I loved the speed geek sessions we did during our last to Coetail classes. This format is the best way I have seen to expose teachers to a bunch of new resources, and I found so many new tools that I am excited to see more of. I presented on Wolfram Alpha. Wolfram Alpha is a “computational knowledge engine.” You can search for anything and the results returned are organized and easy to use. The engine will complete any possible computations and give options to change your parameters. After exploring for a bit and showing groups in class, I think I have just scraped the surface of the many applications of this engine. If it’s your first time checking it out, try clicking on “examples.” You will be given a bunch of options organized by interest areas and can begin to see what Wolfram Alpha is capable of. Some of my favorite searches were:
- India and United States: When you put in two search items, the results will be a thorough comparison of the two. You can also compare people, foods, universities, etc.
- Big Mac: inputing a food will result in the nutritional information
- Running: putting in an activity will allow you to compute a variety of things. You can input distance, time, gender, weight, etc. to find out ho many calories were burned or equivalent activities you need to do to get the same amount of caloric burn. (Great for PE teachers!)
- y = mx + b: Put in an equation and the results will include the solution, a visual representation, in the case a graph and a number line, and alternate forms.
There are so many more uses. Check it out!