Saturday, April 26, 2008

Electoral map favors a Democrat, has McCain playing defense

Information Age Education - Free ResourcesURL:

Information Age Education - Free ResourcesURL: and Moursund is the founder of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and a founding board member of the Math Learning Center headquartered in Oregon. He recently started Information Age Education (IAE), a non-profit organization that provides free materials for preservice and inservice teachers (see

IAE focuses on improving education at all levels and throughout the world. The unifying philosophies include the following:-- Every person is both a lifelong learner and a lifelong teacher -- Our educational system can be improved through empowering students and their teachers, and by helping students learn to take more responsibility for their own learning. See We have a rapidly increasing understanding of Brain Science and other theory underlying teaching and learning. Computers are a powerful aid to translating this theory into practice.

See Communication and Information Technology is making the world "smaller" and "flatter."

See Students need an education that helps prepare them for a continuation of these trends.-- Two brains are better than one. In math, for example, people routinely make use of their own brain (a human brain) and a computer brain. We need an educational system that strongly reflects this situation and the fact that computers are still rapidly growing in capability (see

In this article, Moursund explores some teaching and learning implications of the capabilities and limitations of both human brains and computer brains. The emphasis is on improving education by helping students learn to make effective of both types of brains.The idea of a Digital Filing Cabinet (DFC) is one of Moursund's current areas of emphasis. All teachers are familiar with the idea of having a filing cabinet that contains lesson plans, handouts for students, and so on.

Nowadays, many teachers have both a physical filing cabinet and an electronic digital filing cabinet.Moreover, many teachers of teachers help their students to develop their own DFC and provide some content materials. Each of the articles referenced above is an example of materials that a teacher of teachers might want his or her students to have in their own personal DFC. For general ideas about a DFC, see

For Moursund's current collection of Math DFC materials, see

Moursund's ten most recent books are available free on the Web. Following are three examples that may interest math teachers:Introduction to Problem Solving in the Information Age:

Computational Thinking and Math Maturity: Improving Math Education in K-8 Schools:

Introduction to Using Games in Education: A Guide for Teachers and Parents:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Mullahs' Achilles heel: Iran's youth
Payam Akhavan, National Post Published: Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

more from Jerry Becker's list

NOTE: The following quotations have been collected from a variety of sources ... in e-mail notes, from bulletin boards and from the ASCD SmartBrief, over some time.

"In a completely rational society, the best of us would aspire to be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and highest responsibility anyone could have."
(Lee Iacocca, author of Where Have All the Leaders Gone?, 2007) [Sent by Dylan Wiliam]

"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn."
(John Cotton Dana) [Corrected from Gilbert Highet by Shari Stokes and Diana Suskind]

"Forever is composed of nows."
(Emily Dickinson)

"When people keep telling you that you can't do a thing, you kind of like to try it."
(Margaret Chase Smith, first female U.S. senator)

"If only we'd stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time."
(Edith Wharton, American author)

"May the light always find you on a dreary day.
When you need a home, may you find a way.
May you always have courage to take a chance,
And never find a frog in your underpants."

"Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen but understanding it for the first time."
(Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine)

"Teachers should be seen as Investment Bankers."
(Dr. Bill Clyde, VPAA Queens University of Charlotte) [Sent by C.E. Davis]

"Better know nothing than half-know many things."
(Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher)

"Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
(Eleanor Roosevelt, former first lady)

"If you can't direct the wind, you can adjust your sails."

"Concentration can be cultivated. One can learn to exercise will power, discipline one's body and train one's mind."
(Anil Ambani, Indian businessman)

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death"
(Martin Luther King Jr.) [Sent by Brian Greer]

"Music is what language wishes it could be."
(John O'Donohue, Irish poet and philosopher (as heard on "Speaking of
Faith") [Sent by Sandy Lemberg]

"Contentment makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor."
(Benjamin Franklin, U.S. inventor, statesman)

"In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence."
(Laurence J. Peter and Ramond Hull -- The Peter Principle: The principle holds that in a hierarchy members are promoted so long as they work competently. Sooner or later they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their "level of incompetence"), and there they remain. Peter's Corollary states that "in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out his duties" and adds that "work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence".)

"Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you're not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were."
(David Rockefeller, businessman)

"Never invest in a business you cannot understand."
(Warren Buffett, American businessman)

Thanks Mike!

Published on Monday, April 21, 2008 by

My Vote’s for Obama (If I Could Vote) …
by Michael Moore

I don’t get to vote for President this primary season. I live in Michigan. The party leaders (both here and in D.C.) couldn’t get their act together, and thus our votes will not be counted.
So, if you live in Pennsylvania, can you do me a favor? Will you please cast my vote — and yours — on Tuesday for Senator Barack Obama?

I haven’t spoken publicly ’til now as to who I would vote for, primarily for two reasons: 1) Who cares?; and 2) I (and most people I know) don’t give a rat’s ass whose name is on the ballot in November, as long as there’s a picture of JFK and FDR riding a donkey at the top of the ballot, and the word “Democratic” next to the candidate’s name.

