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September 4, 2015: Friday news roundup

It’s Friday, and it’s a three-day weekend — let’s get the party started! Sure, but first things first: before we dive into the Labor Day festivities, take a peek at this week’s news stories…

Facebook takes a step into education software
First, some breaking news out of Menlo Park — Facebook has announced it’s working to develop software for elementary school students as part of a bigger, long-term commitment to education initiatives. As the NY Times puts it, this move is “not quite philanthropy and not quite business.” Either way, good to see the edtech space attracting a company like Facebook with unmatched influence and resources getting involved in improving our public school system.

I’ve spent a lifetime building a mighty network. Here are my secrets.
Udemy can help you beef up your resume with the in-demand skills employers are seeking, but sometimes it also helps to know the right people. Whether you’re in an active job search or not, you won’t regret cultivating a robust professional network. Just don’t be one of those people who only gets in touch when you need something…

The new workplace normal — uncertain work
A bit of harsh reality from former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, who warns that the gig or sharing economy is more accurately “the irregular economy.” He proposes a system whereby “Whatever party… pays more than half of someone’s income or provides more than half their working hours should be responsible for all the labor protections and insurance an employee is entitled to.”

Senior citizens’ use of computers and mobile phones might share 10 years off their mental age
Technology might be confounding for older people to learn, but new research has found an upside — using computers might improve cognitive abilities. Finally, something that will convince my mom to figure out how to get online!

Something outside of work changed how I think at work
The author of this article is a millennial who’s “at the age when friends and colleagues are talking about graduate school.” Rather than go down that road, however, he signed up for improv classes. And guess what — he learned a lot of lessons that are helping him in his professional life anyway.

Millennials are annoyed when your grammar’s not on fleek
We’ll wrap up the roundup with a story to warm the heart of editors everywhere. A Dictionary.com survey found that 74% of respondents aged 18-34 are annoyed by grammar and spelling mistakes on social media. Proofread your tweets, folks!