🙋‍♂️ What Maslow’s Hieracrhy really means, the perils of online grading, ChatGPT writing, and more – Of bits and bytes for January 16, 2024

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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Another month and more features being added to Chromebooks. Most of these features are quality of life improvements with using virtual desktops, a mouse, and the keyboard.


This week I learned that Maslow’s Hierarchy doesn’t mean what I think it means. Sure, it talks about the different needs at different levels, but the topic of the paper was not about learning, but about motivation. Maslow was looking into how we are motivated, not what we need to learn.

You can mess with your kids and tell them all sorts of things, up to the age of about 4 which is about the age that they start paying attention to accuracy.

When it was first possible to send up weekly grade reports to parents, I thought it was a pretty good idea. Over the years this has changed from a weekly ritual to a realtime operation, and it’s not going well h/t – Archive.

AI detectors haven’t been working and now AI can mimic a student’s writings, including grammar and spelling mistakes, so what can teachers do? One thing that AI doesn’t do well is to provide the humanity in its writing. That spark of joy or sorrow that elevates a bland document. When the Washington Post tested ChatGPT on writing college admission essays generic writing was a key indicator that the essay was computer generated.



I haven’t mentioned much about the Apple Vision Pro. It will be available on February 2nd but at $3,499 it’s not something that schools are going to be seriously looking in to. Part of it is that the headset has virtual reality and augmented reality features, but Apple isn’t positioning it for either of those uses. From what I’ve seen from the demos it is a fantastic piece of hardware, however, it’s probably not something that can be rolled out in your classroom… Yet.

When our daughter was born, we really tried to limit her TV watching, and with reports that watching TV can lead to abnormal behavior in toddlers, I’m glad we did. It was a very difficult thing to do, especially since this was the mid ’00s where live TV was still a thing. Unfortunately we now have parents just sticking a device in their babies hands which has all sorts of development issues.

ChatGPT will make up stories with the confidence of a middle school that just got caught vaping, but maybe we can use these hallucinations.

Choose your own adventure stories came out 45 years ago! Here’s the entire history of the books, including how it’s coming back. I remember reading these in middle school. You’d make a decision, but keep your finger on that decision page so if it doesn’t work out you can always jump back and change your mind. It wasn’t in the spirit of the book, but I viewed it as playing a video game and that’s your extra life.

The newer versions include a map that shows how the story progresses depending on the choices made. Atlas Obscura has a deep dive into the structure of the books.



At work I’ve decided to go all in on using Emojis in email, but what is the etiquette on using emojis? Wordlistfinder goes through several different ways that you should or shouldn’t use emojis at work. I disagree with the 44% of remote workers saying that it’s unprofessional to use emoji in work communications. Since we’re always pressed for time it’s hard to convey the correct tone in an email with words when a simple 😁 will do.

What’s terrible is the number of people that still message a peer when the peer’s status is unavailable or busy. Interruptions are the bane of my existence, and I work hard on not interrupting others. Most of the time I’ll simply send an email. Maybe those 50% of people who are set to unavailable and still respond sometimes or frequently need to stop doing that.


Pop Culture

Let’s forget about emojis for a second because even punctuation can cause problems. For example, I do use exclamation points a little too often, but I also end a sentences with three dots when I want to convey that I’m going to think about this. But Gen Z views this as passive aggressiveness. I guess I need to replace it with 🤔, which hasn’t been given a negative meaning yet.



Here’s a quick guide to building your own book scanner

How do you measure productivity? It’s not just doing your homework. I’ve also seen students who believe they’re being productive when they’re checking their grades.


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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