Microsoft Teams and OneNote bring these new features for remote learning

Now that Microsoft has started rolling out its new 7×7 grid view for Teams as well as virtual breakout rooms, the company is releasing new features that aim to improve ’emotional connection’ for students and teachers.

The latest Teams tools include ‘praise badges’ from the Praise app, which Microsoft suggests teachers can use to “recognize student social skills, grow emotional vocabulary, and give valuable recognition to the daily wins”. 

The badges will be available to over 230,000 education institutions that use Teams for remote and mixed learning. 

The default badges are available now in chats and class team channels, with more social-emotional learning (SEL) badges coming this month. 

Default badges include achiever, awesome, coach, courage, creative, inclusive, kind heart, leadership, optimism, problem solver, team player, and thank you. 

The SEL-focused ones include communication, critical thinking, curiosity and empathy, goal pursuit, motivation and so on. Users also have the option to

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GitHub to replace ‘master’ with ‘main’ starting next month

Starting next month, all new source code repositories created on GitHub will be named “main” instead of “master” as part of the company’s effort to remove unnecessary references to slavery and replace them with more inclusive terms.

GitHub repositories are where users and companies store and synchronize their source code projects.

By default, GitHub uses the term “master” for the primary version of a source code repository. Developers make copies of the “master” on their computers into which they add their own code, and then merge the changes back into the “master” repo.

“On October 1, 2020, any new repositories you create will use main as the default branch, instead of master,” the company said.

Existing repositories that have “master” set as the default branch will be left as is.

“For existing repositories, renaming the default branch today causes a

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US government deplatforms TikTok and WeChat

The US Commerce Department has taken a series of steps to strip the ability of American citizens to freely use Chinese-owned mobile applications TikTok and WeChat, halting new downloads via services such as Apple’s iOS App Store and Google Play, and restricting the ability of the tech industry to supply services to them.

The moves come in response to presidential Executive Orders signed in August, proposing to ban both services outright over national security concerns, and in spite of a proposed partnership between TikTok and Oracle. The value of Oracle stock has fallen in response.

“Today’s actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party,” said Department of Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross.

“At the president’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of

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Behind the rise of viral earworms on TikTok, whose musical DNA and culture of repetition often leads to the same songs being reused again and again in videos (Asha Saluja/Slate)


Asha Saluja / Slate:

Behind the rise of viral earworms on TikTok, whose musical DNA and culture of repetition often leads to the same songs being reused again and again in videos  —  Gen Z’s favorite video app is a blessing in a pandemic.  But why does so much of it sound the same?  —  I downloaded TikTok in April, a month into COVID isolation.… Read More