Why your rapport with coworkers is about much more than small talk

Scientists have proven that small talk with coworkers leads to stronger team cultures and better collaboration.

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  • A recent Rutgers study has found that although small talk in the office can be distracting, employees and employers alike gain far more from these seemingly trivial interactions than we lose.
  • Non-work banter can lead to more cohesive culture and higher-quality output.
  • To deliver output with a higher value, you need to view productivity through a different lens, one that has leeway for freeform discourse.
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Education: Why ‘energy vampires’ must be slain

What are schools for and who is leading the ship?

  • There are some aspects of the current education system that are, at best, inefficient and, at worst, actually slowing progress and hindering the learning process. Kevin Bartlett, co-founder and co-director of The Common Ground Collaborative, calls these "energy vampires" and says that now is the time to identify and get rid of them.
  • Bartlett argues that the education space is constrained by compliance and that leaders and their teams should take a moment to consider their roles and goals critically and conduct an 'energy audit'.
  • By establishing reforms to energy-wasting initiatives, and doing it in collaboration with students and parents, educators and administrators can create a new system that works better.
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What is the viewing experience of VR porn really like?

Recent studies suggest virtual reality porn can produce a more positive experience than viewing from a monitor or screen.

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  • Since early 2014 when Ela Darling, an adult entertainment actress recorded her first VR performance, the world of virtual porn has taken off.
  • Recent studies suggests VR porn produces a more positive experience than typical porn viewing through a monitor or screen.
  • RealityLovers, a top VR porn website, speaks about the benefits of virtual reality porn experiences and the future of VR adult entertainment.
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The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

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  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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What should schools teach? Now is the moment to ask.

The future of learning will be different, and now is the time to lay the groundwork.

  • The coronavirus pandemic has left many at an interesting crossroads in terms of mapping out the future of their respective fields and industries. For schools, that may mean a total shift not only in how educators teach, but what they teach.
  • One important strategy moving forward, thought leader Caroline Hill says, is to push back against the idea that getting ahead is more important than getting along. "The opportunity that education has in this moment to really push students and think about what is the right way to live, how do we do it and how do we do it in a way that doesn't hurt or rob the dignity of other people?"
  • Hill also argues that now is the time for bigger swings and for removing the barriers that limit education. The online space is boundary free and provides educators with new opportunities to connect with students around the world.
Read more from Z-17's interview with Caroline Hill on Medium.
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