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2012 Visioning New Curriculum

Make Meaning with Wolfram Alpha

Presenter: Jane Krauss
Location: Eugene, Oregon USA
Twitter: @jkrauss

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:

  1. Wolfram Alpha
  2. Many Eyes
  3. Tableau Public



  1. Kevin Hodgson

    Thanks for this presentation. I still struggle to wrap my head around how to best use Wolfram Alpha with my students. We just finished up a research project, where they used InstaGrok for research, and I would love to be able to complement that work with some data analysis and visual displays of findings. Maybe I need to spend more time with Wolfram Alpha …

  2. Ginger McKee

    Hi Jane,

    I just watched your presentation. Nice!

    I work for Wolfram and collaborate with teachers who are interested in integrating Wolfram|Alpha, Mathematica and CDF Technology into their classes. Glad to hear you like Wolfram|Alpha Pro and it’s expanded capabilities.
    If you want to chat more, feel free to contact me!

    Ginger McKee

  3. Jane Krauss

    I think some of the best results from WA come with understanding of how to write queries that are suited to its sources. I’m still challenged by that myself. I’d love to work with other educators to put together demonstration projects that reflect different kinds of data analysis.
    I’d like to talk with you. It would be great if teachers could submit lesson plans to WA. Another note, I’d like to embed .cdf files into google docs and presos. I can’t figure this out.

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