Monday, April 12, 2010

Wolfram Alpha for Educators - Free Lesson Plans

Wolfram Alpha is one of those resources that contains such a depth of information and range of applications that it can almost be difficult to understand all of its applications. (Watch two brief video overviews of Wolfram Alpha here). To help educators understand some of the educational applications of Wolfram Alpha, late last week Wolfram Alpha launched Wolfram Alpha for Educators.

Wolfram Alpha for Educators is a collection of free lesson plans, examples of, and ideas for using Wolfram Alpha in the classroom. The lesson plans are currently arranged in three categories; mathematics, science, and social studies. All of the lesson plans are available as free pdf downloads. The lesson plans are labeled according to grade level, but you cannot see the grade level label until you download the lesson plan.

In addition to the free lesson plans, Wolfram Alpha has a small collection of videos featuring teachers explaining how they are using Wolfram Alpha in their classrooms.

Thanks to Derek Miller for the tip about Wolfram Alpha for Educators.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned above, Wolfram Alpha is an incredibly powerful search engine offering a huge range of applications for education. However, figuring out what those applications are can be difficult for some people. A quick review of the free lesson plans available from Wolfram Alpha for Educators will provide teachers with some ideas they may have overlooked in the past. For example, I would have never thought of using Wolfram Alpha for a creative writing project if I had not read about it in the Wolfram Alpha lesson plan collection.