Category: Digital Graphs and Diagrams

What we’re doing with WolframAlpha

Originally, I started this post with the title “What I’m doing with Wolfram|Alpha” and then I revised it, because it’s not just me using Wolfram|Alpha. My students are using it too. Here are some of the things we’re doing: Discussion Boards: Wolfram|Alpha + Jing = Awesome Before Wolfram|Alpha, it could take several steps to get a graph or the solution to solving an equation to the discussion board in an online class. You had to use some program to generate the graph or the equations, then make a screenshot of the work, then get that hyperlink, image, or embed code to the discussion board. With Wolfram|Alpha, sometimes a simple link suffices. Suppose, for example, I needed to explain the last step in a calculus problem where the students have to find where there is a horizontal tangent line. After finding the derivative, they have to set it equal to zero and solve the equation (and calculus students notoriously struggle with their algebra skills). Rather than writing out all the steps to help a student on the discussion board, I could just provide the link to the solution and tell them to click on “Show Steps.” Sometimes, a bit more explanation may be required, and in these circumstances, Jing + Wolfram|Alpha really comes in handy. For instance, I needed to show how to reflect a function over the line y=1....

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eLearning Tools for STEM

For anyone who has ever had trouble convincing your administration to give you the proper tools to teach online, I give you this little gift: eLearning Tools for STEM, published today in eLearning Magazine. The tools for STEM eLearning Tablets Recording & editing software Jing Equation software and training Synchronous communication system Online homework system Other head-turning resources for STEM Wolfram Demonstrations Digital libraries (a lengthy list) Video collections (another list) TI-SmartView Other tips (about accessibility, computer labs, etc) can be found at the end of the article. You can read about all the tools, and why I recommend them, by going to the article, eLearning Tools for STEM. Possibly Related Posts: Contemporary Algebra Collection (new resources 2/4/2019) Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra Understand in learning objectives – it’s the forest, not the...

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Don’t get WolframAlpha Implications? Try these examples.

Wolfram|Alpha is a “computational search engine” built by Wolfram Research (the developers of Mathematica). W|A (pronounce this as “walpha” if you’d like) is similar in appearance to the search engines that we are used to and easy to use. It’s not that W|A will replace other search engines, because it won’t. It’s more of a missing piece in the search engine puzzle. W|A provides a collection of data, formulas, computations, and interpretations that are different from other search engines. Although the media has stressed data-driven examples (for example, type your first name to see a graph of the frequency of that name over time), the ability of W|A to function as a combination of CAS and natural language computational system is stunning. Let me illustrate with a couple of examples for you to try yourself.  Simply follow the links below to see how W|A handles these search requests: • 126 (make sure to click on “other historical numerals”) • convert 125 m^3 to gallons • sphere r=7 cm • Line (2,7) and (3,1/2) • Solve x^2-6x=16 (make sure to click on “show steps”) • 4 – x^2 • Triangle 7,8,9 • x^2-y^2=9 • limit x->3 (x-3)/(x^2-9) (again, make sure to click on “show steps”) • integral (x^2)sin(x^3) (“show steps”) • sum 1/n^2 • New York City, Chicago • convert 78 to base 5 There are several differences between W|A...

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Implications for Math Instructors

They say a picture is worth 1000 words.  Then here are about 15,000. I’ve taken screenshots of several examples of the algebra through calculus that WolframAlpha will do. You can see the album of screenshots here. I’ll let you see the implications for yourself. Possibly Related Posts: Contemporary Algebra Collection (new resources 2/4/2019) Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Taking the Algebra Out of College...

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What if there was a Google for Math?

What if you could go to a free and readily available website and enter an equation, an expression, a question about math, a request to analyze data, or anything else, and the site would answer your question, elaborate on it, give you all the steps for the mathematical work, etc.? Did that make you uneasy or excited? Well, ready or not, it’s going online at 7pm CST today, and I think we ought to pay some attention to this. Wolfram Alpha You can watch a screencast about Wolfram Alpha here. It does have the potential to seriously wreak havoc on the way we teach math today if students can simply copy all their work from an A.I. website.  Whether you think that it’s time that somebody forced a change, or whether you think it’s just hype and not really a threat, I think we should all be aware that after today, it exists. Possibly Related Posts: Contemporary Algebra Collection (new resources 2/4/2019) Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses ESIL: A Learning Lens for the Digital Age Taking the Algebra Out of College...

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