Software Swap! ↔️

In This Edition:

  • Updates – a couple of tools are being discontinued, but we have alternatives for you
  •  Articles: Teaching in the era of distraction, Bias in AI
  • Shortcuts – not one, not two, but eight quick shortcuts for a faster workflow

Happy Thanksgiving, Vampires! 🍁

“The only constant in life is change.” (Heraclitus)

Technology changes. Tools change. Features in those tools change. AI becomes a ‘thing’. 

In this edition, and in the spirit of flexibility and adaptability, we focus on ‘alternatives’! 

We offer alternatives to a couple of tools that will be ‘going away’.

UPDATES (and alternatives)

1

Our AISB Newsela subscription will end in February. The decision was made to end our subscription due to the low usage (school-wide) and the very high cost of the platform.  

Diffit is an alternative (for teachers only). A platform, mentioned in a previous Tech Bytes, where you can prepare levelled articles to share with students. Check out the Diffit for Teachers YouTube Channel to find out more. It is free to use until January, 2024.

⚠️ Please note: We might be able to sign up for the premium service next school year if there is enough positive feedback. Try it out and let us know.

2

As some of you may already know, Google will shut down Jamboard on December 31, 2024. An alternative that you might like to try is called FigJam, a free online whiteboard for teams (there are paid plans too). It has one flexible canvas, very similar to the Freeform Apple app. There is even an AI feature that will “generate templates for weekly team syncs, brainstorms, and retros—or, dive into planning with visual timelines and org charts—all from a simple prompt“. 

FigJam has a newly released converter tool (November 20th), so you will be able to convert your Jamboards to FigJams!

If you want to see FigJam in action, take a look at Alice Keeler’s FigJam page. She notes three ways that FigJam is better than Jamboard:

  • Hyperlinks work in FigJam sticky notes (and anywhere)
  • You can drag images onto FigJam
  • You can drag a PDF onto FigJam

Please note that due to GDPR constraints, students may not use FigJam without parental consent.

ARTICLE

Reality Check: Teaching In The Era of Distraction

Square for Tech Bytes

This is part one of a four-part series on “Teaching and Learning in The Era of Distraction” by A.J. Juliani. Is it possible to finish reading the article without being distracted?

Bias in AI

Square for Tech Bytes (1)

In this article, “How AI reduces the world to stereotypes“, take a look at how image generators visualise different countries and cultures. The image to the left was AI generated by typing “A Romanian person in the mountains” into the Magic Media image generation feature of Canva.

SHORTCUTS: 8 in 1

The shortcut below has been included in the eight “best Mac keyboard shortcuts for 2023”. Click here to see the other seven.

shortcut