Information Age Education Blog

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Make It and Use It—An Approach to Improving Schools

I have just finished reading the following short article on a way to improve our schools:

Frauenfelder, M. (October, 2010). School for Hackers. The Atlantic. Retrieved 9/20/2010 from

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In the United States, One in Seven (and Well Over 20% of Children) Live in Poverty

Poverty is perhaps the best single predictor of future lack of success in our school system. A good introduction to this topic is available at:

Berliner, D.C. (March, 2009). Poverty and potential: Out-of-school factors and school success. Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice. Retrieved 9/19/2010 from

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You Load 16 Tons (or 1 Million Tons), What Do You Get?

Recently I read a business magazine article reporting that China is importing 1 million tons of iron ore from Australia per day. I tried to wrap my head around the meaning of a million tons (2 billion pounds) of iron ore. Well, that is a little less than 5 ounces per day for each person on earth. In a year, this is about 114 pounds for each person on earth. Hmm. The yearly weight of iron ore being moved from Australia to China is perhaps 2/3 weight of the entire world’s population. I try to imagine 4.4 billion people a year moving to China.

All of this deep thinking reminded me of the “Sixteen Tons” song. Quoting from

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Pithy Quotes Can be Considered as Very Short Stories

I think of a pithy quote as a very short story. Such a short story can capture an important idea in a very few words, and such quotes tend to remain "fresh" over many years—and even over the centuries.

I have created two personal collections of such quotes for the IAE-pedia. See my general quotes at and my math education quotes at [These collections were revised and updated in March 2013.]

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Using a Spell Checker When Taking a Test

I can still remember when I was taking English Composition as a freshman at the University of Oregon. We often had in-class writing tests. My spelling abilities were not very good. I would compose a sentence in my head, check to see if I could spell all of the words, and edit the sentence so that it avoided words I could not spell.

Many years later my quality of life was much improved by spell checkers becoming available on the computers I used.

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