Middle Grades Matter

Middle Grades Matter

Kareen, a Teaching Ambassador Fellow located in Washington state, and Geneviève, a Washington D.C. based Teaching Ambassador Fellow, have written a blog post based on the roundtables they have been conducting with middle level educators over the last few months (including roundtables held with STW after the October Forum Convening and at the AMLE conference). As middle grades teachers they are trying to increase the presence and awareness of middle grades, so please share this with any middle grades teachers and administrators you might work with.

Middle Grades Matter | ED.gov Blog

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I was asked: Google Music or Spotify?

I was asked: Google Music or Spotify?

Right now I think you need Google Music, Spotify, AND Pandora to have it all.

Google Music lets you put your own collection in the cloud (good for stuff you own but isn’t on Spotify… including stuff you recorded yourself… also good for listening to music you’ve already selected).

Spotify lets you listen to just about anything you can think of (even if you don’t own it) – and probably find a karaoke version of it to boot.

And Pandora rocks the smart playlists (great for discovering new music). Google Music has smart Auto playlists, but that’s just pulling from your collection, so it’s not as good for discovery.

And Google Music now has sharing via Google+ (which for me is better than Facebook sharing from Spotify), but it’s only in the Marketplace right now… not from Google Music itself.

I don’t completely know my way around any of these three, but they still seem complimentary rather than redundant. I’m most excited, though, to see how Google Music evolves, because surely Pandora-esque playlists are coming – and the library of available music will grow (I’ve been paying 9.99 a month for Sportify mobile, but I could buy way more albums than I do right now for that money).

Here’s my first shared “purchase” on Google+:

And an even better one:

Mark Wagner – Google+ – Sharing my first “purchase” (it was free) on the Android…

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Via @demandprogress: More Than 700k Have Acted

Via @demandprogress:

“More Than 700k Have Acted: Let’s Finish Strong

It’s been a show of force like no other: More than 700k anti-censorship contacts have been delivered to Congress so far this week, as the Blacklsit Bill gets heard in committee.

What an amazing day — let’s top it off with one more push. Please send one more message to Congress — even if you already have — touting our numbers and telling them they need to back down. Let’s make it clear that the Internet has risen up, and won’t back down until Congress heeds our calls.”

More Than 700k Have Acted: Let’s Finish Strong | Demand Progress

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Exciting news about Rootstrikers from Lawrence Lessig:

Exciting news about Rootstrikers from Lawrence Lessig: Rootstrikers is also merging with United Republic to get money out of politics.

I just received the message below from Lawrence Lessig. It was an automated message of course… I signed up on the Fix Congress website a few years ago and have been following their efforts since.

The link he mentions (that you should go to) is this:

The video of Lawrence Lessig making this announcement can be found here:


VIDEO: Lawrence Lessig welcomes Rootstrikers to United Republic. More…
I am writing with some great news about Rootstrikers, Change Congress, and the Fix Congress First projects.

Over the past few months, a number of very significant funders of reform have decided that enough is enough. Led by Arnold Hiatt, former Chairman of Stride Rite, they have decided to form national powerhouse to advance sweeping reforms.

This is fantastic news for the movement, and for me. United Republic, the new organization, launches today at unitedrepublic.org, with a mandate to enact and inspire an extraordinary range of new and powerful work. We are also merging with the 250,000 members of MSNBC’s host Dylan Ratigan’s “Get Money Out” campaign.

United Republic will be led by one of the most effective political organizers I have known – Josh Silver, who ran the campaign in Arizona to get public funding enacted, and founded media reform group Free Press.

Because of their leadership, I will be able to focus on spreading this message effectively.

That message, as you’ve seen, has had to morph. However difficult it was to imagine Congress passing a bill to fund congressional elections before the Republicans took control of the House, it is impossible to imagine that right now.

Instead, as I’ve traveled across the country speaking about my book, I have been struck by how far we still must go to get people to connect the dots – to see the link between whatever issue they care about and the role of money in politics. Again and again, I have been driven back to a favorite line in Thoreau’s Walden:

“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”

What we need now is to recruit millions who are striking at the root. Millions who are helping others to see how every issue is tied to the money. And how we won’t make progress across a wide range of issues – whether you’re from the Right or the Left – until we address this fundamental corruption.

From now on, our efforts, along with the Get Money Out campaign, will all be merged with United Republic. Joining forces is the only chance we have to create the critical mass necessary to win this vital issue.

With this in mind, I’m asking you to do one thing today. Forward this email to ten friends, have them go to this link, and get them to join our movement. We will not send them lots of emails asking them to sign ineffective petitions. We will enlist them in a cutting edge movement to get big money out of politics. Getting them – and millions more – involved is our only hope of reaching critical mass.

When we started this project, it was clear there was a long road ahead. There remains a long road ahead. But for the first time I feel confident that we’re pulling together the leadership, resources and infrastructure that might make this fight winnable.

Thank you for your enduring support of this work. Go to unitedrepublic.org, stay tuned, and feel free to contact us with any questions about these exciting new developments.


Lawrence Lessig

Take Action | United Republic

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I’m working with the California League of Schools (CLMS, CLHS, and CLES) to

I’m working with the California League of Schools (CLMS, CLHS, and CLES) to produce their annual technology conference (which is in Monterey this year).

Among other things, I’m looking for two local schools (or other institutions) to donate laptops for the hands on sessions. I’m looking for two labs of 24 stations each, ideally one Windows and one Mac, though we can definitely be flexible with this since so much is web based today. If you might be able to help with this – or, perhaps more importantly, if might be able to point me toward some contacts in districts that might be interested, please let me know.

For compensation, the League can offer complimentary registration for up to three attendees who help “bring” or “setup” the lab, plus recognition in the programs and signage. If a booth or session would also be of value (to CTAP or similar organizations) we can offer that as well.

I’m also looking to recruit good speakers to fill out the online call for presenters. Please let me know if you know anyone who should be there… or simply forward them the link. You can learn more about this event (and the call for participation) here: http://www.leagueofschools.org/events/tech.htm

Naturally, I hope many of you will be able to join us, too… as speakers or attendees. :)

California League of Schools

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