Saturday, March 6, 2010
Your students may have already discovered WolframAlpha much to your chagrin if you are a teacher that asks basic inquiry based queries. I certainly hope my son doesn't find it anytime soon to do his Math homework!
However, think of the possibilities of using this dynamic algorithm-based site. Sure, if a student enters an Algebra equation into the search engine, it will solve the problem. But this is a very robust engine. The latest I just read is it will provide data for the Oscars. For example, if you enter "Ocsar nominees" you will receive historical data for the Oscars. If you narrow your search by a year such as Oscar nominees for 1980, then you will receive analytical data of all the Oscar nominees for that year.
Check out WolframAlpha and teach your students how to use this effective tool to gather and then compare the data they harvest. Bump up the lesson on Bloom's taxonomy. Don't just put the answer; analyze, compare, and then ask students to process the information. Then WolframAlpha is a useful tool rather than a homework 'helper'.