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Want a tech job? Study this. Advice from Mozilla, Reddit, Tumblr and more

Students often say they hate group work. I don’t attach a huge amount of points to group work, but I do ask them to collaborate on various projects. Learning how to deal with a team member who isn’t pulling his or her weight, or how to work with a take-charge person who tries to shut out less assertive group members, is a valuable life skill. Critical thinking, self-driven progress in…

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Should your grieving mum see your digital secrets?

A US state has passed a law that will give the family of a deceased person access to their Twitter, Facebook and email accounts just as if they were physical assets. Delaware’s “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act” grants heirs and the executor of the will the same powers over digital accounts or devices as over physical assets like a house or cash. The law grants access…

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The News from Ferguson – Live, on Twitter

[I]t turns out that Twitter is not just a place where scholars take notes publicly at conferences, it’s a medium that does a better job than most of including the voices of African Americans, and that matters. To a large extent what has been happening in Ferguson is the result of white folks’ near-total deafness when it comes to the lived experience of being black in America. It’s where news…

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I Quit Liking Things On Facebook for Two Weeks.

She stopped liking, and started commenting. And maybe what she discovered is what old-timer bloggers remember the blogosphere being like before Facebook. Back in my day, we didn’t need someone else’s algorithm to show us what we were interested in. We clicked on insightful, valuable, and compelling comments to see what else the author had written, or we assembled our own RSS feed of authors we trusted. When I disallowed…

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Confuse Students to Help Them Learn

Confusing sometimes helps cats, so why not students? I’m afraid your cat badly needs to be confused. Confusion is a powerful force in education. It can send students reeling toward boredom and complacency. But being confused can also prompt students to work through impasses and arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the world. “Common wisdom holds that confusion should be avoided during learning and rapidly resolved if and when…

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5 myths about Facebook’s Messenger app

Real journalism takes a look at that Huffington Post blog warning you that Facebook Messenger will summon intubation associates who will extract up to a pint of six different bodily fluids. And I, for one, welcome our Facebook overlords. One blog from the Huffington Post published in December has gone viral, making the rounds on the social network recently because it claims the app gives Facebook “direct control over your…

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How Humans Respond to Robots

The play that coined the word “robot,” Karel Capek’s R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), included violent robots, compassionate robots, and herd robots (who are content to be workers until incited by the violent robot leaders). This article explores a wide range of human responses to robots. Our expectations of robots and our response to their designs varies internationally; the Uncanny Valley curve has a different arc depending where you are. Certainly,…