Possible Implications

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Title and Synopsis
Try It!
Elementary School
Middle and High School
Linear Algebra
Differential Equations
Other Advanced Topics
It's Not (Only) About Math!
More Examples (and Data!)
Less Is More
So Is It Perfect Yet?
What About Google?
Possible Implications
A Threat?

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Although Wolfram|Alpha is far from perfect, it has the potential of causing significant changes in your mathematics classes. If you have already been asking your students to employ any of the previously existing computer algebra systems, Wolfram|Alpha provides yet another option.

If you have avoided using a CAS or graphing calculator because of costs of adoption, you can now have your students using Wolfram|Alpha without any monetary costs to your department or institution.

But Wolfram|Alpha is not simply a CAS. Its ability to access and process ever growing online databases makes it potentially useful to anyone with virtually any quantitative inquiry. In particular, most students can find Wolfram|Alpha helpful in many of the their classes and even in nonacademic contexts.

Because Wolfram|Alpha accepts free-form natural language input, it does not require mastery of programming. Anyone who has used a search engine can use Wolfram|Alpha. And sharing a result is a easy as sharing the url (which can be accomplished very quickly via social networking sevices like Twitter or Facebook).

Even if you believe that Wolfram|Alpha has no place in your classroom, you may still want to prepare yourself. Keep in mind that Wolfram|Alpha is accessible through any browser and on web-enabled cellphones, so its power is essentially always available. Even more than ever, you will hear the question, "Why do we need to know this?"


[Note: Contents of frame come from wolframalpha.com and are not maintained by Loci]