We haven't heard much from Wolfram Alpha lately, what with Bing actually gaining a bit of market share. However, Alpha certainly hasn't gone anywhere and, in fact, remains a valuable tool for fact-finding and research. To emphasize this, Wolfram announced the first annual Homework Day today. While the title of this post is a bit tongue-in-cheek, the event itself will be worth tuning in throughout the day.
According to the press release, Homework Day will occur on October 21st, marked by
...a groundbreaking live interactive web event...led by noted scientist and Wolfram|Alpha
creator Stephen Wolfram. [The] marathon webcast will bring together students, parents, and educators from across the country to tackle tough homework assignments and explore the richness that Wolfram|Alpha brings to K-12, college, and beyond
Given that Alpha actually has a bit of a learning curve associated with it (it's definitely not another Google knockoff), this is a great way to demonstrate how to use Alpha in the classroom and model usage for students. To that end,
The Homework Day webcast will also feature:
- Quick, step-by-step lessons that will give everyone the ability to use Wolfram|Alpha to tackle problems in a variety of subjects, including math, science, engineering, health and nutrition, English, history, economics, and many more
- Content and segments tailored to specific age groups
- Ideas and examples for how to make subjects like math and science more engaging and relevant to students
- Live interviews and demonstrations by educators who are already using Wolfram|Alpha in their classrooms
Anyone interested in Homework Day can visit the event website. There, content is broken into K-12, College, and educator-specific areas. Educators can even upload lesson plans, videos, and questions about Alpha and how they use the product in the classroom. This looks to become a real clearinghouse of Alpha resources for teachers and students as we show people that there is more to retrieving information from the Web than Google and Wikipedia (as cool and useful as both of them are).