Sunday, September 30, 2018

Wolfram Alpha for YOUR Math homework!

Have you ever had a question on your math homework that you were stuck on forever and could never find a solution online? The "solution" to your problem is Wolfram Alpha! Wolfram Alpha is a very complex computer program where you "simply" type a question into the box and it spits out an answer and also computes step-by step directions for you. Take note that some step-to-step directions require the pro version.

The above is pretty much a random question I made up and plugged into Wolfram Alpha. They give you the solution, the plots and also alternate forms of the answer. These are all very useful when it comes to "verifying" your answer on an assignement.

The reason to why I decided to put "verifying" in quotations is because it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for students to know that this program should only be used as a guide to the correct answer and to check answers. Plugging in problems and pasting the answers into the assignment does a student no good in terms of learning the material. If the student is really stuck and cannot figure out the steps, the pro version is also a good option.

In addition to simply plugging in math, Wolfram Alpha also has a few fun features as well! For example, you could ask it pretty much any question that you would ask a person. (Well, not really... but you can get close.) In the above image, I asked Wolfram Alpha when the world would end and it gave me a perfectly scientific answer.

The takeaway from this is this posting is that Wolfram Alpha is a extremely powerful and fun tool to utilize. However, there shouldn't be any expectations to rely on this tool because the process of learning is more important than plugging in the correct answer. Have fun and post a comment below if you find any cool/funny responses from Wolfram!


Thursday, September 20, 2018

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By: Bill Martin

Monday, September 10, 2018

Minecraft Education Edition!

Minecraft is a sandbox video game where the player designs freely by using blocks of material. This game was released in 2009 and without a doubt it became one of the biggest video game hits in history. The concepts which govern the game are actually quite interesting and there is great potential for enhancing creativity in its gamers. However, since this game is usually bought by parents for begging kids, its perception is that it simply is a video game, and perhaps maybe even a bit addictive. 

Fast forward to November 2016, Mojang releases a new edition of Minecraft in which is designed for education. In fact, it was so specifically designed for education that users must have a Minecraft: Education Edition subscription to use the software.  Schools can actually buy this software using volume licensing. 

Why Minecraft Education Edition?
The million dollar question. In 2018, there are a plethora of educational resources online, but Minecraft Education Edition stands out especially because students have a deeper connection with this game. The first second they walk into the classroom, they will say, "YAY we're playing Minecraft in class today!". That's actually a very good thing to happen because if they're more passionate about something they are doing in class, then they will more likely be engaged. 

With these educational resources having such stimulating features, educators are bound to ask if students will be able to stay on task. However, Minecraft Education Edition is like any other educational tool nowadays. Educators are able to control what the students can or cannot do in the game. To explore even more feature of Minecraft Education Edition, click here!