Make Meaning with Wolfram Alpha
Wolfram Alpha introduces a fundamentally new way to get knowledge and answers — not by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms, and methods. It aims to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything. Recently Wesley Fryer had several posts about how we can leverage this powerful tool.
Presenter: Jane Krauss
Location: Eugene, Oregon USA
Presentation Description: Project based learning can sometimes be recipe-like, leading to predictable, “cookie-cutter” results. I want to help people reimagine PBL and set up better investigations so students truly construct new meaning. It starts with posing a compelling question and then setting kids loose with tools like Wolfram Alpha, the “Computational Knowledge” engine. In this session we look at the kinds of learning activity that lead to knowledge construction (predicting, comparing, making judgements and more) and take a tour of Wolfram Alpha. To wrap things up we’ll take a quick peek at ManyEyes and Tableau Public, two tools for creating visualizations or info graphics from data derived from Wolfram Alpha and other sources.
Link to presentation’s supporting documents:
(This post is from K12OnlineConference.org, licensed under creative commons CC BY-NC-SA)
Theodore Gray’s 2012 EduCause presentation, “Teaching in an Age of Plenty.” Theodore is the Co-founder of Wolfram Research, Inc. best known to me for their incredible computational tool, Wolfram Alpha.
The session description is:
information and ever more powerful search and knowledge engines have changed the proper role of universities, publishers, and education professionals. The diversity of empowering resources available to students has fundamentally changed their relationship to knowledge. Novel thinking is required to create learning materials and venues for this new world.
Wolfram Alpha is a global game changer for mathematics and computation on par with Google for information access. Every teacher and student, especially at secondary and post-secondary levels, should not only know ABOUT Wolfram Alpha but also how to effectively USE Wolfram Alpha to solve problems. My son (who is almost 15 and in 9th grade, taking Algebra 2) told me recently he’d been using a free Google Chrome web app to convert algebraic functions into the computer syntax required by Wolfram Alpha. Today he recorded a short (3 minute) screencast demonstrating how to use the Daum Equation Editor to format math equations for Wolfram Alpha.
The learning revolution continues…