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5 Characteristics of Successful Work Groups (at Google)

Google’s internal study of work groups found that successful teams are made of reliable, engaged workers who feel psychologically safe to take risks. Keeping this in mind the next time I introduce a group project. We learned that there are five key dynamics that set successful teams apart from other teams at Google: Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed? Dependability: Can we…

U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

It’s frustrating and terrifying that the current cultural climate makes this website necessary. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is a project that aims to comprehensively document press freedom incidents in the United States — such as the arrests of journalists, seizures of their equipment, interrogations and searches at the U.S. border, subpoenas to testify about sources, leak prosecutions and physical attacks. The Press Freedom Tracker documents cases across the country,…

Can we hope to understand how the Greeks saw their world?

Fascinating contemplation of color perception, as mediated by language. The tints of a rough sea range from ‘whitish’ (polios) and ‘blue-grey’ (glaukos) to deep blue and almost black (kuaneos, melas). The sea in its calm expanse is said to be ‘pansy-like’ (ioeides), ‘wine-like’ (oinops), or purple (porphureos). But whether sea or sky, it is never just ‘blue’. In fact, within the entirety of ancient Greek literature you cannot find a single…

The Distracted Classroom: Transparency, Autonomy, and Pedagogy

I don’t ban technology in my classroom, even though I know some students can’t manage the potential distraction. (An early assignment in my freshman writing class demonstrates that multitasking is a lie — we can only pay attention to one thing at a time,,and though we can do something routine like fold laundry while also watching TV, we stop watching TV if we lose a sock, and we stop folding…