharing of the groups your create. Looks pretty cool, what I don’t like is that the app hasn’t been updated for almost 6 years. Let me know if you use it and how well it works!

If you are an Android user Google is rolling out formatting options and version history to Google Keep. It’s a shame they haven’t added these features to the iOS versions, but hopefully it is only a matter of time. Google Keep is Google’s note taking app. It’s pretty bare bones, but is available to Google users so it will do in a pinch.


After 17 years, the Ontario government is making the teaching of cursive handwriting mandatory. The question that comes to mind is, does the research show better educational outcomes from cursive handwriting over printing. I don’t want to spoil what they found out, but the answer shouldn’t be too much of a shock. What is also shown to be important is that elementary age students should be writing by hand and not typing.

My ADHD has one terrible affect on my productivity, and that’s the ability to get motivated to complete a task. However, once I get started it’s relatively easy to stay motivated, and now I know why. Another thing that has helped me get motivated is to use the Pomodoro technique.

I’ve had this idea for awhile, but I could never describe it as succinctly as Patrick Donovan, Don’t Marry Technology, Just Date It. It happens to all of us. We get comfortable with a tool, start to use it for everything, and then try to continue to use it for things it’s not very good at. I’m looking at you Google Slides! The idea continues with Terrell Heick article on looking for new ideas, not new tech. I’ll get asked a lot about new tools, usually in the form of, “how can I use this new tool?” I help them re-phrase the question by asking them “what do they want to do”. The new tool of the week will come and go, but what you want to do in the classroom may need something entirely different.


The computer geek in me is excited with the upcoming ability to use Python in Excel. Python is a programming language, and being able to use it in Excel opens up all sort of new and exciting ways of analyzing and transforming data.


Chrome is rolling out with sidebar apps, and here’s a primer on getting started using them.

Pop Culture

I love reading on my Kindle. It’s lightweight, it’s backlit, and the screen looks great even in the bright sun. However, a lot of people still prefer books, and one of the reasons is the smell.

Pot Pourri

One line from James Cameron’s The Abyss has stuck with me for over 30 years.

Luck is not a factor.

The character’s confidence stems not from an over-reliance on her skills, but that she has prepared for the moment and is now ready to take advantage because of her work in the past. If you’re not ready to take advantage of the moment, then your luck will be fleeting. This is what happened when some college fans were asked to DJ a set when Shaq was late. They had already missed one chance, and they weren’t going to miss another.

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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