📚 Storytelling, relationships, AI in the workplace, and more – Of bits and bytes for October 23, 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

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This isn’t app, but a YouTube channel that just got started, Great Books Explained . There is only one book explained so far, so you’ll probably want to check back and see what other books they add. Great Books Explained is a sister channel to Great Art Explained where they explain famouse works of art.

Almost every computer you use has a screen that is wider than it is tall, making vertical space a premium. Looks like Google is interested in making better use of horizontal space because Google is testing a two-page layout in Google Docs.


Humans love stories and relationships, that’s why storytelling
and building relationships are important at work. These two activities are also important in the educational world, without either, learning pretty dull.

National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) is coming up and We Are Teachers has put together a teacher’s guide. The challenge is to write a novel of 50,000 words during the month of November. That’s a lot of words, I like to think I write a lot and I’ve only written about 75,000 so far in 2023.

The effects of AI in the workplaces are not really known, but edX is examining some of these effects. One of the biggest takeaways from the report is that “executives believe that nearly half of the skills that exist in today’s workforce won’t be relevant in 2025”. The reports seems to be written by AI’s biggest fan, but even then it gives you a lot to think about.


Detecting AI created work does not currently work but that’s not stopping the American Federation of Teachers joining up with GPTZero.

Has anyone from Congress been in a school lately? There is a proposal being floated to require schools to block social media if they receive Erate funds. Almost all schools already do this, so it’s not going to be a big burden, but the students already just use their phones anyway.

Google has posted a framework for improving teens and children’s online safety.


I’m sure these tips will not be new to the English teachers out there, but if you or your students are struggling with proofreading their work, here are 7 steps to proofreading like a pro. It’s written for bloggers, but the tips would work for any writing.

Pop Culture

Do you have students that will make random sounds during moments of quiet in your classroom? Well, it could be happening for reasons other than to annoy you. Researchers have found that people cough on purpose during classical music concerts. They didn’t come up with a definite reason, but proposed several theories such as wanting to be a part of the performance or to simply let others know that they are there.

I am totally behind the idea of a work life balance, especially after I learned that hunter/gathers worked less than a typical worker does today. They also didn’t have video games, so there was a cost. As we examine our own work life balance we can look at the hidden cost of overworking.

I love how Gen Z thinks they’ve invented the idea of slang. I mean, get out of town, we’ve been doing it since the dawn of time. But that’s not going to stop them from replacing LOL with IJBOL. It seems crazy to add more letters, but, you do you.


If you teach with illusions you’re going to love this! Researchers have figured out that optical illusions come about because of processing in the eye, the mind has nothing to do with it. There is a bandwidth limitation between the eye and the brain, which causes the eye to try to figure out what information to send to the brain and what information to discard. This causes the illusions.

Here are some ideas for your extra credit questions.

I don’t know if this is a feel-good story or not from West Virginia. The high school band teacher quit, so a group of students went ahead and taught themselves h/t – Archive. It’s great that they took the initiative and didn’t let something like the lack of a teacher stop them (shades of Stripes?) but it’s not good they were put in to that position. You know what, I’m going to call it a win. It is the face of adversity that ones true self comes through.

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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