Sitting in Front of the Fire Hose of Knowledge

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wolfalphaDid you feel that? I think times just changed again…

More and more our students future citizens are sitting in front of a fire hose of knowledge. Who is helping them figure out what to do with it? As another example of the need to teach students 21st Century Skills, such as information literacy, two new products were released this last week.

WolframAlpha
I’m not even sure exactly how to describe this website. Is it a search engine? Is it an almanac? Is it an encyclopedia? Dictionary? Thesaurus? Research Journal? Collection of all human knowledge? How about all of the above? Take a moment and watch this video. Considering my background in biochemistry, I pretty much fell in love at 5:48 and then again at 9:16 and 11:59. Its also amazing to think the creator of Wolfram Alpha humbly, nonchalantly states at the beginning of the video that this is “just the beginning of our work.”

Google Search Options Panel
After you have recovered from WolframAlpha, head over to Google and conduct a typical search. Look for Show Options at the top of the page and click on it. Notice any new features on the left side of the page? Personally I LOVE wonderwheel and timeline. Google has a great short video about their new features that is worth watching.

Not too long ago we paid big bucks for tools like these. Now anyone, including our students, can access this knowledge for free! Just think about that!

Joe

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