Information Age Education Blog

The goal of IAE is to help improve education at all levels throughout the world. This work is done through the publication of the IAE Blog, the IAE-pedia, the IAE Newsletter, books, and other materials all available free on the Web. For more information, go to http://iae-pedia.org/.

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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteen_Tons:

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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 http://iae-pedia.org/Quotations_Collected_by_David_Moursund and my math education quotes at http://iae-pedia.org/Math_Education_Quotations. [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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A Questionable Approach to Improving Education by Failing More Students

 

One of my favorite quotes is:

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SAT Scores: A Few Numbers Don’t Tell Us Enough. A Person Is More than a Number

Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable. (Richard Buckminster Fuller; American engineer, author, designer, inventor, and futurist; 1895–1983.)

The College Board SAT scores for 2010 were released today. See http://professionals.collegeboard.com/data-reports-research/sat/cb-seniors-2010. In very brief summary, “There’s nothing worth writing home about.” Tables in the report give results on Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing for each of the years 2006–2010. Data is also given on Critical Reading and Mathematics going back to 1972. (Writing became a part of the SAT in 2006).

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