Seriously, I know so many people who don’t care if the name under the Big “D” is Dancer, Prancer, Clinton or Blitzen. It can be Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Barry Obama or the Dalai Lama.

Well, that sounded good last year, but over the past two months, the actions and words of Hillary Clinton have gone from being merely disappointing to downright disgusting. I guess the debate last week was the final straw. I’ve watched Senator Clinton and her husband play this game of appealing to the worst side of white people, but last Wednesday, when she hurled the name “Farrakhan” out of nowhere, well that’s when the silly season came to an early end for me. She said the “F” word to scare white people, pure and simple. Of course, Obama has no connection to Farrakhan. But, according to Senator Clinton, Obama’s pastor does — AND the “church bulletin” once included a Los Angeles Times op-ed from some guy with Hamas! No, not the church bulletin!

This sleazy attempt to smear Obama was brilliantly explained the following night by Stephen Colbert. He pointed out that if Obama is supported by Ted Kennedy, who is Catholic, and the Catholic Church is led by a Pope who was in the Hitler Youth, that can mean only one thing: OBAMA LOVES HITLER!

Yes, Senator Clinton, that’s how you sounded. Like you were nuts. Like you were a bigot stoking the fires of stupidity. How sad that I would ever have to write those words about you. You have devoted your life to good causes and good deeds. And now to throw it all away for an office you can’t win unless you smear the black man so much that the superdelegates cry “Uncle (Tom)” and give it all to you.

But that can’t happen. You cast your die when you voted to start this bloody war. When you did that you were like Moses who lost it for a moment and, because of that, was prohibited from entering the Promised Land.

How sad for a country that wanted to see the first woman elected to the White House. That day will come — but it won’t be you. We’ll have to wait for the current Democratic governor of Kansas to run in 2016 (you read it here first!).

There are those who say Obama isn’t ready, or he’s voted wrong on this or that. But that’s looking at the trees and not the forest. What we are witnessing is not just a candidate but a profound, massive public movement for change. My endorsement is more for Obama The Movement than it is for Obama the candidate.

That is not to take anything away from this exceptional man. But what’s going on is bigger than him at this point, and that’s a good thing for the country. Because, when he wins in November, that Obama Movement is going to have to stay alert and active. Corporate America is not going to give up their hold on our government just because we say so. President Obama is going to need a nation of millions to stand behind him.

I know some of you will say, ‘Mike, what have the Democrats done to deserve our vote?’ That’s a damn good question. In November of ‘06, the country loudly sent a message that we wanted the war to end. Yet the Democrats have done nothing. So why should we be so eager to line up happily behind them?

I’ll tell you why. Because I can’t stand one more friggin’ minute of this administration and the permanent, irreversible damage it has done to our people and to this world. I’m almost at the point where I don’t care if the Democrats don’t have a backbone or a kneebone or a thought in their dizzy little heads. Just as long as their name ain’t “Bush” and the word “Republican” is not beside theirs on the ballot, then that’s good enough for me.

I, like the majority of Americans, have been pummeled senseless for 8 long years. That’s why I will join millions of citizens and stagger into the voting booth come November, like a boxer in the 12th round, all bloodied and bruised with one eye swollen shut, looking for the only thing that matters — that big “D” on the ballot.

Don’t get me wrong. I lost my rose-colored glasses a long time ago.
It’s foolish to see the Democrats as anything but a nicer version of a party that exists to do the bidding of the corporate elite in this country. Any endorsement of a Democrat must be done with this acknowledgement and a hope that one day we will have a party that’ll represent the people first, and laws that allow that party an equal voice.

Finally, I want to say a word about the basic decency I have seen in Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton continues to throw the Rev. Wright up in his face as part of her mission to keep stoking the fears of White America. Every time she does this I shout at the TV, “Say it, Obama! Say that when she and her husband were having marital difficulties regarding Monica Lewinsky, who did she and Bill bring to the White House for ’spiritual counseling?’ THE REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT!”

But no, Obama won’t throw that at her. It wouldn’t be right. It wouldn’t be decent. She’s been through enough hurt. And so he remains silent and takes the mud she throws in his face.

That’s why the crowds who come to see him are so large. That’s why he’ll take us down a more decent path. That’s why I would vote for him if Michigan were allowed to have an election.
But the question I keep hearing is… ‘can he win? Can he win in November?’ In the distance we hear the siren of the death train called the Straight Talk Express. We know it’s possible to hear the words “President McCain” on January 20th. We know there are still many Americans who will never vote for a black man. Hillary knows it, too. She’s counting on it.

Pennsylvania, the state that gave birth to this great country, has a chance to set things right. It has not had a moment to shine like this since 1787 when our Constitution was written there. In that Constitution, they wrote that a black man or woman was only “three fifths” human. On Tuesday, the good people of Pennsylvania have a chance for redemption.

Michael Moore

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