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Mentoring skills, communication/listening, empathy, critical thinking define successful employees in Google self-study. (STEM knowlege? Not as important.)

A Google self-study found that its own most successful employees had soft skills, such as mentoring ability, empathy, and critical thinking and problem-solving. “Those traits sound more like what one gains as an English or theater major than as a programmer,” according to the Washington Post. [A]mong the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google…

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First page of a student’s Texture project. (This made me laugh.)

This clever freshman writing student created a project in Texture, which is designed for branching narratives (such as the Choose Your Own Adventure stories). In the next few screens, he put up nodes showing older and more recent writing samples, asked me to choose which one showed the better writing technique, and gave me feedback on my answers. Very clever!

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Commentary: What My Struggling Students Wanted Me to Understand

I haven’t taught a developmental course at SHU, but when I teach freshman writing, I often encounter students who struggle with the transition from high school to college writing. Those who were praised all their lives as good writers can tell good personal stories, and they can deploy accurate summaries of non-controversial, “correct” facts. I give them free reign to pick any topic they wish, asking them to demonstrate their ability…

PR Pop Quiz: Intro to Crisis Management

Pop quiz for public relations 101. Scenario 1: You run a wildly popular app that incorporates video with a live host. You learn that a reporter is writing a personality profile of your host. Do you offer some cheerful quotes and then make a note to get your host to sign a new contract that handles such things as media requests (and maybe giving him a raise because he’s obviously a…

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6 Problems with our School System

I spend a lot of time re-educating my students, assuring them that my job as a college professor is not to give them a checklist, and then award points for each item they ticked off correctly; nor is my job to teach to a test. Shortly after I started teaching in my current job, a student in a literature class nearly had a meltdown when she learned the final exam…

Did you share Russian fake news? Facebook, apparently unable to insert items directly in our feeds, will make you jump through hoops to find out.

Did you share fake news from Russia during the US Presidential election? Grudgingly following up on a Congressional order, Facebook will permit you to jump through hoops to find out. Because Facebook apparently does not have the technology to insert items of its choosing directly in user feeds, the social media company has helpfully provided a new option in its maze of settings. Whether you have unknowingly participated in the…